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Do film schools give away old cameras?

camera 16mm old

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#1 Harvey Arthur Wang

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 08:51 AM

I'm curious if film schools give away old cameras. I'm interested in using a 16mm camera, but the cameras are expensive and even the cheapest (good) ones listed on eBay are usually 2-3 times the price of a Super 8 camera. I can certainly afford it, but the price might be a bit too much to start off.

 

This is why I am interested if film schools are willing to give away (or sell for a lower price) their old cameras. Especially since most schools are focusing on digital and only limit film cameras to a few courses, perhaps it's possible. Similarly, are there any other places, like news stations, that will give away their cameras?


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#2 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 29 July 2016 - 01:35 PM

Actually, most film schools don't use film anymore. Those who made the switch, sold their cameras years ago. Those who haven't, are going to keep the cameras most likely. I haven't found anyone willing to give away cameras. Most cameras have value and that keeps people wanting to keep them OR sell for money on ebay.

There are plenty of inexpensive 16mm cameras, but shooting on film is expensive. So buying a low-cost camera seems counter intuitive when the cost to create an image is so high.

For instance, you can buy a working non-sync sound camera for $350. Yes it will be wind up, but it will probably come with a lens.

$350 is the cost to shoot and transfer around 15 minutes of film on 16mm. Now obviously if you shoot B&W reversal and project only, you can save quite a bit of money. Still, the point here is that if you're going to spend $350 for every 15 minutes, why not just spend the money up front and get something better, OR just rent when you need one.

Most rental houses will give you a killer deal on a long-term rental if you want it.
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#3 Harvey Arthur Wang

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 11:23 AM

Actually, most film schools don't use film anymore. Those who made the switch, sold their cameras years ago. Those who haven't, are going to keep the cameras most likely. I haven't found anyone willing to give away cameras. Most cameras have value and that keeps people wanting to keep them OR sell for money on ebay.

There are plenty of inexpensive 16mm cameras, but shooting on film is expensive. So buying a low-cost camera seems counter intuitive when the cost to create an image is so high.

For instance, you can buy a working non-sync sound camera for $350. Yes it will be wind up, but it will probably come with a lens.

$350 is the cost to shoot and transfer around 15 minutes of film on 16mm. Now obviously if you shoot B&W reversal and project only, you can save quite a bit of money. Still, the point here is that if you're going to spend $350 for every 15 minutes, why not just spend the money up front and get something better, OR just rent when you need one.

Most rental houses will give you a killer deal on a long-term rental if you want it.

 

Thanks for the info. I guess it is more worthwhile to buy a high quality camera. There are people on eBay selling Canon Scoopics for around $300 with shipping. Many of them are still working perfectly, so I think it's a pretty good deal.

 

I was just curious because I've read an article by someone who bought their 16mm camera from a news station. My college still uses film, but it's limited to a few courses and only the beginning film majors and cinematography grad students use film, so I was wondering if they would downsize their inventory of cameras. 


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#4 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 01:29 PM

What school do you go to?
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#5 Harvey Arthur Wang

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 10:05 PM

I'm at UCLA. Not a film major though, so it'll be a bit harder for me access the cameras.


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#6 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 10:33 PM

Ohh got yea. Hmm... I can always let you borrow my Bolex EBM. :)
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#7 Harvey Arthur Wang

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Posted 31 July 2016 - 01:57 PM

Well, I'm not in a hurry to use one, but maybe sometime in the future once I have any major projects. But I really appreciate your kindness and your help.


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