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Looking for an inexpensive 16mm camera


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#1 Jim Moore

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Posted 19 August 2016 - 07:07 PM

I'm looking for an inexpensive (sub $200 USD) 16mm camera to supplement my 35mm Arri. It will basically be used as a backup and for smaller projects. I will most likely also use this for home movies so being compact is a big plus. 

 

I've been looking at a Canon Scoopic 16 and I've heard good things about it, the 2-1/2 minute runtime is not an issue for the work I'll be doing. 

 

Can anyone here give me some other input or ideas on systems? A fixed lens and internal battery is ideal, although a crank system would be fine also. I do not need a internal meter.

 

Thanks

Jim


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#2 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 19 August 2016 - 07:32 PM

There's this guy

http://www.cinematog...showtopic=72415


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#3 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 19 August 2016 - 09:15 PM

I just grabbed a Krasnogorsk-3 for $150 bux at a photography flee market. I've been wanting one for a while because I talked so much shit about them (thanks to my friends not liking them), that I really wanted to give the camera a chance.

So far I'm pretty impressed with it's over-all design. Haven't shot a lick of film with it, but it's smaller and lighter then the bolex and has a pretty decent lens stock. Plus, it's a spinning mirror reflex, not a prism design, so there is less likelihood you'll get dirt between the lens and the film plane. It's one of the big problems with the Bolex, keeping that prism clean is difficult.

One other thing to note, I believe the K3's are all single perf, where many of the inexpensive H16's are DOUBLE perf only. So when you search for a Bolex, you may find it harder to find a great deal on one which can use modern single perf stock. Not a huge problem if you only shoot B&W, but if you shoot color, I think it's impossible to buy NEW double perf negative anymore.

The K3 is also easier to update to S16. The parts are on ebay all the time, basically an offset lens mount and gate, both user installable. Converting a Bolex to S16 is a lot more work and requires a professional. The only real good/modern small S16 camera is the A Minima, but they are a lot more money.
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#4 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 20 August 2016 - 12:01 AM

You might pick up a Scoopic for $200 but the batteries often need to be recelled, and you might also need a new charger, so factor in those costs.

A K3 would suit your budget, they're somewhat hit and miss but great when they work. I'm not entirely convinced by the S16 conversions everyone talks about as being so easy, it often seems to produce scratching from what I've seen.

Bolexes are far more reliable but $200 might not be enough for a good condition reflex model with lenses. Double perf models were phased out in 1952, several years before reflex ones came out, so no need to worry if you get a reflex model. If in doubt, any serial number above 76471 will have single perf sprockets. It's not that hard to modify or swap over the sprockets anyway.

None of these are particularly compact, but it's hard to find a cheap reflex 16mm camera that's much smaller. I just worked on a Kiev Alpha 16 which uses a pellicle and is about as light and compact as 16mm reflex gets, if you can find one. Can't speak to the stability or reliability though.

If you don't mind non-reflex, there are some extremely small 16mm cameras around. I own one of these and love it:
http://www.ebay.com/...swAAOSwIgNXq21M
Fits in one hand! Fixed, single focal length! Zeiss (pre-war) quality!

Siemens made some great little 16mm wind-ups. GIC 16 was another very small 50ft model. Moving up there's the Kodak K100. Bell and Howell Filmos of course, very robust and reliable.

For all round reliability, quality and robustness though, I think Bolexes deserve their reputation. Unfortunately C mount lenses have become less affordable since the mirrorless still photographers discovered them.
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#5 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 20 August 2016 - 02:46 AM

 

I think I just bought Marco's Bolex RX1 for USD100,  no lenses.  I don't have an explicit service history,  but it may have had a repair tech about 4 years ago.  Dom,  if you drop back in, what are the indicators for these cameras that they have had service.  The old unserviced RX1 I have here may be a useful comparison.

 

Dom,  I have some (50'?) SAP load gun cameras.  Famous knee surfer George Greenough used them in his helmet and strapped to his chest and back,  surfing impossibly deep inside the tube.  The Innermost Limits of Pure Fun and some other famous work

 

One 100' camera that can be cheap and is very compact is the Bealieu R16.  I had a battery powered one and really found it useful.  But I found it slow and difficult to clean the gate properly as the pressure plate doesn't swing fully open.

 

If you do need more than 100' but still light,  compact and inexpensive, you could look at an ACL I with small motor and 200' mags.  Lots were converted.  More than $200 though (smiling yellow button)

 

EDIT:  Marco's Bolex is probably for my son.

 
 

Edited by Gregg MacPherson, 20 August 2016 - 02:52 AM.

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#6 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 20 August 2016 - 03:36 AM

 Dom, I have some (50'?) SAP load gun cameras.

Yes magazine load cameras were often very compact but such a pain to reload the magazines yourself and I don't think you can get them preloaded anymore. Took double perf film too.

About the Bolex, if it's been well serviced you probably can't tell. If the light seal around the gate is broken, someone's had the front off without resealing it. If screw heads are damaged, a butcher has had a go.
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#7 aapo lettinen

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Posted 20 August 2016 - 08:08 AM

Krasnogorsks are quite ok but they scratch the film much more easily than for example bolex. Russian gear generally needs more knowledge and service experience to operate reliably. If you choose a k3 it is good to discard the loop formers and be very careful about the upper loop size, it has to be accurate by one frame to avoid scratching (the upper corner of the aperture plate is not polished and is very close to the upper loop) or jamming of the camera (if upper loop is too small).

The lenses are quite good for the time. I recommend the kmz bayonet primes for most use. It is possible to fit kinor16sp primes to the camera but the mount is NOT the same despite some ebay sellers claim they are interchangeable. The kinor mount has wider and thicker flanges with slightly different orientation and the ffd is slightly different. It is possible to adapt these to a krasnogorsk mount by yourself but it needs hours of work and lots of machining and fine tuning (I have done that with a 10mm sp lens)
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#8 aapo lettinen

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Posted 20 August 2016 - 08:17 AM

As always it all comes down to lenses...
With krasnogorsk you can use inexpensive Soviet ones but with Bolex you have to buy the at least 4x more expensive switar ones (which are so expensive because every hipster in the world wants to use them for shooting instagram stuff with crappy digital cameras...)
You should look which lenses you want to use and decide based on that. camera bodies are dirt cheap nowadays but lenses generally are not
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#9 Will Montgomery

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Posted 20 August 2016 - 12:44 PM

If it has to be under $200 then try a K3. Great entry camera. It should come with a decent/ok lens. If you have a little more money, like $550, a Scoopic MN is a great option. The lens is truly remarkable even though its fixed. Autoload feature makes loading fast and easy and build-in meter is actually very convenient when shooting on-the-go. I usually take a reading and lock it down.

 

Just remember, shooting one roll of film could cost you $150 by the time you're done processing and transfer so spending a little extra on a camera shouldn't be that big of a deal.


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#10 Jim Moore

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Posted 20 August 2016 - 09:27 PM

Thanks for all the replies and info!

 

I was at an antique store today and while my girlfriend was out searching for her things I roamed around and found a 16mm Keystone A-7 for $15 and a Canon Super8 for $20. 

 

The Keystone looks promising. I need to sit down and do more research, but seems like it could be a fun camera, even with it's limitations.

 

I've been eyeballing the B&H Filmo line and that seems like it would work great for me. Again, like the Keystone I need to sit down and do more research.


Edited by Jim Moore, 20 August 2016 - 09:30 PM.

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#11 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 01:06 AM

The Keystone and Filmo maybe both double perf cameras, so be careful. 


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#12 Pavan Deep

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 01:22 AM

The keystones are cheap and fun cameras, but many are for double perf film, though some are for single perf, you have to check.

Pav


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#13 Simon Wyss

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Posted 21 August 2016 - 03:24 AM

I just worked on a Kiev Alpha 16 which uses a pellicle and is about as light and compact as 16mm reflex gets, if you can find one. Can't speak to the stability or reliability though.

 

I strongly advise against the Kiev Alpha 16. The tapped part that bears the lens and its support are both weakish. When I purchased my first one, I have two, I was looking forward to using a mirror telephoto lens on it but had then to give up the idea. You can’t use anything else than lightweight lenses without the risk of deforming that part. There are also several areas along the film course where the stock touches the camera full face plus there are sharp bendings to the film next to the sprocket drum. The recesses in the aperture plate are shallow, even nil around it, screw heads protrude dangerously, and a positive lateral film guide does not exist. Of course does a rigid channel work because the film runs through it slantedly due to the one-sided pull of the claw. That system is used with a number of ciné cameras but I prefer more defined ways of film guidance.


Edited by Simon Wyss, 21 August 2016 - 03:25 AM.

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#14 Pavan Deep

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 07:44 AM

I have a Kiev Alpha and enjoy using it, it's very small and compact and I have had decent results from it, I have always used small C mount lenses for it, the only thing I don't like is winding the camera as the wind is quite stiff, I have written about it here;

 

http://lightbreeze.c...ameras.htm#Kiev

 

Pav


Edited by Pavan Deep, 22 August 2016 - 07:49 AM.

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#15 Simon Wyss

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Posted 22 August 2016 - 08:27 AM

One winds the spring directly from the core.


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#16 Doug Palmer

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 03:44 AM

Thanks for all the replies and info!

 

I was at an antique store today and while my girlfriend was out searching for her things I roamed around and found a 16mm Keystone A-7 for $15 and a Canon Super8 for $20. 

 

The Keystone looks promising. I need to sit down and do more research, but seems like it could be a fun camera, even with it's limitations.

 

I've been eyeballing the B&H Filmo line and that seems like it would work great for me. Again, like the Keystone I need to sit down and do more research.

Hi Jim, if you were thinking of getting a K3 I've got one to sell for £150.  Plus UK postage unless you're down Dorset way.  It's the model with 17-69mm f1.9 bayonet-fit lens.  Agree with Aapo lettinen it's best to get rid of the loop-formers.


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#17 Doug Palmer

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 04:02 AM

Hi Jim, if you were thinking of getting a K3 I've got one to sell for £150.  Plus UK postage unless you're down Dorset way.  It's the model with 17-69mm f1.9 bayonet-fit lens.  Agree with Aapo lettinen it's best to get rid of the loop-formers.

Oh no ! For some reason I thought you were in UK. Sorry, not worth the shipping.


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#18 Jim Moore

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Posted 26 August 2016 - 05:01 AM

Nope I'm not in the UK otherwise I'd consider it.

 

I managed to find a short end of double perf 250D locally a few days ago and loaded it into the Keystone and shot a few things in the park by my house.  I'll toss that into my lab order in a few weeks. Interesting camera, I doubt I'd use it for any serious work. It's a fun camera to shoot so I might use it for home movies and fun projects. 

 

My company has a machine shop in the maintenance area so I'm going to ask one of the machinists down there mill off one side of sprockets so I can use modern stock.


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#19 Sv Bell

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Posted 12 September 2016 - 10:08 AM

Very interesting input from members, about the Krasnogorsk-3. I've bought one myself earlier this year, and I'm going to be testing it in a few days.

To save costs (because I'm expecting to waste a few reels in the beginning) I plan on developing black and white home made. I purchased off Ebay a Lomo tank and toy around with that for a while.

 

I'll keep you folks updated on my experiments. Will definitely need your advice as I learn the ropes of shooting 16mm!

 

sv


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#20 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 12 September 2016 - 05:03 PM

SV,

I think it's a great idea to process some B&W at the begining,  and for camera tests and little art experiments.  Process as reversal and project it.

Get lots of practice loading and scratch testing the camera with clean junk stock.


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