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PL lenses on Arriflex 16mm cameras?

16mm arriflex

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#1 Zane Morrow

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 12:12 AM

Hello,

 

I'm looking into getting a 16mm camera in the near future. Like a SR II, III, or a Arriflex 16mm camera BL or other. I just want to know, can PL lense be mounted onto any or all of these cameras? Like can a PL camera lense be mounted onto a Arriflex 16mm BL Camera for example?

 

I would also like to rent anamorpic squezze lenses, like Hawk lenses to capture a true anamorpic widescreen image at 2:40. Will any of those types of lenses work for any of the cameras I listed above?

 

Thanks everyone

Zane


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#2 Drew Bienemann

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 12:20 AM

Most of the Arri SR cameras have PL mounts, but check before you purchase. you can put and PL lens on any camera with a PL mount. 

 

As far as anamorphic goes, those lenses were designed to work on camera that have a 4:3 image area (like a standard 35mm camera). If you put a lens like that on a 16mm or super 16mm camera you will end up with an image that is wider than 2.40:1, but you can always crop the side off after. 


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#3 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 01:09 AM

Maybe the lens technitians can help with this definition, but I don't think there is a "PL lens". PL is just a mount. Many lenses can have the mount swapped for a PL mount, though the good mounts are expensive. I think the mount swap, for example with many of the S16 Zeiss lenses, is fairly easy for a good tech with a good mount.

Arri 16BL have some restrictions on which lenses will fit because of the mirror position. It's given in the manual...

The best 16/S16 camera ever made in terms of accomodating various lens mounts, with its factory camera mount adapters, was the Eclair ACL.....
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#4 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 01:56 AM

PL mount on 16mm cameras is actually a more recent thing. Most sync sound 16mm cameras use their own mount. Arri has the "arri B" mount. Aaton has the "Aaton Mount" etc...

Older cameras like the BL, SRI and SRII are B mount and the SR's can be converted to PL, but it's expensive. Unfortunately you can't simply buy an adaptor to make PL mount lenses to work with Arri B mount cameras. This is simply due spacing, the PL mount is too big for an adaptor to fit AND maintain proper focus distance. Now maybe 20 years ago, you could find B mounts for PL glass, but today that market has dried up.

If you're goal is to shoot with anamorphic lenses, two things to think about...

1) Hawk anamorphic lenses are $5000/A DAY. So if you have that kind of money, you can for sure find a better PL mount camera.
2) You would need Super 16 frame size for the Hawk 1.3x anamorphic's to work properly, the standard 4x3 frame size won't give you 2.40:1
3) You need to unsqueeze the image to view it properly in the viewfinder. These anamorphic ground glass adaptors are rare for modern 16mm cameras (sometimes rental houses have complete kits) and nearly impossible to get for older cameras.

If your goal is to shoot 2.40:1 wide screen, it's actually around the same price to shoot 2 perf 35mm with short ends. You can get 35mm short ends for around HALF the price of NEW 16mm stock. Only thing you need to do is find an inexpensive camera to rent and you'd be all set.

If you need help with your project, shoot me a PM and we can chat. I have complete rental packages for students of film.
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#5 aapo lettinen

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 03:05 AM

1) Hawk anamorphic lenses are $5000/A DAY. So if you have that kind of money, you can for sure find a better PL mount camera.

 

that's a price for a 10 lens set or so?? for normal shooting one needs about 3 or 4 lenses so it can't be that expensive. with Lomos something like 400-500 a day. Here in Finland you could rent about 15 pieces of S4i anamorphics for that price including VAT and I think a 6 lens set of Master Anamorphics would be cheaper. OR renting some Panavision stuff. 

 

The 416 with anamorphic viewfinder would be great for shooting anamorphic in 16mm. Maybe just renting the whole package for anamorphic stuff and using owned camera for spherical stuff?


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#6 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 03:20 AM

that's a price for a 10 lens set or so?? for normal shooting one needs about 3 or 4 lenses so it can't be that expensive.


Yea, it's the complete S16 specific, 1.3x anamorphic lens kit. https://www.vantagef...-1-3x/v-lite-16
 

with Lomos something like 400-500 a day. Here in Finland you could rent about 15 pieces of S4i anamorphics for that price including VAT and I think a 6 lens set of Master Anamorphics would be cheaper. OR renting some Panavision stuff.


Standard 35mm (full frame) PL mount 2x anamorphic glass is inexpensive to rent. To use the full width of the 16mm frame (s16 format) and get the 2.40:1 aspect ratio, uses 1.3x anamorphic squeeze lenses, not 2x... which would give you a much wider image that would need to be cropped. Yes Hawk does make 2x glass which is specific for the standard 16mm format, but you're wasting a lot of image size shooting that format.

Also, unlike a 35mm frame size, Super 16 requires speciality lenses for the wider angles. Lenses that frankly are hard to get in the 2x breed. Most 2x anamorphic lens kits start around 25mm, which is considered a "medium" lens with the smaller frame size of 16mm. This is why you need to spend the money on something like the Hawks. Plus, the Hawk's are super fast, which is a vast improvement over less-expensive options.

Having done the research on formats, renting and over-all final output picture quality, 2 perf 35mm is the best deal over-all. Now, if you don't need wide angle lenses, if you have a PL mount straight 16 camera and can find old 2x lomo's, you can probably get a decent image out of it. Though nowhere near the quality of 2 perf, OR with the lens selection needed for really shooting serious work.
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#7 aapo lettinen

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 09:03 AM

With that high prices I would maybe just shoot 4perf 35mm with anamorphic Lomos but that is just me and my projects
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#8 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 04:16 AM

This thread is already a liitle diffuse.  I don't want to make it worse by pointing to factual errors in posts,  though,  I suppose,  repetitious factual errors by some are at the root cause of this diffuse quality.

 

Arri B mounts,  for Zeiss,  for example,   do come up sometimes cheap on eBay.  The drift of history is heading in the other direction,  people needing to swap their Arri-B mounts to PL. One could ask those doing the mount conversions,  Visual Products,  Duclos,  any good lens tech,  just guessing...But,  though the original post may have infered some ideas that required that,  I can't see the sense in it.  The usefullness.

 

Other slightly skewif ideas that have come up that need correction....

At this point in history the cost of a S16 conversion is almost irrelevant (true,  this is the correction).  One can aquire a 16mm vis a vis a S16mm  camera with a smallish price difference,  much less than the cost of conversion....translation...if you need to buy a S16 or PL mount camera,  buy an already converted camera.

 

Further,  many of the 16/S16mm cameras have already been converted to PL mount.  Similar to the previous point,  the cost of this is somewhat irrelevant.  One can buy a camera that has already been converted,  without the cost of that reflected in the price...

 

The idea that the various 16/S16 cameras that are ex pro cameras have particular mounts is quite missleading.  So many were converted to other mounts,  normally PL.  The wierdest thing to me...some ACLs were converted to Aaton mount...this to me is such a vanity...like Aaton mount was to be the next big thing rather than PL.

 

Again,  the lens mount system of the Eclair ACL was about the best thing ever conceived of for a 16/S16 camera.  There are, existing,  camera mounts for Arri-s, B,  Nikon, Eclair CA-1, PL....The base flange is at the C mount plane...so there is plenty of room to engineer a camera mount adapter in front of that.  For the ACL...

 

Actually some of the lens projectors that the techs use,  use the same principal...I'm thinking the next time I am in a tech's workshop I will take these adapters and confirm that they deliver the various mounts for their lens projector.....


Edited by Gregg MacPherson, 18 December 2016 - 04:21 AM.

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#9 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 10:46 AM

Arri B mounts,  for Zeiss,  for example,   do come up sometimes cheap on eBay.  The drift of history is heading in the other direction,  people needing to swap their Arri-B mounts to PL. One could ask those doing the mount conversions,  Visual Products,  Duclos,  any good lens tech,  just guessing...


The OP wanted to know if he could convert anamorphic PL mount lenses to work with a BL. As you well know, the BL is Arri B mount and I don't believe they could be converted to PL.

Same goes for modern PL glass. You can't just take a used zeiss lens, pull a mount off it and expect it to work. As a cinematographer, I work with various lenses on a regular basis and I also have spare mounts sitting around. So I've measured and tested the idea of changing mounts on CP2's for instance, but the numbers don't add up. Not saying it's impossible but it would be cost prohibitive and much easier to convert the camera (if convertible) then each lens.
 

Further,  many of the 16/S16mm cameras have already been converted to PL mount.  Similar to the previous point,  the cost of this is somewhat irrelevant.  One can buy a camera that has already been converted,  without the cost of that reflected in the price...


Well yes, but I made the assumption the op couldn't afford a super 16 camera with PL mount, since they have a BL which is the cheapest semi-quiet camera you can buy these days. Good working Super 16 cameras fetch a high price on ebay compared to straight 16 cameras. Good working Super 16 cameras with PL mount, are 2x more money then one's without.

 

The idea that the various 16/S16 cameras that are ex pro cameras have particular mounts is quite missleading.


I'm on ebay every day, every... single... day... 90% of the cameras on there are ORIGINAL mount. This year, there were TWO Super 16 PL mount SR II's that showed up (both well over $3000 USD). There were around 5 XTR's but they were super 16 and PL mount from the factory. Only one of them sold for less then $2500 bux and I missed it. BOO HOO! :(

That's unfortunately where people buy cameras these days and it's too expensive to import from other countries if you live in the US like me and the OP do.
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#10 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 01:57 PM

He's not exclusively quizzing on 16BL,  or anamorphics...

 

If one only had a camera with Arri-B mount,  the question might arrise,  can lenses with PL mounts be swaped back to Arri-B mount?  Well,  I think so,  and MKII,  III superspeeds are quite quick to swap out and collimate for an experienced tech,  if the mounts are factory or properly made aftermarket ones.  I don't know about the MKI mount,  but I'm sure a lens tech can tell us.

 

Because converting those primes to PL mount was/is so common,  there have been used factory Arri-B mounts for sale now and again,  and quite cheap.  I have seen them on eBay,  and maybe on VPs website too.  Arri-B mounts from MKII,  III with the eight hole configuration,  and the MKI type mount

 

I haven't been watching camera prices carefully on eBay for about a year,  so I won't quibble over your anecdotal observations.


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#11 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 02:41 PM

To clarify,  or correct myself,  the used eight hole Arri-B mounts would be from MKIIs.  But I am 99.9% sure that mounts for MKII and III are interchangeable


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#12 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 02:18 AM

Yea, yea it's true the 16mm specific Arri/Zeiss primes and zoom's are easy to convert. That's because the manufacturer sold them in both spec's, like my Optar's. In fact, I've swapped mounts on them numerous times and they work great. With that said, my Zeiss 12-120 zoom, won't accept the same PL adaptors as the Optars. It physically doesn't fit on the barrel. This is why I stated earlier, I've measured the rear element of lenses to figure out if modern lenses could be adapted and I've found most of them to be too large in diameter. Clearly a different problem from the 12-120 issue I have, but still not THAT easy. You can't just go on ebay, buy a Arri B adaptor, send it all off to Visual Products and expect magic.
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