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'Sounds' and what to expect shooting film in 400ft magazine.....


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#1 Stephen Perera

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 05:03 AM

Hi all, finally received my two 'recalled' batteries and I have the Aaton XTR running.....I have a practice roll I was kindly given by Alan Giles in the United Kingdom who is an Aaton service guy (super guy).....and I have my two 400ft magazines......

 

I have practiced loading and running film through a few times right through to the end......

 

So my questions are (some of them super dumb for most of you but its my first time):

 

1. what is the importance of the 'two fingers' measure of 14 frames (when the film exists the first light trap to loop over into the second light trap, to create the loop (there are only two videos that I can find of people loading an Aaton XTR magazine...one of which is really old) - should the film be flat when locking in the magazine to the camera or (as I have found) there is a curve....ie space between film

 

2. To secure the film onto the take-up spool would it not be safer to tape it to the spool after also applying a kink to it?

 

3. What 'sounds' should I expect from the magazine (whilst running film) signalling all is well, or not well......I listened out and it was mostly the familiar film flipping sound one hears as foley but sometimes a slight change of sound can occur or no

 

4. When looking through the viewfinder whilst the film is running what should i be seeing - I see a flickering image which there is no way i can focus on the fly - here the need for focus markers etc all the time right......

 


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#2 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 05:40 AM

I wish I could show you ! I spent 6 years loading XTR mags.. but sort of hard to explain.. ill try..

 

1 Forming the loop on the take up side.. I would engage the film onto the top roller and close the lock.. and thread the film through the top of the film pressure  plate.. and then push into the bottom opening  too.. open up the lower roller and put the film in ,but not engage the sprockets.  then I would push the film back towards the top, from the pressure plate area, till it just cleared the top roller.. then close the bottom roller locker.. now you have formed a loop.. that cannot ever scratch on the top roller .. sorry hard to explain.. but thats how i was taught rather than the 2 finger thing.. too slow..unlike the Arri SR.. the Aaton loop isnt too critical .. mostly people make it too small and you will hear more noise than the usual "purr " through the gate.. basically the only way to get really quick and do it automatically is to just do it alot !.. 

 

2 No need to tape the take up spool.. put the Kink in it.. make sure the slit in the spool is facing away from the take up direction.. i.e. the film is actually tightening on the spool not wanting to pull out..  e.g. .. looking down on the spool the slit is leaning left to right.. take up is anti clockwise .. and then just wind on about one foot to make sure its on well and tight..  you can actually hold the two rollers with you right hand thumb and forefinger.. and give the take up spool and good twist to make sure its nice and tight.. with your left hand..

 

3 Yes should just be a nice smooth sort of Purring .. not the sometimes tractor clunk of the SR ! .. but can depend on the mags, claw etc being in good shape.. a tight loop will make a louder noise..

 

4 Yes of course ,when you are running ,you will get a flickering image.. and lose half your light too..have to get used to it basically .. but you should be able to see some sort of focus.. have you set the diopter for your eye .. ?.. maybe have it cleaned /checked .. not a bad idea anyway.. make sure the cross hairs line up with centre etc..


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#3 Mark Dunn

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 06:08 AM

If the takeup end were taped, and it stuck to the core when rewound to make up the lab roll for processing, the entire roll- yours and others' film- would cinch tight and you would all end up with neg scratches. Even if it didn't, the lab doesn't want bits of sticky tape floating around in its machine. They use staples.


Edited by Mark Dunn, 27 June 2017 - 06:09 AM.

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#4 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 07:01 AM

When you get more used to it.. I would roll the film on to the take up core ..with 2 hands above the mag.. then put it on the spigot .. hold the rollers with right hand, and tweak the take up core.. press the lock on the spigot.. ! done .. you'll find your own best way to do it with time and practice.. the easiest mags to load in the world.. 

 

Re as Mark says.. actually when you load.. and take the tape off the film.. always stick it onto  the can itself.. you don't want that sticky tape inside your black bag..   could get caught up on the load side ..


Edited by Robin R Probyn, 27 June 2017 - 07:01 AM.

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#5 Stephen Perera

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 07:15 AM

thanks a lot guys really appreciate the help


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#6 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 07:21 AM

I've found that 12 - 14 sprockets is OK, anything more or less and you'll hear the pulldown mechanism, which isn't good. 

 

I load the top sprocket and lock it in place. 

 

I pull the film down through the gate and back into the mag, but NOT through the bottom sprocket. I put the film directly onto the core and wrap it a few times. I use the method of bending the edge of the film and pushing it through the hole on the core. 

 

Then I put two fingers between the pressure plate and the film. 

 

I then pull the film around the bottom sprocket and lock it in place. 

 

9 times out of 10, this works flawlessly the first time around. If adjustment is needed, simply unlock the bottom sprocket and make the adjustment. I find the bottom sprocket to be the best one to work with, just lock the top one in place and use the bottom for any adjustment. Just make sure the tension between the take up and the sprocket is tight. Any loose tension there and you'll be in trouble. 

 

I always push up on the film with my finger when I put the magazine on the back of the camera. I found it helps with the engagement of the pulldown system. This is a good trick if when you push the mag on, it makes noise right away. 

 

You need to cycle the camera using the single frame "pulse" switch, which is the opposite direction of the "run" position. I do this cycle twice. Once you'll hear a click as the magazine lock is engaged. If you cycle twice and hear nothing else, then you're in good shape. I always then run the camera for a second to make sure there are no noises. The camera should be virtually silent with a slight "shh" sound as the film is dragged through the gate and a "brrrr" sound which is the spinning mirror hitting air. So with no film and with film only adds the "shh" sound. No other sounds should be heard, but that doesn't mean other sounds "may" be heard. Film can rub on the inside of the magazine doors, so you COULD hear that. 

 

I made a video about this,... but I need to edit and get it out there. 


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#7 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 09:07 AM

Agreed .. last two paragraphs esp .. just push the film up a bit .. I did the exact same.. give it a couple of clicks single frame mode with the run button to engage the claw.. then give it a few seconds run to make sure its all working ok..  make sure you hear the mag has locked into place firmly too.. !!  and the green run light comes up ok... 

 

Film scraping the mag will usually go away.. if not..and its really bothering you.. hold the mag flat with the palm of one hand.. and give it a firm but not too hard slap with flat of your other hand.. on the other side.. dont drop it ! 

 

Best practice to tape up the mag door locks.. I would use the tape off the cans .. they you know whats loaded too.. some people would use camera tape .. something to stop it opening if dropped or bumped 


Edited by Robin R Probyn, 27 June 2017 - 09:11 AM.

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#8 Stephen Perera

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 09:14 AM

I've found that 12 - 14 sprockets is OK, anything more or less and you'll hear the pulldown mechanism, which isn't good. 

 

I load the top sprocket and lock it in place. 

 

I pull the film down through the gate and back into the mag, but NOT through the bottom sprocket. I put the film directly onto the core and wrap it a few times. I use the method of bending the edge of the film and pushing it through the hole on the core. 

 

Then I put two fingers between the pressure plate and the film. 

 

I then pull the film around the bottom sprocket and lock it in place. 

 

9 times out of 10, this works flawlessly the first time around. If adjustment is needed, simply unlock the bottom sprocket and make the adjustment. I find the bottom sprocket to be the best one to work with, just lock the top one in place and use the bottom for any adjustment. Just make sure the tension between the take up and the sprocket is tight. Any loose tension there and you'll be in trouble. 

 

I always push up on the film with my finger when I put the magazine on the back of the camera. I found it helps with the engagement of the pulldown system. This is a good trick if when you push the mag on, it makes noise right away. 

 

You need to cycle the camera using the single frame "pulse" switch, which is the opposite direction of the "run" position. I do this cycle twice. Once you'll hear a click as the magazine lock is engaged. If you cycle twice and hear nothing else, then you're in good shape. I always then run the camera for a second to make sure there are no noises. The camera should be virtually silent with a slight "shh" sound as the film is dragged through the gate and a "brrrr" sound which is the spinning mirror hitting air. So with no film and with film only adds the "shh" sound. No other sounds should be heard, but that doesn't mean other sounds "may" be heard. Film can rub on the inside of the magazine doors, so you COULD hear that. 

 

I made a video about this,... but I need to edit and get it out there. 

 

Tyler the world needs a video out there from you man hahah...as i said there's only two and they don't really describe anything in one....nobody speaks and the second one is very old, not great quality and the camera angles not good


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#9 Stephen Perera

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 09:27 AM

I don't understand this.....do you mean just before you click the magazine in place on the camera you push up the yellow emulsion side, moving frames in the process?????? I tried this and i heard a click actually?

 

"I always push up on the film with my finger when I put the magazine on the back of the camera. I found it helps with the engagement of the pulldown system...."


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#10 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 09:51 AM

I would do this if memory serves .. pull off the rubber protecter from the mag.. pull the loop out to make sure its all ok .. push it back into the mag from the middle of the loop.. then just give the film a little push up wards.. the loop tends to drop a bit.. sort of equals it up.. just a slight push up.. then let go of course... just before clicking the mag in.. 

 

I believe this is the same as Tyler describes .. 


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#11 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 02:39 PM

Exactly, the idea is to maintain a taller upper loop during the magazine placement process. This way, when the pull down finally engages, the upper loop won't disappear. 

 

It's funny, my XTR version 1 always needed this to create a proper upper loop. My 4th generation XTR Prod, doesn't need this as much. I've slammed magazines on it, without the push up technique. 


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#12 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 27 June 2017 - 02:40 PM

Tyler the world needs a video out there from you man hahah...as i said there's only two and they don't really describe anything in one....nobody speaks and the second one is very old, not great quality and the camera angles not good


Aye, I'm making a basic intro video for; Moviecam, Arricam, Aaton 35III, Aaton LTR/XTR and Bolex. I've already done half, but I'm going to do the other half when I get back from vacation this summer. :)
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#13 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 09:33 AM

The finger push really helps to avoid issues with an Aaton.


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#14 Stephen Perera

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 09:50 AM

can you describe what you mean by the finger push im still not sure....


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#15 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 10:07 AM

You basically push the film up into the top loop and let it spring back and then place the mag onto the camera.


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#16 Stephen Perera

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 10:11 AM

thanks for all the info......


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#17 Chris Burke

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 05:24 PM

50 feet or so of junk film to practice with is a great tool. It isn't that hard to get the hang of. Practice loading the junk film many times until the camera runs quiet with your load.
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#18 Stephen Perera

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 02:51 AM

50 feet or so of junk film to practice with is a great tool. It isn't that hard to get the hang of. Practice loading the junk film many times until the camera runs quiet with your load.

 

yes precisely.....I was kindly sent a practice film and my 'loads' are already all sounding the same once I run it through the camera and I can do it with eyes closed hahahahahahah.....it is more difficult to load 6x6 photographic film onto a plastic spool in a hot darkroom when your hands are a bit sweaty than doing the first load on an Aaton magazine that's for sure......


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#19 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 03:48 AM

Yes easiest mags to load.. great design.. the "other" 16mm camera Arri SR .. the mags were more a pain.. have to engage sprocket holes in the bag.. measure the loop pretty accurately and then another set of sprockets to engage ,out of the bag but unseen... you got used to it but some times the film just did not want to engage usually at the worst possible time..!  also not a hairless gate.. the early ones.. lots of crap would get stuck there.. 


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