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Need advice in buying a reliable 16mm camera.


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#1 Knight of Rueful Countenace

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Posted 03 July 2005 - 01:10 PM

Hello all, I'm new to the whole camera aspect of film and would appreciate some expertly advice on which camera to start with.
I've had my eyes sent these two options but i am not technically informed on whether they are reliable for such a price.
Both cameras appear in good functioning condition but vary in items.

If anyone could share their thoughts on these selections or may recommend me a more suited camera i would deeply appreciate it. I am willing to spend up 3000 dollars on a good camera package.

arriflex 16s

bolex h16
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#2 Robert Hughes

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Posted 03 July 2005 - 06:45 PM

Man you just missed it. Somebody sold a CP-16R with lens on eBay for $430. I could kick myself for not bidding on it, expecting it to go over a grand.

Both the Bolex and Arri cameras you listed are MOS cameras, solid and reliable but noisy. The Arri camera has the edge in that it has a registration pin where most other MOS 16mm cameras don't. The Bolex is a springwound mechanical camera, the Arri has an electric motor. Neither provide an exact 24fps sound speed unless specifically added. The Arri will cost you about twice as much as the Bolex for the equivalent gear. The Bolex takes C mount lenses, Arri takes Arri mount lenses.
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#3 Knight of Rueful Countenace

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Posted 03 July 2005 - 09:15 PM

Man you just missed it. Somebody sold a CP-16R with lens on eBay for $430. I could kick myself for not bidding on it, expecting it to go over a grand.

Both the Bolex and Arri cameras you listed are MOS cameras, solid and reliable but noisy. The Arri camera has the edge in that it has a registration pin where most other MOS 16mm cameras don't. The Bolex is a springwound mechanical camera, the Arri has an electric motor. Neither provide an exact 24fps sound speed unless specifically added. The Arri will cost you about twice as much as the Bolex for the equivalent gear. The Bolex takes C mount lenses, Arri takes Arri mount lenses.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Thanks Robert.
Sorry if i sound dumb, but can you elaborate more on the differences between regular camera to MOS cameras?

Also if it aint much trouble, share your thoughts on this arriflex.

http://cgi.ebay.com/...item=7528137031
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#4 Struwwelpeter

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Posted 03 July 2005 - 11:24 PM

MOS camera's aren't usually suitable for dialogue scenes due to the fact they don't usually have a steady film advance speed (sync speed) and are often far too loud.

You can always buy a crystal unit for either of those camera's and a huge bloody blimp but even then it's possible you won't get it quiet enough.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 July 2005 - 11:39 PM

If you're looking for a 16mm sync-sound camera for shooting dialogue, the cheapest ones are like the Arri-16BL (needs special blimped lenses), Eclair NPR, Eclair ACL, CP16R, CP16-Gismo, etc.
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#6 Knight of Rueful Countenace

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 12:30 AM

If you're looking for a 16mm sync-sound camera for shooting dialogue, the cheapest ones are like the Arri-16BL (needs special blimped lenses), Eclair NPR, Eclair ACL, CP16R, CP16-Gismo, etc.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


My Saviors! I am much grateful of your advice and hospitiality in my tme of assistance.

Seeing that you are all better acquainted with these cameras. Dare i ask which camera produces the better image, for i weigh the visuals over sound.
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 01:17 AM

As long as the camera works and has decent steadiness, film stock and lenses play a bigger factor in image quality than the camera. However, don't underestimate the importance of operational features, like how bright the viewfinder is, etc.
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#8 Robert Hughes

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 02:12 PM

An example of the use of MOS cameras on a recent feature film: Cold Mountain. The outdoor scenes were shot in Romania, I believe. The production team employed several Romanian film students to shoot B camera pickup shots during the battle scenes to supplement the main crew's coverage. The Romanians used 60 year old Bell & Howell Eyemo cameras (the 35mm version of the Filmo camera) bought off of eBay for about $300 apiece, compared to the A film crew's $100K Panavision camera.

The Eyemo camera sounds like a truck starter motor when running, but in the noise and din of simulated battle you'd never notice it.

Edited by Robert Hughes, 04 July 2005 - 02:12 PM.

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#9 Knight of Rueful Countenace

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 04:11 PM

Which would be the better choice. The Enclair NPR or the ACL. Or maybe going with a CP-16R?
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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 04:53 PM

Of those, I only have experience with the Eclair NPR. The ACL is a little more streamlined like an Aaton. The NPR is an older design, has a large motor at the base which juts down, is heavier. But it has an interesting dual lens mount turret, one for C-mount lenses and the other for Eclair Bayonet mount lenses.
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#11 andrewbuchanan

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 07:43 AM

I love my NPR and they are among the least expensive cameras with professional features (crystal sync, variable shutter, quiet operation). They are also among the least expensive to customize for Super 16 PL mount etc. I regularly use my NPR as a second unit camera with an SR3A or an XTR Prod. with it's registration pin and pressure plate, the NPR gives results that nearly indistinguishable. Best f all I got the camera, motor, 4 mags, lenses, etc. for a couple thousand bucks.

I have since spent a few thousand more in custom work and mods, but the camera worked fine when I got it out of the box. The NPR is a camera that is serious enough to grow with you. For 3K you could get a working camera some lenses and some filters and who knows, maybe even some film?

Problems...

Dim finder (especially the kinoptik, get one with the Angenieux)
HEAVY (but not much more than an SR3... not as light as Aaton)
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#12 Robert Hughes

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 11:58 AM

All are fine cameras if they are in good working shape. But any 30-year-old old camera is going to cost you some extra in rehab & maintenance, so allocate a couple grand to get it running smoothly.

The CP-16R has no registration pin, but the Auricon-derived gate uses ball bearings as perf guides for a very steady alignment. If you go with a CP-16R try to find a newer one with the half moon shutter. The camera lens uses the 3 blade CP mount; you may want to get it converted to S16 and PL mount.

Edited by Robert Hughes, 05 July 2005 - 12:02 PM.

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#13 Knight of Rueful Countenace

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 12:56 PM

Although i amiable for your concern. You guys speak in riddles and mazes, for i yet to obtain such an educated tongue for camera talk.
I have been searching endlessly online for either of these cameras at an affordable price but have only found few sites.

If there are any other sites (other than ebay, camerapro, and some others) that sell these cameras, please suggest them and i will honor thee with infinite compliments.
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#14 Robert Hughes

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 04:47 PM

Look for a Bolex, Arri S or Filmo on Ebay for a couple hundred dollars. They work fine, and are relatively easy to learn how to shoot 16mm. Don't break your budget on a high-end camera until you've got some experience with the basic techniques of filmmaking.

You might want to take a look at some textbooks, like this one:

http://www.amazon.co...3&link_code=as1

Good luck in your filmmaking pursuits.
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#15 Matt Pacini

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 06:02 PM

I love my CP16R/A because it's cheap and quiet!
MP
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#16 Louis

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 10:28 PM

Speaking of cheap 16mm cameras, does anyone have any thoughts about the K-3? They're all over eBay for less than $200 for a whole kit, and I'm sure they work well enough, but has anyone here actually used one? I'd like to read about any experiences.
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#17 Nguyen D. Nguyen

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 11:13 PM

Hello all, I'm new to the whole camera aspect of film and would appreciate some expertly advice on which camera to start with.
I've had my eyes sent these two options but i am not technically informed on whether they are reliable for such a price.
Both cameras appear in good functioning condition but vary in items.

If anyone could share their thoughts on these selections or may recommend me a more suited camera i would deeply appreciate it. I am willing to spend up 3000 dollars on a good camera package.

arriflex 16s

bolex h16

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I would STRONGLY recommend you get an Eclair NPR or ACL (if you really want to invest in a 16mm camera package). They are both easily upgradable to super-16, they are silent and crystal-synced, they're pretty cheap to pick up on ebay (at least a lot cheaper than the arri SRs and the 16mm aatons, AND the NPR has a variable shutter, something that's practically a steal for the price. The viewfinder has pretty decent brightness and can be handheld well enough.

There are downsides. The npr has a slightly ackward shape and like David said, it's heavy, so it's not ideal for handheld work. The NPR is also incredibly easy to load (from my experience with it). Not as easy as the SRs, but it is a coaxial mag, so you can preload and snap on very quickly. The only quibble I had with the NPR was that the mag would snap on, but they have this dinky little latch that doesn't really do much. So I'd recommend using gaffer tape over the magazine and the handle to keep it secure just in case.
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#18 Nguyen D. Nguyen

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 11:18 PM

Speaking of cheap 16mm cameras, does anyone have any thoughts about the K-3?  They're all over eBay for less than $200 for a whole kit, and I'm sure they work well enough, but has anyone here actually used one?  I'd like to read about any experiences.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I used to use those K-3 cameras in college. They are russian wind-up 16mm MOS cameras, but unlike the bolexes, their reliability is very questionable. Some cameras seem to work absolutely flawlessly, while others jam up for no apparent reason. The built-in lightmeter is also a joke.

BUT, it is a 16mm camera and you can pick up whole packages for less than 150. So I'd say it's a very good learning tool for MOS 16mm, but I definitely wouldn't consider using it for any dialogue or more seriously budgeted 16mm work. Maybe to do some dangerous pickup shots that might put the camera at risk.

And H16 bolex rex series cameras aren't that much higher priced than k-3s. I'd take a bolex over a k-3. Bolexes are super reliable, so I think of the extra money paid as insurance for the K-3.
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#19 22west

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Posted 05 July 2005 - 11:38 PM

Speaking of cheap 16mm cameras, does anyone have any thoughts about the K-3?  They're all over eBay for less than $200 for a whole kit, and I'm sure they work well enough, but has anyone here actually used one?  I'd like to read about any experiences.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Its a bit of a gamble when you buy one because the production quality of this unit varies quite a bit. I bought one off ebay from the Ukraine and it shot some nice steady material. It can also be pseudo-modified easily for super 16. If the camera is loaded properly it works quite well - there are many threads in here on the K-3.

Heres a still from some test shots I took with my K-3, it has an M42 lens mount.

Posted Image

The image is stretched a little but not on the actual film (Kodak Vision2 200T) - I think it has something to do with the transfer I had done. The Meteor lens that comes with the K3 is actual a pretty good lens.

Oh yeah, its an MOS camera - I think the sound level out of it is about 60-70 dbs.
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#20 Rik Andino

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 01:28 AM

Sorry if i sound dumb, but can you elaborate more on the differences between regular camera to MOS cameras?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Maybe you should hold off on purchasing a camera just yet...

If you're still learning about cameras and their concepts
Perhaps I recommend you rent a camera to practice or work as an A.C.
You might be able to get on some student films
And learn all the principles of working with cameras
Before investing your hard-earned cash into it.

I mean you wouldn't recommend to someone who can't drive to buy a car...
Now would you?

Eitherways
Good Luck
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