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Buying sync - Eclair ACL or ACLII? NPR?


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#1 Jason Banker

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 02:50 AM

Hi,

The Eclair ACL seems to be the cheapest sync sound camera you can buy that actually is quiet enough to use in a practical manner. Does that statement seem correct?

If so is it worth spending the extra $1000 or so to get the ACLII? and why?

Also how does the Eclair NPR compare?

Is there anything else for under $6000 or $7000 dollars that I should consider?


Thanks;)


P.S. What would be the next logical camera if I spent a bit more?
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#2 Chance Shirley

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 10:29 AM

I don't know much about the Eclair cameras.

If you decide to spend more than $7,000, you'll be getting into Aaton LTR 54 territory (I think mine was approx. $9,500 when I got it a couple of years ago). The LTR 54 cameras are lightweight, easy to load, quiet, and Super 16-ready.

You can also get an Arri 16BL for much less than $7,000. The one I used to have took great pictures and was pretty quiet, but it weighed a LOT (more than 20 lbs., I think).
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 10:41 AM

Arri 16BL needs blimped lenses though, unlike the Eclairs.
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#4 Mike Welle

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 11:34 AM

The Eclair ACL is more portable than the NPR. You can use 200' A-Minima loads with the core plates. The Eclair ACL 1.5 and II come equipped with the heavy duty motor capable of running 75fps. Some ACLs come equipped with an on-board battery. The best magazines are French made. An English made magazine might lose its loop when running at 50 or 75fps. Super-16 conversion is a little tricky with the ACL since it has an oscillating mirror which can lead to problems with flickering and shadowing if it gets in the way when the shutter is open. It's probably best to reduce the size of your shutter to 135 degrees to get full clearance. Having a technician glue on extra pieces to the shutter might be necessary. The NPR doesn't have this problem since it doesn't have an oscillating mirror. It has one major advantage which is the ability to change the shutter angle. The ACL can't do this. The NPR doesn't run up to 75fps. Both cameras have quick change magazines which is useful for shooting indoors and outdoors and changing stock quickly between the settings. Its very hard to retain the on-board light meter for the ACL when converting to Super-16. It's probably best to put a Gossen Digisix on the handle and use it as a compromise measure.

Edited by Mike Welle, 12 July 2005 - 11:36 AM.

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#5 Jason Banker

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 11:53 AM

I just checked into the Aaton LTR 54 and it looks very nice. But might be out of my range. Does this camera come with a video tap? How much does it weigh? Can anyone else comment on this camera?

The arri BL from, what I have read, is not as user friendly, heavier and needs blimps to dampen the noise. It doesn't seem worth it compared to the Eclair.

As for the Eclairs I would really like to know about some of the differences between the models?
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#6 andrewbuchanan

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 12:20 PM

Seems like I read that the ACL 1 had a finder that wasn't as good as the 1.5 or 2 and I don't think it came with anything near 75fps (from the factory) both of these problems can probably be fixed with adding later parts from an ACL 1.5 or 2. I also think I might have read that the ACL 1 was initially designed for the 200' load only, so it has a little harder time with the 400' load (as far as torque on the factory motor), even though the mags fit fine. I think that there are a few web sites dedicated entiredly to the ACL so I'd check google as well as the archives here.

I like the overall weight and size of the NPR as well as the quick shutter adjustment as well as the purity of the camera. It behaves and has to be treated like a 35mm in my opinion (as far as tripods, and accessories are concerned). Mike's posting was very insightful. You do give up 75fps, which is a very nice and fast top speed for the ACL. However, you get everything for under $2000. I also see a lot of folks who like the CP-16R on this forum, but I have never used one personally.
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#7 Jason Banker

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 01:51 PM

So the NPR does have some advantages... interesting!

If I plan on converting to S16 it sounds like the NPR is a more solid decision. Due to the ability to maintain the integrity of the design. The ACL sounds like it needs a few more modifications.

The down side is the weight and the size. I would really like to be to do handheld shots so the lighter the camera the better. Can anyone comment on the weight/size difference between the NPR and ACL in the case of handheld work?
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#8 dangertree

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 11:35 AM

So the NPR does have some advantages... interesting!

If I plan on converting to S16 it sounds like the NPR is a more solid decision. Due to the ability to maintain the integrity of the design. The ACL sounds like it needs a few more modifications.

The down side is the weight and the size. I would really like to be to do handheld shots so the lighter the camera the better. Can anyone comment on the weight/size difference between the NPR and ACL in the case of handheld work?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


The ACL converts very nicely to S16, I have had 3 cameras done by Les Bosher in the UK with very good results. The ACL is a more modern design, able to have fater frame rates and more commonly found with better viewfinders (another advantage of the 1.5 and 2). It is more compact, has a more versitile lens mounting system and is likely quieter. ACLs are more expensive for a reason, get the ACL.
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