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To Nathan Milford & other Camera Technicians


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#1 peter bartle

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 11:06 AM

A bit off topic but since there is no CameraTechnician.com website forum I thought it can be posted here....

Just wanting to say hello to Nathan & any other camera repairers & techs out there. I see you post repair & tech info on here regularly which is very helpful to other members. Hopefully we can help each other out in the future..

My background: 24yrs old, been working as a workshop tech for 8 years now (started very early) did my 4yr apprenticeship with TAFE studies to get my qualification. I mostly work on still cameras like Hasselblads, Leicas, Canon, Nikon etc but lately have been doing work on H-16 Bolex's, Eclair ACL's, Early Arri's & Beaulieu 4008 series. It's funny that now we tend to get more demand to repair older cameras rather than newer models... disposable society I guess....

What do you work on & what's the industry like in your part of the world?...
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 01:08 PM

It's funny that now we tend to get more demand to repair older cameras rather than newer models... disposable society I guess....

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Actually, not only does it make sense that older equipment needs more repairing the newer equipment, but resurrecting old equipment for use is sort of the opposite of a "disposable society" don't you think? As opposed to tossing them into the trash. Just a thought...

I'm just glad there are people out there doing this work.
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#3 Nathan Milford

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 02:24 PM

I find that many, many owner/operators fail to properly maintain thier equipment, so it only appears that thy need more service. Obviously older equipment needs a bit more service, but I feel that if something is taken care of, then you will only need to deviate from your nominal maintenance schedule in the event of a catastrophy or to replace the occasional worn part.

I just worked on an Aaton XC (strange hybrid between XTR and LTR) from 1981. It has been taken care of much better than the A-Minima I have on my desk. Historically, this XC has been in every 4 years for an overhaul and in yearly for a checkup. Every once in a while it came in for a part or a Super 16 switch, but nothing catastophic. The A-Minima, typically a simple and robust camera (much less moving parts and bearing than the XC), has been treated badly by the owner. It has more cumulative service costs than the XC in its 5 year life span.

I've sometimes gotten older cameras quieter, with a lower current draw than a relativly new XTRprod. Like battered or loved children, each camera develops a personality by the way it has been treated. A little too much play here etc... Not that these cameras are delicate.. but you must treat them well.

Anyways, pleased to meet you James.

I've been doing this for a bit over a year. I'm 24 as well. I used to work in network security before this and I'm still attemping to find time to complete my film degree (just have to shoot a thesis film). I typically work on Aatons, but I know my way around the Eclairs and Arri's well enough. It's great work, and a really enjoy it. Abel is a really great place to work... lots of toys.

Where do you work, James? Or are you a freelance technician?
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#4 Kim Sargenius

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 07:22 PM

Mate!


Good to see another Aussie here! Whereabouts are you based?



cheers,

Kim Sargenius
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sydney
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#5 Jeremy Russell

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 08:37 PM

Nathan,

I was just into Abel NYC last Friday taking out an Aaton 35-III with my DP. Did I meet you? I can't remember if I did or not.

Jeremy
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#6 Nathan Milford

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Posted 28 July 2005 - 01:12 AM

I don't believe so. You might have met Girvan or Jon. I remember they had some 35's near thier workbenches.

Feel free to pop in and say hi though. I'm in the service area. We have the best view, but it is out of the way from sales and rental, which is actually nice... I can sometimes get some work done *grin*
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#7 peter bartle

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Posted 28 July 2005 - 06:58 AM

Hi David,
Actually, not only does it make sense that older equipment needs more repairing the newer equipment, but resurrecting old equipment for use is sort of the opposite of a "disposable society" don't you think? As opposed to tossing them into the trash. Just a thought...

Perhaps I should re-phrase... What i meant to say was many people seem to be more attached & more willing to service older equipment as its usually an "old favourite" or "was my first camera after college" or "their grandfather passed it onto them" or my personal favourite "this older camera takes much better images than my new one & has much more character"....... Generally people are willing to spend decent amounts of repair money on older cameras if any of the above points apply, whereas if you quote high on cameras 5yrs or younger the general attitude is "its outdated technology now & theres the new Mark 2i model out now so i'd rather buy that one" Although these points mostly apply to consumer & prosumer gear which I dont repair as much anymore (other techs in the workshop do this) whereas I like to deal with the pro equipment & customers as they're much more understanding that gear needs repair & service & are often more appreciative of your service...

I'm just glad there are people out there doing this work
And we're glad to be of service!

Hi Nathan:
Anyways, pleased to meet you James
Pleased to "sort of" meet you too.

Abel is a really great place to work... lots of toys
I bet theres great toys there! One of the perks of the job I guess. We have many toys too, although mostly still photography related including the elusive Golden Hasselblad. It'd great to work in a place like yours with Cine gear which I have a greater interest in...

Where do you work, James? Or are you a freelance technician?
No been a full timer for 8 years now although I take days off & time off if film or video jobs come up, which isn't too often in my part of the world, although i'm aspiring to be a full time 1st AC as I believe i'd be great at this with my repair & tech experience & hard working attitude. Put it this way, i'd be a great assett to a DP or operator but I don't think i'd be a great DP... not yet anyways!

Whats the repair & service industry like over there?

http://www.cameraele...electronic.html

G'day Kim
I'm the opposite end of our country (west oz)
Good to see other Aussies on here too! Hows thigs on your side? Much work for assistants?
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#8 Jeremy Russell

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Posted 28 July 2005 - 10:27 AM

Nathan,

I met Jon, and I believe he was servicing Lance Accords 35- III when Craig was working with our color video tap.

We will be in again renting the 35 sometime in September, I'll be sure to stop in and say hello. Do you do down conversions from HD? I may have met you in the winter sometime. The new Abel office is quite nice.
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#9 Nathan Milford

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Posted 28 July 2005 - 10:48 AM

Do you do down conversions from HD? I may have met you in the winter sometime. The new Abel office is quite nice.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Abel does conversions in general, but I do not do them personally. There is a window from the downconversion/post room to my shop. You might have seen me with my head in a camera.

*shrugs*

Lance's 35-III as the one with the P+S Technik Viewfinder? That thing is soo nicely built.
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#10 Kim Sargenius

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Posted 28 July 2005 - 06:52 PM

G'day Kim
I'm the opposite end of our country (west oz)
Good to see other Aussies on here too! Hows thigs on your side? Much work for assistants?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



I hear rumours you can make a half decent living out of it ;) in fact one of the guys I work with regularly seems to be doing well.

From my own limited observations over here, TAFE seems to be the ticket to AC work.



cheers,

Kim Sargenius
cinematographer
sydney
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#11 Jeremy Russell

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Posted 28 July 2005 - 07:48 PM

Nathan,


Come to think of it, did you hear any bad news about our camera? During production one of the 4 pin XLR cables that connects to the battery came loose, and our AC had to electrical tape it so we could keep shooting.

Has this ever happend before? I have to admit I thought we were going to have to stop shooting. It was a quick fix though.

Jeremy
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#12 Nathan Milford

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Posted 28 July 2005 - 10:09 PM

Can't say that I heard. Was it the XLR4 port on the camera? I've experienced that before. There is a set screw that takes a .7mm allen in the gate area perpendicular to the port. It can work it's way out over time. It's a bitch to get to, but a little loctite or nail polish should fix it.

If it came ajar, it shouldn't have affected the camera's function, though.
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Tai Audio

Ritter Battery

CineLab

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Paralinx LLC

Aerial Filmworks