Jump to content


Selling my XL2 & buying 35mm camera


  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 JohnFMIV

JohnFMIV
  • Guests

Posted 20 October 2005 - 08:36 AM

I'm a first year film major at NYU-Tisch. I'm thinking about selling my Xl2 and buying a 35mm MOS camera (I'm leaning towards the arri II-C). I want to experiment with and eventually master photography on actual FILM (even though it will be replaced in years to come). I hate the look and "feel" of video, even what I've seen from some of the best dv cameras on the market. I've worked on 16mm a few times, should I start with that instead?

Before you tell me: Yes, I know the cost of film stock and processing are going to be high, but it's worth it to me.

Thanks for your advice,
John
  • 0

#2 Benji Wade

Benji Wade
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 27 posts
  • Student

Posted 20 October 2005 - 10:00 AM

Can I borrow some money while you're at it?

Oh, and how much you want for the XL2? :P

Send me a Private Message, I'm interested.
  • 0

#3 Tom Banks

Tom Banks
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 119 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 20 October 2005 - 10:32 AM

I'm interested too...
  • 0

#4 Richard Boddington

Richard Boddington
  • Sustaining Members
  • 5482 posts
  • Director

Posted 20 October 2005 - 11:10 AM

Sorry but you are now banned from the film world forever as a result of this statement you made...

"even though it will be replaced in years to come"

For the last freaking time you young film students. DIGITAL WILL NOT REPLACE FILM, EVER!!!!!!!

Get that through your head first and then buy your film camera.

R,
  • 0

#5 Dickson Sorensen

Dickson Sorensen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 131 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 20 October 2005 - 12:07 PM

The biggest difference between 16 and 35 is not the size of the frame. It's the size of truck you have to rent to haul your gear around. Work in the format that enables you to gain the most experience. Almost everything you learn in 16 is directly applicable to 35 and 16 is considered professional.

On another note when I was first starting in this business (30 years ago) I was advised by a union asistant cameraman not to persue film as it was soon going to be made obsolite by video. It still hasn't happened and film technology has continued to improve as fast a video technology.
  • 0

#6 Benji Wade

Benji Wade
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 27 posts
  • Student

Posted 20 October 2005 - 01:29 PM

At the risk of infuriating purists, I do believe the same thing was said about digital versus film in the still photography world a few years ago. Go to a major exhibition and good luck finding anything but Digital SLR.
  • 0

#7 Andy Sparaco SOC

Andy Sparaco SOC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 203 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Chicago and most airline lounges

Posted 20 October 2005 - 01:50 PM

You might consider buying an Arri-S and shooting a whole lot of 16mm. Regardless of the camera (film or digital )they way to become good is to shoot "X" number of feet/minutes. It would be so much easier if we could just buy the stock and destroy it and then be blessed with knowledge.

You won't know what your doin until you do what your doin. The more you shoot the faster that happens and
16mm (in the case of film ) will get you where you want to be faster.
  • 0

#8 Richard Boddington

Richard Boddington
  • Sustaining Members
  • 5482 posts
  • Director

Posted 20 October 2005 - 04:03 PM

"At the risk of infuriating purists, I do believe the same thing was said about digital versus film in the still photography world a few years ago. Go to a major exhibition and good luck finding anything but Digital SLR."

That is an apple vs oranges argument, stills are stills, cinema is cinema. Two very different things.

Oh well, all the folks I know who have bought HD cameras have watched in horror as the value of their investment has dropped like a stone. Every six months there's new technology out, so the HD cameras sink in value faster than President Bushs' popularity.

R,
  • 0

#9 Dan Goulder

Dan Goulder
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1259 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 20 October 2005 - 04:46 PM

"Every six months there's new technology out, so the HD cameras sink in value faster than President Bushs' popularity."

R,


Yeah, but you've got to admit that HD cameras can still give a far more accurate picture of Iraq.
  • 0

#10 Benji Wade

Benji Wade
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 27 posts
  • Student

Posted 20 October 2005 - 05:19 PM

Yeah, but you've got to admit that HD cameras can still give a far more accurate picture of Iraq.


:lol:
  • 0

#11 JohnFMIV

JohnFMIV
  • Guests

Posted 20 October 2005 - 06:13 PM

Richard, I would hate to see film replaced by digital just as much as you. I made that comment based on what I was hearing from a lot of people in these forums!
  • 0

#12 Tom Banks

Tom Banks
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 119 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 20 October 2005 - 09:29 PM

John- I would hold up a little bit. My sister is junior at Tisch. I would keep the XL2, save your money, and wait because in a year you'll be working on 16mm for "free" in school. Thats why you're at school, to learn about shooting film properly. So in good time it will come. I say for now just keep shooting and focus on camera work, lighting, etc..
  • 0

#13 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11937 posts
  • Other

Posted 21 October 2005 - 06:49 AM

Hi,

I'm with the guy above. The cameras look enticingly cheap, until you figure out the costs of running them. The problem is that you never get to use it, so you never get any practice even at the things you could do just as well on video.

I've worked on quite a few independent productions which shot film, and with very few exceptions the level of craft that was being displayed was vastly inferior to the video productions. I believe there's two reasons for this - first the video guys tend to take it much more seriously because they know everyone's already looking down their noses at them, and secondly they've actually got some experience! The film guys might have done it twice before in their lives at the point they enter film school because they just can't afford to run the equipment.

Phil
  • 0

#14 Andy Sparaco SOC

Andy Sparaco SOC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 203 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Chicago and most airline lounges

Posted 21 October 2005 - 12:02 PM

I've worked on quite a few independent productions which shot film, and with very few exceptions the level of craft that was being displayed was vastly inferior to the video productions. I believe there's two reasons for this - first the video guys tend to take it much more seriously because they know everyone's already looking down their noses at them, and secondly they've actually got some experience! The film guys might have done it twice before in their lives at the point they enter film school because they just can't afford to run the equipment.

Phil I see the opposite -video folks working on film projects who have never follow focused. are totally perplexed with a depth of field table. think using a tape measure to confirm focus and determine the depth of field required to hold focus is "quaint".

I see inferior perfomance from video folks attempting to shoot film as if it was just a different flavor of video camera.

That said I worked with an AC who had only HD experience previous to working with me on a short "feature" and he was dam good- a little challenged by the changing bag though :D
  • 0

#15 Rolfe Klement

Rolfe Klement
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 668 posts
  • Director
  • London | LA

Posted 21 October 2005 - 12:40 PM

I bought my own 35mm camera and it is a MOS. I would go straight to 35mm. With deals and favours I can get a shooting cost of $65 a min - and even cheaper without TK and using short ends ... which sounds expensive considering video but at a 4 to 1 ratio - we can shoot a 3min music video in 35mm for a couple of grand

There are some things to be aware of when getting a 35mm camera (stuff I learnt the hard way)

A decent camera and some lenses should come to about $7000
The resale value is quite high (whereas a DV camera is worthless the moment it comes out of the shop)
The skills learnt on 35mm are very valuable in a real world production arena (shooting ratios - camera rigging - car mounting etc)

Getting a camera and some mags and 3 lenses is still a long way from all the kit...

First and foremost you need power for the camera (batteries and converters can get expensive)
Video assist - you can make a reasonable one for about $1500
Follow focus - no deals on this (plan on at least $1500) - resale value is very high
Tripods and heads - get heavy (cheap) or expensive (lightweight)
baseplates and rods - hold their value but get heavy

So the package becomes bigger and bigger and more weight to move around - but many accessories hold their value.

So for total financial outlay and experience gained assuming you sell all your kit after 2 years is higher than if you chose the video path

But you will gain experience in ground glass use, flicker, mounting, mag noise, ramping etc etc - fields which are very difficult to achieve in the video world unless exposed to the expensive 2/3 inch chip CMOS cameras and above

thanks

Rolfe
  • 0

#16 Chris Burke

Chris Burke
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1675 posts
  • Boston, MA

Posted 21 October 2005 - 03:43 PM

At the risk of infuriating purists, I do believe the same thing was said about digital versus film in the still photography world a few years ago. Go to a major exhibition and good luck finding anything but Digital SLR.



That may have been said about still cameras, however, the motion picture versus digital video is another thing all together. I own a canon 10D, its great, but I still long to shoot on a Pentax 67. motion picture film will be around for a very long time. Simply because there isn't a more affordable, rugged, durable format such as film. By affordable, I mean the storage mediums that are currently in use for say a Viper or Kinetta or Dalsa camera are by no means affordable, all that mobile, or durrable. Motion picture film is all of these things. It has a proven 100 plus year shelf life. No digital medium has this. Film has the aesthetic that everyone wants. It is not the most pratical, it is more labor intesive and costly than digital, but it will be around for a very long time. We humans don't always choose the most practical option, we do however, like the pretty stuff.


chris
  • 0

#17 JohnFMIV

JohnFMIV
  • Guests

Posted 21 October 2005 - 04:37 PM

The skills learnt on 35mm are very valuable in a real world production arena (shooting ratios - camera rigging - car mounting etc)


This is exactly why I want to go with film.

Also, should I go with a quality MOS (like arri) or sync-sound from a lesser known/respected brand (like a Russian Kinor 35h)? I'd really like to shoot dialogue.
  • 0

#18 Benji Wade

Benji Wade
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 27 posts
  • Student

Posted 21 October 2005 - 04:51 PM

We humans don't always choose the most practical option, we do however, like the pretty stuff.
chris


I suppose...personally, I'm interested in great storytelling. I'd rather watch Festen a million times than watch Man On Fire even once.

Ultimately, I think audiences will forgive video, they'll forgive practical or natural light, but they never forgive bad acting and stupid stories.
  • 0

#19 Rolfe Klement

Rolfe Klement
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 668 posts
  • Director
  • London | LA

Posted 21 October 2005 - 05:46 PM

for the cash I would say go with a MOS camera to start - because you are going to start by shooting smaller projects - Music Videos and Promos and shorts (which makes voice ADR easier)

If you get to the stage where you are shooting a 94 min feature - you will want to rent in something anyway. View some of the stuff that Jeremy (quite active in the 2C forum) has shot - I think he used a BLx for some of the dialogue

Dialogue is an area where it gets more expensive and you need to decide if you want to direct or DOP - cause DOP-ing is about the light and the pretty pictures (and not the sound) and Directing is about everything :)

Owning your own 35mm camera means if it suddenly snows in London - you can run out and film it - and sell it as stock footage - which is the greatest cash return per foot - if you are into the financial aspect...

thanks

Rolfe
  • 0

#20 Charlie Seper

Charlie Seper
  • Guests

Posted 24 October 2005 - 09:44 PM

I suppose...personally, I'm interested in great storytelling. I'd rather watch Festen a million times than watch Man On Fire even once.

Ultimately, I think audiences will forgive video, they'll forgive practical or natural light, but they never forgive bad acting and stupid stories.


There ya go. And I'll try not to mention all the pansy kids today that have pampered themselves into thinking they deserve the best of everything and at anyone else's expense.
  • 0


Metropolis Post

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Tai Audio

CineLab

Abel Cine

Wooden Camera

Visual Products

FJS International, LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Willys Widgets

Ritter Battery

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

The Slider

Technodolly

Opal

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Glidecam

CineTape

Paralinx LLC

Opal

Willys Widgets

Paralinx LLC

Visual Products

rebotnix Technologies

CineLab

CineTape

Ritter Battery

Tai Audio

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

Abel Cine

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Aerial Filmworks

FJS International, LLC

Metropolis Post

Technodolly

Wooden Camera

Glidecam

The Slider