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ARRI 2C vs ECLAIR CAMEFLEX CM3


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#1 albussi

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Posted 26 October 2005 - 01:19 PM

ABOUT THE ECLAIR CAMEFLEX CM3... // (ARRI 2C)

The CAMEFLEX CM3 seems like a wonderfull camera. I was thinking of buying an Arri 2C then discovered the CAMEFLEX CM3.

Even though I have never seen the camera It seems to have a lot of ADVANTAGES:

*Variable Shutter on most models? (10-200 degree or 15 -200 ??)
*Possible PL mount upgrade
*Apparently the mechanics of this Camera are much more durable,sofisticated and less prompt to have problems than the Arri 2b or 2c
*Less expensive than Arri 2c
* Some Models WILL SHOOT 16mm AS WELL! but someone told me It's really made to shoot with 35mm and shooting with 16MM could be risky (comments on this???)
* possible S35 and S16 modifications (comments on this ???)

But it also seems to have disadvantages:

* NO VIDEO ASSIST POSSIBLE
DOES ANYBODY KNOW IF IT IS EASY TO RIG SOME SORT OF VIDEO ASSIST WITH LCD SCREEN THAT CAN BE QUICKLY REMOVED SO YOU CAN ALTERNATE QUICKLY FROM OPERATING WITH THE LCD TO THE EYEPIECE ????

* Not a lot of people know about the cameflex CM3 so it seems it would be risky to buy one because it would be hard to find someone for maintenance / repairs and PARTS..

* The ARRI 2C might be more maintenance but it is easily upgradable in terms of video assist and MOTORS
DOES ANYBODY NOW IF YOU CAN PUT A MORE PROFESIONNAL MOTOR LIKE A CE OR TOBIN ON THE CAMEFLEX CM3???
ALSO:
Can anybody tell me about the viewing in the CM3 is it as bad as ARRi's strait viewfinder

ANY THOUGHTS OR LINKS ON THE CAMEFLEX CM3 WILL BE VERY MUCH APPRECIATED!
albussi
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#2 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 26 October 2005 - 01:56 PM

Can anybody tell me about the viewing in the CM3 is it as bad as ARRi's strait viewfinder

ANY THOUGHTS OR LINKS ON THE CAMEFLEX CM3 WILL BE VERY MUCH APPRECIATED!
albussi



---The veiwing is better than Arri 35II*. No light baffles on the ground glass. If I remember correctly, the veiwfinder image is a bit larger and brighter than the Arri. If one has a16/35 model, the 16mm image will be smaller than the 35mm frame. which strikes me as less than desirable.
Like an NPR, the image rotates as the viewfinder is rotated.

The camera balances very nicely on one's shoulder. A joy to walk around with.

The pull down claw is a ratchet. So it is noisier than an Arri.

It seemed to me that Arris were easier to work on than NPRs. Though I never opened a Cameflex.

---LV
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#3 Christian Appelt

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Posted 29 October 2005 - 04:47 PM

albussi,

with all respect to the fine Caméflex camera by Messrs. Coutant & Mathot (correct spelling?...I don't know):

- If you ever need certain spare parts, it might get really hard. Arri parts are easy to get.

- A Konvas 2M might be a good alternative, it is basically a copy of the Caméflex, but it has the advantage that many camera bodies are available that have rarely been used or not at all. Conversion parts for lens mounts and low-priced video assist solutions are available, and many mags are on eBay. (Not always in perfect condition, but cheap and IMHO easy to service.)
I have no idea when Eclair stopped manufacturing Caméflexes, but I would prefer a new camera body made in the 1980s or 1990s to a possible Nouvelle Vague veteran camera.

- The ratchet mechanism makes this a LOUD camera. I have seen/heard 3 different CM3's at work years ago, and every single one was much louder than my Arri 2A, and M-U-C-H louder than my well-lubricated Konvas2M.

Just my 2 cents... :) But certainly a beautiful camera - especially the CM3T with 4-perf/2-perf operation.
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#4 albussi

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Posted 01 November 2005 - 11:47 PM

Hello Christian, It's been quite a ride since you have wrote your post. You have converted me to now wanting a Konvas 2M. I have done a lot of reading on the net. I did not know about that camera, but indeed it looks like the same design as the CM3. The only downside is that it does not have a variable shutter like the CM3. But The accessibility and better price makes the choice clear.

What kind of mount do you have? PL or OCT?
I've been trying to find a way to go from OCT19 mount to PL mount easily.

So for some shoots use Lomo lenses
and for other shoots rent expensive PL mount lenses.

I have seen some PL mounts for sale that are to be installed on OCT19 mount but it seems like a permanent operation.

Any Ideas?

About the video assist: do you have one beacause from what I've seen, If you put a videoassist it uses up youir viewfinder, thus not permiting video and viewfinder at once. Do you think there's a way to put viewfiender to check your shot and all and then when your set to shoot «reatach the video assist» to Operate the shot ??

Have you used Lomo lenses? I'm sure they can't be that bad. probably like old arri mount shneider's?
Once on video I'm sure it looks great, no?

The design of The 2M just seems so nice; much better that arri 2C ?? (motor / handle on one side; handle on the other side; inclinable viewfinder; Brighter viewfinder..

Tanks for your help and your thoughts.
A.
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#5 Christian Appelt

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Posted 02 November 2005 - 06:19 PM

- I have three camera bodies with OCT-19 mount because this was the best way to get a variety of affordable anamorphic lenses. It may make sense to convert to PL if you want to use lenses from another camera you own or if you rent special lenses in PL mount, but it didn't for me. I believ there is no easy way to change from PL to OCT-19, either you convert your camera or the lenses.
The most affordable solution is to buy a second camera body and convert it to PL so you can switch cameras according to on your needs. (Less expensive than having a number of lenses converted!)

- Quality of spherical Lomo lenses depends on design (=age), condition and speed. I have a set of 1980s fixed focal lengths that compare very well to Zeiss 1980s lenses I have shot with. And they can be bought for VERY little money!

- I have both an Arriflex 35 and a Konvas, but today I prefer the Konvas for handholding and because of fast mag changes. In telecine, I noticed that registration is slightly better with the Konvas footage, the TC operators could spot the Kovas footage and thought it came from a pin registered camera. Maybe this is an effect of the rather long Konvas film channel.

- Look here for a video assist with 50/50% beam splitter:

JBK Products

I didn't mind losing the optical viewfinder because the camera body with the Rafcamera video assist is used with a zoom lens only. So focus is set with a Siemens star target, zooming in to longest focal length, checking it on the monitor and zooming back to wahatever focal length needed for the shot. The VA's quality is good enough for that.

- As for desqueezing viewfinders, I use them only if the director wants to set up a shot by himself. I prefer seeing the squeezed image because the image is easier to focus and the VF is shorter. With the long desqueezer, you lose the comfort of handholding the Konvas and it cannot be rotated.
This is, of course, entirely a matter of personal taste, but I never had desqueezers before and did a lot of scope editing on a standard screen Steenbeck editor, so I do not notice the compression any more... :rolleyes:

Make sure to buy your Konvas from a well known dealer, have your lenses checked and collimated and don't forget to have the mags serviced - they are not mere accessories but a part of the film channel and optical system.
Do not expect to buy a Konvas somewhere and start shooting important footage the next day. If you check everything, you will be quite happy with it.

Know your tools, and good luck! ;)

PS: Do a search on this forum for Lomo lenses, it has been discussed before in detail.

Edited by Christian Appelt, 02 November 2005 - 06:24 PM.

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#6 albussi

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Posted 04 November 2005 - 10:53 PM

[quote name='Christian Appelt' date='Nov 2 2005, 03:19 PM' post='73497']
**- I have three camera bodies with OCT-19 mount because this was the best way to get a variety of affordable anamorphic lenses.

So it's cheaper to buy a complete kit with lenses than just an actual «lens kit» ?
You don't really need the other bodies? But I guess you 2 other bodies serve as «spares» as well.
I don't know about having 3 but have a second body makes perfect sence espacially for the price they are going for. I guess it permits you also to have all kinds of spare parts.

Do you think it's better to have a second 17 EP sync motor for spare(I would hope not)
Let say I had a body for Oct19 and a body for PL do you think I Could just interchange the same motor.
Instead of buying two complete crystal packages.
How good and reliable are these 17 EP CRYSTAL MOTORS Could you compare it to anything Tobin makes?
Have you ever shot with HMI's and your Konvas?
Do you Know what the difference between the 17 EP motor and the 19EP (used on the Konvas 8M)
Is the Konvas 8M much better what's the difference?

Sorry for all the questions I am definatly becoming obssesed with all this camera equipement !@!!

I here what you say about not converting to PL I think for starters anyway will not think about a PL conversion. There is a lot of choice of equipement out there to make it it's individual package. Like the lenses: I gather that If one would want to go higher end with lenses on a Konvas you could invest and get very decent package of lomo lenses (In stead of spending on a PL conversion spead on better lomo lenses)

** I have a set of 1980s fixed focal lengths that compare very well to Zeiss 1980s lenses I have shot with. And they can be bought for VERY little money!

You have the lenses that open to T2 ?? Wich Zeiss 80's lense are you taking about MK1 ?

Video assist: JBK looks great. I talked to someone there today.
Although I think I would not choose the model with 50/50 splitter.
Because in whatever case you allways loose half of your light/brightness.
So I would go with the cheaper model that uses up your eyepiece. The guy At JBK said it takes litteraly 30 seconds to go from video assist to viewfinder. So I Think I prefer having both viewing systems at there best individually then having them both simultanious with 1/2 the brightness.

Speaking of the viewfinder:How do you compare it to the 2c's viewfinder. I think it's much better no?
Brighter ???, Orientable (But IMAGE DOES NOT ALWAYS STAY ERRECT???) And NO Baffles!

** have both Arriflex 35 and a Konvas, but today I prefer the Konvas for handholding and fast mag change

Could you please tell me about your :
BRIDGE PLATE, RODS, MATTBOXE, BATTERY, TOOL/MAINTENCE KIT

What are the rods that Useally come with the 2M ? Are they 15mm? I would think that no.
What lenght of rods do you recommend 250mm good??

When you buy a Konvas kit from Rafcamera does he service it before selling? (I would think not.)

I was thinking of waiting for something decent on ebay, then sending the entire package to JBK to do the folowing: (mechanical stuff)
CAMERA SERVICE: Colomation of port, check focal depth, check the tork, check rollers and I Guess lubricate what need to be lubricated (?)
and
SERVICE EVERY MAG (not cheap for 5 or 6 mags)

The guy at JBK says he does not collomate lenses but if the port is collomated I Guess I just have to do a camera test to see if the lenses are colomated (to the right distance wtitten on lens.)
He does not Check MOTORS OR ANYTHING ELECTRONIC
I would then Buy the appropriate bridge plate and rods (or hopefully use the original equipement)
If I put 15mm rods can I you the original 2M mattboxe?

What about batteries?? < modifications, battery belt, lawnmower battery modifications...

Do you have a specific TOOL / Maintenance/ servicing KIT ?? What does is consist of?

I'm definatly obssesed and going crazy. Thank you so much. I am becomming very passionate about this camera.. I can't wait to see one in real! (I just seems so much better than the 2C).

albussi.
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#7 Christian Appelt

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Posted 05 November 2005 - 01:45 PM

MOTORS:
Yes, you can change motors between different cameras.
No, you don't have to get a second 17EP motor, a 15EPSS with battery pack/control unit will do fine as a replacement. For indoor shooting, I had a 15 motor changed to run directly (without control circuit) with a variable power supply (21.6V give 24fps, BTW).
Of course you can get modernized motors, but they are of course much more expensive.

A Tobin motor, if adapted professionaly to your camera, is a much more reliable solution than the old 15EPSS or 17EP motors. The problem lies in getting electronic replacement parts when something dies.

CAMERA BODY:

So it's cheaper to buy a complete kit with lenses than just an actual «lens kit» ?
You don't really need the other bodies? But I guess you 2 other bodies serve as «spares» as well.


It all depends on what gear you want and what your needs are:

- Do you want to shoot with Lomo lenses only, or do you need PL lenses at all?
- Do you need a single zoom lens, or do you want a set of fixed prime lenses or both?
- Do you want to use the lenses you buy on rental cameras?

Suppose you buy a single zoom lens and shoot everything with it. Then it makes sense to convert the zoom lens to PL because you can use it on other cameras too. Let's say you need high speed shots a 100 fps - just rent an Arri 3 for a day and put your PL anamorphic zoom on it.

If you want to rent other PL lenses (sohericak or anamorphic) to use on your Konvas from time to time, have the camera converted to PL mount. Now let's assume you want a number of anamorphic prime lenses in OCT-19, like f=35, 50, 80mm. Having them all converted to PL will cost a lot more than a second Konvas body to put the OCT-19s on. Here it makes sense to have different bodies. One replacement camera is fine, if someone drops the camera or other mishap occurs, there will be another to go on shooting.

Fixed focal lengths are useful because of the lower weight - you can handhold easily with a square front anamorphic prime on the camera, but try that with a heavy zoom and a support base...

Anamorphic zooms are always slower than prime lenses. I found in outdoor work that it was better always to have a second camera with a prime lens ready for shooting. Even with a director who prefers the zoom lens all the time, there comes the moment when the light level makes it impossible to shoot a 5.6 or 4.3, so just grab the second camera and you can open up to 2.5 if necessary.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 2M and 8M/7EP+19EP:
I don't recall it, please look it up on www.commiecam.com !

LOMO VS. ZEISS LENSES:
I don't recall the Zeiss lens series, got it from the rental house, and they were not high speed. We shot at 2.8 to 5.6, and the Lomo footage looks about the same to in projection regarding sharpness and contrast.

KONVAS vs. 2C VIEWFINDERS:
The Konvas VF is not better than the Arri's. Compared to modern-day camera systems, both are a pain in the neck! ;) The last time I had to shoot at f16, I wore dark glasses all day like the cameramen in the 1940s did (when the VF image was seen through the film base).

Could you please tell me about your :
BRIDGE PLATE, RODS, MATTBOXE, BATTERY, TOOL/MAINTENCE KIT
What are the rods that Useally come with the 2M ? Are they 15mm? I would think that no.
What lenght of rods do you recommend 250mm good??


Never used rods, just the support slide base made for the anamorphic zoom lens and the standard fixed matte box for the Konvas 2M with the prime lenses. It has a filter slot, and Rafcamera makes excellent filter holders for standard 4x4 filters.
I have been using a 12V power pack for car use to run the 17EP motors, it is a cheap and reliable solution (less than $70). Similar units are available in different countries from different manufacturers, this is one:

Einhell Energy Station 2600 (english)

I have no special maintenance kit, just the usual fine tools to have on location.

When you buy a Konvas kit from Rafcamera does he service it before selling? (I would think not.)


Ask him about it, he should have people who can do proper service work. JBK has a good reputation, so I think they will do a fine job.

My general advice: Think about your exact needs before you buy a Konvas. Then have a reliable dealer put together a package and have everything checked. Shoot test with every lens and mag, have a spare motor and battery available. The Konvas is a very nice camera, but remember that it is not an 2005 Arriflex 235 that can be fixed at your local rental house - but it is a bit cheaper to buy, isn't it? :)

Edited by Christian Appelt, 05 November 2005 - 01:49 PM.

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