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Old October 27th, 2002, 11:14 AM   #1
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Question about a Film Camera...

Hey guys, now I know this site is focused on DV, but Im sure some people in here know a few things about film cameras...and I find this a good resource and don't know where else to ask.


I am thinking about learning how to shoot on film. I've been looking around for some cheap cameras and I ran across this auction on Ebay

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1392706388

Right now this is going for 950 dollars. Now I have to ask myself, whats the catch? I emailed this guy and asked him if there was one and he said no...everything is there - lens, mount, viewfinder, moters, etc... The camera is an Arriflex 16S 16mm Camera.

Can someone here check out this page and see if there is anything fishy about this auction? I know absolutley nothing about film cameras and I wouldn't want to get this thing and realize I need to spend 20,000 to make it work....supposedly he said its ready to roll, all I need is film and talent (also a tripod etc...)


Thanks for any help guys.
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Old October 27th, 2002, 01:54 PM   #2
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There's no catch. It's about what you should pay for an ArriS. I would not pay any more than the $950. It's a very old MOS camera. I recently sold my mint condition 16BL. I think cameras that has no S-16 capability is a waste of expensive film stock. Still have my Russian Krasnogorsk though. Perhaps I rebuild it to S-16 some day if I ever make another film on film. But I doubt it.
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Old October 27th, 2002, 01:57 PM   #3
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I would say there is a catch. . .it's Ebay! Be wary, be very wary.
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Old October 27th, 2002, 05:16 PM   #4
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I'd price out the batteries. it may cost hundreds to have the cells replaced. ebay is a sellers market, buyers beware.

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Old October 27th, 2002, 08:29 PM   #5
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Brad:

What the others said about eBay, but the package seems pretty comprehensive. The main thing to make sure about is, are you ready to absorb the costs of shooting film? I don't know what you intend to do with your footage, but assuming you intend to work with the footage digitally (i.e. cut on an NLE and deliver a final project on tape or DVD rather than cut on a flatbed and make a print for projection), it can certainly get expensive. An hour of raw stock plus processing and decent telecine will cost you anywhere from $1000-$2000 in my very rough estimation--a far cry from $5 for a single DV tape, eh?

The Arri S is a solid workhouse camera, but certainly from another era...the viewfinder image is small and dark, and although I have seen blimps for the camera, they are unwieldy at best, so plan to only shoot silent movies with it. However, I think the issue with the battery is not a big deal. You can probably have the camera converted to 12v fairly inexpensively, then you can use any number of available batteries such as an NP-1 (under $100 a pack) or an Anton-Bauer brick which will run it for many mags. This will be a much more portable solution than the lunchbox battery shown in the picture.
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Old October 28th, 2002, 09:34 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the advise guys.

Yea Im very wary about Ebay, but this guy has 275 postives out of 275..

Basically, I just wanted to get a film camera so I could mess around with it, try to learn it. I don't plan on shooting anything with it yet, but I think it would be a good idea for me to at least know that basics if I plan on ever breaking into hollywood. :)

What attracted me to this camera was the cost. For the most part, film cameras have been WAY over 10,000...so I was just wondering why this one was so cheap...but now I know thanks to you guys. I don't think that I will be bidding on this item, I need to do a lot more research.

Thanks for the help!
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Old October 28th, 2002, 11:08 PM   #7
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Ebay generaly has a slew of Arri 16mm cameras in the $2000-$3000 range, loaded with accessories. If that camera stays under $1000 it's probably a good deal. Don't feel like you have to have that one. There will be many more. It will probably go up in price as the auction nears the end.
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Old October 29th, 2002, 05:49 AM   #8
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Brad,

I think you have to shoot with the camera to learn it ;)

Seriously. Buy an 8mm camera. It's cheaper and basically no different from a pro filmcamera. I mean, all pro cameras differ from each other in how you load them anyway. Exposure is the same. Optics you learn later when you can afford working in PL-mounts.
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