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Old May 26th, 2006, 07:52 PM   #1
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Suggestions for 16mm camera shoot...


I was wondering what is a nice, reasonably priced 16mm camera?

I was looking at some Bolex's, but I thought I would ask here first.

The only requirement for the camera is that it need to be able to be overcranked at at least 48 fps.

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Old June 19th, 2006, 08:53 PM   #2
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I would suggest the Canon Scoopic M or MS. You can usually find them for less than a $1,000, they're battery powered, film speeds up to 64fps, use friendly daylight loads, can be adapted to use 400' loads with a "rare" CP magazine adapter, and can be converted to crystal sync.

The only drawback is that you only have one choice of lens as it's fixed but the M and MS have a pretty good zoom lens for most needs.

Hope this helps.

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Old June 19th, 2006, 09:53 PM   #3
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Eclair ACL2

This is a great camera. I know where one is available for about $3000. It's in great shape. Only 800 feet of film since its last overhaul. They normally sell for around $5000. Send me an email if you want more info.
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 12:47 PM   #4
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you did'nt tell us a crucial thing: are you wanting sync-sound or is audio not a concern? Bolexes unblimped can be noisy, as can any cam not insulated for sync shooting

If you don't need sync audio, and you don't need shots longer than 10 seconds or so, the spring wind Bolexes are excellent value and fairly bulletproof. The later (late 1960's to present) H16REX, SBM, EBM and EL are the premiums (EBM and EL ditched the spring wind and are electric only). You will be surprised at how much $ these old timers still command. I think both the Bolexes i still have are older than i am.
The spring motor is great for experimental, run and gun, boondocks no-battery silent shooting. One full spring run goes for about 10 secs iirc, and you can dial in various frame rates like 48fps. But if you need audio then forget it-- that puts you into an electric camera with crystal sync motor, sound-deadening shell, etc. Think Arri, Eclair etc

The Canon Scoopic mentioned above is a nice camera with very good Canon glass. I seem to recall it was decently quiet w/o a barney (but hell that was a long time ago!). You could do a lot worse than the Scoopic if you can finda good one. Might have to scrounge around for a re-celled battery solution though

good luck!

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Old June 22nd, 2006, 01:00 PM   #5
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I love the Bolex! It's a classic.

If you can deal with shooting in short spurts (due to the mechanical wind-up mechanism) this makes for an excellent, reliable, robust camera that will certainly outlast any video camera we're using today. No need to deal with tempermental batteries, convenience of 100' Daylight Spools, and it's pretty small considering. The iconic look does not hurt either. I shot some of my favorite student projects and music videos with a wind-up Bolex, I have very fond memories of them.

16mm shot on a Bolex and transfered to High Definition (or better yet 2K Digital Internediate (DI) if you can afford it) is absolutely breathtaking! No wonder several episodic television shows have said NO to HD production and instead are shooting Super16 and going straight to DI, bypassing HD alltogether, which seems like such a transitional technology, and many filmmakers are taking this hybrid film/digital route too.
David Tames { blog: twitter: @cinemakinoeye }
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