FORUMS: list search recent posts

Super 16 cameras

COW Forums : Cinematography

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
David Mathis
Super 16 cameras
on Apr 4, 2015 at 2:49:29 am

Interested in using a film camera and was curious to know if anyone stll manafacturers this type of camera. Thank you in advance.


Return to posts index

Todd Terry
Re: Super 16 cameras
on Apr 4, 2015 at 3:14:13 am

First question, "Why?" That's what most people will ask you, me included a bit (I haven't shot film in years)... but I still support shooting film... maybe not so much for doing anymore, but for learning and improving. Anyone who can successfully shoot beautiful film can shoot the pants off of electronic cameras. The reverse is not at all true.

But to answer your original question... Sure, cameras are still bing made. For example Aaton still makes the A-Minima and the Xterà, both great S16mm cameras.

That being said, one would be crazy to buy one.

There's no point in spending tens of thousands of dollars on a new film camera (16mm, 35mm, whatever) when the used market for them is so huge. People have been dumping their film gear in such a flood that you can find great 16mm gear for sale for literally a tiny fraction of it's original price.

I doubt it's an exaggeration to guess that 95% of the people that were shooting film 10 years ago have dumped their film gear... me included (I sold all my 16mm gear about five years ago, followed by all my 35mm gear a couple of years ago). Hit sources like mandy.com or even eBay and you'll find gear going for probably a tenth of original price.

And as long as it has been maintained, a 30-year-old film camera can perform just as well today as when it was brand new.

The one thing that hasn't plummeted is glass. Great cine lenses do not go down in value... they hold steady... or even go up. My primes set is worth more today than when I bought them a few years ago. I wish I could say that about the rest of my gear.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



Return to posts index

David Mathis
Re: Super 16 cameras
on Apr 26, 2015 at 3:19:16 am

Thank you. Will be looking around on eBay for a camera. Anything that I need to look for? I am planning on editing in Resolve 12 when it becomes available.


Return to posts index


Todd Terry
Re: Super 16 cameras
on Apr 26, 2015 at 4:35:52 am
Last Edited By Todd Terry on Apr 26, 2015 at 4:40:12 am

I'd be reluctant to recommend a specific camera, since I don't know what your needs are, what you are capable of, how much you want to spend, or features you need, etc.

Just do some research, and see what's available on the used market. Quick ones that come to mind are the Arri S and the Russian Kinor 16. They are both plentiful, inexpensive now, and built like tanks.

When I shot 16mm I primarily used the Bolex Pro 16. If you can find one they are worth looking at. Not many people know this camera at all as it was very rare, they only made 300 of them but they are GREAT cameras... and pretty wild as they looked like an Aaton but were designed by Arri yet made by Bolex. They look like a giant version of the Aaton A-minima. GREAT features, coax magazine that you unbelievably can remove in mid-roll... total auto-threading that actually works... built-in motor so you don't have to add one... super quiet and crystal sync at 24fps and 25fps... and a bunch of other features. The only downsides are it is big and heavy (although does look impressive!), and it came with a proprietary lens mount so you had to use one of the two lenses it came with (a 12-120 Angenieux, or the more desirable Schneider-Kreuznach zoom, which is the one that I had). Both lenses are fully servo controlled, zoom/focus/iris. It was just a great camera. I do see that Visual Products has one for sale now for $3200...

http://visualproducts.com/storeProductDetail02.asp?productID=665&Cat=17&Cat...

I often had even veteran cinematographers ask me "What the heck is that?" It was a great camera though.

The one linked above has the Angenieux, but is still a good lens. That package is a fraction of the price that I paid for mine (and a lot less than I sold mine for, too). But that was almost 10 years ago that I sold it, when film was still a little bit in use.

As as for using Resolve, your choice of film camera makes absolutely no difference in what editing platform you are using. I will note though that even though it can kinda do it, I've never really heard of anyone using Resolve to edit. Resolve is super powerful, but I've never known anyone to use it for anything other than color grading... which is what it is made for. I guess stranger things have happened.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



Return to posts index

Rick Wise
Re: Super 16 cameras
on Apr 26, 2015 at 5:50:12 pm

A digital alternative to consider is the relatively new super-16mm format digital Bolex. An SOC colleague of mine has looked into it and is very impressed by its clean, film-like response to light and shadow. I am told it uses RX (adjusted for the reflex Bolex) C-mount lenses which are relatively inexpensive. However, those lenses are for standard 16mm cameras and probably do not cover the full super-16mm size -- not sure. Philip Boom has a lengthy review here: http://philipbloom.net/2014/03/07/d16/ I find getting accurate and detailed lens information for this camera is somewhat difficult but may be worth pursuing. One thing is clear: with an adapter it can take PL-mount lenses.

As for Todd's amazing Pro Bolex, I remember when those came out. Small tanks. Super heavy. It must have been hard to part with it, but a prudent thing to do to stay in business....

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
MFA/BFA Lighting and Camera Instructor Academy of Art University
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


Return to posts index

Todd Terry
Re: Super 16 cameras
on Apr 26, 2015 at 6:07:59 pm

I've been waiting to hear from someone who has used the Digital Bolex first hand... it seems very cool. I've been watching that since it was just an idea and a Kickstarter campaign quite a long while ago now. Not that anyone should care but it's not a "real" Bolex, of course... the couple that cooked it up just licensed the Bolex name... but it seems to do some pretty cool stuff.

And yeah, I loved the Bolex Pro... and yes, it was a TANK. I never weighed it because I was always afraid to find out for sure. I really loved that camera. It was designed for TV newsgathering, but in unfortunate timing that was right when video first came into play for TV news, so the camera died and only 300 were ever built. It was awesome though. I did hate to sell it, but a documentary filmmaker actually offered a fair bit more than I paid for it myself 10 years earlier (it would be a great doc camera)... and considering I hadn't used it at all in a couple of years I let it go. It was flawless and whisper quiet... even though it wasn't really technically a blimped camera you had to be in a totally dead quiet interior to hear it running at all, and even then just barely a little hum from the mag. Beautiful images, too... made a lot of really pretty commercials with it for sure. Now you have me missing it.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



Return to posts index


David Mathis
Re: Super 16 cameras
on Apr 28, 2015 at 5:52:48 am

Thank you Todd and Rick. Going to do some looking and curious to know if the Kinor 16 is still in production. Looking at used Bolex as well. Very much appreciate your help and will check back. Thank you for making the COW great.


Return to posts index

Todd Terry
Re: Super 16 cameras
on Apr 28, 2015 at 6:12:52 am

Oh no, the Kinor hasn't been made in many many years. Both the Kinor and the Konvas were cold-war era cameras... and were basically Russian clones of other cameras (for example, one of the Kinor 35mm models is an almost-identical copy of the MovieCam SuperAmerica... you can even swap parts and mags).

That being said, that doesn't mean it's impossible to buy a "new" one. I owned a Konvas 7M 35mm camera (and used it tons) that was already 20+ years old when I bought it. But, it was brand new and I was the first owner. All of the components were still wrapped in that weird brown wax paper that was common to the way they shipped new Russian cameras. A clean and lube, and it was a brand-new old camera.

One of the best things about that era of Russian cameras is the glass... both the Kinors (16mm and 35mm) and the Konvas (35mm) often come with LOMO lenses (if you are lucky and find a complete kit...body, motor, mags, and sometimes glass). People go crazy for the Russian lenses (both LOMO and Foton)... they are really beautiful (the look of the LOMOs in particular is very Cooke-like). In years past you could get them dirt cheap... but so many people are using them on big-sensor video cameras now that the market glut has really dried up and prices gone way up. I still shoot with a Foton 37-140mm in the rare instances that I use a zoom lens.

You can learn more about the Kinor and Konvas cameras at the CommieCam users group at konvas.org. Fun people there. Many of us in that group have bought equipment and cameras from the same guy, Rafael Pankratau from Belarus. He's one of the really trustworthy dealers of vintage Russian cine gear. I don't know what he has in stock these days but he's at rafcamera.com. Great guy, and super helpful. He's even custom-machined parts for me and got them to me from half a world away within a week or so... and dirt cheap.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



Return to posts index

David Mathis
Re: Super 16 cameras
on May 10, 2015 at 11:12:16 pm

Thank you. I will checkout the website.


Return to posts index


Anthony Gutierrez
Re: Super 16 cameras
on Feb 22, 2017 at 5:00:19 pm

Greetings Mr Terry -
I am doing a little research on Bolex's - this year we are competing in the Louisiana Film Prize; last year they partnered with Kodak to include short films shot on film.
One of the Directors I'm shooting for just bought the Bolex H-16 REFLEX 16mm to shoot with. After mentioning this to my boss, he said "I've got a Bolex Pro with the Schneider-Kreuznach zoom lens you could use. It was professionally serviced prior to its last use and has been sitting for over a decade... untouched."
After reading your comments here - I am completely excited to test out this beast! and it is a beast.
I just bought batteries and will be buying film stock this week. Thanks for your posting

Anthony Gutierrez
I shoot I edit I burn
Dallas, Texas
tonyvisiontexastv@gmail.com
http://www.imbd.me/anthonywgutierrez
facebook.com/tonyvisiontexas


Return to posts index

Todd Terry
Re: Super 16 cameras
on Feb 22, 2017 at 5:22:03 pm

That's great, Anthony...

Loved the old Bolex Pro, I still miss it.... and the one you'll be using has the better of the two lenses that were made for it, which is a bonus.

It is a massive beast, but you will enjoy using it.

One note though, any film camera that has been "sitting for over a decade... untouched" will very likely (in fact, I'll say "definitely") need a clean-and-lube (especially lube!) before you pull trigger at all. The lube in the motor and bearings and such has probably gone by the wayside.

If you can manually inch the motor (I think there was an inching wheel somewhere, but I honestly don't remember) and everything seems like it's moving freely and silky smooth then you might get away without needing the C&L, but pleeeease do that first, don't just power it up and hit the trigger without making darn sure nothing has seized up over the last decade.

One slightly sad note, looking back over this very old thread I saw where at the time Rick mentioned the Digital Bolex... which was a very cool camera. I was sad to learn just this week that the company didn't make it and they stopped producing and selling the camera last year... a shame since it was a cool thing.

Happy shooting!!

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



Return to posts index

Anthony Gutierrez
Re: Super 16 cameras
on Feb 22, 2017 at 6:07:56 pm

I am so very glad you just said that about lubing the gears -
several times last night I kept telling myself - "let's go fire up that camera and see what happens."
and each time I started to prep it for a test fire - i got distracted. THANK GOD!

Anthony Gutierrez
I shoot I edit I burn
Dallas, Texas
tonyvisiontexastv@gmail.com
http://www.imbd.me/anthonywgutierrez
facebook.com/tonyvisiontexas
facebook.com/tonyvisiontelevision


Return to posts index


Todd Terry
Re: Super 16 cameras
on Feb 22, 2017 at 6:23:16 pm

Cool... it's not just the motor-to-shutter drive train, but you'll want to make sure the film movement hasn't had its lube dry up as well... and also the servos that control the lens.

One thing I wanted to note... I did find that on very long sound takes (takes that were a couple of minutes long or longer) that my camera's speed wasn't dead-on accurate 100% even though it was crystal-controlled at 24fps (you'll want to make sure the little 24 or 25 plug is installed in the battery box). The good thing is the speed was constant, it didn't waver... it just wasn't accurate.

I mostly produce television commercials where takes are short so it didn't matter one bit, but the few times I needed really long takes it did. So... whenever we did long takes we would do a tail slate as well as one on the head. With the two slates, we were able to adjust the speed of our audio track so that the length between the two clapper marks was exactly the same as the film, and then everything stayed in perfect sync. Hopefully that was just an anomaly of my particular camera, but it is something you might have to watch out for. It might be that our 24fps audio recording was actually 23.976, whereas the film recording was a true 24fps... or maybe the film was shot at 24fps but the lab telecined it at 23.976.... I'm not sure where the problem was. But if you do long takes I'd definitely do tail slates as well until you know how accurate your speed is.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]