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Eclair s16 ACL II value


Tom Hepburn

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On 6/20/2024 at 1:32 AM, Tom Hepburn said:


.......I spoke with a gentleman at Visual Products yesterday .....
...... The camera has been dormant for 10 years so although it was working fine at that time I'm planning on taking it to VP for ........

Hey Tom,
You did the right thing contacting Visual Products, I assume Paul Scaglione. Their hourly rate is fairly high, but Paul is quite fast, a CLA on that may only be a couple of hours. It looks like a camera that has had little use, so if it has not been run dry or otherwise abused then it may just need CLA with few or no repairs. If it hasn't had service for over 20 years, it's overdue and the uncertainties will lower the value. Paul's CLA will remedy that.

VP will have batteries/power supply so if you wanted to avoid that expense, it will make little difference to the new owner, little difference to the sale price if it has a fresh inspection and CLA from Paul. If you think a battery will make a difference, then you  can organise something inexpensive.

The Les B conversion with the improvised ground glass lowers the value compared to the VP conversion. The unusual motor housing with no inching knob lowers the value in my eyes. I like to be able to easily inch the camera by hand. It probably has mirror parking. You must remember from when you used it. That may be something that can be fixed. Ask Paul when you hand over the camera.

After Paul's CLA and assessment one might make a guess on the value. The lack of Arri-S/B and PL mounts lower the value. Not having useful magazine sets lowers the value. Not having a set of onboard battery packs or a usable battery kit lowers the value, but my opinion is that it's not that important. Not having a video tap lowers the value.

These increments lowering the value all sound negative, but after Paul's CLA and hopefully inching knob repair this camera could be a good beginning point for someone to build up a kit. Low mileage, late model camera and excellent view finder.

Gregg

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I meant to say also...re the lenses. My suggestion would be to sell the lenses separately. If someone was buying the camera as a start to build up from, they would probably be more interested without the lenses.
My ideas about the CLA did not include the lenses.

Note that AZ Spectrum is not that far away, and Andrzej has the expertise to repair those motors. You could send him an email with a pic of the motor housing with the missing inching knob and ask if he has any thoughts. Tell him that the camera is going to a CLA at VP.   Keep the email short and he will probably reply straight back.

 

Edited by Gregg MacPherson
more words.
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I wanted to get back to this. As you can imagine I still haven't found an inching knob, but I'm not giving up yet 🙂
I had a thought that I wanted to run by here. The inching knob doesn't seem like a very complicated component, correct me if I'm wrong. I mean it doesn't seem to require all of the accurate adjustments and calibrations that some other components might. If that's the case, it seems like a handy person or machine shop would be able to fabricate one. I would just need the proper reference with measurements etc.  Any thoughts?

Hopefully this will display in the regular size font....my phone made it large.
Thanks, Tom

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That motor looks a little different from the ones I've seen, so I'm not entirely sure how it would have been originally, but I will say the ACL motors Ive dealt with have deceptively complicated inching knobs.  They're one-way-clutched.  I'm not sure if that's so you can't inch them backwards (who cares) or so they don't grab a string from the camera operator's sweater and end up choking them to death...

Duncan

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3 hours ago, Tom Hepburn said:

I wanted to get back to this. As you can imagine I still haven't found an inching knob, but I'm not giving up yet 🙂
I had a thought that I wanted to run by here. The inching knob doesn't seem like a very complicated component, correct me if I'm wrong. I mean it doesn't seem to require all of the accurate adjustments and calibrations that some other components might. If that's the case, it seems like a handy person or machine shop would be able to fabricate one. I would just need the proper reference with measurements etc.  Any thoughts?

Hopefully this will display in the regular size font....my phone made it large.
Thanks, Tom

If you take the cover off, held on by two screws, you would be able to see if there's any of the shaft left or whether it has been broken off.  If all you need to do is make up a new inching knob and fix it to the shaft, you're probably in good shape, but if the shaft is broken I think you're out of luck. 

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A couple of updates I wanted to share. I found the manual  that explains more about the motor. I can see that there was an inching knob in the reference pictures of the manual. 
Manual motor 1
Manual motor 2

I also removed the small plate to uncover what is there now. It does not seem to turn and I'm not sure in its "updated" state it's designed to. Obviously it has worked without the knob (see footage).
motor plate removed

Here is where I am: I want to test the motor, but I won't turn it on, or even connect a battery until I'm sure things move freely. It seems good that the mirror will park in position as per the manual, but I still need the knob to manually turn it to see if things are free. Any alternative to doing so other than the inching knob? Hope that makes sense. If I can confirm that things move smoothly and easily, I will get a battery and test the motor. As always I'm open to any thoughts on the subject.
Thanks again, Tom

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OK so it looks like the clutch assembly would have been in that circular well in the body surrounding the motor shaft, whereas I think on some other motors it was farther away on the shaft.  It looks to me like that's a screw thread there, going into the motor shaft.  If you could remove that nub of screw, you could theoretically put on a new clutch/knob assembly, though goodness knows where you'd find one.  Though it worries me that if it's broken off like that, it's because the motor is stuck.

But here's how to find out, since you don't seem shy to disassemble things a bit: remove the motor from the camera body.  Three long screws and pull it off... VERY CAREFULLY!!!  Very straight.  Bit by bit.  Don't lever it off of center at all.  There's a very very fragile mini connector in there whose housing will break if you get it off axis.  I'll attach a picture of what it will look like.  There's a motor shaft with two pins, that goes into a rubber coupling, which goes onto a shaft in the motor body with a similar two pin arrangement/  The rubber coupling will likely stay with the motor or the body as you pull it apart - don't lose it!

SO at that point you should be able to turn the motor by hand, if it's free.  You should also be able to reach into the camera body hole, easier if the rubber coupling is on the shaft in the body, and sort of turn it with your pinky, to see if the camera mechanism turns freely.

Duncan

image.thumb.jpeg.341aa1b98df8aad0419394e77f1bea50.jpeg

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Update: turning smooth! The rubber coupler tried to make a run for it. Thanks for pointing that out Duncan. A little lubricant in there as well, which seems in good shape and not too thick or sticky.
Next step is the battery. I'm assuming that a lot has changed since bescor battery belt. Any (4pin) recommendations? I just need to test it at full speed.

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Lubricant in with the coupler seems unnecessary, but as long as it's something like silicone which won't eat rubber it shouldn't really hurt anything.

Duncan

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Hello again, I have a quick update.
I appreciate this site and the feedback thus far. It's much more of a friendly community compared to some other places these days. 

  • I manually turned to motor (thanks Duncan) to make sure nothing was locked or stuck. That was successful. A little lubricant was on the motor face which was not sticky or gummy.
  • Today I ran it at 24fps and it purred nicely. See video links below.
  • I spoke with Paul at Visual Products. He asked a few questions about it. Then said if it's been in an air conditioned controlled environment (which it has), he didn't think there would be any big issues if it worked fine before (understand that's not a film test).
  • Confirmed that all of the magazines (1 400', 2 200') are French.
  • Apparently this camera has automatic mirror parking? My understanding is that the inching knob is primarily used for this. If that's the case (and correct me if I'm wrong) the missing or removed knob seems a little less critical. In the below video you can see there is an automatic adjustment/sound after stopping the motor, which I assume is the mirror being parked.

This video will probably explain everything better than I can.

Shutter movie

Again, I'm not the expert here so open to other feedback. 
Thanks, Tom

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I agree that's behaving like a mirror-parking motor though it's interesting that it more or less ends up at the right spot on its own and the "parking wiggle" is minor to nonexistent.  The proof is kind of in the fact that once it's stopped you always have a perfect view through the viewfinder!  (That being the point of mirror parking after all.)  And you are correct that the inching knob is not nearly as critical a piece on a camera with a mirror that parks in the right spot.  On a spool-loading camera like an Arri 16S, you really need the inching knob to help with loading the film, but on a magazine-loading camera like this...not so much under normal circumstances.

We never asked, because we were just going by the pictures, but since you have it there in your hands: is there a little icon on the motor cover (the one you took off to see about the inching knob) that looks like a windshield?  (I guess it's supposed to look like the shape of the mirror.)  That's the other proof, if that's there and just wasn't obvious to us in the farther away pictures.

Your viewfinder video brings up another question: what are the ground glass marking like?  From that video we can see the original regular-16mm markings, but is there some other marking or shading in the S16 aspect ratio?

Glad to hear this camera may live again!

Duncan

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1 hour ago, Duncan Brown said:

I agree that's behaving like a mirror-parking motor though it's interesting that it more or less ends up at the right spot on its own and the "parking wiggle" is minor to nonexistent.  The proof is kind of in the fact that once it's stopped you always have a perfect view through the viewfinder!  (That being the point of mirror parking after all.)  And you are correct that the inching knob is not nearly as critical a piece on a camera with a mirror that parks in the right spot.  On a spool-loading camera like an Arri 16S, you really need the inching knob to help with loading the film, but on a magazine-loading camera like this...not so much under normal circumstances.

We never asked, because we were just going by the pictures, but since you have it there in your hands: is there a little icon on the motor cover (the one you took off to see about the inching knob) that looks like a windshield?  (I guess it's supposed to look like the shape of the mirror.)  That's the other proof, if that's there and just wasn't obvious to us in the farther away pictures.

Your viewfinder video brings up another question: what are the ground glass marking like?  From that video we can see the original regular-16mm markings, but is there some other marking or shading in the S16 aspect ratio?

Glad to hear this camera may live again!

Duncan

This is how my az spectrum serviced motor now behaves.  Stops dead in viewing position each time. Camera looks like it is running great to me.  

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