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Nikon R10 Motor Speed Problem

Michael Koshkin

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Hi All,


I've just shot a film for a single cartridge festival with a Nikon R10.


I had my video camera running on the side to get a feel for audio cues for the soundtrack and ended up with an unexpected problem.


The filming was one nonstop take and now that I review the video, it seems it only recorded for 2min 53 seconds. I shot the title before this (while not recording with the video camera) and it couldn't have been longer than 8 seconds. So total, with my camera set to 18fps, it only recorded real time for about 3minutes.


Has anyone else had this problem? I understand it is a 30 year old camera or so, so problems should be anticipated. It was serviced by a camera shop about 2 years ago and they said everything was good (of course, not sure they would test things like this).


Doing the math, it seems like it must have been recording closer to 20fps. I'm not attempting to synch the sound, so really my dillema isn't so big, but I'm wondering for the future if I ever wanted to do a single cart film with cuts and audio that matched, how I could achieve such a thing.


I was using a fresh roll of Vision 200T.


I guess, since the film will be played at 18fps, it will just appear at a slight slight slow motion.


Is this a common occurrence? I had just put in a set of fresh batteries. I figured that if there was any problem like this, it would run slower, not faster.

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Instead of getting 200 seconds, you got about 181 to 182 seconds. So you are right around 10% less than you expected. That would mean instead of getting 50 feet of film, you may have only gotten 46 feet of film, or, your camera was running around 19.8 frames per second.


But if your footage counter made it to 50 feet, then perhaps your camera was running faster than 18 frames per second.

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If you got the film from Pro8, that might explain the problem. They sell rolls of their brand film that are shorter than 50 feet for "better reliability". I tend to think they are just squeezing more film out of the large rolls they spool down for cartridges to save themselves money... but, thats just my humble opinion :)

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If it has been in a shop for maintenance one should expect that the FPS-es are tested and adjusted or reported being off.


The batteries wouldn't make it run faster. There is a speedregulator which steers the motor. If it is too fast this circuit should be adjusted.

Edited by Andries Molenaar
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Now that I think of it, it did seem like the meter wasn't quite at 50 ft. I remember noticing this and being a little paranoid about it. It was, however, Kodak stock, not from Pro8, so they shouldn't be blamed. The cartridge did read "Exposed" so I definitely made it to the end of the roll.


Perhaps it is the speed regulator. Any way to test this myself without having to run film? and then to make my own adjustments?


I'm not sure if it's worth the 100 bucks or whatever it would end up costing to have it looked at and fixed, when it's too noisy of a camera to shoot with sound anyway.

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