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What to do with my Arriflex SR16?

T Sanders

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Hi There,


Some of you may remember that almost a year ago I was moving to South America and sold of a bunch of my film equipment on here. I had an Arriflex SR16 with sound blimp for sale but the buyer backed out at the last minute and I had to put the camera in Storage before I left.


Now I'm back in the states for 3 months and have it for sale again but now I'm thinking maybe I should keep it but here is the problem I'm having...


This one is a bayonet mount camera and I have been unable to buy lenses for it. One reason being that they aren't that easy to find.


Now that I live a more carefree life, I want to start doing more short documentaries and films and I'm thinking maybe I can still use this camera if I convert it to super16 and maybe convert the lens mount to one where I can buy more readily available lenses.


I like that this one works perfectly, has some accessories and I have the special sound blimp to go with it that reduces the camera noise to zero.


Or should I trade it for a super16 camera with a lens mount with more readily available lenses?

Edited by T Sanders
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Well few things... First off, Arri-B is usually pretty easy to find. I know ebay doesn't have much on it right now, but I've never had an issue in the past finding good deals. I think people who post ad's for older glass, simply forget to put in the mount type, so the search engine doesn't pick it up properly.


Second, converting the SR is a nightmare because it was never designed for super 16. So it's not only cost prohibitively expensive, but I've seen a few conversions that don't even address the gate's friction surface which is a real problem in my eyes. So if you wish to shoot S16, I'd invest in a different camera.


Remember PL mount lenses are upwards of twice the cost of B mount, for the same piece of glass. So if you go PL mount, expect to pay A LOT for glass. Even though there is MORE glass out there for PL, it's not necessarily better glass. I purposely bought a Arri B mount camera due to this reason and had zero problems finding good super 16 Arri B glass.

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These days the cost of a proper SR S16 conversion would be way more than just buying a S16 camera, (if indeed you can still find someone to do the conversion). So if you want a S16 camera, it makes more sense to just sell the camera you own and buy a S16 one.


You can pick up S16 SR2s for not too much, and regardless of Tyler's opinion there's nothing wrong with most S16 SR2 conversions, they were used on countless shows back in the day without issue. But if you can afford the extra expense of an SR3 or Aaton XTR then they are better, quieter cameras.


You should be able to find B mount lenses for your camera though. They pop up pretty regularly if you keep watching. There's a B mount Zeiss 10-100 going for $400 on Aussie eBay right now, total bargain!

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Sorry for some reason I'm not getting notifications anymore for replies.


Thank you guys for your thoughts.


I think I will keep it as is. I'm not able to use Ebay so I might have to get someone with access to buy a lens if I ever see one on there. When I was looking before I only found one lens. I did buy one when I first got the camera but it turned out to be one of the wrong B mount lenses that was too long.


I have an Arri sound blimp for this one too but I'm wondering if it will fit the SR2 or SR3. If the body shape/size hasn't changed it should.


I don't really care that much if it's super16 or not but I have seen some good footage with one converted. Hmmmm

Edited by T Sanders
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Thanks Jean-Louis. It may be a little bit but I'll contact you about the lenses.


Hmmm maybe I really should be thinking about selling just the blimp. I keep thinking about bringing it back to South America with me and I'm hesitant because it's super heavy but it's super heavy because of the blimp. I'll have to see if I can find some kind of flight case or pelican case with wheels I can haul it in. :)


But that blimp is cool... hahaha ahh decisions. :D

Edited by T Sanders
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