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Alexa Classic Owners


Max Field
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Seriously considering selling multiple cameras I own just to have the 11 grand to own the Alexa. 2.7k, 14 stops of DR, in a nice simple ENG-like body.

 

For anyone who currently owns one or commonly rents them in contrast with other cameras, what are some things that still pop out as convenient to you after years of working with it?

 

What are some things it doesn't do so well?

 

Thank you.

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They're really big and heavy and consume lots of power, and they don't do 4K. And they take really expensive media and almost exclusively PL lenses, which are also very expensive.

 

It is not like shooting an FS7.

 

Other than that, hard to object.

 

P

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I like the Alexa, I use it extensively and it doesn't bother me that I can't shoot 4K.

Nobody is bothered about that to be honest, just Netflix, Hulu and etc and if you end up shooting for them, highly likely you're gonna have money to rent any other cameras that you like.

 

Things I don't like about the Alexa Classic body:

- It is heavy.

- It is heavy

- It is heavy

 

If you are going to use it on sticks, the weight doesn't matter but if you're going to use it hand-held.. you better get an easyrig.

 

Also, if you're going to spend money on an Alexa, make sure that records in 4444XQ, which is the best codec that you can get without shooting on ARRIRAW.

 

Again, what Phil said is true, it is not a 1-man camera.

 

Have a good day.

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The Alexa Classic is a lovely camera. You will need a very heavy duty tripod and PL mount lenses for it. And high quality ND filters. And realistically, it's only a 2K camera if you just record to SxS cards.

 

I don't find the Classic too heavy, not like the Alexa Plus. Easy to handhold, excellent viewfinder.

 

It is power hungry, you will need a lot of batteries. The usually rental house package is 8x Anton Bauer HCX 140wH battteries and 2x VCLX block batteries. You could probably cut the HCX order in half if you kept the blocks. If you just want to use on-board batteries, you'll want to have 8x per camera to shoot all day comfortably.

 

It is slow to boot up, I think it is about 40sec. But other than that it is so easy to use, change settings, go thru menus (what menus?). And the image looks great as soon as you point it at anything. I think you'll be very happy with it.

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  • 6 months later...
  • 1 month later...

I sold a bunch of gear and picked up an EV aka Classic.

 

A few notes

 

Minuses:

 

- It's heavy. 17 lbs, Almost 20 lbs just with the EVF.

- With a prime, 15mm rods, baseplate, follow focus, matte box, battery and Odyssey you are headed for 30-40 lbs, plus the head and sticks.

- It sucks down batteries (85w).

- You need heavy duty cinema grade support gear like a heavy duty head and sticks.

- External RAW recorder to get the most out of the camera (Odyssey 7Q+ with ArriRAW license)

- No internal ND. Arri sells the IFM-1 (Internal filter module), but its about $2000 for the hardware and 3 x ND / 1 x clear. You need really high quality ND that won't shift color etc. and they aren't cheap.

- The Alexa is bullet proof, but repair costs are astronomical.

 

Plus:

 

Still the gold standard for IQ. The first time you point it at a window and see that film like roll off in the highlights you'll be spoiled for all other cameras.

 

 

 

I was lucky to have things like a heavy duty tripod and head from my film days, but if you are starting from scratch you really need to make a list and see how it all fits in your budget.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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  • 10 months later...

I´m also looking to get an Alexa Classic on 2020 for independant features and docs mainly.

You can get them really cheap these days, the price goes from 5.5K to 7-8K complete kit.

The only thing stopping me is the big tripod I will also need to get in order to use this baby, but damn the Classic is such a great camera, I´ve been using it for the last three years and hasn´t disappointed me.

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  • 8 months later...

Have an Alexa Plus 4:3 that I am looking for a new tripod. I am curious if the new sachtler aktiv 8 with the flowtech 75. The payload is 26.5 on the fluid head and 44 lb on the sticks, but I think that should be fine.

Any thoughts on that? 

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1597837-REG/sachtler_s2068s_ftgs_aktiv8_fluid_head_s2068s.html

Edited by Peter Olejnik
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39 minutes ago, Peter Olejnik said:

Have an Alexa Plus 4:3 that I am looking for a new tripod. I am curious if the new sachtler aktiv 8 with the flowtech 75. The payload is 26.5 on the fluid head and 44 lb on the sticks, but I think that should be fine.

Any thoughts on that? 

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1597837-REG/sachtler_s2068s_ftgs_aktiv8_fluid_head_s2068s.html

I don’t think it will - the previous version of that head, the FSB 8 will barely hold an Alexa Mini. The issue is with the 75mm ball mount, there’s not enough surface area to hold that much weight without slipping. 

You can get away with a heavy duty 100mm head like the OConnor 1030DS although the ball will still slip when moving the camera, but ideally you’d want a 150mm or Mitchell mount to hold an Alexa Plus. 

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Thanks for the note; I never understood what would make the difference between 75 vs 100. 

They also have the aktiv10 with a 100mm, but it has the same payload. 

I've filmed with an Sachtler FS8 using a Panasonic HPX3000, Fujinon lenses, and Anton batteries, it was a little bit of a pain to keep balanced at times, but overall it worked.  Other than balancing, I am not sure what else would be the issue -- perhaps stripping the fluid head overtime? 

Edited by Peter Olejnik
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37 minutes ago, Peter Olejnik said:

I've filmed with an Sachtler FS8 using a Panasonic HPX3000, Fujinon lenses, and Anton batteries, it was a little bit of a pain to keep balanced at times, but overall it worked.  Other than balancing, I am not sure what else would be the issue -- perhaps stripping the fluid head overtime? 

I quickly googled that Panasonic, from the specs it looks like it is a lot lighter than an ARRI Alexa Classic. (the bare bones 

Thus have a think, if you found that lightweight camera to be "a bit of a pain", imagine how bad life would be with an even heavier build on the FS8 tripod? 

I too strongly recommend you get at least a 100mm bowl tripod head. 

You're going to find life is in general harder to shoot with an Alexa & a micro crew, vs using a HPX3000 & micro crew, thus why make your life even tougher by using a tripod which isn't up to the task?

Edited by David Peterson
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22 minutes ago, David Peterson said:

I quickly googled that Panasonic, from the specs it looks like it is a lot lighter than an ARRI Alexa Classic. (the bare bones 

Thus have a think, if you found that lightweight camera to be "a bit of a pain", imagine how bad life would be with an even heavier build on the FS8 tripod? 

I too strongly recommend you get at least a 100mm bowl tripod head. 

You're going to find life is in general harder to shoot with an Alexa & a micro crew, vs using a HPX3000 & micro crew, thus why make your life even tougher by using a tripod which isn't up to the task?

True. But to be fair, the total payload was appox 26 lbs, and I can't remember if it was the FS6 or 8. With the exception of the occasional balancing, things were reasonable. 

That being said, I agree; I don't want to risk an oopsy moment and lose an Alexa over a tripod that doesn't match. 

It looks like Benro has reasonably priced tripods with 100mm. I'd be curious if anyone's ever used their fluid heads -- it'd be great if you can swap-out the sticks with a Flowtech. 

Benro BVX16H - 35 lb

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1463693-REG/benro_bvx16cfk_benro_bvx_carbon_fiber.html

Benro BVX25H  - 55 lb

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1463694-REG/benro_bvx25cfk_benro_bvx_carbon_fiber.html

 

Edited by Peter Olejnik
correction
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25 minutes ago, Max Field said:

My Manfrotto 526 head holds my Alexa and other ENG cameras pretty well. It doesn't feel bullet proof but it hasn't really caused me any problems when adjusting angle.

Doesn't that prove the point in this thread? 

It's a 100mm Fluid Head, not a 75mm head. 

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1 minute ago, David Peterson said:

Doesn't that prove the point in this thread? 

It's a 100mm Fluid Head, not a 75mm head. 

The point of my thread was people sharing their logistical experiences with the Arri Alexa Classic. I've owned the camera for 2 years at this point and now parting ways with it.

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12 minutes ago, Peter Olejnik said:

It looks like Benro has reasonably priced tripods with 100mm. I'd be curious if anyone's ever used their fluid heads -- it'd be great if you can swap-out the sticks with a Flowtech. 

You should be able to. 

I've paired a Vivten fluid head with a 100mm bowl with cametv tripod legs. 

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38 minutes ago, Peter Olejnik said:

I've filmed with an Sachtler FS8 using a Panasonic HPX3000, Fujinon lenses, and Anton batteries, it was a little bit of a pain to keep balanced at times, but overall it worked.  Other than balancing, I am not sure what else would be the issue -- perhaps stripping the fluid head overtime? 

I remember that camera, the Alexa Plus will be heavier but if you were using those giant Hytron batteries then it would be roughly comparable. 

The issue is not just the weight, but also the length of the payload. Every time you pick up the camera, adjust a leg, perform an aggressive tilt, or slide and pan, there’s a lot of force acting on the tiny 75mm ball and it’s gonna slip. That might be only an annoyance if you mostly shoot locked off and just have to rebalance constantly. But if you do a lot of panning and tilting especially on a slider or a dolly, it’s going to ruin quite a few takes. So it really depends on what you need the tripod to do. 

Another thing to watch out for when playing the ‘payload roulette’ game is the side-load tripod plate. I’m generally not a fan, unless it’s a massive one that come with heads like the OConnor 2575 and Sachtler Cine 30. Generally, there’s not a lot of surface-to-surface contact holding the tripod plate to the head, which means the chance for failure is higher. An old school Touch-and-Go plate that gets sandwiched on at least two sides may not be as sexy, but it is far safer for large payloads in my opinion.

Story time: I once owned a Cartoni Focus 100mm head that I routinely pushed to the limits until the little metal wedge grabbing the composite plate finally failed. And yet I kept using it. I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve caught multiple cameras in mid-air as they’ve tumbled off of that head - Red Epic, Arriflex SR2, 5D+Canon Cine Zoom lenses, etc. When said Epic fell off and smashed lens-first thru the 100 year old glass cover of a vintage pinball machine in the Musée Méchanique, I belatedly retired it. Don’t be like me! 

-Sats ‘Scourge of pinball machines everywhere’

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you're ok with retro/ugly, and not needing to impress, look for an O'Connor 50D.. or better yet, 100D if you're really loading it up.
I used it with a Moviecam SL MKI, Arri FF-2, MMB-1, Zeiss Standard Speeds, 1000' mag and still can take a few more pounds. The Arri will be up there in weight, but less than all of the above, with batteries factored in as well.

See below:

 

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