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Will Jacobs

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I'm a student making the transition from digital to film and my next project will be shot entirely on 16mm. I'm interested in purchasing a working ARRI SR I or II. My budget is around $1200. I reside in the U.S. You may email me at willjacobscinephile@gmail.com

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It's gonna be hard to find a good working SR of any kind for $1200. Most of those sub $2k sync sound cameras of any brand are in rough shape, either missing things like batteries, chargers, magazines and usually are "untested" which means you'll probably need to send it in somewhere for a re-build. SR's are workhorses, but when they wear out, they create a very wobbly image (registration issues) until serviced. Also the vast majority of SR's are Arri B mount, which is a good thing if you wish to own your own glass, but a bad thing if you wish to rent glass as most rental houses only have PL mount 16mm glass. 

So be very careful what you get because it can easily turn your film future career into a nightmare. 

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There are a few on Ebay. I just bought an SR2 which was owned by Loyola Marymount Film school. Since there were no batteries available, they couldn't test it. As Tyler stated, it may be in for a rebuild but they are very interesting cameras to own. I like these machines far better than digital just for the nostalgia and experience. I hear Kubrick and Spielberg have both put their eyes up to SR 2's along with the BL35's they directed their DP's with. Can't say that about BlackMagic or Red which was what I almost purchased. I got my SR2 more for sentimental reasons. Never know, these cameras may have shot a Hollywood blockbuster if there were ever any shot in 16!! Good luck my friend!!

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  • 3 months later...

Thank you for your responses, Tyler and Daniel. A few months have passed and my knowledge about the SR's and their value has grown (as well as the cash in my wallet). Apologies for my ignorance! 

Speaking of "nightmares", I went through a nightmare of an eBay exchange last month (I had not read your warning, Tyler) and bought a used ARRI SRII Package for $3,450 that was listed as "pristine". This certainly was not the case upon inspection. I had to return everything and deal with a furious seller who denied my photographic and video evidence. Thanks be to God for eBay's wonderful customer service! Fortunately, I was refunded.

For others new to 16 mm who are reading this: AVOID EBAY. You have been warned! I have since then turned to Visual Products and plan to buy an ARRI SR I can trust.


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