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Aaton XTR Prod - Crystal sync (problem?)


Boris Kalaidjiev
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Hello, 

I have an XTR Prod that I am slowly getting into shape to shoot a project on it. Right now I am practicing on loading it with some dummy film.

What I noticed is that the display on the Aaton would display a slight change in the frame rate, it wont be a constant 24fps. Sometimes it will go up to 24,13fps | 24,15fps or drop down to 23,90fps | 23,88fps for a few frames then it will go back to 24fps. I noticed it happening over the course of 2min it went a little be bit over 24 fps twice and it went under twice.

Is this normal?

Wouldn't longer takes that have audio go off-sync?

 

This is a video of the display when it goes over or under.

https://vimeo.com/722847698/f7dc39eec9

00:12 - 23,90fps

00:17 - 23,90fps

00:33 - 24,13fps

00:53 - 24,15fps

01:17 - 23,88fps

 

 

 

Here is one screen grab of when it drops the frame rate. 

image.thumb.jpeg.9ca7aa45448dfe08bfd23e1e2886fcfc.jpeg

 

 

 

Thanks!!

 

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I don't know xtrprod enough to comment on the display but it is easiest to detect crystal sync inaccuracies with a crystal stabilized stroboscope light or a tachometer app. The traditional stroboscope light method works extremely well and it is easy to detect even small inaccuracies with it. I would recommend using either one method to see what is wrong with the crystal sync because they are much more reliable than any camera displays.

I personally use a crystal stroboscope light as I just designed a simple to use, small and affordable one. If you would prefer the strobe instead of using an app, I can sell these crystal strobos too (can ship next week if needed, just DM me for details) 🙂

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I would imagine that excess friction could cause this type of problems in a camera. It is easiest to detect friction issues with the stroboscope light as well because you will see if the crystal sync system tries to compensate back and forth for small speed changes constantly instead of first compensating but then locking to the phase and staying locked (if the shutter is observed under the stroboscope light, you will first see it being out of phase when the camera speeds up, then it should slightly compensate back and forth for a second or two but then lock to phase "rock solid" and only move and compensate if there would be large friction changes in the mechanism for example due to the film roll or settings or camera condition)

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Posted (edited)

That camera isn't running right. The flicks coming from the film should be 100% consistent, when you hear it not consistent, that means it's not consistent. 

It needs to be pulled apart, fully cleaned and lubricated and re-assembled. This is a very common issue. I fix about 3 cameras with the same loudness issue a month. The speed consistency issue needs to be gone through carefully, usually it takes a bit of time to figure out where it's coming from. The last one I did with this issue, was corrosion in the motor.

I do Aaton repair in the US, if you want to ship it.  

Edited by Tyler Purcell
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43 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

That camera isn't running right. The flicks coming from the film should be 100% consistent, when you hear it not consistent, that means it's not consistent.

oh I watched it again with headphones and it is definitely not healthy sounding. Something very wrong with the movement or the film path

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2 hours ago, David Sekanina said:

Three a month Tyler? That's almost a full time job then 🤨

I probably spend 40-60hrs a month on camera repair. I probably work on a dozen cameras a month. 

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9 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

This is a very common issue. I fix about 3 cameras with the same issue a month. I do Aaton repair in the US. 

That's a lot of Aatons with the same fault. So too much resistance in the movement due to old lubricants and they start fluctuating in speed? But once cleaned and re-lubricated the fault goes away?

I thought AM Camera was the Aaton repair place for West Coast USA? Are you repairing these cameras for AM Camera or watching Andre do them or have you got your own repair shop?

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22 hours ago, Dom Jaeger said:

That's a lot of Aatons with the same fault. So too much resistance in the movement due to old lubricants and they start fluctuating in speed? But once cleaned and re-lubricated the fault goes away?

I thought AM Camera was the Aaton repair place for West Coast USA? Are you repairing these cameras for AM Camera or watching Andre do them or have you got your own repair shop?

Hey Dom,

It would pay to leave the entire quote intact. Otherwise, a sustaining member has a big edit window and can remove or gloss over some gaffe or display of ignorance.

(cue sarcasm and alarm) I'm just waiting for the moment where we are schooled on how to service cameras wearing our white cotton gloves. A logical, if absurd progression. Apparently some expert, referring to his 20 something years of experience in the industry, told us that we should be loading or mags and threading, wearing white cotton gloves...Oh...that was Tyler...

Gregg.

 

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