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35mm cameras with Rewind

Pilvari Pirtola

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Tyler, running motorized in reverse at a certain speed is not needed for double exposure or multi exposure. It can also be a manual rewind.

Pilvari, in-camera-f/x like double exposure etc. aren’t precise enough for big budget productions. For smaller formats, they only exist as amateurs wouldn’t have been able to pay the labs doing these effects when striking the prints and as amateurs have been usually shooting reversal films (with very limited possibilities to duplicate the films). Hence, I fear that you’ll have to find 35mm-cameras from before WWII (when 35mm was still considered an amateur format - despite the introduction of 9.5mm (1922), 16mm (1923), Double8 (1932) and several „mayflies“ like 17.5mm). If I am not mistaken, then some Eyemo models support a limited rewind.

The only exception might be cameras for low budget productions  (e.g. for universities or TV-stations before switching to 16mm).


Edited by Joerg Polzfusz
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All the MOS Arriflex cameras - 2C, 3C, 35-3, 435, 235 - can run in reverse with most mags, also the Arriflex 535 and Arricams. Mitchells will run in reverse too.

You can use a hand crank to rewind a Bell &Howell Eyemo, but only a few feet as the feed spindle does not rewind the film and you are also winding up the spring when reverse cranking. 

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The best option is probably an unconverted Mitchell GC or standard.

They're not even a little bit sexy, but they're inexpensive, readily available, and have rock-solid registration if they've been even minimally maintained.

Their focal-plane shutters offer really good light sealing, so they are useful for time-lapse or animation, and they won't become a leaky mess when you stop them and they have to sit for a moment while you calculate out how far you want to backwind.

They are almost purely mechanical, but there have been a variety of motors produced by 3rd party companies for everything from stop-motion to high speed. Most of these cameras use an external spring-belt for mag drive. This can be switched from the takeup side to the supply side to run backward.

the Standard model (with phenolic gears) is good to at least 36fps, while a GC (with metal gears) will run all day at 120fps if you keep the movement oiled.

Both cameras will happily run in reverse at 24 fps.

We used to use these cameras all the time for motion control work, an often ran the film back and forth several times to build up exposure layers, like, on a spaceship where you might have one hero "sunlit" exposure, then turn the key lights off, backwind the film, and re-expose a long exposure to burn in the portholes.







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Thanks for replies you all! Seems that Mitchell could be the best option and some Arriflex could work too, gotta start keeping an eye open for some good deals, although not really in a hurry for that project as I still have plenty of 16mm&single8 film to use away... 

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