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Fabrice Ducouret

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About Fabrice Ducouret

  • Birthday 03/15/1981

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  • Occupation
  • Location
    Paris, France
  • My Gear
    I own over 50 cameras (Super-8, 16mm, 35mm, Video, digital...)
  • Specialties
    I am a filmmaker and director of photography who also takes pictures and draws. I have directed over 160 short films since my youngest age in the 1980s, until now, in various genres and formats.
    I also build or tweak lenses to obtain surreal or ethereal effects. Some of my photographic inventions are listed on my website, contact me for ideas and any kind of project.

    My showreel (feedback is always appreciated!): https://vimeo.com/110965369

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  1. I recently got a Double-8 (not Super-8) Bolex C8 camera in near mint condition. I mostly shoot Super-8 as far as small film gauge goes, but given the condition of the camera and how fun it looks to use, and also that I’ve never used this format, I thought I’d give it a go and get film and a good lens for it. I got a really nice D-mount 1.4 Yashica lens for it, but now I’m wondering how to expose film properly, since the camera has no electronics or auto settings. For still photography, I use iPhone lightmeters like Lux, and get really good results, but are there user-friendly ways to measure exposure settings for film, based on the chosen frame rate?
  2. Thank you guys. Are there good and bad ones? Large and small ones? What model do you guys have?
  3. Hello, I am looking for camera loading services in the city of Los Angeles. Drop off camera and film, pick up the next day with the camera loaded. The camera is a kind of ancient, 35mm camera which takes 25 meters of film. I have the camera, I have the film. I'm just really afraid to mess it up and expose the film to light while doing it because I don't have a darkroom.
  4. Dang, sounds like a challenge! At the same time... challenges can be good... and exciting 🙂
  5. Just found this post - very interesting but it seems like the OP's website is dead now. Were there commercially sold "reloadable" Super-8mm cartridges? I would very much like to find a way to double-expose Super-8mm film and maybe transferring film into a cartridge that is easy to open and close might help... If anyone has a link, I'd appreciate - thanks!
  6. This is a great discussion and I am also interested in rewinding Super-8mm film. There has got to be a way - like, a cartridge that can be opened and closed easily (like the reloadable film cartridges) and the user would be able to open, rewind, reload. But what no one answered yet is why it wouldn't be possible to just rewind by cranking the cartridge's spool in the other direction, before reaching the end of the film? So you'd lose maybe half a foot of film to make sure it's still spooled on one end and then just "rewind" it? Any modern screwdriver with a large flat screwhead would do the job... Has anyone tried that?
  7. Why did you say "it was hell"? Can you share the experience?
  8. This is great, Pavan - care to share some pics of the repair process as well? (if you have) - thanks!
  9. Congrats on fixing the Webo! I think you should offer servicing for the cameras you know how to fix - when I rounded up Hollywood camera repair shops, no one knew what the Webo was or how to fix it (thankfully it wasn't broken...). You might be able to make some money repairing people's 16mm cameras. One thing that might hinder people's google searches when looking for you is that the title of your webpage for the Webo is "Canon 814/1014/1218 repair" (also here). Congrats for your efforts in fixing the camera. Are you planning on using it? Feel free to share some footage if you do!
  10. Webster, Thanks so much for following this discussion and adding your contribution. Your rig is super - congratulations! But double or single focus? I'm sure you can always find a smaller anamorphic someday either by luck or if you win the lottery... (Are you in the anamorphic shooters group on facebook?) I'd love to see your anamorphic footage. To be honest, I don't get why people place anamorphic lenses in front of a digital camera. For me it only really makes sense in front of a film camera... If you use a 2x anamorphic on a no-crop-needed setup, you end up with a output image after anamorphosis that is 7680 x 2160 for stills and 3840 x 1080 for video as seen here - pretty useless imho. But when you're working with a square-ish format, now we're talking... By the way, how do you offset the anamorphic or the lens to align them? Here's my Pathé and the Schneider Cinelux seen from above, they're not aligned because the lens of the Pathé and the tripod socket are not on the same axis. If you know the name of the lego piece I need for my Fotga rail - it'd be much welcome!
  11. If you read the rest of the discussion, you can find out that I prefer cameras with a reflex viewfinder and a flat front turret. I think it's a decent camera for someone who doesn't need a reflex system, solidly built and easy to manipulate!
  12. Simon, a lot of people have been using anamorphic projection lenses to capture anamorphic footage of photography. There's a lot of resources online about this, it allows for guerilla filmmakers and low-budget productions to access anamorphic technology at a fraction of the cost it would be with actual anamorphic lenses. Tito Ferradans has reviewed pretty much every option available in his youtube channel. I personally use a Schneider Cinelux with either film or photo cameras (turns a 35mm SLR into a panoramic camera, makes it feel like a Hollywood still...). The tests with the Bolex were absolutely non-conclusive - not even impractical, just impossible. I'd have to use two tripods. But then how do I focus? I'd have to align everything on the top lens position, focus... then move everything back? Nah... It's much easier with the Webo. The camera and the scope fit on the same rail mount. I just need to offset the camera by a couple of centimeters to the right... This is what the Webo's reflex viewfinder sees. And once anamorphosed... (The actual results will not vignette and be better aligned...)
  13. Dom, I will try to keep it short, but I really appreciate the effort you put into your answer, and the immense knowledge you have brought to this discussion. Maybe I didn't google very hard (I actually use DuckDuckGo, which I prefer), but I didn't know the full names of the cameras. As it turns out, I consider most of the ones listed here as oddities, and I would *never* consider using them. They all look extremely cumbersome, in the 3-5 kilos range, or are not with a reflex viewfinder, which rules them out right away. What are the "flat base Bolexes" you mention? The Rex-5? All the ones I have seen have a really bad balance / center of gravity that prevents putting them down on a table the right way up. Hard to forgive such a design flaw. And the high-up lens mount prevents using scopes, as I said before. Although my Super-8 Bolex, the 150 or 160 Super, has a really amusing design that reminds me of a 1960s kitchen appliance - or a camera you'd see in a comic book. I'd never use it either, because of the complicated types of batteries needed and the cumbersome design, but nonetheless a weird object to stare at confusedly (I think the designers at Bolex were taking something...). I own over 50 Super-8 cameras and the Bolex I had were the absolute worst, so maybe there's some of that in my feelings about the brand... Back to 16mm... Example #1 of the Bolex being super wobbly, weakly built, coming apart, badly designed, makes it difficult and scary to even handle. Example #2 of the Bolex being wobbly, and having parts that move that really should absolutely never, ever move, since they are optical, fragile outside elements. Example #1 of the Webo being sturdy as a tank, and wonderfully easy to handle very firmly (while lighter than the Bolex). Example #2, because, you might want to hold it firmly on either side of the body? Do not try to reproduce with the Bolex... Here's the front plate of the Webo, almost perfectly flat... Here's the front plate of the Bolex, unnecessarily encumbered and not flat at all... Which results in lenses like this one, not being mountable on the Bolex! But on the Webo, it fits like a glove... Another example of the really bad design of the front plate of the Bolex, preventing to use this amazing Canon Macro Zoom Lens... And the Webo wears it without a problem. Also, yes, I wouldn't mind teaching 16mm using a Bolex, but I've seen a lot of USA schools teach students with a Krasnagorsk-3, which I think is a better camera than the Bolex. Cheaply built, for sure. Proprietary mount, alas. But definitely cheap, affordable, very easy to hold and manipulate for hours, and with a reflex viewfinder. I liked the joke about Fontainebleau, but my first Webo was given to my by a teacher that had used it across Europe for 30 years and it ran perfectly even when I used it. If the videos in this post do not convince you of how much sturdier it is...
  14. Thank you Simon for this well-documented answer. A pleasure to read it. I find difficult to find a reliable database of these cameras, where I could read more about them and see pictures of them (the Super-8mm format, for some reason, has generated a larger amount of wikis and databases than 16mm - maybe a larger user-base, although less professional?). When I consult the pictures of the Bell & Howell Filmo B or DB (of which there are no more than 2 photos on the whole internet, not sure how easy it is to get one), it seems it has some of the issues I have with the Bolex: difficulty to place on a flat surface, and oddness of the gravity center, because of the vertical position of the spools inside the camera. Which would be especially bothersome for high-speeds since a good grip is even more important. I could not find a single photo of the "ETM P-16", the "Victor" cameras, or the "Pentacon Ak16". Is this the Pentaka 16? This article seems to have the only existing image of this camera. Interesting if it is reflex. The Ciné-Kodak Special is the one that most grabbed my attention. The Cine-Kodak Special II look like a Webo with less features and a bunch of oddly-placed knobs which would make firmly holding the camera a bit cumbersome (might be a real pain to avoid flicking this little guy during prolonged use, or to not scratch anything with these sharp protruding viewfinder pieces! OUCH!). But you say the reflex system is unusable during filming - why? Again, that defeats the purpose a bit if one if following moving subjects. The Bolex 16 that you recommend (with reflew finder usable during filming) is the one I *thought* I had purchased, only to be severely disappointed when I realized I had to do the whole process of focusing on the viewfinder plate, changing the lens position, etc every-time I'd shoot something. It makes the use of Scopes impossible. But I think it'd be impossible to use scopes even on the H16, given the offset of the lens from the tripod socket and the height where the scope would be in relation to the shape of the camera; the weight would be too high up to hold the camera vertically effectively. And how many times did someone focus, then forget to put the focused lens in front of the film gate position? It's really a bad idea all along (no chauvinism intended! Plenty of bad French cameras exist...). I am also very confused with the naming conventions of the Bolex Cameras, I cannot find a reliable source giving the names of each model - the one I have doesn't have a model name on it, but online photos of my (non-reflex) model show up with "H16" in the name, and the one you have which is different is also called H16? I however disagree that the Bolex cameras c-mount disc accepts more lenses than the Webo. The annoying metal lever that is supposed to help the user rotate the mounting disc gets in the way with some wider lenses, and the middle axis is a huge bump that some lenses touch when mounted - the front plate of the Webo is almost completely flat. "Mechanically, the H-16 is superior to the WEBO M. No chauvinism intended", I would love to hear more about your findings in this field (the mechanical comparison, not the chauvinism! haha), while I have both a Bolex and a Webo at hand to compare. But I sometimes wonder if the designers at Bolex intentionally made their 16mm cameras easily breakable (difficult to hold, the adjustable optical viewfinder on the film door is wobbly, the non-reflex viewfinder at the top by the handle is wobbly...), to make sure there would be profits from servicing them. The Filmo 70-DL makes me feel like the Kodak K-100, in the way that it offers its user to place little "fake" lenses on the viewfinder to "simulate" the lens crop. But these little viewfinders can be hard to find, screwed on in their wrong position, slow to install, etc, where a reflex viewfinder would cut through these steps. It also seems a bit heavy, and therefore hard to handle? My Bolex weights 2.6 kilos, without lenses or film inside, whereas the empty Webo is 2.3 Kgs. And I can't imagine how heavy a G.I.C. ETM P16 must be, if you say it can withstand a meteorite hit! The Arriflex as well... "If you can live with a NON-REFLEX critical focusing system" - I could, and was going to when I purchased the K-100 (2.6 kilograms btw), but I really want to use scopes! There really has to be a very good reason for a camera to not have a reflex viewfinder for me to consider it. In range of film cameras I use, I use a lot of bellows cameras for medium format, for example, because they are very portable and convenient, although not reflex (I use the laser rangefinder mentioned earlier or a Blik hotshoe rangefinder). How do you quickly focus with the Filmo? And the Kinamo 35mm I have for hand-cranked 35mm filming - well, it films 35mm 4-perf and weights an outstanding 1.4 kilos!
  15. Hey Simon, Thanks for the input. The thing is, for me the Webo 16mm is simply the best 16mm camera out there, so I am bound to buy that one model that I am the most comfortable with again and again (hopefully I don't lose the new one, there's no reason to!). Let me explain myself: -Spring-powered is a plus for me, not a limitation. I cannot be bothered having to charge batteries if I shoot all day or looking for adapters if I travel the world, -Reflex viewfinder is a must for me. I use weird lenses (see my answer to Dom above with the benchmark link), and I need to be able to not only change focus while filming but also use scopes like the Schneider Cinelux 2x, -Interchangeable lens system, because one single lens rarely does it for all kinds of situations, -It has many features that I love, like slow motion at 80fps and fast motion at 8fps, and several choices in between, and possibility to change frame rate while filming, -You can do in-camera cross-fades, which I find much more pleasing than digital cross-fades (explained here), -And, last but not least - it is incredibly compact and easy to handle. Now, for some people who are tripod-bound, that is not a big problem, but that is an indeniable strength of the Webo over, say, the Bolex 16mm, which has a high center of gravity and is very difficult to hold firmly, see this chart of grip positions of the Webo I made here. Other cameras I have owned and used are the Krasnagorsk, Bell & Howell "Gun" Camera 16mm Type N-9, Kodak K-100, Bolex 16... None of them really compares! But if you have suggestions of models that I should try out, or if you want to share the 16mm cameras you enjoy using the most, please, tell me!
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