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Robert Hart

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    1st Assistant Camera
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    Perth Australia

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  1. It is okay to run the camera without film at normal speeds but not recommended to routinely dry run it to end of spring tension. As mentioned in another reply, the brown fluff will be emulsion being scythed off by a sharp edge in the film path. If there is no black fluff, it will be the path the emulsion passes over. If the upper loop is too large, the film may be springing forward over the upper edge of the gate path and emulsion coming off where that edge overlaps the case. The film may also be momentarily touching the edge of the upper loop former but I would expect to see short strands of fluff accumulating more broadly through the path. Culprits for the scratches may be a piece of chrome plating flaking off, past cleaning of edges in the film path through the gate itself with a metal object raising a slight spur, a tiny piece of film caught in a gap between the gate plate and the camera case. It may be sufficient to polish the film path with a piece of dry cloth. Do not add anything like car polish or jewellers rouge to the cloth. Perhaps if you could load film and post an image of the film path, this may assist readers. You may have encountered this youtube guide for the RX1 camera. The operator does not use the small inbuilt scissor cutter in the bottom of the camera to trim the angular lead into the film until he wants to insert it into the slot in the take-up reel. My personal preference is to trim the angular lead-in before autoloading the film through the path. I think it helps the film feed through without snagging straight edges, slightly buckling then springing free and going long on the upper loop. When loading, turn your camera speed to slow. This will make momentary snatches of the film's progress more apparent.
  2. If a person wanted to build and sell a caterpillar gate for continuous feed of warped film, what sort of price would folk be prepared to pay I wonder? (28 moving parts passively driven).
  3. For what it may be worth, here is a rather unscientific test of a contrast filter near the sensor panel of a SI2K camera.
  4. The Blackmagic Ursa Broadcast G2 camera apparently has an active sensor area of 2/3"at 4K, which is near to Super16mm. Your lens mount options for vintage Angenieux 16mm film camera zoom lenses may be limited. I don't know if this camera has the same cropped sensor option for shooting with full frame anamorphic lenses as is provided by the 4.6K Ursa Mini camera family.
  5. I doubt that using a 12-120 Angenieux zoom will yield the resolution you would expect of 4K, however you will get the field of view and perspectives. It is also not a Super16mm capable lens through its full zoom range and may vignette at the wide end and again around about 25mm. However it and the later 10-150 do have a long reach. The 10-150 may vignette during close focus at the wide end on standard 16mm. That said, this clip was shot with an Angenieux 10-150 on a SI2K (2048 x 1156) with the optional top and bottom crop which unloads the data rate a little. You will have a slightly better clarity and contrast with a healthy 12-120. If you crop your frame to the 4:3 image, then the vignette should mostly go away.
  6. When you loaded the mag, which side of the roller did the film end go? With both remjet backing and film emulsion shaving off, this suggests to me that the film may be feeding past the opposite side of the roller and dragging across the case. This happens in CP16 magazines if one is not careful when loading film in the dark.
  7. In regard the vulnerability of the nagra-style switch and the PCB, I had a similar concern. It should be east enough to protect with a C-channel surrounding the switch and attached horizontally with the lower panel screws. Whatever breaks that will break the case and by then all bets would be off anyway.
  8. Good progress to see happening there and keeping it simple. There will be purists who wish to preserve cameras in an unaltered state. There are probably enough left to satisfy them. For folk who want a CP for its original robust and reliable utility, the single speed option will suit fine. This one's beating heart awaits its new pacemaker.
  9. If your external power system would also operate from 14V V-Lock or AB camera batteries via a D-Tap cable, there may be some utility in using an industry-standard 4-Pin XLR socket for the external power-in. I understand that one reason for the original 20VDC was chosen so light aircraft 24VDC power could be accessible.
  10. The news cameraman's pushbutton switch would also have to be changed to the momentary pushbutton style. An internal inching switch would be handy for rolling the film slowly to check the loop before closing up after loading but is not really necessary. Most folk rotate the common sprocket with its manual inching knurled rim then roll the camera with the existing switches. My personal preference would be to preserve that internal switch position for the EXT IN / INT CR selection.
  11. Would there be any utility in re-assigning the existing internal film compartment 200ft/400ft selector switch as the EXT- INT CR selector and re-assigning the switch position in the new rear panel as the studio run switch? If the existing EXT -INT CR switch is hardwired to the circuit board then do not fret about changing it. Longer wiring runs to the switch within the film compartment might also introduce interference from the running drive motor. The original parallel wiring arrangement for the news cameraman's press on - press off run button on the front handle and the studio run switch on the rear was default with an option offered of serial switching with the rear studio switch as the master. Unless someone actually wants to install a video tap, the optional electronic footage display might be accommodated where the video tap hatch is on the front upper surface of the camera with the same risks of interference being generated by the running drive motor. It is looking good.
  12. Be careful with some of the cheaper adaptors. They do not have a clearance chamfer machined in the front of the inner diameter of the flange face of the adaptor. The sharp edge bears against a fillet radius on the lens tail. This prevents the adaptor from engaging face-to-face contract and causes inability to focus the lens to infinity.
  13. The essence of course is that the successful practitioners are adaptable, can shoot with film or digital and have built the knowledge to choose the right tool for a particular purpose or aesthetic. They may not even own an industry level camera. They may well have the best common sense of the lot of us. When the scientists have perfected the headset which taps into people's brains and the democracisation of filmdom is complete, there will still be masters of the realm. If we think we are overwhelmed with choice now, just imagine the amount of sheer dross which will be propagated in the future that we will have to filter through to find the rare gems after donning our AR headsets. Then again, if Einstein's prediction is correct and we bomb ourselves back into the stone age, our motion picture experience could become walking with a handheld burning stick, head turned, blinking our eyes to animate a sequence of drawings along the cave wall.
  14. A 4K scan of 16mm certainly looks fine as there are subtle elements of sharper image resolved across several frames that a 2K scan does not see. By "clarity audiences are becoming accustomed to", my opinion is that 4K display in cinemas is now the benchmark they are enjoying. The not so recent film exhibition experience took a dip when cinemas kept their film projection lamps operating up until their olive-green coloured death. They did not bother with trimming focus through the initial heating cycle of the optical path or checking the horizon of the anamorphic display lens. Now cinema audiences have had something given back. I was a bit of a pest during a Sony product evening way back when HDCAM was being promoted. A statement was made about digital video having better resolution than film and I contradicted this in the Q and A session, suggesting that originators using film might think something different. The compromises of a 2K post-production pipeline hobbling 35mm film resolution were conceded. In the next few weeks I will be alone, shooting some interviews with an aviator in situations that a sync film camera and recorder simply would not be friendly for. I have shot one-man-band with a film camera and an analogue sound recorder. It can be done but with inevitable compromises. With digital, the value-adding is in the flexibility and immediacy that film would require a crew and its impact to achieve. As for technical complexity, I prefer the film camera which except for the electronics I can keep serviceable myself. I can take a clockwork Bolex wrapped up in a sleeping bag into a remote area and forget about batteries. With the digital cinema camera, I always fret whether something is going to open up inside the electronic complexity somewhere and the camera may not wake up. Ultimately what happens to the end-product shakes down to what the marketplace will bear. For now at least, it is a horses for courses thing. Deep austerity measures we will experience over the coming 25 years while governments redeem their war and pandemic debts. All entertainment will fall victim to the decline in the "discretionary spend". Finally my comments are an expression of personal opinion as were those of another respondent to my comments. I thank my fortune in living in a country where people can still express an opinion.
  15. "But it is bad to shoot projects with film wondering if it will 'turn out' as we used to say." Perhaps I should clarify. Two retired cameras were serviced and some old expired stock was brought out as an experiential for younger folk and the actual doing of it, rather than a production as such. The purpose was to compare the two regimes, digital and film in a lighting exercise among a group of friends. The scene was lit to suit the sweet spots of the lenses of the film camera and the estimated ISO of the film stock which was between ten and twenty years old. The digital cinema camera was a Sony FS6. With competent practitioners working with film along its entire progression from aquisition through processing to viewing, there should be no doubt about the image "turning out". I concede that the risk chain of filmed image aquisition was greater. However when it was mainstream, if everyone along the chain was doing their job, here was little more risk than a digital image file becoming corrupted or a drive laying down before the mandatory safety copies are made. "Have a little pride in your still work even if it is not your main area." The late Aussie PM, Sir Robert Menzies once said, "Self-sufficiency is the first instinct of a proud man". As for still photography, those images were casual pickoffs with a phone camera whilst staying out of everyone's way. At age 74 and counting the mile-markers along the downslope, caring about future career progress is no longer a consideration. Yes. Digital is the way forward and certainly a lot of material wastage is eliminated. I possess, operate and enjoy a damaged Blackmagic Ursa 4.6K-EF, which I patched up from wrecks, so I am no stranger to digital imaging and embrace it. Modern digital post beats the hell out of sitting at a Steenbeck syncing film takes before one can even dream about cutting. Film which was once a familiar tool is no longer affordable for me. 16mm in its Super16mm form as a workaday tool falls short of the image clarity digital audiences are becoming accustomed to. The former cost-barrier of film which tended to filter out some of the dross from commercial product is now missing. So we will see more sub-par digital audiovisual fillbelly for streaming. Those who can easily afford the indulgence of film at a hobby level will throw together some inferior work. The need to eat and pay the rent tends to sharpen one's competences in any field of endeavour. However there is no harm in dwelling on the past whilst the tech is still available for folk to touch and feel. After all, people are still doing plate photography not because they should but because they want to and can. I was being a little self-deprecatory in a social media post about this before the event.
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