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Dom Jaeger

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Dom Jaeger last won the day on June 21

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About Dom Jaeger

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    Melbourne, Australia
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    Cinema camera and lens technician

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  1. I think your “constructive criticism” is simply being criticised in return, not stifled. And to be honest it doesn’t seem particularly constructive. Criticising something you haven’t even seen based on your apparent aversion to nudity and some vague parental warning site is hardly what I’d consider constructive, and the irony of you choosing to criticise a show where the few instances of nudity are actually pivotal dramatic plot points only reinforces the fact that you seem to have an agenda here. You have in fact been given a number of valid and thoughtful responses to your “criticisms”, but choose to continue arguing for some weird sort of return to the Hays code of the 1930s or something. The truth is if you find the very occasional nudity in Mrs Maisel somehow inappropriate or lewd (had you even watched it), then you should simply stick to watching kids shows or Christian movies. It’s so far from warranting this sort of criticism that it’s almost laughable. There are plenty of other shows or movies where you could validly critique the objectification of bodies, or the impulse to titillate, all the way into the realm of pornography, but in all cases those were the choices of the filmmakers. Thankfully in this time and part of the world filmmakers are relatively free to make what they want, just as you can choose not to watch that sort of fare. Attempting to lecture filmmakers into self-censorship to meet your own conservative tastes is never going to be well received, and let’s be clear - your ideas about “tasteful nudity” are entirely subjective.
  2. Hard to see the exact issue with such low res frames, but a double image is very unusual with a pin registered precision camera like an SR3. A shutter timing error is virtually impossible because the timing is mechanically linked within the movement ie no belt slippage or such is possible. I’d check that the issue is on the film itself and not a scanning problem. If it is on the film, was it just one mag for both the good and bad footage? Same lens? Any noise difference while shooting? Experienced loader? Actual footage available rather than low res frames?
  3. Unfortunately the C mount adapter doesn’t work with large barrelled lenses like your zoom. You may need to return the zoom and get one in Bolex bayonet mount. The adapter is really only for smaller primes.
  4. I wasn’t aware of the state of Bolex International, thanks for the update Simon. I hope the new owner gets his act together, for parts access at least. S16 conversions from them were very good in the past, I don’t know what they may have been doing in the last few years though. This is an interesting old post from Jaakko Kurhi (of JK Camera) talking about S16 conversions: So Bolex International conversions were pretty well regarded by the best techs in the US back in 2007 at least, but they certainly became a very small operation in later years, so maybe the quality of their work declined. I’d be curious to hear Jean-Louis Seguin’s opinion, since he has personally converted dozens of Bolexes over the years and is by far the most experienced Bolex tech on this site.
  5. A technician needs to check the flange depth with an autocollimator, a test lens and a mirror block in the gate. This measures the “optical flange focal distance“ which is what needs to be measured on late model reflex Bolexes, because there is a tolerance range of the thickness of the prism (9.30 to 9.52mm), which will affect where the film plane lies. Measuring the mechanical depth is therefore not a reliable indicator, and is difficult to achieve accurately anyway with a micrometer. Judging from the focus footage, the OP is also judging focus only through the viewfinder, rather than a film test. This is a seperate (though linked) setting to the flange focal distance, and also needs checking. Note that there are many tools and jigs needed to properly work on a Bolex, though a skilled and knowledgeable tech can get by without some of them. An autocollimator is pretty essential though. It’s unusual in my experience for the Bolex flange depth to be out by much, unless the turret itself is loose or deformed, so the whole camera really needs an experienced tech to go over it. It may have been fiddled with, or something is causing the lenses not to seat properly.
  6. Yes I’d check the film neg itself to see if that edge really is like that. Seems more likely to be the scan.
  7. One of the things we always did before renting out any film camera was a quick scratch test. You run some fresh film through for about 10 seconds, then snip it off, take the film out and inspect it for scratching. I used to mark the film with a sharpie before taking it out of the camera to indicate where the gate was, so that if a scratch showed up, I could tell where it began in the camera. A clean camera (especially the gate and pressure plate) is essential, but scratches can also be from film chips in the mag throat or burrs on film guides etc.
  8. Thanks Phil! I hope this is the start of a whole YouTube channel of handy Phil tips.
  9. Nice work Miguel! They are lovely lenses, but only as good as the person using them!
  10. Hi Uli, I'm really just speculating based on the price drop, so I have no idea what might be different, if anything. With Angenieux, they used slightly cheaper materials, slightly lower tolerances, and possibly more automation when they moved to cheaper digital zooms. Initially they also placed the rear optical group much closer to the sensor plane, which presumably made for a cheaper design, but it ruled out use on film cameras and Angenieux eventually went back to making lenses that were film friendly. With those "Rouge" or DP zooms you could feel a slight difference in build quality from the earlier Optimos, but optically they were pretty similar. The difference probably becomes more apparent after several years, when wear and tear begins to affect the lower quality build more. Many rental houses are still renting Optimos like the 24-290 or 15-40, which is a testament to their enduring quality. I'd love to get an original LWZ and a LWZ-2 together to test them. Let us know how your test goes if you find a LWZ to rent.
  11. Hi Sat, I've never tested or worked on an LWZ (1 or 2) to check, but the LWZ-2 specs say it covers ANSI S35, which is technically about 31.1mm, but a few extra mm of leeway is likely, so at least 31.3mm is a reasonable guess. Aluras are 31.5mm. I very much doubt the first version LWZ would have smaller coverage, since any lens made in the 2000s would be made to at least cover S35.
  12. I haven’t had a Zeiss LWZ come my way, so I’m just speculating here, but it’s an interesting history. The first Arri/Zeiss LWZ 15.5-45 zoom came out in the mid 2000s when film was still king and it was priced I believe at over $50,000. It only came in PL mount. The second gen LWZ-2 (no longer branded Arri since they had switched optical partners to Fujinon) was released in 2010 and had a rather short production span before being discontinued. (The Arri/Fujinon Alura 15.5-45 was announced in Sep 2011.) The LWZ-2 was the first zoom to have an interchangeable mount, including the option of EF, so it was clearly aimed at a lower-end market and priced accordingly at around half the price of the first. I don’t know how different the two versions are, since the specs are basically identical (and LWZ-2 owners seem happy) but even assuming the first was over-priced at a time when there were no low budget S35 zoom options, there must have been some lowering of standards or compromise to achieve such a price drop. At any rate it’s interesting that Zeiss discontinued it so quickly to make way for the Compact Zoom range. (I have read that the LWZ-2 didn’t match well with the Compact Primes and Zooms so maybe it was too good!) The latest LWZ-3 is under $10K. It reminds me a little of Angenieux’s trajectory from the classic Optimo range during the film days to their first “Optimo Rouge” digital zooms (clearly aimed at Red owners) which were half the price but with similar specs. In that case I know the quality dropped, and it has largely remained below the high point of the Optimo days, even with marketing designed to convince people of the superiority of optics “designed for 4K” (now 8K). Anyway, my point is that the first generation LWZ may well be superior to zooms made after the digital transition around 2009/10. In any case, I think the Aluras are still very good zooms, and either would be a good choice. The point Robin brings up about servicing Zeiss zooms is a good one though. I’ve run into this a few times, where a normally straight forward service (say a clean and relube of the focus mechanics) required sending the lens back to Oberkochen.
  13. Angenieux’s 17-68 was their first 16mm zoom, designed back in the late 50s. It was actually one of the very first mechanically compensated zoom designs, along with one they made for 8mm, so historically quite an important lens, but understandably primitive in terms of the evolution of zoom lenses. Som Berthiot’s Pan Cinor design (which includes their 17-85) was even earlier, and used a more basic form of optical compensation that was made more or less obsolete by Angenieux’s innovation. They both still work OK of course, but a contemporary prime lens is noticeably better. The first Angenieux 17-68s were silver (Type L3 were for reflex Bolexes, sometimes labelled Special P), in the late 60s they were mechanically redesigned with black housings (4x17 C were for reflex Bolexes) and are a better mechanical design (the internal elements slide rather than rotate) and coatings were improved. The Kern Paillard range of lenses were groundbreaking for their superior contrast, so you’ll find their zooms can look sharper than contemporary Berthiots and Angenieuxs. Vario-Switars are probably the best zoom options for reflex Bolexes, and generally produce excellent images. Apart from the bulk, the one downside I find is that the ones with auto-aperture use two blade irises, which create diamond shaped bokeh, but if ease of use is important to you then it’s a handy feature. The other factor to consider is aperture speed. If you like to shoot in low light, the compact zoom options like Kern’s Compact 17-85 or Berthiot’s version are quite slow. Angenieux’s 17-68 is a lot faster at f/2.2 (T2.5), but still a long way from a Switar prime. Your camera has a Bolex bayonet mount, which was designed specifically for heavy zooms, so if you can find a zoom in that mount it can help prevent the lens from developing back focus problems that might make your footage look soft or out of focus, especially at wide apertures and the wide end of the zoom range. A C mount is not that sturdy, particularly if you transport a camera with the zoom attached and it gets a bump. If a compact and lightweight form is really important to you, as well as image quality, I would suggest maybe trying primes. Otherwise probably a black Angenieux 17-68 or Kern’s Compact 17-85. Of course perhaps the most important factor is the state of a lens - scratched coatings, fungus, worn mechanics, out of tolerance settings, dry lubricants, oil on iris blades etc can have a tremendous impact in the quality of the image. So make sure to ask lots of questions from sellers and be patient in your search, or be prepared to pay for an overhaul. I have found Berthiot’s zooms to be more prone to fungus for some reason.
  14. Hi Heikki, since the ACL can take even C mount lenses I would have thought any lens with a deeper flange depth would work fine on it, as long as the adapter exists. My understanding is that the Zeiss 8mm is a 16mm format lens, while the 16 and 25 are 35mm format lenses. All of them should fit any 16mm Arriflex camera without hitting the mirror. It was Cooke Kinetals and some Schneiders that don’t work on Arri cameras after the 16St. The 8mm definitely doesn’t cover S16. If you are getting image shift when you change focus direction, it’s because the threads are a bit worn, a very common issue with short focal length Zeiss lenses from this era. The threads can be built up again with a compound like Emralon, but it can be an expensive exercise. The stiffness of the focus can be changed with different viscosity greases. If removing the “focus ears” frees up the focus, then someone must have put in screws that were too long, it’s not meant to be like that. You can definitely remove those ears to fit a focus gear ring.
  15. I don’t know how different the 1235 model is from the 1230, but here is the 1230 manual: http://www.mondofoto.com/manuals/bell+howell+1230-filmosonic-xl/target1.html The battery compartment has a battery sleeve which shows where the batteries go, I imagine B&H would have kept that system for other cameras in the Filmosonic series, but perhaps yours is missing. I’m not sure you would get any response if the batteries weren’t correctly inserted, but it’s worth checking. As others have said, these are fairly old consumer products. Sometimes they may function briefly before they fail, due to parts being brittle, grease dried up, belts desiccated, corrosion etc. Generally they are not worth repairing, as parts are not available and most super 8 cams were never really designed to be regularly maintained. Few technicians are willing to work on them. If you’re handy you can try to fault find the issue yourself, but it’s rarely easy to repair these things. It could be corrosion from old batteries, too much resistance from a stiff mechanism, electrical component failure, deformed switch springs, etc. This model is a sound camera, which means it has extra components and more complexity (and since there is no sound film anymore it’s not a feature you need). Some brands last better than others, search the Super 8 archives here for recommendations, and maybe try another camera. It’s unfortunately part and parcel of playing with old consumer grade tech.
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