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Dom Jaeger

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Dom Jaeger last won the day on September 17

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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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    http://cinetinker.blogspot.com.au
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  1. Yes good advice Robin. (I wouldn’t call you a Sony fanboy, more a crusader against unjust Sony discrimination and nemesis of sound recordists wherever they lurk.) I was just responding to some of Tyler’s pronouncements on the film industry. I didn’t know about the upgraded Sony mount, all our Venice’s have been converted to Panavision’s SP70 mount. Different markets, different needs.
  2. Arris are even more reliable and are the most rented cameras for “film industry” shoots like features or long form dramas. We have 8 year old Alexa’s that are still working fine, and 4 year old Minis that go out all the time without a hitch, so it’s nothing to do with things starting to fail. The reason they become less valuable is because newer cameras hit the market and people always want the latest toy. Venice and Mini LF are the hot items now, but I’d estimate most of our rental shoots still use ALEXA Minis, so a 4 year old ALEXA Mini is far from worthless. Alexa classics and Amiras don’t get much use anymore though, but the image is no different to a Mini. It’s about form factor and fashion. Once Arri release a new sensor (and providing the market approves of it) things will change. Because Arri have always aimed for the high end market, and nobody in that part of the industry wants to use crappy stills mounts like EF or Sony. You can actually remove the lens mount block on Alexas and replace it with other mounts - we do it with PV mounts all the time - but no-one asks for Sony or EF or those sorts of mounts. Anyway, Arri have now gone that way with their shorter flange depth LPL mount which can adapt to lots of other mounts. Panavision did it a few years back with their SP70 mount. But again, no-one asks for stills mounts in our neck of the industry.
  3. I believe the reflex "dog leg" version of Angenieux's 12-120 is marked as T2.8 rather than the T2.5 of a standard version. The iris scale ring on those zooms is usually marked in white f/stops on one side and red T stops on the other. A normal 12-120 is f/2.2 and T2.5, so the lens itself loses a third of a stop in transmission. The reflex version loses another third of a stop to the finder, to become T2.8
  4. Most PL anamorphic lenses are heavy and would need to be supported if you're just using an adapter to C mount, so on top of a lack of wide angle choices you would need to sort out rods and a lens support for your Bolex. The lightest PL anamorphic option is probably Kowa anamorphics which you can sometimes find at rental houses. Vantage make PL anamorphics for S16 which go quite wide, but they are expensive to rent, and will definitely need support. Ideally you would use a follow focus attached to rods to focus, but I don't know of any that attach to the little Bolex rod accessory, so you would probably need to try and adapt a standard base plate with rods to the Bolex. As mentioned, using a C mount lens with an anamorphic adapter may be a better and cheaper option, though that brings its own difficulties with support and focusing. There was a Bolex anamorphot accessory made in the 50s that attached via the other lens mounts on a turret Bolex, but it's a rare beast: http://www.bolexcollector.com/accessories/filter50.html
  5. I visited Panavision London recently and was so excited to see all the film jobs happening there. They have their own little lab and a projection theatre, and I think they said about 1 in 10 productions was on film, maybe more. Got to play with a 65mm Panaflex, meet the camera and lens techs and see a roomful of film camera bodies waiting to be serviced. Made me very nostalgic for the days when I routinely worked on them. Back in Australia we only crack open a film camera case a few times a year. Of course PV London is the main rental hub for all of Europe and South Africa as well as the UK, so they get a lot of big US shows passing through.
  6. A fixed focus lens is designed for ease of use, to be able to just point and shoot. The idea is that the depth of field is deep enough to cover almost everything in front of you. This is usually achieved by either a very short focal length or a slow aperture (or like on old instamatics simply a cheap lens that doesn't resolve too well). The lens will have its back-focus set for best resolution at around the hyperfocal distance, to maximise the depth of field. It depends on where you draw a line between what's acceptably in focus and what's not (which is a factor of viewing magnification and the system resolution capacity), but using a standard 16mm Circle of Confusion figure the depth of field of a 10mm lens at f/1.8 focused to 12 ft is going to be roughly 6 ft to infinity. If you were viewing your footage on a youtube video on your phone after a cheap scan you would get much more depth of field because it would all look soft! If the lens back-focus or camera flange depth is not set very accurately, the point of sharpest focus (and depth of field buffer either side) will shift, either towards infinity or close focus. So if you shoot a test and find the lens only focuses on close objects, then the lens is sitting too far away from the film plane. (If you deliberately wanted a fixed focus C mount lens to focus closer, you could therefore unscrew it a little.)
  7. That sounds a lot, but well-made solid state components can last a long while and Alexas are good at avoiding over-heating. The sensor is of course only one part of the hardware chain that creates an image, so there are other components involved. In our local inventory sample of about 10 Alexa Classics or XTs the average would be about 5000 hrs. The hardest worked one has logged nearly 8000 hrs. Over time a sensor can accumulate dead pixels or simply age so that the image between cameras can vary. On multiple camera shoots sometimes one camera might get rejected because it looks a bit different from the others, due to hardware aging, but on its own the camera is fine. I'm not sure how it would look after 50,000 hrs though.. Doing things like shooting straight into the sun can damage a sensor, or poor cleaning can scratch the cover glass etc, so it can depend on how the camera has been used and maintained, but I think 4000 hrs is certainly not excessive.
  8. I don’t think that would cause a frame rate fluctuation, no.
  9. High frame rates draw a lot of current, could be the battery voltage dipped a bit and the frame rate fluctuated slightly. At 130 fps you need more than 24V, so you were at the boundary.
  10. $50! Jeez I hope it helps you. I know people are trying to make a living but that seems exorbitant for an old manual. I often find exploded parts diagrams not much help, easier to just start carefully taking the thing apart. But if there are some maintenance guides as well it might be worth it. Thanks for the offer to share it.
  11. Most rental houses changed the original Moviecam wiring because 4 pin XLR was the standard for 12V applications, using the same pin 1 and pin 4 wiring. So there was the very real possibility of accidently plugging 24V into a 12V appliance. Some rental houses simply removed the pin 4 double-up of the +24V line, and left the camera wired to only pins 1 and 2. Others, like Oppenheimer, re-wired the +24V to pins 2 and 3. The double-up I suspect was to protect the camera pins and wiring from the start-up current surge. Normally the 24V battery connector was a 3 pin XLR, because again 4 pin XLR was a 12V standard.
  12. There are a few old threads on this: https://cinematography.com/index.php?/topic/65058-dc-connector-retrofit-for-moviecam-sl/ https://cinematography.com/index.php?/topic/71389-batteries-for-moviecam-compact/ If the camera didn’t come with a dedicated power cable and you’re unsure of the wiring, the best thing would be to open the side cover and inspect the back of the power socket. Normally the wires are colour coded so black or blue will be ground. See the first thread for tips on opening the side cover.
  13. Well there’s this: More realistically, a 50mm f/2 Apochromat in Arri Standard mount sold in an auction in July after 33 bids for $2550. Bear in mind the f/1.3 version is far rarer and more collectable. It might be worth sending to TLS or similar to see if they can clean it up if it’s in poor condition.
  14. I think he was referring to the remote camera for the viewfinder, not the K3. 🙂
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