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David Bendiksen

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  1. Hi Arthur -- just wanted to write that this is still on my mind and project list. I spent an hour today with a kind optician on our campus (finally, some benefit to the humanities from teaching at a full-blown research institution!) pulling out an Octameter's lens elements and figuring out their diopter power on a Bausch & Lomb lensometer. It was a fruitful investigation but teaching has me extremely busy so I may have to shelve this 'til the Spring semester.
  2. Derick, did you find one yet? I much prefer the Italian-style perforating splicers but understand your situation. I see a very affordable, poorly listed Hollywood splicer on fleaBay right now (not my listing -- it was hard to find through a search but that seems to have kept the price down) and will send you a link in a message. Good luck!
  3. Hi Arthur -- I've seen your work and posts before in the Film Camera Repair Directory too, wonderful stuff! Can you share the details on how you worked this magic? I'm assuming you added a diopter into the finder? I'd bookmarked at least one other person trying something like this from Jan-Eric Nyström's now-defunct page on hand-modifying Bolexes to Super 16. He hot glues a small lens in place inside: https://web.archive.org/web/20120123185702/http://www.sci.fi/~animato/s16/s16.html I have to CLA a bunch of ancient Bolexes over this summer before our students use them in the Fall, and a lot of the ones we have are equipped with rather ancient finders (especially the non-reflex ones...) that could really benefit from some more magnification. The other idea I've been playing with is just to attach a cheap viewfinder magnifier -- less than $5 apiece straight from China, and with an eyecup attached to boot! Though the one at the link below may be way too much magnification (2.8x): https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-8X-3-V1-LCD-Viewfinder-Eyecup-Magnifier-Extender-Hood-for-Canon-5D-II-7D/293071188759
  4. Robert, very kind of you to chime in from over at Cinelab! I'm sure you know Abraham's workshop from Hampshire quite well -- I try to keep in touch with him pretty closely, and you guys have been the backbone of black & white 16mm across the Five Colleges for years. I didn't even realize until recently that someone's running a 16mm course over at Amherst College as well (a visiting assistant professor, I believe). Once I get all our ducks in a row in terms of cameras and editing equipment (I have a lot of CLAing to do...) I would really look forward to giving you a call to chat about our future processing needs. Yes, our Filmline processor has sat for awhile by now and certainly has some frozen bearings as you mention, but I do wish I could see it and our lab space utilized. It's just sitting there, cemented into the floor in the old power plant building which isn't really a good space for classrooms or anything else. Perhaps we can convince UMass administration into giving you the use of it for Cinelab's Minilab 2.0 😉
  5. Thanks for the encouragement, Bruce -- Cine Lab is indeed who we'd be sending out to. Never had a problem or delay with them except a couple years back (maybe 2014) when they were overhauling a bunch of equipment. And yes, shooting silent is pretty much the only way we can run it (I'm not quite crazy enough to hand out Nagras in 2019...). You've also guessed correctly that having students get their camera original processed reversal is the most cost-effective way to do things if far from optimal -- I know that's how Hampshire College has been doing it for years since Cinelab will do this at their student rate of .22c/ft. Combined with Kodak's current 30% student discount for 100ft of fresh Tri-X, that adds up to $50+ per roll, which by the end of the semester probably costs each student around what textbooks for any other 400-level course would cost anyway.
  6. Tyler, thanks so much for your detailed reply. Fabulous website -- I completely agree with what you write there that "It starts with a lot of passion." I'm impressed both by your commitment to teaching students first-hand just how superb film can still be and by your resolve in making that process a viable business model in the present day and age. Not too negative at all -- most of your reply is just being realistic! At least from my experience across the Five Colleges, I would say that running 16mm courses in black-and-white and offering hand processing as a creative tool in addition to lab sendout hasn't hampered student interest at all. Sure, if we had the money and resources, we'd show them just what "4k scans and a crisp/clean image" can look like too, but we've got to work with what we have, and enrollment is through the roof even with just the rudimentary options. They've been running 16mm production courses at Hampshire and Amherst College this way for years and student interest also continues to be strong. I know nearly nowhere runs "all film" programs anymore, but I'm still interested in what colleges/universities are still offering 16mm production of some sort. From applying to jobs in the past year I'm fairly certain that Ithaca College, Keene State, Grinnell, and Denison are active. Can anyone else chime in with more?
  7. Also, Friedemann, you might get some ideas from this YouTube video -- I've seen photos of the insides of these sorts of processors, but this is the only extensive "video tour" of a portable "Entwicklungsgerät" innards (yes the video's in German) that I've found. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WA-KaKEDKf4
  8. Following this thread now -- Michael, by coincidence I just today found your listing for that Micro Record on you-know-where-Bay before I saw your post here! It's quite the odd little machine but I'm not sure what amounts to a motorized Bakelite box is comparable in selling price to some of the industrial build quality continuous processors out there like the L & F listed above. I'm trying to acquire something similar to one of those to use for student processing at our university right now. Speaking of which, check out this original brochure I found for the L & F Cine Processor on Archive.org! The file was uploaded from an amazing repository of odd photographic industry materials kept in "junk mail" boxes for decades by entrepreneur Ted Nelson, the guy who coined the term "hypertext." It's also the only place on the entire Internet I've ever found decent reference information on the 35mm "Automax" cameras made by Neyhart Enterprises / the Traid Corp. for the Air Force, NASA, etc. https://archive.org/details/TNM_L_F_Portable_16mm_Cine_Processor_-_Superior_20170906_0196
  9. Hi everyone -- long time reader, first time posting. I'm extremely grateful for the vibrant and helpful community here on the forum and am looking forward to contributing what I can. I've taught Film Studies and production courses for the past 9 years at the University of Massachusetts Amherst while finishing a PhD in Comparative Literature and am a very vocal advocate for reviving and maintaining 16mm filmmaking on our campus and across the Five Colleges in our area. Sometimes keeping the silver and celluloid alive at the collegiate level feels like a herculean labor since funding and support are nearly non-existent. Try to explain to a dean, provost, or chancellor why film is important in words of four letters or less. I have two questions to raise for the forum here: 1. Can anyone chime in with current schools and programs that teach 16mm across the country? A recent list would be phenomenal. I ask because I want to gauge interest in and make contact with schools and programs that send out their student film for reversal processing that might want to send it here to the University of Massachusetts for a very competitive rate instead. Since 1966 UMass has had its own dedicated 16mm black-and-white reversal lab complete with a massive old Filmline processor, contact printers, etc up and running on campus, which as a capital good among general university campuses is rather unique as far as I know. The lab's technician has worked here for decades and is a real Willy Wonka style genius when it comes to making Tri-X and Plus-X sparkle. But in the past few years the lab fell into disrepair after accidental water damage to its building and they canceled his contract on short notice, so as film sees a revival nationwide I'm trying to convince the moneybags in administration that this unique resource is worth restoring and keeping, not so much for the financial support it would garner our lab to receive and process film but more to demonstrate that this a prestigious endeavor worth maintaining. 2. If there are any generous souls out there, our Film Studies program is in dire need of acquiring some cameras, consumables, and dirt cheap film stock to help get our 16mm program off the ground. This coming Fall I've convinced UMass to let me offer one full-fledged section of 16mm filmmaking, which they haven't offered in at least 15 years. Boy am I enthused -- I've pulled a ton of great 16mm feature film prints from across the college libraries and am organizing public screenings to help make the course's "comeback" as exciting as possible (screened a gorgeous copy of Chris Marker's Sans Soleil last semester for my students and did proper reel changes on a pair of my own Kodak Pageants I lugged up to campus). But I'm also charged with taking care of the course's equipment logistics in advance, and as you might have guessed, after a gap this long in offering 16mm there's a lot we need to acquire before the Fall with next to zero budget to do so (welcome to the humanities...). Through an accident and a subsequent clerical error that felt like something straight out of Catch-22 or a Vonnegut novel, all of our university's Arriflexes and Bolexes were literally shredded for scrap metal by mistake when the Film Studies program moved buildings five years ago. It was a traumatic experience to say the least -- I've never forgiven the new building! I'm meeting with a dean next week to beg some one-time funding to remedy this situation... we'll see how that goes. Single-perf Bolex H16s (reflex or non) would be preferred, but I've taught with Arris and Eyemos as well, and I'm pretty handy at maintaining things (Dom Jaeger, if you're out there, your Cinetinker blog is inspirational!). For film stock, even egregiously expired is fine (anti-fog chemistry is my best friend), even old remjetless Ektachrome VNF or other odd intermediate/duplicating stocks that can be hand-processed as black and white are all fine -- we've got a great darkroom space available from Studio Art that we can use as needed. Cost is certainly one of the hardest parts of this course on the students, especially given the exorbitant price of fresh Kodak stock. Post here or send me a message if you can lend a hand! Back to grading these International Science Fiction Cinema course midterms for the evening...
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