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Will Montgomery

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Posts posted by Will Montgomery

  1. A plus for Visual Products is that they still have a tech on staff that can service these cameras; something of a dying art. They may have slightly inflated prices on used gear but they are reliable and stand by what they sell.

    Remember when purchasing that you'll have to regularly service the camera and need to develop a relationship with someone who can do it and get parts. In the U.S. it seems to be easier to get Arri SR parts than Aaton LTR parts which may be another consideration.

    Last time I checked, Arri NY would still service SR2's and 3's although maybe not officially...there was a tech there single handedly trying to keep those cameras alive.

    Another resource for techs is Panavision but they won't officially help you as they don't service cameras they don't own, but they have the knowledge and often parts and may take pity on you if you walk in with puppy dog eyes.

  2. It depends on what you want to do with them. If you're looking for the best quality (then maybe check out 16mm) there are cameras like the Beaulieu 4008 but if you're just looking to pick up a camera and shoot for fun, something like a Nizo 156 or Canon 310xl might be the ticket. Super 8 is best for me when you can hand off a camera to an 8 year old and have them shoot a vacation video. The Beaulieu will give amazing results and can still be serviced with factory parts & modern batteries by Björn Andersson in Sweden. Some of the cheaper cameras are have plastic gears that are failing left & right on the 40+ year old ones.


  3. On 6/15/2020 at 11:36 AM, Boris bruno said:

    How much are selling it for 

    Mine's a special Steve's Cine mod used by DoggyCam for many years on all sorts of movies. It has a crystal sync motor built in. Unfortunately I'm not selling it as it's my only 35mm camera at this time (other than some Eyemos).

    You will find 2c's as probably the most modified camera in the world so make sure you know what you are getting when you buy. They are small and a nice entry camera but keep in mind that they don't have registration pins so they aren't as steady as Arri 3's and later.

  4. On 6/2/2020 at 2:05 AM, Pavan Deep said:

    ...for accurate reflex viewing and focusing I have an 16-17mm ‘dog leg’ lens.

    Just be aware that the majority of those "dog leg" older lenses don't actually allow for critical focus; just framing. I went through the exact path you're describing and was incredibly frustrated that the lens didn't let me focus through the lens. Not sure why they even bothered with those except for framing.

  5. The K100 has the longest running time on one wind I've seen on any camera. It's built like a tank and extremely reliable.

    BUT, if you don't have a reflex lens for it, focus and framing are done manually as in measuring the distance or doing your "best guess" which is ok for home movies but when you're spending $150 for three minutes of footage, you may want something a little more likely to be actually in focus.

    It was like the Cadillac of home movie cameras in the 50's but something like a Scoopic where you can actually see through the lens to focus & have a motor + decent autoexposure may be better for you. I know there's a big price difference but you've already spent that difference after 3-4 rolls of film/processing/transfer.

  6. The K3 can make decent images, especially with a Pentax Super Takumar M43 lens, but the real issue for me was always the constant winding. (I only rarely noticed the registration issues.) If you just want to try 16mm out then go for it because the camera is so cheap, but keep in mind by the time you buy 1 roll of 100' 16mm film, process it and transfer it, that will cost more than the camera itself...so the camera cost shouldn't be the issue here and therefore I'd suggest spending $500-$600 for a Canon Scoopic MN or MS.

  7. 10 hours ago, Patrick Cooper said:

    Good point. It does give the format it's own kind of character, setting it apart from say 35mm.

    Interestingly, when I used to watch the Australian television series McLeods Daughters (which was shot on S16) I was always impressed how clean the footage looked. Even indoor shots in which they likely used fast film always looked super clean like the exterior shots. Whereas Law & Order (shot on 35mm) looked slightly grainy to me. Perhaps they used very fast film on the L & O TV show for a gritty look? I guess that Kodak Vision 800T neg film would have been in existence around then. 

    When 16mm was used in TV productions (mostly outside the U.S.) they really new how to shoot it and minimized the grain because that was what they wanted. The Walking Dead is of course still shot on S16 and they definitely keep the grain down but it still has that look. These days 16mm is great for letting that film freak flag fly. Definitely will separate your work from the pack.

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  8. On 3/14/2020 at 3:53 AM, Patrick Cooper said:

    Though obviously not a candidate for conversion to Super 16 as that lens would probably only cover regular 16mm (though I'm betting there's a fair chance that the long end of the zoom might cover S16.)

    It has been done...at least once...but it is completely impractical & time consuming. Mainly about shifting the lens over to center it. The last & only one I know of that Visual Products did was something around $4000. Ultra 16 is super easy on that camera although just shooting 50D and cropping regular 16 to 16:9 will work just fine. You get a little extra grain but that's kinda what you want with 16mm, right?

  9. I went through this about 12 years ago. Started with the K-3, then made it Super 16 and did every upgrade I could but honestly I was tired of missing shots because I was winding the thing.

    I made it all the way up to an Arri SR3 that I still love for paid shoots like music videos but my favorite run-n-gun inexpensive camera is the Cannon Scoopic MS. Only takes 100' loads and has a fixed zoom lens but that lens it truly amazing. I've had colorists comment all the time about how sharp the lens is and they couldn't believe it was on that camera.

    A Scoopic is the easiest camera every made for loading. It has built in autoexposure like Super 8 that actually is decent (I get exposure then lock it down usually). The batteries can be re-celled at a Batteries Plus+ usually. All these features lead to you actually using the camera more. I highly recommend it. 

    You can get into Bolex's, Arri S's or other Russian cameras (I've had all of those and they can be great), but they all have pretty much the same quality image depending on the lens you use.  Bottom line is that a Scoopic is the easiest to use with a great lens and therefore you will use it more. It's also probably the most recently made of all 16mm options under $1000.

  10. My 4008 ZMII was the black 4008ZMII that shoots 80 fps and came with amazing Angenieux 1,2/6-80. It was only produced in a very limited number in 1975 and is sometimes called the "10 year jubilee model" or "anniversary" model.

    If I shoot at 80 fps it sounds like a very angry swarm of bees next to your head. The quality is amazing though...like 16mm was in the 70's. When I also shoot my cheap Super 8 cameras because they are easier to shoot, the difference is instantly noticeable in the final product..

  11. I suggest picking up some new batteries from Björn Andersson in Sweden. He's making some great new ones that look great, last forever and charge with the original charger easily all for a very reasonable price. While you're at it, he's probably the best Beaulieu technician left on the planet and can get your camera looking and working better than new with original parts.

    I believe this will contact him:


    Or try Facebook at:


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  12. Those units are inexpensive enough for you to purchase and try them out. My experience with the Wolverine was that it was ok to see what was on the film and probably fine for family members to see but no where near the quality I was looking for. Part of what is so great about film is how amazing it can look when transferred properly.

    If you are looking for a step up check out http://moviestuff.tv. Significantly more money than what you've mentioned but leaps and bounds higher quality.

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