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Duncan Brown

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About Duncan Brown

  • Birthday 06/09/1962

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  1. I usually take pictures of everything just so people can follow along but this one went so easily I didn't even bother to get out the camera and lights. I have a 400' French magazine where the size sensing lever was really sticky and basically had to be shoved to move it either direction. I had a hunch what was wrong and it turns out I was correct: behind the engraved metal plate covering the remaining-film dials is a clear plastic piece with an indicator line painted on it. With age and heat, the portion over the core dial had sagged slightly, until it was rubbing quite heavily on the center of the dial. (The spool dial has a center post that sticks up through a hole in the clear plastic, so it is supported better and not as likely to sag.) As happens often in my life, my lifetime hobby of collecting pinball machines informs me of how to fix everything. Sagging plastics are a fact of life with older pins, and there are several effective methods for flattening them out. But in this case, I didn't even need to do that! Just flip the clear plastic over, as it is completely symmetrical in that direction, and put it back together. The indicator line is now painted on the bottom of the plastic instead of the top, but it's just as (poorly) visible as before. The droopy portion now faces up, making it a tiny bit harder to screw the metal plate on top, but that's fine. No more rubbing, lever moves smoothly, easy fix! I will note that when I removed the 4 screws holding this together, one of the side ones was shorter than the other 3, so I made sure to put that back where it came from, but it's also possible someone just grabbed the wrong screw when assembling this; not sure. Does it bug anyone else that the footage dial only goes to 390 when fully retracted? They didn't even paint 400 on the dial! Duncan
  2. The smaller platters make complete sense in terms of the instructional stickers not being covered up. I wonder where all those bigger platters I have came from, and why? I could also believe the original lid seals were stiffer rubber, though I have yet to see one that isn't a petrified mess. I think whatever was there was 5mm wide, but I'm using 6mm to get exactly the sort of tight pushback against the lid that you are describing, with the foam I am using. If I can find stiffer material then I could try 5mm wide strips. Duncan
  3. Interesting - as I'm working through all these things adding stainless wires and foam, I notice a somewhat random mixture of platter sizes. There are big ones (400'-ish diameter) and smaller ones (200'-ish diameter.) Does it matter? Most mags have one of each, which makes me think one is supposed to go on one side and the other on the other side. If you put the big one on the feed side, you can no longer read the EI/EO feed arrows so it seems like that side should always have a small one. But what a weird reason to have a platter smaller than the film going on it: so you can see a sticker. It makes total sense to have a big one on the takeup side, if you want 400' of film to take up tightly there. But there's a sticker on that side that gets covered up with the big platter too. Most of these (old, heavily used) mags have wear marks at both diameters on both sides so that's no help. I can't find any clues in the NPR manuals either. Weird. Duncan
  4. As a general busybody, I'm dying to know who wins this struggle, as your lenses were made for each other, but only one of you can end up with the resulting lens! Maybe shared custody? Duncan
  5. Ah, good point! Keep light out, keep sound in. I haven't yet had to replace any of the three sound deadening pads inside each of the mag doors, though I did have to Pliobond a few back into place. Thankfully they seem to hold up OK. Dynamat would probably do the trick as a replacement but it's hellishly expensive. Duncan
  6. Then there is the front edge of the compartments. Most of my mags have foam which looks just the like stuff on the face: hard, tired, no longer performing any function. Some have foam that has been replaced with clearly non-factory foam. But some are clean as a whistle, clearly having never had foam there ever. Was this a running change Eclair made? Or is all the foam I'm seeing there the result of technicians adding it over the years? Anyone know? In any event, it seems like a worthwhile idea, and it's much easier than fitting foam into slots. I used 3mm thick foam and cut it into strips 6mm wide. Drop it into place up against the front mounting block at the mag opening (one on each side of the mag) and cut it to length and you're good to go. First picture is some nasty crumbling replacement foam that certainly didn't come from Eclair. Second picture is one of the mags that clearly never had any foam. Next is my new foam strip installed with an open mag for comparison to the other pictures. And lastly is a picture showing how it smartly fills the gap there and prevents any possibility of light sneaking in that way. Duncan
  7. Next up: foam. If you've owned old still cameras, you're familiar with light-sealing foam which crumbles or turns to greasy goo. NPR mags did not escape this fate, though it's easier to overlook (and then wonder where the light is sneaking in.) First, the face of the mags has a die-cut rectangle of foam in a groove, meant to keep light from sneaking in to the film/gate after mounting the mag. All of the mags I have, have at the very least flattened-out foam which is no longer guaranteed to fill any gaps between the mag and camera. Some of them have even worse: crumbling/missing chunks of foam. What follows are three pictures. One of a typical used mag with tired flat foam. The next is one where I've removed the foam to show the channel it fits in to. (This particular one had some weird replacement foam that was attached using some glue that turned very hard and stubborn over the years, thus the overall nasty look to things. Normally the channel looks a lot cleaner than that.) And last is a magazine where I replaced the foam, inexpertly but good enough. (I'll get better as I do more.) After cleaning the old foam out with an orangewood stick, I cut some 2.5mm thick foam into 4mm wide strips, then cut the strips down to length and carefully set them into the channels, using the orangewood sticks again to gently press them into place. They have adhesive backing, so you just get them lined up then carefully press them home. 2.5mm was my best guess as to the original thickness but if you just wanted to get all 3mm thick foam that would probably work just fine here too. I got an assortment of thicknesses on amazon.com but it's available lots of places. I got it in sheets that I then cut strips out of with an exceedingly sharp razor blade. I don't have a die-cutter to make rectangles so I did the long sides first then cut the strips to fit between those sides. Duncan
  8. Give us here first shot at it 🙂 Duncan
  9. He dropped the price to $2000. If I didn't already have two very nice NPR motors I'd probably buy this just for the cool motor alone! Duncan
  10. I think your near-unicorn ACLII S16 kit was definitely a fair price, but I would be even more brutal with discounting other kits for sale. Can you even get a S16 conversion done on an ACL any more? And as always, no matter how shiny and seemingly unused one of these ebay deals is, especially when coming from an absolutely clueless seller (as most of them are), you just never know what expensive/fatal surprises await you when you receive it. I much prefer to pay parts-camera prices and be pleasantly surprised when it mostly works, than to pay market prices and end up with a very expensive doorstop. (I'm too broke to pay fair prices for fantastic rigs like yours; I can only play in the pig-in-a-poke market...) Duncan
  11. Another probably-overpriced-but-certainly-appealing NPR kit on ebay in LA. Perfectone Compact (crystal sync) motor, Angenieux viewfinder, Bernie-brightened screen (just regular-16 though), 3 400-foot magazines with two covers, standard C- and Cameflex mounts, but with the Arri-B adapter with setscrews that lets it take Arri-S lenses. Says it works great, but no battery or cable in evidence, so there's that. $3600 or Make Offer. https://www.ebay.com/itm/325780641216?hash=item4bda0a15c0 Duncan
  12. If you could convince Kodak to make film on 400' daylight spools again, like they used to occasionally, that would be much more useful! Pretty clever mod. Duncan
  13. Not everyone has Facebook, but if you do here's a pretty decent NPR rig with the rarely-seen Alsa XL-24 motor, a nice Angenieux 12-120 zoom, I think the Angenieux finder, a couple of mags, etc, at a pretty decent price ($2400) in Colorado in the US. (Not mine, obviously! Just passing along the info.) https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/2542382232590833/ Duncan
  14. He dropped the price to $120 (with no Make Offer option any longer) so I snagged it. No, I have no current need for it. Though in my world you never know when a nice NPR with no viewfinder is going to drop into your lap (it has literally already happened once already), so Always Be Prepared! Duncan
  15. When looking for an Arri-S to c mount adapter, I figured out that while they rarely come up for sale on ebay, they do *eventually* always come up for sale on ebay. For Arri-B to c, though, I finally gave up and just bought a brand new Fotodiox one. It's pretty inexpensive, it works, what more can you ask? (Well in my case I could ask for it to be physically smaller, as it would not fit in the pocket of my NPR when the c mount side of the turret was swung into place! But other than that, it's a dandy piece of gear.) Anyway, just an alternative if nobody here comes up with a good used one for sale. Duncan
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