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Brant Collins

Canon Scoopic MS 16mm

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Hi, being the owner of a scoopic 16ms for 12 years heres my boring input.. Scoopic is like using an oversize super 8 camera, easy to use, quick to load. Big advantage i found is you have aperature readout in the viewfinder, so if mid take you loose the sun, you can adjust the iris to suit. Lens gives great results between f5.6-f8, i mainly used k25. Lens went soft wide open (T2.5) and not the greatest at T4 either. Best results were on sunny days. Comparing footage on an old TTH 25mm kinetal lens fitted to the ST and the scoopic, the kinetal delivered much better results on low contrast days compared to the canon 12.5-75 lens. After seeing footage from a bolex at the local cine club, i became aware the scoopic was not giving me the best images from the 16mm format. Decided to try the R16 route then arri 16st plus arri m, once using the other cameras, the scoopic only found usuage a dozen times in 9 years. Scoopic is a great run and gun camera, optics were not the sharpest in the world when used near or wide open, fantastic colour saturation on sunny days though.

Andy

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Lens gives great results between f5.6-f8, i mainly used k25. Lens went soft wide open (T2.5) and not the greatest at T4 either. Best results were on sunny days. Comparing footage on an old TTH 25mm kinetal lens fitted to the ST and the scoopic, the kinetal delivered much better results on low contrast days compared to the canon 12.5-75 lens. After seeing footage from a bolex at the local cine club, i became aware the scoopic was not giving me the best images from the 16mm format. Decided to try the R16 route then arri 16st plus arri m, once using the other cameras, the scoopic only found usuage a dozen times in 9 years. Scoopic is a great run and gun camera, optics were not the sharpest in the world when used near or wide open, fantastic colour saturation on sunny days though.

Andy

 

I disagree here completely. Scoopic M/MS lens are great, sharp at all stops and focals with minimal distorsion!! Much better than all old Angenieuxs that you'll find. Years ago i converted it to super 16. I used it with my XTR S16 with zeiss HS and Cooke zoom. I can use both shots because differences are minimal. Are your lens properly collimated? (I have repared some Scoopics which were bad opened and then descolimated...).

All the best.

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Really? All I've ever heard is that you can't convert a Scoopic... did you do it yourself or have a shop do it?

 

Absolutely really. May be I was the first. I did it myself, but it wasn't an easy work.

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Are these cameras good? Any input would be great

 

 

I used to have an Scoopic, its easy to use, requires low maintenance, has a wonderful still frame feature, but the image quality that it put out was so so. I swaped mine for an Arri M with a set of Cookes and 200 foot mags. Using the Arr M, I especialy like the convenience of goign down to the short ends shop rather than dealing with daylight loads.

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Hi, beaulieu R16 is a good camera, try and look out for one with a flash socket near the speed dial, this indicates its one of the last R16s manufactured, I think this particular R16 had some improvements with the motor or transport mech. Have messed with 4 R16 over the years, one was garbage, the other three were OK, the best being the late one ( flash socket ) i sold two years ago. Found the R16 with 12-120 to be ok, images were sharp and steady, 12-120 went very soft wide open, batteries a problem, but easily recelled. If you opt for an R16, put cash aside for a service, also get any lens propery adjusted to the camera body. Never had a problem with reliabilty, camera is small and compact, especially with an external power pack and a single prime lens on the turret.

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I've had a Scoopic M for about 3 years (same lens as the MS), and I've have to agree with the above post about it being soft wide open.

 

Seems to look pretty sharp at 5.6+

I like using it as a B camera,.

 

MP

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The 3 Scoopics M that I tested, repaired and modificated had the same fault (due the age): lost of pressure in the pressure-plate, what means lost of back focus... specially critical in wide angle and wide open... Every lens (specially zooms) will be sharper at 5.6 than 2.5... It's obvious. I tested these Canon zooms, with the correct pressure-plates (40/50 gr/cm) with film and 20x magnifying glass and they were surprising sharp, even at T2.5 (f1.8)!! It was impossible to get this results in all the old Angenieuxs (12-120/10-150/9.5-57) that I tested (which needed at least T4 for reasonable sharp).

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That's interesting.

My pressure plate "seems" OK, but of course, i have no idea what it was like new.

What exactly did you do to rectify this problem?

 

MP

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I tested these Canon zooms, with the correct pressure-plates (40/50 gr/cm) with film and 20x magnifying glass and they were surprising sharp, even at T2.5 (f1.8)!!

I've had multiple colorists over the years ask me what camera/lens combination I was using because the Scoopic footage looked so amazingly sharp...especially for regular 16mm.

 

I've had three MS's and one MN Scoopic and never had a pressure plate issue.

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Don't get a regular Scoopic, M or MS is the way to go. The old Scoopic has a different lens and uses different batteries. The MS has a behind-the-lens filter slot and the ability to use 400' mags with an adapter, otherwise it is the same as the M.

 

The M/MS lens is sharp when stopped down to 5.6, a little soft wide open with some chromatic aberration but not too bad. There is significant distortion on the wide end but the macro feature is great.

 

The biggest issue I've found with the camera is the registration is not great, especially at higher frame rates. The camera is also prone to gate hairs which are impossible to clean between takes. Otherwise a nice camera and very easy to use.

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The M/MS lens has a similar look to the much more expensive Canon 7-63mm and 11-165mm zooms, probably because they have similar coatings from the 80's. The older Angenieux zooms have lower contrast coatings and are more pastel looking to my eye.

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Great answer - thank you! I will get MS version to try out after longer break. There is no better alternative for $300 camera I think? Eclair ACL? Beaulieu R16?

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Everything is about how you shoot. The Scoopic is really good for events like weddings or concerts where you are walking around and need to get quick shots without any setup. Loading is the fastest of any 16mm camera I've encountered. The autoexposure is actually very useful; I use it to set once then turn it off on each scene. I've had a M, MN and MS and I can tell you the MS is the way to go.

 

An Eclair ACL gives you more flexibility with lenses and longer shooting time but it is a little more involved to use compared to the Scoopic. Scoopics can go to Ultra16 easily but not Super 16. You can probably find an ACL already converted to Super 16.

 

The Beaulieu R16 is ok but I'd take the Scoopic because it's just a more modern camera and I've never had a problem with one while I've heard of many issues with the R16 due to age.

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Ultra16 mod DIY or by...? Have you worked with Aatons?

Bernie at Super16inc.com did my Ultra16 conversion. As far as doing it yourself, it's just a matter of widening the gate but cutting/filling that steel isn't exactly easy and you can mess it up and wind up with scratched film very easily.

 

You'll just have to make sure that your transfer house can handle Ultra 16...I know Spirits can have problems seeing between sprocket holes.

 

I wouldn't get hung up on Ultra or Super 16 conversion; regular 16 is fine and a major step up from Super 8. Night and day difference if you're coming from Super 8. Scan it at 2k and you have extra headroom for reframing in post.

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Have you worked with Aatons?

I haven't worked with Aatons although I know they make a great camera. My only hesitation is that in the U.S. Arri's are MUCH more prevalent and easier to find parts to fix.

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For me it's important:

 

easy film load, less than cartridge capacity

bright large viewfinder easy focus

shoulder comfort (but I can use arm rig)

 

All my S8 trials were fine but picture clarity was more or less VHS :)

Projected better than DIY telecine through Sony A7.

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Look on eBay for battery casings. The batteries inside are just 10x rechargeable 1.2v AA batteries wired together. You can recell them yourself without too much difficulty. There are some online guides for building your own if you Google it.

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