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Robert Hughes

S16 Conversion - CP-16R Butterfly Shutter Camera

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I've got this camera, see ... the "butterfly shutter" version of the CP16R. It needs refurb, and I'm considering getting it converted to Super16 in the process. I've heard that this CP-16R version was troubled with smearing issues, although I don't know if this unit suffers from the problem. Would smearing be compounded in a S16 modification? Is a camera this old even worth the conversion, or should I just get it refurbed and continue shooting R16?

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I've got this camera, see ... the "butterfly shutter" version of the CP16R. It needs refurb, and I'm considering getting it converted to Super16 in the process. I've heard that this CP-16R version was troubled with smearing issues, although I don't know if this unit suffers from the problem. Would smearing be compounded in a S16 modification? Is a camera this old even worth the conversion, or should I just get it refurbed and continue shooting R16?

 

I've had no smearing either before or after my S16 conversion by Paul Hillman, with butterfly shutter. Opinions will vary whether it's a worthwhile conversion. The only benefit will be your ability to create widescreen content.

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I've had no smearing either before or after my S16 conversion by Paul Hillman, with butterfly shutter. Opinions will vary whether it's a worthwhile conversion. The only benefit will be your ability to create widescreen content.

What would be the downside of an S16 conversion on this camera? Is it merely an issue of the camera's inherent worth for shooting film? Like putting a Porsche racer engine in an old VW? Or is there a more insidious flaw with the CP16R I'm not aware of?

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What would be the downside of an S16 conversion on this camera? Is it merely an issue of the camera's inherent worth for shooting film? Like putting a Porsche racer engine in an old VW? Or is there a more insidious flaw with the CP16R I'm not aware of?

 

Can't think of a significant downside other than considering the potential return on your investment for the upgrade. It will work and work great - IMO (like putting a race engine in a VW :)). A lot of people turn up their nose at the CP. It's not as sexy as an Aaton or prestigious as an Arri. You can't slap a magazine on and fire. But you know what? In the end, with good glass on the front, no one's gonna be able to tell the difference. I like my CP. I figure I've gotten more bang for my buck considering I didn't have to lay out more cash up front for one of the other makes. Other's will say, "Rent, don't buy." That wasn't practical for me and may not be for you. And when you weigh the cost of the camera (and even the upgrade) against ever changing video technology, it seems like a bargain. But I digress. People hotrod old (less "desireable")cars all the time. To each his own.

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Guest Ian Marks

No downside that I can see! Remember that no one looking at your finished product will be able to guess that it was shot on an "unsexy" American camera. Another benefit of the CP that one seldom hears mentioned is the ability to accept a 1,200 magazine (the Mitchell).

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No downside that I can see! Remember that no one looking at your finished product will be able to guess that it was shot on an "unsexy" American camera.

So it's all snob appeal, then? "No Arri, no tickee"? Who cares?

 

Another benefit of the CP that one seldom hears mentioned is the ability to accept a 1,200 magazine (the Mitchell).

- and that you can buy 400' Mitchell magazines for about $20 apiece nowadays.

 

Thanks for the info, gents. I'll get my CP16R rebuilt later this spring.

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Guest Ian Marks
You need a locking-pin spigot thingy for the Mitchell mags but.

 

That's correct. You can probably buy one new from Whitehouse Audiovisual, but it would probably be cheaper to salvage one from an old magazine that's been trashed. I seem to recall that the pin has a screw thread that is the opposite of what we consider normal.

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