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Becky Steele

Arriflex BL 16mm camera on craigslist?

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Hello,

 

I am a student and want to own my own camera that can do sync sound work...

 

I found this on Craigs

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/wst/ele/272888942.html

 

In the description it claims the only 16mm cameras that have the pin-registration and are good for sync sound in 16mm are the Arri BL, Arri SR and the Eclair NPR.

 

Is that true?

 

I am looking for a affordable camera that will allow me to shoot dialogue and still have a very steady picture that I could blow up to 35mm later on.

 

I heard Kevin Smith shot Clerks with an Arriflex BL.

 

Is that true?

 

Thank you everybody for you time and this great online resource.

 

Rebecca

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Rebecca,

 

From my understanding, Kevin Smith used a rented Super 16 converted Arriflex 16SR to shoot Clerks.

 

The Arriflex 16BL is a nice camera, but be aware that it is next to impossible to convert it to Super 16, and very few places will service the camera anymore. You are much better off saving your money for an Arriflex 16SR, which are coming down in price, and which you can someday have converted to Super 16 if you desire. You can also pick up Aaton LTR cameras for about the same price range as the 16SR and that camera is still easily serviced and can be converted to Super 16.

 

The 16BL was a great camera in its day, but its day has somewhat passed.

 

Just my opinion.

 

-Tim

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These are great cameras. Especially for a student. And $2250 is a great price.

 

This is a wonderful camera to shoot with, and the lens is sharp. The lens blimp really quiets the cam down.

 

I agree an SR may be a better buy if you're wanting a S16 cam, but this will do everything you need, at a 1/3 the price of the cheapest SR.

 

I would go for it. I own a BL as well. Great cameras!

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Rebecca,

 

From my understanding, Kevin Smith used a rented Super 16 converted Arriflex 16SR to shoot Clerks.

 

The Arriflex 16BL is a nice camera, but be aware that it is next to impossible to convert it to Super 16, and very few places will service the camera anymore. You are much better off saving your money for an Arriflex 16SR, which are coming down in price, and which you can someday have converted to Super 16 if you desire. You can also pick up Aaton LTR cameras for about the same price range as the 16SR and that camera is still easily serviced and can be converted to Super 16.

 

The 16BL was a great camera in its day, but its day has somewhat passed.

 

Just my opinion.

 

-Tim

 

That is a very elitist position!

 

In the time it could take her to save for a Arri SR she could have bought the BL, shot her film, paid for processing and transfer, and have a video edit to show around hoping for funds for a 35mm blow up.

 

The camera looks to be in good condition.

 

A regular 16mm Arri SR in similar condition would cost $7500.00 or upwards.

 

She could buy the BL and have over $5K to do her film.

 

For a student to wait to save up for an Arri SR makes no fricking sense whatsoever.

 

With a price like this, it makes sense to buy rather than rent. She could use it for her film and then sell it for just as much. Essentially getting a free camera rental. Plus owning lets you shoot whenever you can, wherever you want to... That is the ideal situation for students and guerrilla filmmakers.

 

If she shoots on Vision2 stock she will be fine, even cropping to 1.85.

 

Filmmaking is about ideas not technology.

 

Buy the BL before somebody else snags it.

 

SC

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Hello,

 

I am a student and want to own my own camera that can do sync sound work...

 

I found this on Craigs

http://losangeles.craigslist.org/wst/ele/272888942.html

 

In the description it claims the only 16mm cameras that have the pin-registration and are good for sync sound in 16mm are the Arri BL, Arri SR and the Eclair NPR.

 

Is that true?

 

I am looking for a affordable camera that will allow me to shoot dialogue and still have a very steady picture that I could blow up to 35mm later on.

 

I heard Kevin Smith shot Clerks with an Arriflex BL.

 

Is that true?

 

Thank you everybody for you time and this great online resource.

 

Hello Becky,

 

Just a little info on pin registration. There is pin registration and then there is pin registration. The Arri S, M, and Bl are all the same basic movement. The registration pin is a partial full perferation fit. That is to say it does not fill the whole perf opening and relies on a spring loaded pressure plate to achieve registration. The Eclair NPR has even less of a reg. pin. It is basically a wedge shaped landing platform that the top of the perf comes to rest on and it also relies on a spring loaded pressure plate to achieve registration. Where as full pin reg cameras have a fixed gap plate and reg pins that fit the full perf (at least on one side).

Any of the cameras listed, if adjusted right, ARE capable of very steady pictures. As with any camera you buy, do a registration test and have the lenses collimated with running film to check for breathing and proper back focus

Good luck on your project.

 

Chuck

 

Rebecca

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Buy the BL before somebody else snags it.

 

SC

 

Oh Scott, didn't realize you were the one selling it, no wonder you want her to snap it up. :D

 

That is a very elitist position!

 

A regular 16mm Arri SR in similar condition would cost $7500.00 or upwards.

 

Wrong on both counts Scott.

 

Look at my signiture. I service and rebuild Arriflex 16S cameras. Certainly not an elite motion picture camera, and it predates the 16BL.

 

And, I sold a fully serviced and loaded Arriflex 16SR1 with an Angenieux 12-120 zoom that had been overhauled by Paul Duclos, the whole package, pictured below, sold for $4679.99 to a member of this forum. So don't tell me any garbage about $7500 for an SR. The prices for motion picture cameras is falling through the floor. It is a buyers market.

 

Package.jpg

 

16SRCamer.jpg

 

I would like to see Rebecca get the most camera for her money.

 

-Tim

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In the description it claims the only 16mm cameras that have the pin-registration and are good for sync sound in 16mm are the Arri BL, Arri SR and the Eclair NPR.

 

Is that true?

 

No it´s not. Aaton LTR and XTR have very good registration as well. I sold my 16BL for $2500 with lots of extra equipment and bought a LTR instead. I´d say that the BL is a bad choice because of the need to blimp all lenses and still it will make more noise than a LTR. In this package there´s only one mag included as well so you need to buy atleast one extra so factor that cost in as well. The 16BL can be used for your own personal projects but a LTR or SR can make money for you. One thing that will bug you when you´re shooting 16 with a 16BL is that for the same developing and scanning cost you could have gotten s16. You are basicly throwing away negative everytime you shoot. A LTR (S16) in good condition can be had cheap and is the camera that I belive delivers most bang for the buck. I was planning to buy a SR2 before I found my LTR dirt cheap and in good condition from a guy in Sweden so I bought that instead. I paid $3300 for it with 2 mags and it was on a ebay auction. I´ve been following ebay for some years now and once in a while there´s a bargain to be found.

 

Beside the limited selection of lenses for the 16BL and the fact that it´s expensive to convert to s16 it´s a reliable camera, so if you settle for regular 16 and don´t mind shooting with the zoom that comes with the package you might be satisfied with it. But when I read that you´re planning to do 35mm blow ups I´d really think twice about the BL, you´ll want to have the largest negative and the sharpest lenses for that. I have no experience of eclair cameras so I cant comment anything on the NPR or the ACL but if you´re planning to buy a camera I really recommend you to get either a Arri SR (S16) or a Aaton LTR/XTR (S16), they are quiter, faster/easier to load, takes a wider selection of lenses as you don´t have to blimp them, will give you almost 50% more negative for a blow up and are much more comfortable (the Aaton is a dream) when it comes to shooting handheld.

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Oh Scott, didn't realize you were the one selling it, no wonder you want her to snap it up. :D

Wrong on both counts Scott.

 

Look at my signiture. I service and rebuild Arriflex 16S cameras. Certainly not an elite motion picture camera, and it predates the 16BL.

 

And, I sold a fully serviced and loaded Arriflex 16SR1 with an Angenieux 12-120 zoom that had been overhauled by Paul Duclos, the whole package, pictured below, sold for $4679.99 to a member of this forum. So don't tell me any garbage about $7500 for an SR. The prices for motion picture cameras is falling through the floor. It is a buyers market.

 

Package.jpg

 

16SRCamer.jpg

 

I would like to see Rebecca get the most camera for her money.

 

-Tim

 

The BL is not my camera...

 

Typical Arri SR prices are $7500.00 - If you sold one for $5K that was one hell of a deal.

 

But I stand by what I said. Encouraging a student filmmaker to lay down big bucks for an Arri SR is an elitist position.

 

SC

 

 

No it´s not. Aaton LTR and XTR have very good registration as well. I sold my 16BL for $2500 with lots of extra equipment and bought a LTR instead. I´d say that the BL is a bad choice because of the need to blimp all lenses and still it will make more noise than a LTR.

 

Both the LTR and XTR are not pin-registered cameras. And they are crazy expensive for anybody but a legit DP to own...

 

The BL's have blimped zoom lenses. That is more than enough for any student filmmaker wanting to own a silent camera.

 

With Arri S and M models selling for $2K all the time, it would be silly not to consider spending the same amount on a camera that will let you shoot dialogue.

 

I keep hearing about these Arris SR's for $5K, but it is a pretty much a myth.

 

Show me one for $5K and I'll buy it today!

 

SC

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hey hey,

 

I think the 16BL is a great camera for a student. I bought mine from TV station in Sydney and then using eBay and few other places I bought all the extras the camera can possibly have, except that giant 1000foot magazine (Dont need it) - I think some of it I bought from Sweden like Hans, from a guy called Per (id: isellarri) awesome deals;

 

I got a video tap put on it and thought of converting it to s16 (think that Aranda Group in Melbourne still do conversions) but decided against it as I don't use the camera as much. More precisely, I rent more often now, for every gig that has a decent budget gets a decent kit (SR3 or 35mm stuff). If however something needs to be done on no budget, my BL gets pulled out.

 

I re-call a guy in States (that I bought my Jensen 505 Sync Lock from) shot his feature on a BL, and then sold it on eBay - making money on it. Can't remember his web now but I do think he had a 'behind the scenes' on his DVD which showed how he bought all the gear on eBay and sold it afterwards...

 

Anyways, the point is, if you are a student, you want to make a film and are working on limited budget, then get this BL and shoot the film...

 

HOWEVER, if you want to own a camera to get work with it, then you ought to get the super16 camera, most likely the SR or LTR.

 

Thats my 2 cents. Each camera has its pros and cons that can be overcome. And yes, there are blimps for prime lenses on BL.

 

 

Off the topic = I do re-call Tim selling his SR camera as I saw the ad for it a day or two after he sold it - I remember pulling my hair out when I saw the deal I missed out on :)

 

Lastly, check out some info on Christopher Nolan... he shot Following on his BL!

 

PS. I am always in a market for sSR2 :)

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Both the LTR and XTR are not pin-registered cameras. And they are crazy expensive for anybody but a legit DP to own...

Never said it was pin registred and thats my point, they are rock steady without being pin registred because of the gate/pressure plate design.

Yes it was from Per I bought my LTR and as I wrote in my last post it was for $3300 so I wouldn´t call it "crazy expensive".

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LISTEN TO TIM, if you REALLY want a camera I suggest getting a more serviceable one, and one which you could potentially convert to super16 and has technitians (like Tim) who can do the job(I think?) if not much much more for you. I was talking to a friend of mine at Arri who told me the 16BL is one of the few cameras of this generation they DONT service, so think about that too.

 

Some good choices for sync-sound, although not pin-registered work great:

 

-CP-16R, look for deals on these, I found a really good one both quality and money wise.

-Éclair NPR: I love these, simply because they STARTED the graduation of 16mm to a more professional standard.

-éclair ACL: ehhhh, you need to do your reading on these, but if you find or make a good setup, it will last you a long time and is EXTREMELY ergonomic.

-Arriflex SR: Higher on the $ spectrum, but a camera which is still used professionally today.

-Kinor (theres a few models): We have a member here who serivices and knows A TON about these beasts, and good packages go for CHEAP.

 

ALL OF THESE are capable of a 16mm conversion, and are quiet enough relatively.

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I keep hearing about these Arris SR's for $5K, but it is a pretty much a myth.

 

Show me one for $5K and I'll buy it today!

 

SC

 

Sorry Scott, guess you were pretty much sleeping when I sold the camera pictured above on eBay this past September.

 

The Arriflex 16SR auction I mentioned above

 

Like I said, two years ago, maybe they were more expensive, but the bottom has fallen out of the market and to spend $2200 for an Arriflex BL, a camera that few places will even service anymore, I think is a waste of Rebecca's money. And that is not elitist.

 

And just for reference, before you start quoting prices on the Arriflex 16S or S/B cameras, here is a camera package I sold this past November. The camera had just been completely overhauled, along with the magazine and torque motor, and came with a crystal sharp Zeiss 10-100 T* coated lens, and it sold to another member of this forum for $1500. The camera serial number was in the 15,000 range which means ARRI USA in New York will still service this camera, unlike the Arriflex 16BL on Craigslist.

 

Arriflex 16S/B camera package

 

BigCamCR.jpg

 

And finally, here is an Arriflex 16S/B GS package on eBay right now, camera serial number in the 17,000 range (which means ARRI USA in New York will still service the camera), with two mags, matte box, etc., with a Buy-It-Now price of $800.

 

1ed5_1.JPG

 

Arriflex 16S/B GS package on eBay right now

 

Again, it is a buyers market right now, so don't be taken in by folks exaggerating about what a camera is worth.

 

-Tim

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Sorry Scott, guess you were pretty much sleeping when I sold the camera pictured above on eBay this past September.

 

Again, it is a buyers market right now, so don't be taken in by folks exaggerating about what a camera is worth.

 

-Tim

 

Nice pictures. I can see why you want Rebecca to get "the most for her money", as long as it goes in your pocket right?

 

She was asking about a quiet BL not a camera that sounds like a blender. Show her a BL for under $2K then, Mr. Arriflex.

 

There is a BL on eBay right now with a buy it now of $5,000.00

 

Buyer's market? Really?

 

SC

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Nice pictures. I can see why you want Rebecca to get "the most for her money", as long as it goes in your pocket right?

 

She was asking about a quiet BL not a camera that sounds like a blender. Show her a BL for under $2K then, Mr. Arriflex.

 

There is a BL on eBay right now with a buy it now of $5,000.00

 

Buyer's market? Really?

 

SC

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...em=330024306399

 

Arriflex BL on eBay for $5K

 

SC

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Hi Scott,

 

IMHO only a fool would pay $5000! A seller can asking any price, only if somebody buys it then it's fair value.

 

FWIW I know of 2 cameras still for sale, that I was interested in buying 6 years ago. I felt the prices were too high, I guess I was not the only one!

 

Stephen

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Scott, my simple friend. The two auctions I linked to were cameras that SOLD. It just happens that I was the one selling them. I have no more cameras for sale, so I could not sell a camera to Rebecca even if I wanted to, but I do know the used camera market.

 

You linked to a camera that has no chance of getting a single bid. It will not sell for $5000, unless someone like yourself who does not know the used camera market is foolish enough to bid $5000 for a camera that is not worth half that. That camera also happens to have the Tobin Crystal sync, a very expensive option that makes the camera much more valuable, and TWO magazines, and a barney for the magazines, something the Craigslist camera did not have.

 

But please, post back here when the camera you linked to sells for $5000 or more, and you can prove me wrong. :D

 

-Tim

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HI REBECCA

 

I AM owner a bl s 16 no 24 camera. I thing is avery good camera for a student. But there are some things that you must be carefull. Bl needs prime blimb for extra lenses.NPR LTR SR ACL CP DONT. It isn't so quiet as the others specialy a non servised good. My best advise is to rend a bl for a day and play a little with the camera if you don't know about it. Is very heavy and not for handheld . S16 or 16 mm the pictures are greate from this camera. Using good glass. BL can mount arri stb and bayo lenses that they are easy to find and specialy old primes sonnars planars distagons. And ofcourse needs a good tripod head for havy cameras.BTW is an old camera probably you will shoot your student projects and then you have to keep it like a museum piece. :rolleyes:

 

sorry for my english.

 

ps. i just sold an eclair npr s 16 as an old camera and i might sell bl in the future but i am keeping it like a memory from the film days i prefer working sr ltr or xtr.

 

THANASIS DIAMANTOPOULOS

CINEMATOGRAPHER

ATHENS GREECE

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I advise against the purchace of the linked BL for the price, for reasons already mentioned. Also the camera comes with no battery, which may mean it's been sitting around for ages.

If you're still bent on buying it, ask to see a service record, AND footage shot with the camera and lens. If both are produced and examined to your satisfaction, plus the camera checks out by a repair technician, you may wish to make a reasonable offer. If the seller balks at any of the above go home empty.

But I think the best thing for you to do is spend some time in the archives, and figure out for yourself which camera to buy that will suit your needs.

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I think Tim's orignal advice was fair and constructive. If you take the time to look at his relationship with Arriflex cameras, you'll see..he really is Mr. Arriflex.

 

Also, I once sent him my Arri S mag torque motor to be repaired. He did the job quickly and effectively, even doing a little more than I had expected.

 

Any advice or opinion Tim Carroll has on the Arriflex camera is worth listening to.

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I think Tim's orignal advice was fair and constructive. If you take the time to look at his relationship with Arriflex cameras, you'll see..he really is Mr. Arriflex.

 

Also, I once sent him my Arri S mag torque motor to be repaired. He did the job quickly and effectively, even doing a little more than I had expected.

 

Any advice or opinion Tim Carroll has on the Arriflex camera is worth listening to.

 

Hello again,

 

Well, I spoke with the seller and he seems like a great guy, he has IMDB credits and just doesn't use it much anymore as he has moved on to 35mm.

 

He has lowered the price.

 

He sent my some impressive links to his work done with this camera and I have to admit, I was pretty impressed.

 

It doesn't come with a battery, as I guess he sold that off. But he has offered to let me run a test roll through the camera under his supervision.

 

I am torn.

 

I really want a pin-registered camera. I understand some more expensive cameras do not even have pin-registration.

 

And I need a quiet enough camera I can shoot talking head scenes with.

 

I don't really care about shooting with prime lenses, I'm not a cinematographer, the zoom lens will be more than enough for me. All examples of his work were done with the 12-120mm zoom.

 

I think I may try to get this camera.

 

What should I offer him?

 

Thanks again everybody :)

 

Rebecca

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you're compensating pin registration for not having the opportunity for super16 conversion. To me I'd rather blow up from super16 to 35 than pin registered regular16 to 35, because then you have to deal with cropping and more grain.

 

You'd be amazed at the registration many other non pin cameras have. Search through the archives and do your reading, because theres plenty other much more practical cameras out there.

Edited by Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Hi all

 

People have short memories so I thought that I should confirm that we convert the wonderful BL16 to super 16 regularly.

 

The BLis a very robust camera. Drop an ACL and your crew can go home. Same with Aaton. Very light and fragile...

 

The BL's movement will just go on and on. Thank the Germans for over engineering with this camera. The zoom blimp, designed to keep the noise in is really a strong feature of this camera... The controls are big, smooth and natural.

 

You can buy a good one most days of the week on Ebay for around $2000. Add the conversion cost of $2,600 and you have a very valuable, pin registered camera that will give you top quality images, a lot cheaper than renting the latest SR

 

Regards

 

Bruce

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Hi all

 

People have short memories so I thought that I should confirm that we convert the wonderful BL16 to super 16 regularly.

 

The BLis a very robust camera. Drop an ACL and your crew can go home. Same with Aaton. Very light and fragile...

 

The BL's movement will just go on and on. Thank the Germans for over engineering with this camera. The zoom blimp, designed to keep the noise in is really a strong feature of this camera... The controls are big, smooth and natural.

 

You can buy a good one most days of the week on Ebay for around $2000. Add the conversion cost of $2,600 and you have a very valuable, pin registered camera that will give you top quality images, a lot cheaper than renting the latest SR

 

Regards

 

Bruce

 

People have short memories when it involves taking money from their greedy little hands.

 

A camera like the BL will probably be bad mouthed ad-nauseum from people that make their living buying, renting and selling Arri SR and other cameras.

 

Heaven forbid people actually pull for a filmmaker to make her/his film instead of fleece them along the way, all the while doing it through gritted teeth, becuase they are doing what the camera rental house/seller wish they coudl do...... MAKE FILMS.

 

Becky, at $1850 I'd buy the BL.

 

If you feel you are outgrowing it, send it to Bruce and he will convert it to Super 16mm.

 

You will then have a pin-registered Arriflex noiseless Super 16mm camera for UNDER $5K.

 

Let's see if Tim "Mr. Arriflex" Lookatmynicepictures could do that for you?

 

SC

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Hi all

 

People have short memories so I thought that I should confirm that we convert the wonderful BL16 to super 16 regularly.

 

The BLis a very robust camera. Drop an ACL and your crew can go home. Same with Aaton. Very light and fragile...

 

The BL's movement will just go on and on. Thank the Germans for over engineering with this camera. The zoom blimp, designed to keep the noise in is really a strong feature of this camera... The controls are big, smooth and natural.

 

You can buy a good one most days of the week on Ebay for around $2000. Add the conversion cost of $2,600 and you have a very valuable, pin registered camera that will give you top quality images, a lot cheaper than renting the latest SR

 

Regards

 

Bruce

 

Bruce,

 

If you buy the camera for $2000, ship the camera round trip to Australia at quite a cost, and spend $2600 for the Super 16 conversion, you have already spent more than the $4679 that my Arriflex 16SR sold for. And what Super 16 lens are you going to find that will fit inside that lens blimp? Having a Super 16 Arriflex 16BL with no Super 16 lens is not doing you much good. Not to mention, where is Rebecca going to find a service techinician in the United States who will service one of your converted 16BL cameras, being as few techs will service the standard 16BL anymore.

 

$2000 is a substantial investment for a student. Why encourage Rebecca to invest in something that will not serve her longer term interests.

 

And for my friend Scott; Michael Chin, a very well respected documentary cinematographer, sold his Aaton LTR Super 16 package for $4800 last year. And I have shot a few loads of film with his camera, and the images are rock steady. You don't need pin registration for rock steady images. And the whisper quiet Aaton LTR makes the Arriflex 16BL sound like a meat grinder.

 

-Tim

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