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Paul Bruening

Snagged this Mitchell off Ebay.

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Hello gang,

 

I just got this head, Mitchell NC 756 #54 35mm movie camera, off Ebay. Does anyone have any data on it's history? There were no guarantees on it. I'll have to wait and see if it's locked or burned up. It's a high number. It could be radioactive.

 

If you have some info, I'd love to hear about it.

 

Thanks,

Paul

post-1743-1200012884.jpg

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It's a high number. It could be radioactive.

Paul

Hey Paul,

Is that just a figure of speech, or do you literally mean "radioactive"? Is this for a planned 2-perf conversion?

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Hi-

 

I've read that Mitchell Camera Co. kept very good records of who bought their cameras and where they went, but how you get a hold of that info is something I haven't figured out yet...anyone know where to start?

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Hi Paul,

 

You are braver than me!! Let me know how it turns out.

 

I contacted the seller on Ebay asking for pictures of the front and interior of the camera. He said the camera was in a warehouse but I never got a pics.

 

The AEC/DOE didn't use NC cameras at Los Alamos or the Nevada Test Site to the best of my knowledge. Sorry if you are hoping for GLOW.

 

I have seen a pile of GC cameras and High speed 16mm Mitchells with Livermore Labs and EG&G stickers over the years.

 

There is a good documentary on DVD about the guys that filmed the tests.

 

 

 

Visit Hollywood's Top Secret Film Studio (2003)

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Hey Paul,

Is that just a figure of speech, or do you literally mean "radioactive"? Is this for a planned 2-perf conversion?

 

Yea. Radioactive. I've heard, hearsay, mind you, that the U.S. Navy used Micthells for pacific tests.

 

Please, tell me what Livermore Labs and EG&G are about. Thanks for the tip on the DVD.

 

This head, given that it runs okay, will get a rework from Bruce to make it into a 4-perf transport in my telecine/scan rig. He's already made-up my 2-perf head. The motor, controller, and back light will cross over, saving me money between the two and giving me two formats available for DI.

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I have a documentary, DVD, called "Dr. Tellers Very Large Bomb" which is about the development of the nuclear bomb and the video show several shots of Mitchells being used to capture the explosions. But I always thought they were GC (Government Camera) and not NC (News Cameras). I guess there were a few NCs used by the military but since they actually had cameras made to spec for them directly by mithcell, I dont think they used many made for the private sector. But that is speculation on my part.

 

 

BTW, I love mitchell cameras! I just wish I could use mine more.

Edited by nathan snyder

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You could always run some film through it with the lens cap on, have it developed and see if there's a lotta little white speckles all over each frame, or find a buddy with a Geiger counter who owes you a favor.....OR if you feel REALLY tired all the time and your hair starts falling out in clumps. that would be a good clue as well. :rolleyes:

Edited by James Steven Beverly

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Oh my god. That is one of the coolest goddamn things I have ever seen in my entire life. That's really all I can say about it right now, perhaps ever. :blink:

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Hi-

 

I've read that Mitchell Camera Co. kept very good records of who bought their cameras and where they went, but how you get a hold of that info is something I haven't figured out yet...anyone know where to start?

 

Hi,

 

Joe Dunton bought the Mitchell Camera Co & has all the records. I spoke to him 5 years ago and he was able to tell be the date of delivery of 2 cameras I asked about. He was planning to put the information on the web, but that has not happened yet. As his company was recently bought by Panavision.

 

Stephen

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Oh my god. That is one of the coolest goddamn things I have ever seen in my entire life. That's really all I can say about it right now, perhaps ever. :blink:

Don't sugarcoat it Annie, tell us how you REALLY feel. :D

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I have a documentary, DVD, called "Dr. Tellers Very Large Bomb" which is about the development of the nuclear bomb and the video show several shots of Mitchells being used to capture the explosions. But I always thought they were GC (Government Camera) and not NC (News Cameras). I guess there were a few NCs used by the military but since they actually had cameras made to spec for them directly by mithcell, I dont think they used many made for the private sector. But that is speculation on my part.

 

I pretty sure they began producing GCs in the early 50s.

The GCs are basically standards with a minor variation which I can't recall.

 

During WWII the military was buying loads of Standards and high speeds, so many that Mitchell had to stop making BNCs. The last pre-war run of BNCs was for the US government as lend lease cameras for the Soviet Union. After the war they discontinued the standards and concentrated on BNCs.

 

The Bikini tests would have used standards and high speeds rather than the GCs since they had yet to be produced. As for the for the first H bombs that would be around the time the GCs went into production, so probably a mixture of both.

 

the NCs would have been mostly used for sync shooting.

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To the best of my knowledge the Mitchell GC was produced 1n 1943.

 

The Navy used Mitchell NCs.

 

The AEC used Standards, High speeds, GC & GCN and SS 35mm Cameras from Mitchell.

They also used Auricons, Eyemos, Filmos, Maurers and Milliken's as well as any other camera they could get their hands on. After the war Arri IIs were used as well.

 

The GC is a beefier Standard that doesn't have the behind the film plane masks and aperture. I think most, if not all have adjustable shutters. The rod attachment is also different.

 

The GC also has two more rollers and a buckle trip. The motor door is also different.

 

If I'm incorrect let me know.

 

Everything under the plane is a camera used for Operation Crossroads at Bikini Atoll in the summer of 1946.

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To the best of my knowledge the Mitchell GC was produced 1n 1943.

 

Hi,

 

I often use a 1944 Fries modified GC no 749 (ex navy) on a MOCO rig. It's a High Speed as Chuck says, I always thought the GC was basically the High Speed camera just supplied to the government.

 

Stephen

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I thought they were white to keep them cooler outdoors.

 

It is too bad that Mitchell information hasn't been collected and published to any extent.

 

Mitchell cameras touch a large part of entertainment and technology in the 20th Century....and into the 21st.

 

I have a 1929 Standard and a BNC that was mirror reflexed and shot the TV series "I SPY".

 

How about it Stephan?

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I thought they were white to keep them cooler outdoors.

 

It is too bad that Mitchell information hasn't been collected and published to any extent.

 

Mitchell cameras touch a large part of entertainment and technology in the 20th Century....and into the 21st.

 

I have a 1929 Standard and a BNC that was mirror reflexed and shot the TV series "I SPY".

 

How about it Stephan?

 

Hi Marc,

 

I know a Fries modified High Speed (o GC) thats on a Milo Motion Control in Germany it's sn 35, so probably about 10 years older than yours!

 

Stephen

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Hi Marc,

 

I know a Fries modified High Speed (o GC) thats on a Milo Motion Control in Germany it's sn 35, so probably about 10 years older than yours!

 

Stephen

 

Hi Stephan,

I know my Standard is not nearly the oldest , but it is completely un-modified. All the masks, horizontal left and right, vertical top and bottom and the iris and iris position controls are all functioning and intact.

 

It even has the binocular, keyhole and round and oval masks in the wheel.

 

How many cameras do you think Fries modified?

 

I would be interested in gathering as much information on Mitchell cameras. I'll take North America if you handle Europe.

 

I wonder how many are still out there working, and in what capacities.

 

Marc

 

Sorry for hijacking the thread. Paul please let us know when you get the camera.

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How many cameras do you think Fries modified?

 

I wonder how many are still out there working, and in what capacities.

 

Marc

 

Hi Marc,

 

I get the feeling Fries modified a great many cameras, they designed their own camera the 435 as Doug Fries told me weren't that many cameras left to modify!

 

Most Mitchell GC's seem to be used on MOCO rigs, VFX or stop motion. They probably aren't being used very often now, but I am sure at least half the cameras ever made are still usable. Since production stopped about 45 years ago that's quite an achivement.

 

Stephen

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if you feel REALLY tired all the time and your hair starts falling out in clumps. that would be a good clue as well. :rolleyes:

 

Or you could just have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. ;)

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