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John Young

Mitchell or other?

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Let us say for the moment, that the world was perfect and presents rained down from the heavens.

Let us also say that you have $3000 to spend on a 35mm camera.

 

Which would you pick: Mitchell or Konvas. The reason I didn't include Arri, is that like all things German, if it says Porsche on the front, it usually has Porsche price on the back; even if it's junk.

 

I have been saving, and I would say in the next month or two, I would like to buy a complete package. I have been leaning towards 16mm, but I really would like to shoot on 35. In my wildest dreams, I think 2-perf techniscope would be what I would want... Well, in my wildest dreams I would shoot everything in 65mm.

 

The Russian stuff seems to be flooding the market. Prices are relatively low. Mitchell gear, on the other hand, is scarce.

 

Woops, forgot to add one thing: Sync-Sound is a must. I can stand an MOS camera, as long as I can attach some add on device for syncing.

Thoughts? Opinions? Those who have owned any of these great machines, I would love to hear from you.

Edited by John Young

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What's in the asking? Your lines cannot hide that you're longing for a Mitchell. Of course a Mitchell, be a respected man. Sooner or later you will discover that you belong to an international community of owners of classic equipment and that they all do something to preserve such. Me for instance, I have old printing machines, an Anniversary Folmer-Graflex 4" x 5", a 1931 Eyemo, to say nothing of those Steenbeck or Moviola.

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What's in the asking? Your lines cannot hide that you're longing for a Mitchell. Of course a Mitchell, be a respected man. Sooner or later you will discover that you belong to an international community of owners of classic equipment and that they all do something to preserve such. Me for instance, I have old printing machines, an Anniversary Folmer-Graflex 4" x 5", a 1931 Eyemo, to say nothing of those Steenbeck or Moviola.

 

Thanks for that. I was thinking more to start off with, but I guess you have to start somewhere, and Mitchell it will be. Simon, I also have a Speed-graphic and use it almost daily for some reason or another.

 

I was also thinking about getting an Eyemo to use short ends or whatever with. Let's face it, Mitchell cameras are not really "vacation" friendly. But, can you imagine what the people on the beach would think when you brought out the big BNCR and casually said "I'm filming my kids at the beach!"

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Oh, then, did you pin a BNCR for 3K?

 

That would be sweet. But you're probably looking at twice that. Of course you'll also need a small crew to haul it down to the beach to film the kiddies.

 

My Kinor Tachniscope package will fit on a handtruck to get it down to the beach, and one person can put it on a tripod.

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Oh I never meant I found a BNCR for $3k. That would be wonderful.

 

I also agree with Bruce in that a Russian setup would be much easier to travel with. Techniscope would be great, as would true anamorphic. Either way, I'll buy a Mitchell one of these days, but something soon in the next month.

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Which would you pick: Mitchell or Konvas.

 

Woops, forgot to add one thing: Sync-Sound is a must.

 

Konvas are MOS cameras as far as I know. I'd be surprised if they were any quieter than an Arri 2c

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The reason I didn't include Arri, is that like all things German, if it says Porsche on the front, it usually has Porsche price on the back; even if it's junk.

 

You can often find IIC's or IIB's in good shape in that $3K price range. So, don't ignore Arri. Keep looking at all the options. I actually buy junk Model I Arri's, I got one for under $200. So, if you find a junk Arri with a serial number under 2000, I'm interested.

 

 

 

 

-- J.S.

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Hi Stuart,

 

IMHO they are louder than a 2C.

 

Nothing is louder than my Mitchell GC with its peanut motor.

 

And that includes mistreated leaf blowers and large radial engine aircraft.

 

:)

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I own and have shot with Mitchell BNCR, Blimped Arri IIc and a few different Soviet era cameras. For hand held MOS go for the (un-blimped) Arri. I know tat Hammer Films preferred the blimped Arri to the blimped Mitchell back in the day but I can not figure out why. For everything else Mitchell BNCR all the way. It is heavy but it is fun to work with a crew who takes care of the great old camera.

 

I will confess that there is an elegance to the Arri, especially in the full blimp system (which is hard to find all the parts for anymore), and the Mitchell does look like some kind of giant industrial age steam locomotive, but it is a work horse with reliable performance and good user interface (big easy to use view finder and good follow focus).

 

The Soviet cameras are cool and work good when you get a good one and that has not been beat up. Whenever I go back packing it is always a toss up whether I take my Bolex or my Krasnogorsk, it is hard to pick I love them both. But in my experience all Soviet cameras (which is also seen in the still cameras even the medium format cameras) just don't have the same durability or precision construction as the Arri and Mitchell cameras.

 

Just my two cents...

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I know tat Hammer Films preferred the blimped Arri to the blimped Mitchell back in the day but I can not figure out why. For everything else Mitchell BNCR all the way. It is heavy but it is fun to work with a crew who takes care of the great old camera.

 

Hammer originally used a Vinten Everest, which was a reflex studio camera.

 

1945.jpg

 

Vinten Everest

 

This article claims that Hammer replaced it with a blimped Arri for shooting anamorphic:

 

http://www.filmcentre.co.uk/hammer.htm

 

However I've seen production stills for 60s Hammer films being shot with a BNC, probably a rack over model.

 

They probably bought the blimped Arri because it was cheaper than a BNC or a Newell Blimp.

& maybe because it was reflex like the Vinten it replaced.

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