Jump to content
Paulo Arellano

Looking to spend $1500 for a 16mm camera

Recommended Posts

Matthew,

I think a well maintained Cp or NPR is almost stable as more expensive systems, but it would be hard to tell a serious customer that. As for dslr comparison, well, I don't even consider them as valid cine cameras. They have a place I think, like placing those in unreachable spots for a maybe 10 second insert or maybe as a crash cam. As an A cam however, I wouldn't.. With my ultra 16 NPR, I use Rokinon lenses (with ef mount adapter), which actually yields just as sharp images as some pl glass due to the fact that I only use the center of those lenses. I'll convert it to super and change the eclair mount to pl. Then it may be a bit more marketable for small projects, but it still doesn't have that SR or 416 tag on it so..

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is kind of off topic, but I have to mention it. From my experience, if you use fine glass whether SLR or proper s16 lens on ultra 16 cameras, images would be pretty identical to s16. Obviously, an older and softer lens would make s or u16 look subpar, unless, ofcourse the project calls for not so sharp look.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

.......even if the image isnt as sharp as high end......the image stability of those cameras isnt terrible. It might not be rock solid ....

 

I don't think one can group all the 16mm cameras without regestration pins and say that they have image unsteadyness that wil show as a reduction in sharpness on screen. Someone clearly thought pins were not required when he designed the Aaton. You can shoot a regestration test to check the camera. I almost bought a CP16A once. After being warned about the regestration system that uses little balls in the perfs I shot a reg test and could in fact clearly see a sort of rhythmic instability. I didn't do any comparative tests with other cameras unfortunately.

 

The regetration test was quite simple. I drew some fine horrizontal lines on a piece of A4 paper, shot that full frame, rewound the film, rotated the paper about 3 degrees and shot the paper again. I realize now that I could have drawn some vertical lines also that might have been useful. If you do some test like this, get some advice on the interpretation from someone who has tested various cameras and knows what's acceptable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

......... a friend of mine has almost finished building his 16mm film processing unit (some video footage.......

2K scanner with Kodak CCD under construction by the same guy.

 

That's amazingly good looking for a self built, scratch built unit processor. Let us know if there ever is an English version of any videos.

 

Cheers,

Gregg

Edited by Gregg MacPherson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like a Scoopic MS would be perfect. It has an automatic meter/aperture if you want to use it and loading is very easy. Should get one in great shape for about $750 or less. Save the rest of your money for film and processing and transfer.

 

I'll keep that in mind. I don't see so many of them here (Germany)...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's my CP-GSMO.....

 

Hey what exactly is that matte box?

Are the filter trays metal and can they take a 4mm thick filter? Does it have a clip on clamp option or do you always have to use rods? How heavy is it?

More questions possible depending on your tolerance.

 

Thanks,

Gregg

PS. You need to make a decent base plate with rod mount for your GSMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why the disdain for CP16? There are adapters out there for CP to Arri mount and then you can use some of the finest glass out there. Frills are nice but the CP16 can get the job done with good glass.

Where did I show disdain for that camera? I showed disdain for the look of Blair Witch project, which was deliberate on their part (because of their budget limitations). As nice as that camera is, it will not get consideration when shooting a feature or television or a music video. You will need a better camera. That's just the way it is and I know that from experience here in NYC. No one even wants to talk about 16. They want a RED Epic or maybe a Scarlet. They won't even consider a Red One/MX at this point.

 

The low low budget projects require a 5DII and nothing else is considered.

 

As for guys like Aronofsky, he has major pull for what he wants because he is The Man. He wants to shoot on 16... he gets to shoot on 16. It worked for the films in question. For NOAH he is shooting anamorphic 35.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the Ebay seller and matte box I bought. He'd probably know more about it than me, I just put it on there to impress the actors.

http://www.ebay.com/...=item5d388b70e9

 

You may need some filters to impress the actors too. I have a spare set of Tiffen 4x4 85, 85N3, 85N6, 85N9 that I may sell. Maybe some others. PM me if interested viz(at)extra.co.nz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

or maybe a Scarlet.

 

Lol @ Scarlet. Talk about an overpriced POS. Most people I've seen even on the "User" sites agree that the BMC has as good, if not better, images than the Scarlet for far less money. And on RedUser, the opinion is that a "battle worn" Red One is a better investment than the Scarlet.

 

Not trying to argue with you but if NYC thinks the Scarlet is the way to go, I'm glad I'm where I'm at.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why do you think I said "or maybe a Scarlet"? Film is so not wanted here that if the super duper awesomeness of the Red EPIC is not available (I am being kind of sarcastic here) they will settle for the Scarlet, simply because it is new.

 

A friend of mine shot a feature on the Canon C300 and I must, what I've seen so far impressed me. The camera can deliver the goods. The same director shot his first feature on a Canon T2i and it was good enough to get him the money for his second feature.

 

In the end it comes down to this... film is on its way out. So one has to fight to use it for lower budget productions. I am fighting every damned day (and losing).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the end it comes down to this... film is on its way out. So one has to fight to use it for lower budget productions. I am fighting every damned day (and losing).

 

For low budget stuff, its been "out" since MiniDV. But do you really believe film will cease to be made at any level? I personally doubt that.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Christopher Sheneman

My secret stash..

 

002-8_zps1bae1587.jpg

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For low budget stuff, its been "out" since MiniDV. But do you really believe film will cease to be made at any level? I personally doubt that.

Ok, once again, please do not put words in my mouth. I never said film will not be made at all. Clearly it will. But we are going to reach a point where 16mm film will never be used for film and television and where 35mm film will only be used by those directors with enough power to get what they want.

 

Studios can give an order and that's that. Even a guy like J.J. Abrams had to suck it up and say ok when Paramount insisted upon a 3D conversion for Star Trek 2. It was announced as a 2D film. It was being shot as a 2D film when the studio did the numbers and decided they could make tens of millions more in profit by going 3D.

 

Many studios are now insisting certain movies be shot digitally. The writing is on the walls.

 

i DON'T LIKE THIS ANY MORE THAN YOU DO. But it is what it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, once again, please do not put words in my mouth. I never said film will not be made at all. Clearly it will. But we are going to reach a point where 16mm film will never be used for film and television and where 35mm film will only be used by those directors with enough power to get what they want.

 

I have the luxury of not giving a damn what studios say because I pay for my own projects. I plan to distribute them myself too even if it results in less than what I can do otherwise. This is a passion for me, not something necessarily "for a living." I have my safety career already. I cant see the point of even being into a field like this if you become miserable and disdain it. Not saying you do but I would if I lost that much artistic control over something I wrote and direct as to not even have a say over the shooting format. Good luck with that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My secret stash..

Most film people need a 2nd fridge for film...you need a meat locker! Keep an eye on eBay for a walk-in fridge.

 

Hope you have a feature coming up, that's alot of film to go through.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the luxury of not giving a damn what studios say because I pay for my own projects. I plan to distribute them myself too even if it results in less than what I can do otherwise. This is a passion for me, not something necessarily "for a living." I have my safety career already. I cant see the point of even being into a field like this if you become miserable and disdain it. Not saying you do but I would if I lost that much artistic control over something I wrote and direct as to not even have a say over the shooting format. Good luck with that.

So you are attacking me for stating simple facts? Nice.

 

I myself continue to shoot on film whenever I can. When I am forced to shoot with a DSLR, I do. But if I can shoot film, I shoot film. ALL of my personal projects are shot on 8mm (and some 16mm here and there).

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So you are attacking me for stating simple facts? Nice.

 

I myself continue to shoot on film whenever I can. When I am forced to shoot with a DSLR, I do. But if I can shoot film, I shoot film. ALL of my personal projects are shot on 8mm (and some 16mm here and there).

 

Relax Matt. I am not attacking you. I dig how you are committed to film and I've followed your projects since you came here with your Super 8 footage (which I always enjoyed watching.)

 

All I am saying is that I feel there is a moral failure on the part of all levels of production workers (not just Directors and Producers) who refuse to speak up for good looking footage. There is this apathy that "I might look bad" or "I might lose this job" so people keep quiet and let mediocrity reign supreme. In a field like this, we have so little to work with in terms of resources as it is, why further limit the beauty we can bring to our craft by taking the democratic (but highly unrealistic and farsical) position that "it doesnt matter what you shoot it on, it matters about skill or blah blah" which is nonsense because no one here believes that Citizen Kain, Lawrence of Arabia, or Gone with the Wind could be shot on an iPhone or DSLR.

 

I personally believe that we ALL have a moral duty to preserve film. Not just as an elite acquisition medium but also as a tradition and institution. Being silent on set will only lead to further compromises to slimy lowball producers and investors. I believe there comes a time when you realize that you are only trying to protect jobs that maybe arent even worth it to begin with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
which is nonsense because no one here believes that Citizen Kain, Lawrence of Arabia, or Gone with the Wind could be shot on an iPhone or DSLR.

 

True, but with a little more work you can come very close to modern film stocks with an Alexa, in some case you wouldn't be able to tell the difference. I've seen it in the colorist bays and had them try to trick me and they succeed more often than not. And there is no compromise with that footage, it looks amazing.

 

I don't think you'll get the look of Citizen Kane, Lawrence of Arabia or Gone with the Wind even on FILM now since stocks have changed so much. Vision stocks have met digital in the middle with their contrast and look. You'd spend a ton of time with the colorist in much the same way you would if it was originated digitally.

 

From an artistic standpoint I couldn't agree more that film has a look and feel that is beautiful and in general not duplicated.

 

In the world of working productions, digital, specifically the Alexa and RED, are really loved for convenience and that fact that maintenance is SO much less than film cameras. Rental houses I speak to are ecstatic about sending out an Alexa vs. a 535 because they only get technical questions which they can answer on the phone usually, not have to go running out to a set to fix or replace a film camera that constantly has issues. They do however continue to spend plenty of time on lens maintenance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True, but with a little more work you can come very close to modern film stocks with an Alexa, in some case you wouldn't be able to tell the difference. I've seen it in the colorist bays and had them try to trick me and they succeed more often than not. And there is no compromise with that footage, it looks amazing.

 

Let's be honest...your average uber-low budget is not using an Alexa. And let us be further honest...a full Alexa rig is not really cheaper than film. You can buy base 35mm rigs without glass for what you spend on a 2 day Alexa rate. If you're shooting a feature, this quickly becomes a cost buildup. An Alexa can come close to film in terms of quality, sure. But it also is right there in price.

 

The Red...comeon man, you really think it is up there with film or even the Alexa?

 

I dont know about repairs but I imagine it has to do with familiarity and newness of the equipment over it actually "being easier." No different than rebuilding an engine isnt intrinsically easier than rebuilding a tranny, just different people are more comfortable with one or the other.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Matthew,

With Alexa, yea rental costs aren't cheap, but you can't dismiss film stock price. So, one versus another shouldn't be based on price but artistic choice. Mr. Deakins shoots on Alexa, and seems pretty happy with it. By the way, I'm a film guy, and prefer film originated images over digital. Matter of fact, I'm currently working on a short script for 30mins that ill shoot on u16 NPR. Of course, I will have to put the project on indiegogo haha.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Matthew,

With Alexa, yea rental costs aren't cheap, but you can't dismiss film stock price. So, one versus another shouldn't be based on price but artistic choice. Mr. Deakins shoots on Alexa, and seems pretty happy with it. By the way, I'm a film guy, and prefer film originated images over digital. Matter of fact, I'm currently working on a short script for 30mins that ill shoot on u16 NPR. Of course, I will have to put the project on indiegogo haha.

 

Please share grabs when you can. Also let me know how the U16 route goes. I had considered getting a conversion but I worry about locking myself into one lab. I know Paul's house is great but I have heard they are pricey.

 

I surely dont dismiss stock prices and 35mm is expensive. I want to shoot it so bad for a feature but the numbers arent there for me. But the numbers wouldnt be there for me to shoot Alexa either. At least film has short end options, Alexa doesnt have "old beat up dented can body rate." :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Matthew,

Yea, I will for sure. I like u16, really like there is virtually no visible difference between s an u16. I know that super 16 got 10% larger real estate, but I guess I don't have those sharp eyes to tell the difference haha. I work with Cinelab, they are really reasonable.As for lenses, I use Samyang SLR lenses, and they are really sharp.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's be honest...your average uber-low budget is not using an Alexa. And let us be further honest...a full Alexa rig is not really cheaper than film. You can buy base 35mm rigs without glass for what you spend on a 2 day Alexa rate.

I hear what you are saying but no pro is going to buy a used 35mm rig and have to maintain and guarantee it throughout a production, plus production insurance would have big issues with that.

 

The Red...comeon man, you really think it is up there with film or even the Alexa?

Absolutely, I've seen it many times. I've also seen plenty of poorly shot RED because they didn't know how to light for it. But I've seen plenty of poorly shot film too. Just saying that if you are dealing with people at the top of their game they can make Alexa, RED or film work just fine depending on what is being shot. Some situations just shout film, others digital. Just another tool to use. I start to draw the line at DSLRs however with the possible exception of going uncompressed out to a hard drive.

 

For me, everything I shoot turns out much better on film because I simply don't have digital chops.

 

I dont know about repairs but I imagine it has to do with familiarity and newness of the equipment over it actually "being easier."

Not really in this case. My local rental house has about 6 Alexas and they have NEVER had to repair one. Not even adjust anything other than some of the accessories. Contrast that with any film camera that has to go through major inspection and adjustment between every deployment plus plenty of on-set nightmares of mechanical failures (some from human error some from simple machine problems).

 

This is just from a practical, everyday production standpoint. People that do this everyday for a living and have to have results they can absolutely depend on or they don't feed their family. Plus they have to follow standard industry practices which are shifting quickly (or have shifted) to digital capture.

 

That being said, I agree with you on everything having to do with film's merits artistically and would totally recommend film for even small budget projects, they would just need someone like you to hold their hand through the bumps and expenses. I simply get better results with film. Much of that has to do with the great colorists I've worked with I know, but it just feels better to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • Paralinx LLC



    Abel Cine



    FJS International



    Tai Audio



    Ritter Battery



    Metropolis Post



    Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS



    Broadcast Solutions Inc



    G-Force Grips



    Serious Gear



    Gamma Ray Digital Inc



    Rig Wheels Passport



    New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment



    Visual Products



    Just Cinema Gear



    Glidecam



    Wooden Camera



    CineLab


    Cinematography Books and Gear
×
×
  • Create New...