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First time working with the Arriflex 416

Bradley Stearn

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I'm working on a short film with some other students, we are all working with the 416 for the first time. I'm going to be focus pulling, but I am still going to take the opportunity to have a go at loading the camera too. I went to a nearby rental house today to check the kit out, and it doesn't seem too daunting. I loaded on an Sr3 job last summer, which was my first time working with any kind of film (aside from super 8mm), so I certainly have less fear this time round. Apart from the feed side of the magazines being the opposite way round, and the extra step that involves entering the take up side, exiting to the loop, and back into the take up side, it doesn't seem overly difficult. It would be great to hear any loading tips that anyone might have, I'm sure there are hundreds of dos and don'ts associated with this camera and it's loading procedures, the kind of things you only learn from being told, more than experience actually loading.


In terms of sharps, I have plenty of practise pulling off marks and judging distance on digital 35mm cameras, so I'm fairly confident about pulling without a monitor for super 16mm. It's mainly the other responsibilities I would like to hear some advice on, such as everyones preferred way of 'checking the gate' at the end of a slate. What way would you clean the gate if an emulsion hair was spotted in the gate? I've read up numerous sources, including the AC handbooks, but would be great to hear some other opinions from different camera assistants.


Is there anything else I need to be aware of when working as a 1st alongside the 416? Anything I should be keeping my eye on throughout the day?



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It's a pretty straightforward camera. The main thing to look for when loading is the loop adjustment, which you double-check by putting the mag on to the camera body and pressing "PHASE" – it will give an error if the loop size is off.


To check the gate you remove the lens and press "PHASE", which moves the shutter out of the way (unlike on the SR3 which is an inching knob). Press it again to move back the mirror in place.


I seldom, if ever, have hairs in the gate. If I do, I'll just use an orange stick and get it out. If you use compressed or canned air to blow out the mags before and after a load, you'll be fine. Just don't take this air to the camera movement itself.


Keep an eye on the battery level. It should last around five loads at 24 fps. Swap it when you get to two red dots.


The IVS is an analog SD BNC, so you'll need a monitoring system that supports SD. You can feed both composite and component video out, both set on the IVS menu.


If you're using the built-in wireless radio stuff, give yourself a couple of hours to get acquainted with the settings and be mindful that you'll drain the batteries quicker.

Edited by Kenny N Suleimanagich
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Thanks for the response Kenny, some great advice there. The loader I'm working with should know this stuff already, but It's good to know personally.


I requested that the DOP hired a Arri WCu4 with the kit, the kit rental house only has a preston available. Am I right in saying that I will be able to power the Prestons brain/motor with the RS lemo output on the cameras body?

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