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Jesse Andrewartha

WTB - Looking for an Aaton 35-3 or Moviecam SL

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Hi All,

 

Putting my feelers out there; I'm looking for a lightweight sync-sound 35mm camera, either an Aaton 35-3 or Moviecam SL. I realize these two cameras are on the louder side of sync-sound, but ergonomics and weight are my primary consideration; I was on expedition with an Arri BL4 recently and its weight was truly a hindrance... never again.

 

PM me with any leads!

Thanks in advance.

 

-Jesse-

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Based on sale prices on this site, Ebay and auctions over the past year or so, I was hoping to keep the price under $3000, but can be flexible. I was looking for s35 4-perf, but am fine with academy 4-perf. I doubt anyone would sell anything 3-perf for the pricepoint I'm after :)

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Ya ain't gonna find a small, light sync sound (quiet) 35mm camera for under 3k anymore. There was a point you could, but those cameras are all gobbled up by now.

 

Heck even the 4 perf versions of my Aaton 35III are fetching $5k or so and thats the smallest affordable sync sound camera on the market.

 

So ya got three choices really... 1. deal with the weight, (yea I know it sucks)... 2. save more money (5k will get ya something)... OR 3. go with super 16... but you can't get a good S16 camera for less than 3k anyway. Most of them are old beat up SRII's that need re-buiding.

 

Sadly, the prices are going up not down. The ground floor was 2014 ish and every since, the pricing has slowly started to rise.

 

Also... most of the non-sync sound MOS cameras are not great for hand holding. The Arri IIC and III camera's are pretty poor at it, no way to shoulder mount for stability. So there really isn't a decent solution outside of the Aaton 35III/Penelope, Moviecam SL and 235/Arricam LT.

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I have an Aaton 35III 4-perf I might be willing to part with. Color video tap, open gate, academy and scope ground glasses, 3 mags, 2 newly re-celled onboard batteries, charger etc. I've shot with camera and it was newly serviced when I bought it a few years ago. Make me an offer I can't refuse. :)

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Thanks Tyler, but this is not helpful. I was looking for leads, not a lecture.

I don't even know what you want for a camera really. What you want doesn't exist, PERIOD.

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The recent Clairmont camera auction had something like 7 Moviecam SLs and 2 SL Mk2s for sale.. Not sure what they went for but I hear there were some bargains to be had.

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they went between 1500-2000

Yep, I've been involved in the auction the entire time. Remember that price doesn't include magazines, or any accessories to make the cameras work.

 

Also, the OP doesn't want a BL, which is pretty much the weight and size of all the sync sound cameras they had for sale.

 

All of the 'higher end' cameras they had (moviecam SL, Arricam's etc) , went to Alan Gordon for resale and were not part of the auction. Two cameras did slip past their scrutiny, a 3 perf Moviecam Compact, basically a boat anchor with a real nice shine to it and a beautiful and highly sought after 3 perf Arri III. I'm not sure who got the Arri III, but the Moviecam sold for around $4k without any accessories, or power. So people do want boat anchors if they're pretty. heheh

 

I wound up getting 7 cameras out of the deal, all 4 perf, and I'm currently re-building a few of them.

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they went between 1500-2000

 

So.. SL bodies went for as low as $1500? That's pretty cheap!

Were they selling mags and accessories as well?

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Not at all. The SL cameras were not listed, they are on Alan Gordon website.

At 1500 / 2000$ it was the moviecam compact mk2 in 4 perf that went for that price but some went around 3k also.

The mags had to be bought separately.

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The list in your link was not really the list of equipment during the auctions. I only saw 3 435 for examples. Lots of cameras have been sold privatly before the auctions.

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In the auction there were Moviecam Compacts (none Mk2, Clairmont didn't own any Compact Mk2s). A few sold under $1K each, and the mags were incredibly low as well.

 

I'd hardly call the Compact a boat anchor, Tyler. It's the precursor to the Arricam Studio and very quiet. I'd rather shoot with a Compact over an Aaton 35 (not very quiet for a sync sound camera) or Arri-3 (not great ergonomics) any day.

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I'd hardly call the Compact a boat anchor, Tyler. It's the precursor to the Arricam Studio and very quiet. I'd rather shoot with a Compact over an Aaton 35 (not very quiet for a sync sound camera) or Arri-3 (not great ergonomics) any day.

First off, I've shot a lot with the Compact and have access to one through my school. I've also owned a Super America, so I know the drill pretty well. The Compact with a 400ft magazine, prime lens, follow focus, mattebox and extended viewfinder, weighs close to 50lb with no on-board battery. Yes it's very quiet, around 22 db or so. It's nowhere near the 19db they say in the AC manual.

 

So forget long-term hand holding, forget cheap tripods, forget any portability. My moviecam also had 6 cases (camera, mattebox/follow focus kit, accessory/shoulder kit, battery, 400ft magazine box and 1000ft magazine box) to carry just to move it from place to place, each case was huge and unwieldy.

 

My 3 perf Aaton 35MKIII weighs around 22lb with all of the same things + a beautiful lithium on board battery that provides power for hours. Yes, it produces around 30db of sound, but with a leather jacket or barney, you can get it down to 25db no problem. I have shot several sync sound movies with it and never once can you hear the camera in close up shots. Unless you're in a dead quiet room, it's pretty much not a problem.

 

The Aaton comes in 3 super light boxes, one for the camera and ALL accessories (battery/charger/meter/handle/rails/extended viewfinder/cables/monitor/etc), one for the 3 spare magazines and one for the mattebox, follow focus and lenses. I've actually put the entire camera in a backpack and carried it around with me at events to shoot stuff. The only "size" difference between it an my XTR Prod are the lenses and that's simply because I can't afford Arri Standard or super speeds, which are pretty small compared to what I'm using.

 

So yes... the registration on the Moviecam is superior, yes it's absolutely quieter, but those are the only two positives. 4 perf cameras have little to no value (without anamorphic ground glass and viewfinders) as they are 1.33:1 aspect ratio and nobody uses that anymore, so unless you're making a movie that's square, you're cropping. Thus, you're wasting quite a bit of film during the process, which adds substantial cost to your production. 3 perf and 2 perf cameras of course have more value, but it doesn't make the camera any less of a boat anchor.

 

I sold my Super America because I couldn't afford to buy a tripod that could accept that much weight. I also couldn't afford a decent portable 24v battery solution, everything cost thousands of dollars and 4 perf is just too costly to shoot in the long term. Sure, one or two rolls for "fun", but when you're working on a bigger project, ya need to help bring the cost down and sadly the only way to do that is with a 3 perf or 2 perf movement. Honestly, I'd deal with the weight of a BL4 if it had a 2 perf movement like the one's Clairmont had (it costs around 6k to convert a BL4). The BL4 isn't as quiet as the compact, but it's a bit lighter actually and is a pretty cheap camera to own over the long term.

 

With all that said, I went with Aaton because size/weight/portability are the most important things for me. So I paid out the ass for a special camera which is sometimes a pain to use, but the end results are fantastic images that are nearly impossible to get with a heavy camera.

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