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Stanislav Schubert

Debrie Le Parvo 35 mm Movie camera 1930s Review and test

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Hy, gays!


I with friends in Russia was tasted old France 35 mm movie camera, Andre Debrie Le Parvo model L, 1930s. First video- review in Russian and test to black and white film stock Svema M3-3.


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Beautiful cameras, I did some restoration on a Debrie Parvo Model L a few years back. They're possibly my favourite 35mm camera, the engineering is gorgeous.


I love the vintage "behind the scenes" footage you managed to dig up.. filming from on top of a shipping container as it gets winched up to get a crane shot for example, or the motorbike guy handcranking with one hand while steering with the other.. dangerous profession in those days!



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The camera needs a service, the typical Parvo film weave (unsteadiness sideways). From a maintained and tuned Parvo come very steady images, L models are capable of equal steadiness to Mitchell or Arricam. The Parvo was also in use in Hollywood.

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My big dream is to make a silent feature entirely on a 35mm camera from this era. The obvious choice is a B&H 2709, but this is also a perfect example of cutting edge tech from the golden era.


I love the B&W stock, but I don't suppose there's any reason you couldn't run colour stock in these cameras? I wonder what that would look like? The B&W is nearly magical. Maybe it's the flicker, maybe it's the natural light, but it looks like wizardry. I hope I'm not indulging in hyperbole, but for me this beats 4k any day. It draws my eye much more strongly into the picture. I wish I knew why that is.


I also agree that this particular camera needs service of some kind. It shouldn't leak that much light, nor weave quite so much. I bet it wouldn't take much to get it back to fighting form.

Edited by Timothy Fransky

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