Jump to content
Dan DiFelice

WTB : Arri 416

Recommended Posts


Hello Dan,

Would like to have a brief discussion w/you about S16 camera systems and why the Arri 416 may or may not be an optimal choice for you. I have 30+ yrs experience with this stuff and may be able to shed some light on options. You are welcome to email me: cp@seriousgear.com.

Tel/txt: 206-285-4776

Thanks !

-CP

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

why the Arri 416 may or may not be an optimal choice for you. I have 30+ yrs experience

Well thats a pretty indirect way of saying you want to sell him your aaton xtr...

416s are like 5x the price of an xtr, anyone trying to buy one probably has a good reason...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your comment. I am indeed an equipment broker and make no secret of it as the banner ad to your right indicates. If there were any Arri 416' s on the used market, I'd certainly be happy to offer one. But if that were the case, I would still mention the following caveats to any prospective 416 owner:

 

-The camera is rare, probably fewer than 100 units in service. This means your only source of parts & service is Arri.

-The camera is highly complex, with a lot of embedded computing, RF transceiver for Arri LCS, multiple drive motors for movement & magazines etc.. It doesn't seem to like external power sources like Steadicam sleds. Go to the Steadicam Forum for discussions on this.

-The camera, rightly or wrongly, has a reputation for termperamental behavior, if not outright fragility.

-Many of its "innovative" features were grafted from Aaton (e.g. spring loaded side rail in aperture plate).

 

My questions for people wanting this system are: "Why" and "Do you really need it " ? Some small rental companies are ill-prepared to maintain this advanced a camera, so it holds special challenges for individual owner-ops. A good solid late-model Aaton will deliver most of what the 416 offers, without its needless complexity, expense and extra headaches of a permanent marriage to the mfr. Aaton no longer assembles cameras, but parts and service are available and there are independent technicians around the world who know how to work on them.

 

So the discussion ranges farther than: "Hey, buy my camera". I find I do a better business with informed customers who feel secure in what they chose long after the deal is made. If you'd like to continue this discussion directly Isaac, feel free to contact me off list.

 

Charles Pickel

Serious Gear Co.

Seattle USA

cp@seriousgear.com

Edited by Charles Pickel
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How did you manage to spin the fact that Arri still services their cameras and Aaton doesnt into a win for Aaton?

I just thought it was worth disclosing the fact that you're selling an Aaton XTR and don't have access to any Arri 416s, alongside trying to push this guy in the direction of the former.. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why the slight hostility toward someone seeking to make a living? There's nothing wrong with buying and selling on anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

because of the aforementioned conflicts of interest, and trying to disguise salesmanship as honest advice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's actually good advice and he is correct. I think people are in love with the Arri label, and rightly so in many cases, but for the lone 16mm camera owner, I'd take a fully serviced Prod over a 416 even if the prices were equal. Just off the top of my head I can think of 5 different places to take an Aaton for service as of 2019.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everything Charles says is on par.

 

I understand the allure of the 416, it is the "last" super 16mm camera to be made. However, film cameras are film cameras. If you have a well working one, the only things that matter are; glass/size/weight/sound level. Just because the 416 is newer, doesn't mean it's better or that it will last longer then it's brothers. In fact, the SRI and SRII are FAR more robust then the 416, but NOBODY even thinks about using them.

 

The Aaton XTR Prod and Xtera are in my opinion, the best 16mm cameras ever made. The main reason is because they use a single direct-drive motor, which is timed based on rotation, rather then outboard sensors. The electronics are push-through components, all of which are labeled very nicely so replacing a single component is easy. Plus getting parts for the time being is pretty easy for the Aaton's. Here is hoping that continues for a few more years.

 

My concern with Arri is that, they will eventually stop supporting any film cameras and when you have a heavily electronic driven camera, it's basically a throw-away when the electronics fail and they will eventually fail. My friend had a 435 that went belly up and Arri couldn't offer any support. The all surface mount board had all the IC's part numbers removed, so you couldn't replace anything. In an attempt to prevent people from servicing components behind their back, you basically can't service anything. You either get a new board from Arri, or you're screwed.

 

So after hearing horror story after horror story about Arri parts, I bought a SR3 that promptly failed on me and cost $1700 to fix. We've had nothing but problems with the 4 Arricam's my friends company use to own/rent out. One of them failed on us during a shoot, the mounts for the movements came loose, so they chewed up film. Even after having ALL of them serviced, one of them kept causing issues. We actually wound up servicing all of them and selling off 3 because we couldn't afford to keep them working.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

..My friend had a 435 that went belly up and Arri couldn't offer any support. The all surface mount board had all the IC's part numbers removed, so you couldn't replace anything. In an attempt to prevent people from servicing components behind their back, you basically can't service anything. You either get a new board from Arri, or you're screwed.

Well in the interests of balance I should point out that rental companies around the world serviced their own Arri cameras for years as well as third party repair facilities. Arri regularly held service training sessions for technicians and provided parts diagrams. We had thick folders full of electrical schematics detailing every component of the many different Arriflex models, and the electrical techs often did component level repair on boards, so the idea Arri were trying to "stop people doing repairs behind their backs" is ridiculous. You just had to have had some training and invested in the jig, tools and manuals.

 

There aren't too many companies that still support products they released 25 years ago, but there are for sure still technicians around who have the knowledge to fix some of these cameras. Apart from the 416, which I agree has less support because of it's limited numbers and complexity, in my experience Arris are generally far easier than Aatons to get repaired.

 

We've had nothing but problems with the 4 Arricam's my friends company use to own/rent out. One of them failed on us during a shoot, the mounts for the movements came loose, so they chewed up film. Even after having ALL of them serviced, one of them kept causing issues. We actually wound up servicing all of them and selling off 3 because we couldn't afford to keep them working.

Well the Arricams I used to look after as a rental house service manager worked pretty flawlessly for the 15 or so years we had them working. The few times we had issues were caused by clients mistreating them, dropping them or plugging in dodgy cables. They're superbly engineered machines. If you were trying to service them yourself then I don't doubt you had problems. Or maybe you were using a technician who wasn't quite up to the job. In any case, I've never heard anyone else complaining that Arricams are unreliable. By the way, when you say "..even after servicing all them, one of them still.." , servicing cameras is not a sign of deficiency, it's something they need anyway.

 

The point Charles was making was about the 416. We've hired one out several times here at Panavision without problems, and it seems like another very well made machine to me, but as Charles pointed out, there weren't many made, and the digital transition within Arri occurred pretty soon after, so they don't have the same wide technical support of earlier cameras. I certainly never got any training on it, whereas I knew SR3s and Arricams inside out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everything Charles says is on par.

 

I understand the allure of the 416, it is the "last" super 16mm camera to be made. However, film cameras are film cameras. If you have a well working one, the only things that matter are; glass/size/weight/sound level.

 

I dont disagree with you, but again you should probably point out that you own a fleet of Aaton cameras before offering your 'impartial' opinion...

 

For me, i'd take an aaton too. But the 416s have the value they do because they're more appropriate for feature films, take standard 24v everything and put out standard 24v RS, work with a fleet of arri accessories and are still supported by munich. The people paying 30-60k for 416s aren't stupid. They just have the means and accept no substitutes.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dont disagree with you, but again you should probably point out that you own a fleet of Aaton cameras before offering your 'impartial' opinion...

Lets see... I've owned a Moviecam Super America and Compact II, BL4S, 535A, IIC and SR3. The Moviecam and SR3, I used quite a bit before switching to Aaton. So no... my "opinion" on Arri's is not impartial. This is 2019, going on 2020. As Dom points out, Arri WAS great with their film cameras in the past, today they've pushed them aside. However, the way they dropped film cameras like they were junk and unworthy of their name, really hurt. They also charge an arm an a leg for "wear" parts which makes it very difficult to own these cameras from a financial standpoint.

 

The issues we've had with the Arricam's are numerous. I've heard from many tech's how many things needed to be fixed on that camera for them to be ready for primetime and if you owned lower serial number cameras, they needed the updates to work properly.

 

Aaton had a lot of issues, there were gremlins in all of the 35mm cameras. There were some issues with the 16mm cameras as well. The difference for me is quite simple. Aaton had competition, yet they made smaller, quieter, lighter and more inexpensive cameras. Instead of making large batches, they custom made each camera to the specs the rental house or owner wanted. They were made and sold, not made sitting in boxes ready to ship. Arri is the "big box" camera company and Aaton is the home made camera company.

 

So back to my point... The moviecam's and Arri's didn't offer me anything. They were all too heavy and too costly to operate. So I gave them all up for a few Aaton's and now everything appears to be right with the world. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

in my experience Arris are generally far easier than Aatons to get repaired.

I agree there are more certified Arri tech's then Aaton tech's, no contest there. The problem is getting parts from Arri and the fact their parts are all so very specific to Arri. They don't use very many generic over the counter parts like Aaton uses. Plus, Arri's are far more complex, especially the belt driven cameras, requiring not only belts every 20 years or so, but also re-timing of the entire camera when changing those belts. For the record, none of the Aaton cameras have belts related to the pulldown or shutter, so the timing is all done mechanically and never needs to be altered, even when replacing bearings. To me, that's a far better design then Arri's super fancy belts.

 

Well the Arricams I used to look after as a rental house service manager worked pretty flawlessly for the 15 or so years we had them working.

Well yea, you guys serviced them constantly. Duhh. Most people can't afford a full take-apart and re-lube every 10k feet or so. It's the cameras that shoot 50k feet or so and stop working, those are the problem and every tech I've ever talked to said they need far more maintenance than the Moviecam's which the camera is based off.

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.



  • Abel Cine



    CineLab



    New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment



    Wooden Camera



    Metropolis Post



    Gamma Ray Digital Inc



    G-Force Grips



    Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS



    Broadcast Solutions Inc



    Rig Wheels Passport



    Just Cinema Gear



    Ritter Battery



    Visual Products



    Paralinx LLC



    Tai Audio



    Serious Gear



    FJS International



    Glidecam


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