Jump to content
Nick Korompilas

ARRI 16 S/B in 2019

Recommended Posts

Hey guys,

I have a question for the 16mm heads. I am a working DP whose projects are mainly fashion and commercial focused, and I hope to begin incorporating some 16mm into my workflow to make both commercial and personal films. 

For my shooting style, I am looking for an easy camera to operate solo and be portable. Most of my usage will be for visual pieces and b-roll, no dialogue is planned for now. I don't anticipate requiring crystal sync or 400' mags, however I am not opposed to these nicer options for future proofing. My format preference is S16 but I feel pretty good about the 4:3 ratio as well. Most of my outputs are 1080p; my work often displays on on in-store TVs and social media platforms. 

After endless hours of research on pretty much every cinema forum, I am still completely undecided about what to do. I hope someone here can help!

I have boiled my selection down to three cameras:

1) Arri 16 S/B w/ Angenieux 12-120mm - $2k
* Camera has been recently cleaned and rebuilt, also comes with short warranty from a reputable dealer in NYC
* The ARRI S/B holds great in the hand, however major drawback is that a S16 conversion is virtually impossible and not recommended.
* I have read a lot of feedback about how the 16SB is obsolete and extremely pricey to service these days, although I hear the parts are very reliable too. 
* I have heard the Ang lens is mediocore optically, but when I start adding a Zeiss 10-100mm or Cooke Kinetals the price bumps up significantly, putting me in a new territory of cameras. 
* I wouldn't mind eventually having this as a collectible item as well, but it seems a little pricey for that! 
* I have confirmed the SB + Ang are in good shape - no obvious problems, haze, fungus, etc.

2) Bolex SBM w/ Kern Vario 16-100mm - $2.5-$3k (R16)
* I have the opportunity to purchase this kit within/around the same price range. 
* I really like the option to convert the Bolex to S16, but it seems like there are numerous drawbacks including limited lens selection and poor image quality with S16 using shallow(ish) DOF.
* Price bumps up to $4k-$4.5k with S16 conversion, putting me in another territory of potential cameras. 

3) Aaton LTR S16 w/ Canon 7-56mm (A-Mount) - $3-6k (?)
* A reputable dealer is offering me one of these, the Canon is in poor condition but they said they can sell the package a decent price. I am still waiting on pics/more info. 
* This price range also puts me into ARRI SR2 territory, however I do not own, or plan to own, PL glass anytime soon. 
* The Aaton is very attractive to me, however it seems rather cumbersome for my needs. 

What do you guys think, can anyone help me choose my first 16mm? Should I save and get S16?

My budget is flexible for the right camera, although I was initially hoping to spend about $2.5k-$3k for a body and lens. 

Edited by Nick Korompilas

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.

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.

  • The Original Slider

    G-Force Grips

    FJS International

    Ritter Battery

    Paralinx LLC

    Wooden Camera

    Gamma Ray Digital Inc

    Abel Cine

    Visual Products


    Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

    Metropolis Post

    Rig Wheels Passport

    Serious Gear


    Just Cinema Gear

    New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

    Tai Audio

    Broadcast Solutions Inc

    Cinematography Books and Gear
  • Create New...