Jump to content

Current availability of 35mm short ends


Recommended Posts

I'm considering the possibility of getting into 35mm but only if there is a decent supply of short ends that  I could use as film stock. A number of years ago, I guess availability wasn't so much of an issue. However, these days, I'm noticing much less film is used in general for TV shows, commercials and movies. Considerably less compared to say the 2000s and the 90s and earlier. So much high end stuff is shot digitally now. So I'm guessing that means there's a lot less short ends around? One must also consider population and market size too. I'm guessing that there would be much less in the way of short ends here in Australia compared to the US. It would interesting to know how scarce or rare they are here. 

Granted, I wouldn't be shooting 35mm on a regular basis. Like any film format (being so expensive) I would only be shooting it every once in a while and reserving it for special projects. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the options is to shoot b/w stills film on 100ft bulk rolls if you are doing MOS stuff. If using a camera with enough tolerances (like the Konvas cameras I use for this type of stuff) they work great even when the perforations are KS. 

Another option is to shoot print film or sound negative film. That can be pretty affordable even when the film is purchased new. I have done some experiments with Agfa ST9 and it works very well with the Konvases. I think I paid something around 250-300 for a 2000' roll. Something like that. I am developing it by myself too. Haven't scanned yet because I want to test my new DIY scanner with it to make the whole process by myself but from the stills it is performing great.

Is there any film supplier in Australia anymore which could sell short ends? One of the options would be to import the stuff or pool around to collect a larger order which is shared with multiple persons. I used to purchase the short ends from Frame24 from GB but after the brexit it is no longer an option so I will probably transfer to shooting exclusively b/w on 35mm and doing colour work in 16mm

Link to post
Share on other sites

one of the things is that it may be pretty challenging to get the most used films speeds in short ends or clearance. The 50D is the easiest to get. I like the 250D the most but it is more rare nowadays. 500T is almost never found as clearance/short end, it is immediately purchased away if even a single roll surfaces. 

The 50D is pretty good film to shoot with Konvas type cameras though. No need to use much ND filters and it tends to be cheaper than other clearance stuff. 

Maybe you could collect a larger order and then purchase from overseas? I previously purchased my clearance film from Frame24 (link ) but I would try some US seller too. Maybe Tyler or someone else can recommend a US based seller of 35mm short ends?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Awhile back I had a lot of short ends/frozen stock that I was trying to sell, my observation was that no one is buying the 35mm 2nd-hand stock on sites like ebay - so it should be very economical to get yourself some 35 stock; there's just not that much demand for short ends. But yes, there's also less pro shooting going on so maybe the supply is low.

There's still a seller of short ends in L.A. and there's this one (which I believe is the cheapest) in New York, catering mostly to students:

Mono No Aware

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies. To be honest, I really wouldn't know where to look for short ends in Australia. Yea purchasing short ends from overseas could be an option but I wonder if there's a risk of x-ray damage when it passes through border control. Webster, Mono No aware looks like a good site though I notice with regards to shipping, they do so within the US. I guess it wouldn't hurt to ask them if they would post overseas.

In a way, that's a good thing that 50D is the most available stock in short ends. That's what I would probably shoot on the most. Though 250D would be nice to try as well. Real shame about 500T being really hard to get hold of as It would be cool to do some night shooting in the city. I really like the night cinematography in movies like Taxi Driver and Midnight Cowboy. I really like to emulate that. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, Webster C said:

Patrick, how close are you to shooting? Do you have access to a camera yet?

I understood he does not have a camera yet but is considering different options and the film stock availability is one of the main aspects when choosing between 16 and 35. I recommended a Konvas 1KCP or 1M for him on the other thread but that absolutely necessitates the camera be serviced first. Film cameras in general need servicing before use and Russian film cameras ABSOLUTELY need it because the eBay cameras are often stored badly and have not been used in years

Link to post
Share on other sites

That's right. I'm a long, long way from doing any shoots. I'm still considering my options. Aapo, how extensive is the servicing of the Konvas cameras? Do they have to be taken apart? How straight forward would say adjusting the pressure of the pressure plate be? Not really sure if I'm up to the task myself or whether it would be better to have such a camera serviced by an expert who knows what they're doing. 

Also, in your opinion, how good are the Konvas lenses? I'm hoping that it's possible to obtain adapters to use lenses designed for 35mm stills photography. I have a number of such lenses myself which I'd be keen on using including a Canon FD 17mm lens. 

Out of curiosity, would there be any old and good 35mm movie cameras from say the 1960s etc (produced by Western countries) that would be bargains now? Reflex viewfinders would still be a priority. 

Edited by Patrick Cooper
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Patrick Cooper said:

That's right. I'm a long, long way from doing any shoots. I'm still considering my options. Aapo, how extensive is the servicing of the Konvas cameras? Do they have to be taken apart? How straight forward would say adjusting the pressure of the pressure plate be? Not really sure if I'm up to the task myself or whether it would be better to have such a camera serviced by an expert who knows what they're doing. 

Also, in your opinion, how good are the Konvas lenses? I'm hoping that it's possible to obtain adapters to use lenses designed for 35mm stills photography. I have a number of such lenses myself which I'd be keen on using including a Canon FD 17mm lens. 

Out of curiosity, would there be any old and good 35mm movie cameras from say the 1960s etc (produced by Western countries) that would be bargains now? Reflex viewfinders would still be a priority. 

Basic servicing is pretty straightforward but you have to take them apart almost completely. Especially if wanting to adjust the pressure plate pressure... you need to disassemble almost the whole magazine to be able to do that. Generally it is useful to purchase some extra magazines and then choose the best two which you are shooting with and the others are for parts. I highly recommend leaving the servicing to someone else if you are not interested in customizing and repairing the cameras by yourself (I am so I've learned to do most of the basic stuff so that the camera does not need to be sent away if it develops problems. )

Konvas lenses are pretty good actually, especially for the price. Russian coatings tend to be slightly lower quality than Western ones from similar era but if you find a Lomo lens in good condition then it is worth purchasing.

Eclair Cameflex cameras can be used for pretty much the same stuff though they are more rare and expensive. They are also much larger sized. The manufacturing quality is better but a well working Konvas can be used for exactly the similar type of stuff and is cheaper to purchase and there is more of them available. Eclairs are easier to convert to different mount and some of them already have one Nikon mount installed which is very useful if you want to use stills lenses with it. Konvas can use Pentacon Six lenses with a simple adapter if you are interested in those.

By my opinion, the OCT18 lenses worth buying for Konvas are the 22/2.8, 28/2.3, 35/2.3, 50/2.3 and the 75. You can also find use for the 135/4 even when it is a bit cheap-o lens. the look is still pretty nice though. The Foton zoom is also pretty usable though I like the primes more and am rarely using the zoom except for b/w.

Link to post
Share on other sites

every old camera can have problems and may need repairs before they can be used. For example my Cameflex was missing the shutter adjustment knob and axle and was dirty inside so it needed to be opened and cleaned and lubricated. Also the battery adapter had to be made and everything film tested. Later I diy adapted one of the turret ports to M42 so that I have one M42, one Nikon F and one Cameflex mount on it. There is a mains operated sync motor for it which is not very common ( I have one of those which I use regularly) . The camera is noisy as hell though so it would need a blimp if wanting to shoot sync sound with it.  In short films with small shooting ratios we actually used the camera running noise as a actor cue mark so that when they heard the camera starting to run (easy to hear even from 20 - 30m away) then they counted to two and started acting. Saved lots of film :P 

Konvas is also noisy but it's different type of noise. When the Cameflex is more like a flapping noise of the film moving frame by frame, the Konvas is more of a whirring noise like a sewing machine or something. With blimping it could be used for sync sound but I would prefer other cameras for dialog scenes and use this type of cameras mainly for MOS stuff and for music videos etc. where sync speed is needed but camera noise is not a problem.

It would be possible for me to haul together a mixed eBay set of lenses, camera and mags for you if you want. It typically takes from 2 to 4 months to get the needed parts together and cleaned and serviced and film tested etc. I am not able to repair the movement if there is something wrong with it but then it could just be replaced. It could be useful though to get a set together this way because I have spare magazines etc. which could just be swapped if the eBay ones were not OK. Not sure how much extra this would cost with film tests and everything but at least you wouldn't need to lose your nerves with the magazine adjustments and such :D 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're talking about saving money on 35mm, then it's the wrong format for you. Yes it's cool, but I think a lot of people don't realize how difficult it is to shoot 35mm. Lenses are expensive, MOS cameras are expensive, affordable sync sound cameras are MOSTLY heavy and only 4 perf, which burns through too much film to make it efficient. Sure you can buy a Russian camera, but unless you're a camera tech, it'll be nearly impossible to keep running without blowing gobs of money. 

I deal in short ends, it's been my business for 6 years now. I've pushed over 60,000ft through in the last 3 years alone. The short end business is close to dead. There is too much money to be had melting it down, then selling it as short ends. Some of the companies like Frame 24 will end up with "returns" from a shoot, but actual re-can's and short-ends, they're super rare these days. My last big haul was in October last year and it was a dozen can's from 2011. That's considered a "good" haul, but I haven't seen a single decent price short end sale since. 

The other problem is getting short ends that are from the same batch and are stored properly, is nearly impossible. So you will have consistency issues in color between takes and shots depending on where you load during a scene. Short ends are also tricky because unless you check very roll, you don't know if you're being lied to about the quality or not. I would not base my production on shooting short ends, that's not a good way to work in 2020. Maybe 20 years ago, but not today. 

I got into 35mm 4 years ago and I've literally used my camera a dozen times, in 4 years! It's just too costly, even with short-ends, even with 3 perf, even with doing my own service. With 3 perf, recan stock and owning your own camera, it's still 2x the cost of super 16 with NEW film if you're looking at price per minute of finished film. Plus it's WAY easier to get a lightweight super 16 camera than a lightweight sync sound 35mm camera. Heck someone is trying to sell an Arricam LT on this forum for $37k! I couldn't get $10k for ours few years ago. The prices are crazy for anything thats any good, even on 35mm. 

So ya either have deep pockets and shoot with it a lot or buy s16mm. 

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Tyler, you indeed make very good points. Yea I was a little sceptical about trusting the condition of random short ends. Plus the rarity of 500T in short ends would make it hard to shoot stuff like night city scenes (which I have done on super 8 500T.) 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Aapo, that is very tempting. Though I'm still considering my options at this point. Whether I settle on a 16mm or 35mm camera, that may happen later down the track when and if I get more funds. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Sure you can buy a Russian camera, but unless you're a camera tech, it'll be nearly impossible to keep running without blowing gobs of money. 

Yes the Russian cameras may need a bit more involvement in the beginnning. But they are pretty good when they are in proper condition. The advantage of them is that you can get 4 or 5 or 6 of them for the price of a single Western MOS camera so it is possible to actually have a spare camera if needed. Or in the case of my proposition of hauling a set together for Patrick, I would hunt down two camera bodies and use the other for spare parts to get the other working very well. Then keeping the scavenged one as a payment and send the working one to Patrick. If both of them would had bad magazines, then I could swap them to my own mags which are working well and would repair the bad ones later for my own uses. I would be able to film test it to some extent because I am regularly shooting b/w 35mm by myself and could just use the camera on those shoots instead using my own one.

It may be needed to be able to open the camera and mags every now and then for cleaning and lubrication. But that is easy to do, not actual rocket science. And it is needed with every camera.

The movements are hard as I said. I don't have the tools or expertise to repair them if there is anything wrong with them... only person I know who repairs and adjusts them is Olex in East Ukraine. Shipping the cameras back and forth is expensive so it would be more practical to just get a camera body with working movement to start with. But all of them have had the movement working so far so in all the ebay cameras I have purchased so bad movements seem to be quite rare. And I would buy two anyways so one of them would be fine at least.

One of the nice options could be the Cameflex. With luck and patience it could be possible to get the 16mm parts for it too. Just saw one on eBay for something like 650 or 700. 

Personally  I mostly shoot N16 with my own cameras and I can borrow S16 Aaton from a friend if needed. It is most important that you have SOME KIND of camera which shoots the format. If shooting 50D the cropping may not even be that big of a deal. I regularly shoot N16 cropped to 2:1 and most of it is fine

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, aapo lettinen said:

Yes the Russian cameras may need a bit more involvement in the beginnning. But they are pretty good when they are in proper condition. The advantage of them is that you can get 4 or 5 or 6 of them for the price of a single Western MOS camera so it is possible to actually have a spare camera if needed. Or in the case of my proposition of hauling a set together for Patrick, I would hunt down two camera bodies and use the other for spare parts to get the other working very well. Then keeping the scavenged one as a payment and send the working one to Patrick. If both of them would had bad magazines, then I could swap them to my own mags which are working well and would repair the bad ones later for my own uses. I would be able to film test it to some extent because I am regularly shooting b/w 35mm by myself and could just use the camera on those shoots instead using my own one.

I think the biggest problem is even getting them in Australia. It's far easier to get and deal with Russian cameras when ya live not far from Russia. Also, even the later generation Konvas isn't made to the specs of the Moviecam counterparts, they're just not made as well. So even from original spec, they're not good. So then you talk about Kiev's or older Kovas Automat's and they're very cool, but I don't think they're a good "experience" when using. Sure you'll get something shot on 35mm, but they aren't great. 

Owning a Russian camera isn't going to get you jobs shooting 35mm. Shooting 35mm is also grossly expensive and there is a huge difference between messing around with old back and white stock for fun, then shooting something serious and trying to get good results. To me, 35mm is way too expensive to muck around with and then have a bad image because the camera wasn't very good. It's pretty cheap to rent 35mm cameras if you want to shoot 35mm. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

I think the biggest problem is even getting them in Australia. It's far easier to get and deal with Russian cameras when ya live not far from Russia. Also, even the later generation Konvas isn't made to the specs of the Moviecam counterparts, they're just not made as well. So even from original spec, they're not good. So then you talk about Kiev's or older Kovas Automat's and they're very cool, but I don't think they're a good "experience" when using. Sure you'll get something shot on 35mm, but they aren't great. 

Owning a Russian camera isn't going to get you jobs shooting 35mm. Shooting 35mm is also grossly expensive and there is a huge difference between messing around with old back and white stock for fun, then shooting something serious and trying to get good results. To me, 35mm is way too expensive to muck around with and then have a bad image because the camera wasn't very good. It's pretty cheap to rent 35mm cameras if you want to shoot 35mm. 

I will need to order them from Russia or Ukraine too and will need to pay tax and customs for them. Nothing special there. Shipping is faster but not much other difference. Much easier than to order something from the US and costs the same or sometimes is even cheaper.

They are not a replacement for Moviecams, they are a replacement for Eyemo, Arri2c and Cameflex type of MOS cameras. Compared to Eyemo you have the benefit of reflex finder and bigger rolls and quick change mags at the same price point. Compared to Arri2c the Konvas cameras are cheaper and have orientable finders on some models and the lenses are MUCH cheaper. Compared to Cameflex the Konvas cameras can be made much smaller and more lightweight and a bit cheaper and the lenses are much cheaper than original Kinoptik unless you have a NikonF mount conversion in you Cameflex. 

The OP will probably never get much revenue back from the camera system anyway and I understood he is mostly going to shoot MOS single rolls every now and then so there is not much use to spend close to 10K to get a Moviecam package. A 2C or a Cameflex could be useful for him as I mentioned before. Costs a bit more than the Konvas in full working condition and he would have more issues getting affordable lenses especially for the 2C.

 

The direct Russian replacement for Moviecam cameras are the Kinor35N and 35C which roughly compare to Moviecam SuperAmerica (copied from it. Slight differences. The N model is newer). These cameras need KS to BH conversion before they are useful in real shoots. The Konvases DO NOT need any conversions, just CLA and any film can be used with them (I regularly shoot both KS and BH film with them and both work fine).

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

It's pretty cheap to rent 35mm cameras if you want to shoot 35mm. 

I did consider that option. And yea it would be nice to be able to use top notch lenses. Wonder if it would be a similar cost to buying a Konvas camera on the used market or not much more. Regardless, I did note that you mentioned that short ends are unreliable regarding what kind of condition they're in. And paying full retail price for 35mm film is just too costly. 

Edited by Patrick Cooper
Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, aapo lettinen said:

They are not a replacement for Moviecams, they are a replacement for Eyemo, Arri2c and Cameflex type of MOS cameras. Compared to Eyemo you have the benefit of reflex finder and bigger rolls and quick change mags at the same price point. Compared to Arri2c the Konvas cameras are cheaper and have orientable finders on some models and the lenses are MUCH cheaper. Compared to Cameflex the Konvas cameras can be made much smaller and more lightweight and a bit cheaper and the lenses are much cheaper than original Kinoptik unless you have a NikonF mount conversion in you Cameflex. 

 

I do admit that the Konvas cameras sound like they're really versatile for their price. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the aspects is that the Konvases which use OCT18 mount have pretty good and affordable lenses even when the available focal lengths are limited. Lenses are generally the most expensive part of the package so this really matters when choosing a camera. 

I purchased most of my cameras when the prices were lower, most of them cost from 100 to 200 bucks for a camera body and couple of mags in unknown condition. One lens could be bought for a minimum of about 100 bucks and the most expensive prime was about 300 I think. A Foton zoom was something like 400-500 bucks or so. The prices are now higher but they are still an affordable option.

The film is another issue though. But I don't think the availability of short ends would stop you especially if you are intending to mostly shoot 50D.  (I personally shoot lots of 100ft B/W bulk stills film rolls and they are available everywhere) .As you can see on the Frame24 page there is lots of clearance 50D available which is in good and known condition in unopened cans. It may be a slight issue for you that when using the smaller Konvas magazines you always need to spool down the film in darkroom to get it to proper sized loads to use. There is 400ft mags for newer models like the 1M but most of the mags are 200ft and if you want to use the larger sized normal cores with adapters then the newer 200ft mags can only use about 150ft loads or so. Spooling down is not an issue if you do multiple rolls at a time in the darkroom and then store them later for use when keeping your "film stockpile" in the original unopened cans to save space in the fridge.

A full Konvas package with the desired mags, reasonably CLA:d and with batteries and maybe two lenses and shipping could be got with the 1K budget I think. The CLA and additional shippings will be about 400 of that 1K price I think so almost half of it. One could probably get a reasonably quality 35mm sound capable rental package with basic lenses for two-three days with that price if getting a great deal and choosing the timing right. So it is pretty subjective and depends on what you want to do with the camera. Rental cameras make sense for narrative work but generally not for documentary style MOS stuff where you have less footage to shoot per day and you would like lots of different setups and locations which are not near the rental house

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

lol.I went down the russian rabbit hole too, first buying LOMO super speeds on the cheap, then buying Konvas Bodies before shifting to rebuilt KINOR 35h from Anders Banke and then converting the camera to two perf at Aranda! Just as the RED Digital Craze hit, and the SAG threatened strike caused a shift in production to Digital and a big move to the east coast. As the Film demand decreased so did the labs, until the last lab in NYC closed. That was the absolute bottom, and the price of Movie cameras dropped to nothing. All of the sudden what i paid for one Kinor 2 perf camera I was able to buy four more....lol. At that point i had all these KINOR camera's that where hard to service and no one wanted to  use.  SO i have a nice museum of KINOR 2 perf sync cameras lol! However once the hollywood heavies came to the rescue and Kodak emerged from bankruptcy and opened a new lab in new york, the price of my movie cameras started to sky rocket, lol. Maybe i should open a 2 perf camera store, lol!. Anyway after all that, i finally decided i needed cameras that can be serviced and are built to last, so now i have 2 perf ARRI bl4's and an ARRI III. Finally doing test, until COVID hit and closed down the lab, lol. I can still look at my russian two perf museum lol!

KINOR35Hrear.jpg

Kinor35Hfront.jpg

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.

×
×
  • Create New...