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Mark Williams

Lubrication for an Arri BL

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Hi everyone..

 

I have an Arri BL And I cant find out where the oil points on it are. Nothing in the instruction Manual and I have searched here and the Internet..How do you Oil it?

 

TIA

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You ought to pick up the Professional Cameraman's Handbook, it's got a fairly detailed description. I've never done it before, but it looks like there's 11+ points that need to be oiled. It says to lube it every 10,000 feet you run through. That's the only place I've been able to find good instruction on using the camera...and it's got instruction for pretty much every camera ever made, so it's a great resource to have.

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Im quite surprised that this information is not more generally available? Could you tell me where I could get A copy

 

"Professional Cameraman's Handbook"

 

 

Great forum!

 

 

Thanks

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Its OK!

 

Found a copy on Ebay (Thanks David) anyone know a link OR info on how and where the 11+ points of Lube are situated would be much apreciated!

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Keep an eye out for a service manual for the camera (not an owner's/user's, that's different). That should tell you.

 

Annie, Yes I have tried :) Every now and then I think of a keyword that might yield search results! Unfortunately I have never come across a Service Manual. I Guess if the experts here dont know of one. Perhaps this sort of info is kept within the confines of service engineers. Also maybe prevent people from ruining their Camera?

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According to ARRI, there was never a published service manual for the ARRI BL, or for any other ARRI camera. It had something to do with ARRI not wanting anyone who was not a trained ARRI service tech working on the cameras. They thought if other folks were working on the cameras and the cameras started to have problems, it would ruin ARRI's sales, even though the problems were caused by someone working on the camera who had no idea what they were doing. There are a number of folks selling "ARRI Service Manuals" for the ARRI 16S and the ARRI 16M on ebay, but they are very questionable. The one that is supposed to be for the ARRI 16s has pictures of the newer Tobin motor, so it is obviously not something published by ARRI.

 

I would love to find a copy of the "Professional Cameraman's Handbook". Never heard of it before now. Anyone know where I can get a copy?

 

Thanks,

-Tim

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Annie yes please I would like to hear about anything you uncover regarding the BL!

 

I bought a copy of a repair Manual from old Timers Cameras cost 30 Quid all the parts are shown even down to screw sizes.. Trouble is its in German..They offered a refund but Im concerned I may not get anything else? It does'nt show things like lubrication or techniques Not much good but it may be Invaluable later?

 

_____________________________________________

 

(Quote from Tim)

I would love to find a copy of the "Professional Cameraman's Handbook". Never heard of it before now. Anyone know where I can get a copy?

_____________________________________________

 

Tim I ordered one from Amazon Taking ages to arrive though..

 

:)

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:o :blink: :unsure: ;) As a side note: KY makes for great camera lub.... :huh:

 

 

HA HA HA, Wasnt that funny? (Sorry, I had to!)

Edited by Landon D. Parks

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Hi everyone..

 

I have an Arri BL And I cant find out where the oil points on it are. Nothing in the instruction Manual and I have searched here and the Internet..How do you Oil it?

 

TIA

 

I have an image of the points for you but for some reason I have no space on my attachments to send it to you.

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Hi everyone..

 

I have an Arri BL And I cant find out where the oil points on it are. Nothing in the instruction Manual and I have searched here and the Internet..How do you Oil it?

 

TIA

 

Can you E-mail me and Ill send it to you.

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Hi Glenn,

I have just e-maied you too, for i wouldnt mind having that pic as well...

 

Mark,

I have a BL too and over a very long period of time, i have managed to find few different bits and pieces of documentation for it... here are links to some that you might like to own for future purpuse.

 

This was sent to me by Mr. Guenther Zoeh, a manager from Arnold&Richter Cine Technik in Munich, a very usuful and extremeley rare wire diagram for BL, BLE and EMP motors... I've added it to my website...

http://www.lavproductions.com/pics/pdf97462.pdf

 

Here is an English manual for BL (probably the one you got in German) I got this same thing in HARD COPY that was an original and came with the camera, and i think its that one they sell on eBay... so don't buy them...

http://www.intervalometers.com/pdfs/arriblmanual.pdf

 

Here is one about BLs in general: http://www.cinema-astoria.com/cinematograp...iscription.html

http://www.cinematechnic.com/resources/arri_16bl.html

 

on the bottom of this page there is a History of ARRI

http://www.cinema-astoria.com/cinematography/arri/

 

 

That's all i can think of at the moment. I have gone through a fair bit with my BL so if you need some advise, shoot it across and I'll try and look into it for you. Do you have a video split on yours?

 

Cheers,

Lav

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Hi Lav

 

Thanks for the wiring diagram I will file it away for possible future reference.. I had all the other Links! Here is one more..

http://rtf.utexas.edu:16080/equipment/tips/bl.html

That must be about it I would think unless anyone else knows different?

 

I dont have a video split.. What I have heard about the unreliability of Video assist, Maybe just as well?

What Im planning on doing is using my video camera although Im not seeing through the lens I should be able to pick up a little on Light settings framing ect.. I also thought about using a digital still camera along with The light meter While Im learning how to become better used to lighting camera..

 

 

Great demo reel on your website I noticed you framed in 2:35:1 Have you modified your BL For super or ultra perhaps..

Edited by Mark Williams

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I dont have a video split.. What I have heard about the unreliability of Video assist, Maybe just as well?

What Im planning on doing is using my video camera although Im not seeing through the lens I should be able to pick up a little on Light settings framing ect.. I also thought about using a digital still camera along with The light meter While Im learning how to become better used to lighting camera..

 

Hi Mark,

I believe very much into video assists, cause i am a director by trade :D

 

In the instance of my BL i am hoping to have a Sony camera attached to the viewfinder and focus (with the right lens) onto the ground glass. This should show what the lens sees. Perhaps attaching an LCD onto the BL too, cause the operator wont be able to see throught the viewfinder at the same time when the video assist is on.

 

I've previously tried attaching a small spy camera on the top of the zoom lens. This did well in capturing actors and their action but did nothing for the camera department or any other for that matter, for the framing wasn't right.

 

Depending where you are in the world, these fellows can help you install an awesome video assist that will split the vision two ways, and wont cover up your viewfinder... i think it costs abuout $2100AUD and more if you do not have APEC door :(

 

http://members.aol.com/azspectrum/16blccd.html

http://www.arandafilm.com.au/index.html

 

Great demo reel on your website I noticed you framed in 2:35:1 Have you modified your BL For super or ultra perhaps..

 

No, I didnt modify the camera. The companies mentioned above will do that for you though, costs aboout $3100AUD for conversion to Super 16; Not too bad if you wish to take your BL there in time...

 

I simply had it pushed to that in telecine - (I am talking about the video in Current Projects; The video in About Us has black bars dropped on it and was shot many years ago with an SRII)

 

We shot the test shoot thinking about doing this... and thats that, the test shoot, what you saw on the net. http://www.lavproductions.com/film.htm Its not a good thing to do, cause you are lossing even more of a frame, the telecine techs are zooming into your image, but it is a cheaper alternative for getting that super16 look.

 

If you wish to do this you should try and shoot everythin in slower stock, for later if there really is need to blow it up to 35mm, you don't want the film to over flood with grain...

 

Ill be doing another test shoot within the next couple of weeks or saw, will post it on the net when its transfered to tape.

 

Thanks mate,

Lav

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Lav.. Thanks very much.. Downloaded and printed..This is very useful.. Just one more thing :) What oil and Grease do you find best?

 

 

You have given me much to think about.. I had dismissed Video assist as cumbersome. Prone to going wrong. Magneticly Attracted people to watch it .. Expensive.. In the way..Took time to set up..More Batteries to charge..Or an extra Connection to the Generator..

 

BUT I guess for framing its worth it? Mind you looking through a Prime at T1.3 Its pretty clear? And seeing the real world to..Im kinda reluctant to let anyone other than the Cinematographer and director see it because of the time spent with other opinions and the distraction element ie ever walked into a room with the TV on where does everyone look?

 

I had been thinking about using slower stock outside. But for interior shots This would mean Bigger Lights? and would be better done in a studio where you could get the distance needed?

 

Again you got me thinking which is a great way to retain stuff..

 

:blink:

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Hi Mark

 

I think you will find video assist is essential when you get into more expensive shoots. You run it on a seperate battery and connect it to a monitor that should have its own batteries too. In the real world, you should have an apple clamp shell there (portable DVCAM recorder) and record the footage straight away. Director doesnt always get to peek through the camera and needs this. Its good for continuity too as well as seeing if the boom is in the shot :D Most important of all though is your clients... if you are working on a TVCs or a Video Clip or similar you must show your client the picture as they will sit behind your back asking millions of questions, this is one way of keeping them happy.

 

Whilst working on some bigger pictures as a video assist I was doing some crazy things, spliting the signal to all Heads of Department as well as importing into a Final Cut and providing all the shots back on cue to them and even getting a rough copy out by the end of the day... its relevant, for you want to see what you filmmed whilst you wait for the stock to develop and go through telecine...

 

Once, on one of the indi things I did, we had split going into an Avid straight... this was real cool cause Avid was able to show the picture while importing and play back the shot before that... you get to match eyelines, continuety and much more real good. Imagine you are shooting digital, with a split, you could make sure your lights always match...

 

Now, you mentioned you are affraid of it attracting people to watch it? maybe that will be case on an indi production, but even as such it will wear of. You'd probably only get one monitor, and that would be in front of a director-i doubt your crew would be able to gather around it as they'd be doing other things. If its day light, you will find that the director might chuck a towel or some kind of sun protection over it and his/her head to cut down on glare...

 

And of course there are all your stedicam, gib and dolly shots that often have you not being able to peek through the eyepiece... if you gonna send you camera 5meters above your subject on a jib, well then, that jib better be a crane to allow an operator to go up with it...

 

Cheers,

lav

 

PS> here is a guy that makes what i am trying to do on some 35mm cameras... he just told me he would make a video split for a 16BL for $995AUD. I think I still might make my own, but it's not a bad price I guess...

http://members.optusnet.com.au/~smort1/cinecamods/mods

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Hi Lav

 

Yes I can see its uses! fantastic being able to edit your film while its being developed.. Im still not sold on letting others see the rushes apart from those that need to as I think the Producer or clients or even the teaboy could start suggesting alternate ways or even adding put downs which ultimately could lead to challenges or worse.. I think the director needs to confide in his cinematographer and they alone should have the creative input by keeping potential critics away I know the Lighting Man will want the film to best highlight his work as will the set designer the Actors will want the Camera on them and the grip will want the Camera to show off his ability to fly..Personally as a Director I want complete control and have the different depts advise me when I ask not but in because they notice their angle not at its full potential...

 

I guess on a professional shoot everbody follows protocol..After what you have told me I will try to at some point add video assist but be careful with its use!

 

Thanks Lav some great Advice

 

PS

 

What Oil do you use On your BL How do you find the BL Compared to the SR2?

:)

Edited by Mark Williams

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What Oil do you use On your BL How do you find the BL Compared to the SR2?

:)

 

Also on your diagram (Thanks) Point 1 seems to be an Oil hole that pushes in to allow access? How much oil would you put in? A few drops? I have some all in one oil.. Would that do?

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What Oil do you use On your BL How do you find the BL Compared to the SR2?

  :)

HI Mark,

 

unfortunately i am not able to answer your question regarding the brand of oil used nor the amount that you should squirt in. I think its best you ask an engineer that does this on regular basis, as i wouldnt want to give out any wrong information... perhaps someone from this forum would know the answer?

 

Comparing a BL and SR2 is not really fair. I mean, there are 2 decades in between those cameras production wise... (approx) Obviously that is a what makes SR2 many many times better then a BL. The electronics are more modern and easier upgradable. Pretty much everything on an SR2 can be changed around to make it into SR3, whilst a BL is always going to remain a first sound camera, incredibly HEAVY, with BLIMPs for lenses required and so on...

 

SR2 cannot be compared with the BL. In my opinon (As I own a BL) a BL is a great starting camera, a great toy to learn your way around an Arriflex unit, a great way to get to own a camera for cheap and to a large degree a collectors item whilst your SR2 is a real piece of equipment, gear that will get you jobs and be recognised everywhere in the world. Hence why a good SR2 costs about $20 000USD and a BL is about $4000USD...

 

In the nutshell, when you forget about the electronics of the two units, even little things like heaviness and not being able to swap lenses around easily is relevant not to mention the loudness difference and Super16 conversion, or any kind of EXTRA accesories. Think follow focus, time code generator, extendable eyepiece, inside light meter, varying speed motors, matt boxes, lens mounts, etc etc... all of which is available world wide for SR2 and NOT available for BL either because it doesnt exist or cause it would be rare as hell to find... :huh:

 

You can read anothe thread on this 16mm forum I started about comparing a BL with SR1 (german electronics) that I enquired about only couple of weeks ago. Even to compare a SR1 with a BL was a crime :D

 

Dont get me wrong though, i love my BL and aint selling it ever :D

 

Cheers Mark,

Lav

 

PS. Are you thinking about getting an ARRI SR? Let me know if so...

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Hi Lav

 

I think the SR2 Would obviously look more the part,Lighter Portable with a whole range of Accessories..

 

My only concern is Picture quality I dont think Im going to do much better then a set Of Mark 1 Primes and a Zeiss T zoom.. The Question is which one gives a better Picture? My Money is there may not be a lot in it But the BL looks more solid and more engineered..

 

I recorded the BL Last night through headphones using a Marantz recorder and a sennheiser K6 Mic very very quiet even when up on my Timeline..This is without a Mag Barney very Impressive..

 

The BL is also better for handheld and over the shoulder..even if its heavy which should give it more stability (Less Camera shake)

 

;)

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Mark,

 

the way it bottles down it really is all about lenses... unfortunately there isnt much of a choice for BL. I mean, not with all the blimp housings you'd need. Your primes might be good and your Zoom, if T3 is good too, nice and contrasty... i only got a T3.3 on mine... yours is T3 i presume, multicoated... so picture quality wise, if the lenses will be the same I doubt anyone would ever be able to tell a difference with which camera you shot it... SR2s are usualy upgradet to PL mount and take nicer lenses therefore... yours might not be...

 

In regards to the sound coming out of the BL i read once that it is 28dbl that the camera produces from 1.5 meters away... SR2 does 25dbl... so not much different. This was done without a barney or towel of any kind over it .... Should you choose to tailor a barney around yours, get yourself nice set of blimp housings for all the primes and different zooms, well then you have a nice camera that does all basic things that SR2 does (thats kind of where i am planning on taking my BL too :D)

 

In regards to the handheld shots, oh well, there I might disagree with you. I shot a fair bit of 16mm stuff with SR2 and it was all pretty much handheld ( I am a sucker for it and just love "Traffic" :D) and i have since tried to do the same with my BL and i dont know if it is long scenes, long shots or my broken neck but its dam heavy and very hard to pull focus on... see, my films have very long durational shots, cause i like that, and are often handheld. This usualy means the camera changes subjects or the distance between the subject and the lens, so lots of focus pulling... on a BL to focus pull you got to turn the entire blimp, and that alone can cause jerky moves... not to mention that on SR2 you can get a nice FF with remote controls should you have enough cash in your budget...

 

This new film of mine i wanted to try out steadicam and fly the camera for a while. To balance a BL on there is next to impossible, according to few steadicam ops i spoke to... I am not saying it is impossible, but apparently hard to balance... whilst SR2 is a piece of cake... might have to ditch those flying shots it would appear... maybe my dissapointment within that is having an effect on my answers :D i dont know...

 

If you have a choice of shooting on either SR2 or BL i would really urge you to consider all the facts, try out both of them and ask more people about it, before settlign for the BL... if your collage has both I'd line up for the SR2... If you have a nice one for sale, let me know :D

 

Lav

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You should pick up some Arriflex grease if you have not already.

 

Well, I would wonder how much the conditions of the cameras affect the loudness of each. Numerically, not hypothetically; I know that cleaner=quieter, but I'm curious as to HOW much quieter. So now the audiophile in me wants to take a BL, fully overhauled, and put it next to a "had lots of film run through it" SRI or II and then check out the difference in dB with an SPL meter! Unfortunately our BLs were put out of service because we had trouble with them and they were not worth fixing. (It was not a loudness issue!)

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