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Alex Corn

Arri S Serial Numbers

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I know this is a long shot, but I am doing an inventory of 160 some-odd arri-s's and sb's and I would like to know if anyone knows where i can find the hostories of certain Arri serial #'s. I need to know of mechanical differences in certain models made in certain years, if the serial numbers reflect any kind of chronology, etc etc. If anyone can help, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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Would you like owners to give you informations on their own ones ?

 

I can have a look at mine, two 16 ST, and give you the serial numbers if you like

 

Im more or less looking for something along the lines of the differences in production that occured over the history of Arri s/sb manufacturing. For instance, all the newer model s's run the ground (negative) current through the body of the camera, eliminating the need for extra wiring from the battery to the motor and mag connection. But I found an older model Arri bearing the serial number 063. It does not ground through the camera but uses extraneous wiring. Since it is so old, and has a low serial number, I figured that maybe the serial numbers are chronoligcal, and if they are than I want to find a list of all the changes to different manufacturing batches by serial number. I repair these cameras for a living, and in diong so have found that every Arri s/sb has it's own little quirks, and parts from some are totally incompatible with parts from others. Seeing as I have 160+ to keep track of, knowing which of mine are different internally without having to rip them apart would be a great help. If you have original manuals that mention anything along these lines, that would be an awesome help, and also if you know how your camera is inside (mainly diopter format, motor bushing mount, buckle trip connects, and roller config), and provide your serial number, that would be awesome. I figure this is a long shot, but I've been browsing this site and found the info good, so I figure its a good a place as any to find out.

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I know the inside quite well.

 

I'll check the serial numbers and give you descriptions on what I've got in a few days.

 

Regards

 

That would be great. Thanks much.

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Out of curiosity, do the older Arri S models have the serial number in a little circle on the inside of the door, or is that something else? The only number I could find on mine was 115.

 

Yeah. And then it got stolen. :sigh:

 

Out of curiosity, do the older Arri S models have the serial number in a little circle on the inside of the door, or is that something else? The only number I could find on mine was 115.

 

Yeah. And then it got stolen. :sigh:

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Just out of curiousity, how did you come up with 160 Arriflex 16S and 16S/B cameras? Are you the camera repair tech at NYU?, or maybe UCLA?

 

-Tim

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"Out of curiosity, do the older Arri S models have the serial number in a little circle on the inside of the door, or is that something else? The only number I could find on mine was 115.

 

Yeah. And then it got stolen. :sigh:"

 

 

-I take the bumbers off one of four places: the lower left side of the body along the bottom, under the battery terminal, inside underneath spindle spring/chain cover, and underneath the pressure plate assembly.

 

 

 

quote name='TimCarroll' date='Oct 20 2005, 10:19 PM' post='71908']

Just out of curiousity, how did you come up with 160 Arriflex 16S and 16S/B cameras? Are you the camera repair tech at NYU?, or maybe UCLA?

 

-Tim

 

 

-I am the camera repair tech for New York Film Academy.

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Ok, then here are mine serial numbers :

 

ST n° 17790 and ST n° 10852

 

I think Tim might as well give you a number.

 

What do you need to know about the ones I've got ?

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Ok, then here are mine serial numbers :

 

ST n° 17790 and ST n° 10852

 

I think Tim might as well give you a number.

 

What do you need to know about the ones I've got ?

 

The serial number on my Arriflex 16S is 73XX and I know it was made in 1957, because it came with all the original paperwork from when the guy bought it, as well as an ARRI brochure from that year. Mine has the different back side and no sync pulse socket. See below:

 

1957ARRI.jpg

 

-Tim Carroll

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We almost could see the number on your picture, actually. Funny you don't give it all ! ( He's given me the whole number, who wants to bid ?) :lol:

 

Anyway, mine, that are more recent, look very similar. Only the "magazine" part shape is a bit different. And they've got the pulse socket.

 

I figured out from the number, compared to mine, that your camera is pretty old. Does it work well, anyhow ? You told us you were rebuilding it. So it turned OK ?

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We almost could see the number on your picture, actually. Funny you don't give it all ! ( He's given me the whole number, who wants to bid ?) :lol:

 

Anyway, mine, that are more recent, look very similar. Only the "magazine" part shape is a bit different. And they've got the pulse socket.

 

I figured out from the number, compared to mine, that your camera is pretty old. Does it work well, anyhow ? You told us you were rebuilding it. So it turned OK ?

 

Yeah, it turned out great. Got assistance from two very generous German Arri techs who worked on the cameras back in the 1960's at the factory. Has been a wonderful learning experience for me, and has given me alot more confidence in the camera.

 

It's weird how the numbers go. I saw one about six months ago with the serial number of 06XX, so you would think it was one of the earliest ones made, but it had the same kind of "magazine part shape" on the back as your later models do. Then I thought maybe mine was some kind of weird fluke, because I have rarely seen that kind of webbing around the "magazine part shape", but then I looked at the 1957 catalogue and all the 16S's shown had the webbing like mine. It's odd. Mine also has the drive springs for the spindles exposed and does not have secondary rollers mating up to the main rollers, it just has slides. Maybe when they came up with the covered drive springs and the secondary rollers and the different "magazine part shape", they started the numbers back over at zero again. It's weird that they call all of them Arriflex 16S though, except the bayonet mount ones.

 

-Tim

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Mine is labelled 16 ST, not 16 S, by the serial number. It has the 3 lenses mount. Does your have the 3 lens mount ? I feel like not but I can't really tell by the picture.

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Mine is labelled 16 ST, not 16 S, by the serial number. It has the 3 lenses mount. Does your have the 3 lens mount ? I feel like not but I can't really tell by the picture.

 

Mine has the three lens turret. I had always figured that the ST was the European version of the S, but then I have seen many individuals selling 16S cameras from over in Europe and occasionally an ST will turn up here in the States. Mine does not say ST on it and it does not say S on it anywhere. The only thing by the serial number is an "Nr" before the number. Does ST appear after the number on yours, or before? And are you sure that ST is not French, German, Italian, Dutch, Swedish or some other language abbreviation for serial number?

 

Here's a shot of the front of my camera. It still has the old aluminum port caps, very vintage. B)

 

1957Front.jpg

 

-Tim

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Thanks for the info guys - it seems that the older cameras I have (four digit serial numbers) have the wierd webbing and only two roller drums. But I can't make any other patterns out. I have some that start with an NR and some that start with an ST (I'm still looking for an S, but I've only checked maybe 20 out of the whole 160) and it seems like the ST's have higher serial numbers. As far as the camera with the 73xx serial, that is odd. I have none like that. The lowest serial number I have is 0057, and it is so old it has the nuetral wire connected at the battery, instead of too the casing like every other S i have. Thanks again, and hopefully someone can verify what Ive found about the NR/ST nomenclature.

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Thanks for the info guys - it seems that the older cameras I have (four digit serial numbers) have the wierd webbing and only two roller drums. But I can't make any other patterns out. I have some that start with an NR and some that start with an ST (I'm still looking for an S, but I've only checked maybe 20 out of the whole 160) and it seems like the ST's have higher serial numbers. As far as the camera with the 73xx serial, that is odd. I have none like that. The lowest serial number I have is 0057, and it is so old it has the nuetral wire connected at the battery, instead of too the casing like every other S i have. Thanks again, and hopefully someone can verify what Ive found about the NR/ST nomenclature.

 

Sorry if there was confusion, it is a four digit serial number starting with Nr 7300. I was told years ago not to give out entire serial numbers of cameras on the web. I don't know if this is still going on now, but about five years ago I heard about a number of individuals taking down the serial numbers of cameras and then reporting them stolen. Since most of us cannot possibly identify everyone who owned these old cameras before we did, sometimes these crooks were successful. And even when they were not, they caused serious headaches for the individual who purchased the cameras. So I paranoidly never put down the whole serial number of any of my cameras on the web.

 

-Tim Carroll

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OK, I see, thanks for the advice...

 

Just found out some more information. My camera is Nr 7300, and I was looking at a camera today that is Nr 7900, somewhere between these two cameras is where ARRI changed over. My camera Nr 7300 has the webbing on the back of the casing and the slides inside instead of the rollers, and no "lock" for the power cable at the rear. His camera Nr 7900 has the new smooth back of the casing and the rollers inside instead of the slides, and has the "lock" for the power cable at the rear. So somewhere in that 600 serial numbers from my camera to his, ARRI changed over from the old style to the new style of the Arriflex 16S.

 

Just thought I'd pass it along.

 

-Tim Carroll

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There were 3 generations of ground glass also IIRC. (don't quote me; there's only so much info on old cameras I can retain in the brain before I have to delete it to free up space :)

 

I have s/n St 15XXX -- heh heh -- made in ~ 1967 (according to Arri), I think just prior to going to the S/B.

 

The only "anomoly" I can see is the door latch is only marked "C" and "O" no Zu und Auf here !

 

THE most reliable _machine_ of any type I've ever owned, for sure

 

ps I saw Arri S serial no. 010 for sale at the old General Camera in NYC once.... looked pretty clean actually...

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One other thing, the Nr 7900 Arriflex 16S had the sync terminal on the back, something else my camera does not have. So Arri added the sync pulse generator sometime between serial number 7300 and 7900.

 

What I do not understand is the camera pictured below. I saw this online a month ago, it is serial number Nr 046X, which would make it a very early Arriflex 16S, but it has the smooth back and appears to have the cut out for the sync socket. Other pictures of the same camera made it look like a much more modern 16S. Does anyone else have an Arri 16S with a serial number lower than 7000, yet still has the smooth back, sync socket, power cord lock and extra set of rollers on the inside?

 

Odd.jpg

 

-Tim

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Okay, see where this figures in:

 

I have an Arri S serial no. 05X, making it a very early camera. It has a smooth back, four rollers, a lock for the power supply, and an early non-detachable diopter by Zeiss. The rollers could have been transplanted from a newer model, lord knows how many Arris I've frankensteined in such a way (maybe three, now that I think about it...), but it has a gear spring cover, the screws to which are in the body and therefore must be original. Its a very contradictory camera, I wonder if anyone else has a really low serial number camera with these features. BTW, all serials match, on door, body, and movement.

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Okay, see where this figures in:

 

I have an Arri S serial no. 05X, making it a very early camera. It has a smooth back, four rollers, a lock for the power supply, and an early non-detachable diopter by Zeiss. The rollers could have been transplanted from a newer model, lord knows how many Arris I've frankensteined in such a way (maybe three, now that I think about it...), but it has a gear spring cover, the screws to which are in the body and therefore must be original. Its a very contradictory camera, I wonder if anyone else has a really low serial number camera with these features. BTW, all serials match, on door, body, and movement.

 

I have seen a number of "new design" cameras without the sync socket, I think that was an option on the cameras, and I also noticed that cameras that were not S/B were the ones I have found without sync sockets. Every S/B I have seen has had some form of sync socket on the back.

 

I wonder two things. First, did ARRI just start the serial numbers over when they went to the "new design"? That seems like it would be pretty confusing. Second, were there two different factories making the cameras back then and did each factory have it's own foundry supplying the parts and therefore the castings were different? But that doesn't make alot of sense either.

 

I have an Arriflex 16S catalog from 1957 and all the cameras pictured in there have the webbing back like mine. And I have a PDF of a newer catalog and all the cameras in there have the "new design".

 

Something else I do not know if you have seen or not, the original Arriflex 16S, the ones with the Zeiss viewfinder(the long black tube, non removable type), also had a flat door. I see them around on occassion. Those predate my camera and must be some of the first ones made, probably early 1950's. But the owners manual that came with my camera had the illustrations from the flat door/Zeiss viewfinder model. The one camera I remember seeing with a flat door had a serial number in the 5000 range, which would make it prior to my 7300.

 

Would love to see a "History of the Arriflex 16S" book someday.

 

-Tim

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Something else I do not know if you have seen or not, the original Arriflex 16S, the ones with the Zeiss viewfinder(the long black tube, non removable type), also had a flat door. I see them around on occassion. Those predate my camera and must be some of the first ones made, probably early 1950's. But the owners manual that came with my camera had the illustrations from the flat door/Zeiss viewfinder model. The one camera I remember seeing with a flat door had a serial number in the 5000 range, which would make it prior to my 7300.

 

Would love to see a "History of the Arriflex 16S" book someday.

 

-Tim

 

What do you mean by flat door?

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