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Old 05-02-2013, 10:01 PM   #1
Pkepneriv
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Question Are these good 16mm starting cameras when on a budget?

Hi everyone I am extremely new the the entire film making field. I recently became interested in 16mm film. I wanted to get an older low cost camera to play around with. I was thinking of a Bolex H-16 or a Krasnogorsk K3. What are your thoughts on both of those cameras? The Bolex comes with three lenses already mounted on the turret and is inexcellent shape. The Krasnogorsk comes with a few filters, pistol grip, shoulder stalk, stop motion trigger chord, leather case and instruction manual. From what I have read it seems the Bolex is pretty popular and quite a few people shoot with them. I like that it comes with three lenses. They could come in handy for dirrent shots. On the Krasnogorsk I have heard that the lens is a higher quality and thus produces sharper images. Know anything about that? I do like all the accessories that come with it. Btw both cameras come with traveling cases. Any advice or suggestions would be wonderful. Yes I know shooting film is expensive but thats why I wanted to start very small and cheap to experiment with. I would love to get a Arriflex SRIII but that is a maybe way way down the road lol.

Thanks guys!
Paul Kepner
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:10 AM   #2
Zensteve
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Bolex is a good name, but I'm not familiar with the camera you listed.

The K3 is a great starter camera... if you receive one in good working order.

Some things to keep in mind:

It's a windup. You can't just record sound & have it sync up. Not the end of the world, but definitely something to plan for.

Definitely do research into how/where you'll be developing & digitising your footage. The cost can add up fast.

Learn how to use a lightmeter.

Have fun with it!

.
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:16 AM   #3
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I'd be interested in the price range you're looking at - I've seen Arri 16SR's and even SR2s and 3s insanely cheap on eBay (admittedly lensless). I've also seen 35mm cameras selling cheaper than C300s....
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:18 AM   #4
Pkepneriv
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ZenSteve thanks fir the comments. Both of the cameras are in excellent working cindition. True they do not record sound. I was thinking for the first few fikms just dubing music over it since I believe it would be a pain to sync the voice onto it kater as you mentioned. As for the price of the cameras the Bolex is $350 and the K3 is $200. You said that some of the film cameras that recird audio are pretty cheap on Ebay. What do you mean by cheap? Are there any fairly cheap 16mm cameras that record audio that you could recommend? Someone also mentioned to me that if I wanted to shoot film I should start with shooting super 8 because the cost is so low and I could get my feet wet that way. I like the low cost part but the images don't seem to be a very nice quality or at least what I have seen. What are you thoughts on that?

Thanks,
Paul Kepner
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Old 05-03-2013, 09:36 AM   #5
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Super 8's great for learning!

Sound is always recorded on an external device, the point Zensteve was making is that without a crystal sync motor, any sound you record is unlikely to match up.

By cheap, I was talking about ~$1,000. Bit more expensive than the $350 you're looking at, but still hella cheap.

That doesn't take into account stock, processing and telecine costs though, which you should definitely account for.
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pkepneriv View Post
Hi everyone I am extremely new the the entire film making field. I recently became interested in 16mm film. I wanted to get an older low cost camera to play around with. I was thinking of a Bolex H-16 or a Krasnogorsk K3. .......Paul Kepner
Get the Bolex, provided it's had some service in its life and not about to run dry. The common lenses that you find with these are very sharp actually. Bolex is a great camera for artists, experimentals or new cinematographers about to explore the photographic process. Initially, forget sync sound. This is a modern myth that's exagerated by digital. As an exercise, make a music video where every image is an expression of small imagined ideas while listening to the music. No musicians, narrative elements allowed, just a collage of feelings. If you fully indulge this you may never go back.

If you need sync cameras later they are cheap. Go to cinematography.com forum and read up on their relative usefullness. Avoid buying one unless you can afford to keep it serviced.

Cheers,
Gregg
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:57 AM   #7
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Make sure the Bolex is a reflex one. You need to be looking through the taking lens. There was a model where you would be looking through a lens then have to rack it over into the taking position. Avoid that model, unless you need the c mount lenses for some other camera. The differences in the lenses for reflex vs non reflex 16mm Bolex is another story, but one can learn all about that if you need to.
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Old 05-18-2013, 07:51 AM   #8
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Of the two, I would also recommend you spring for the Bolex.

I think what Zensteve is trying to say about the K3 is that with its spring-controlled transport, the actual framerate is quite erratic, so any kind of decent sound-sync is out of the question. I wouldn't know for sure, but that sounds like a consumer-grade camera to me, and one I probably wouldn't look at twice. That said, if you're buying the hand-crank version, I don't know how easy it will be to get sound-sync with that (crank really steadily), and personally, I'd get the electronic version myself (H16EBM) but I doubt you're gonna find one for 350.00.

Here's a nice little link:
http://www.bolexh16user.net/ShotwithaBolex.htm
You can add Christopher Nolan's Following to that list.

On Super 8: I think the format can yield great results. Check this out:

Shot on a Canon Autozoom 814 with Kodak 200T film stock.

Super 8 will never look as wonderful as 16mm, but your lower ASA stocks will still look pretty damn good, and you have the benefit of saving money, plus loading a Super 8 cartridge is going to be a breeze compared to blindly loading a 16mm magazine. It's a great way to get your feet wet, and as a new filmmaker, you might want to save yourself as much hassle as possible. If your budget is so tight that you're looking at 300.00 cameras, you should probably start off with a high-end Super 8 camera. If you're not worried about sound for the first few films that'll make it cheaper - you can always have the camera modified later, and then when you're ready, upgrade to a more professional 16mm camera when ready. Then, you can buy something more in the 1000-2000.00 range like the others have recommended.

Or, if you're really concerned about image quality, you could go the Werner Herzog route: go to your local film school and steal the first 35mm camera you can find. Personally, I wouldn't recommend it, but it did seem to work out for him, didn't it?
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Old 05-18-2013, 03:56 PM   #9
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There's also more to sound than just the motor speed - both these cameras will generate quite a bit of noise which will come through on your sound, even if you can figure out a way to get them to sync. I think the CP16 is probably still the most affordable 16mm camera that's got both crystal-controlled motor and is self-blimped to keep the noise down, but you're probably looking at at least 3-4x the cost to get into one of those that's in decent working condition.
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:01 AM   #10
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...not to mention that being designed as a sound-camera, it's already set up for single-perf 16mm film, which means that you have more options when buying film stock from Kodak - and even if the film gate hasn't been modified for Super-16, half the work is already done.
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Old 05-20-2013, 04:01 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Hammerstone View Post
...not to mention that being designed as a sound-camera, it's already set up for single-perf 16mm film, which means that you have more options when buying film stock from Kodak - and even if the film gate hasn't been modified for Super-16, half the work is already done.
CP-16R, Eclair NPR, ACL, Arri SR, Aaton all take single perf film. I don't know that CPs are any cheaper to convert to S16. Anyway, in todays market it makes far more sense to buy a camera already converted.

Standard 16 vs S16 is srill a viable format to work in. The cameras are cheaper, and the lenses are a lot cheaper. And, I think it is still possible to make a finished 16mm projection print.
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