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Re: Eclair Cameras: buying converted super16

Practical tests that I've run don't show an obvious problem when the mirror is not re-centered --- this may be due, in part, to the fact that the very edge of the film isn't projected anyway. Or the degree of underexposure may be too miniscule to show up to the naked eye. But recentering the mirror is certainly good for cameras with shutter parking.

The shutter is a different matter. While there has been debate on this site as to whether or not the degree of underexposure of one side of the frame is enough to be noticed by the eye, (and there are apparently S-16 ACLs out there using the 175 degree shutter from what I've heard ... especially in Europe/Australia), there is no doubt that the "eclair factory specs" on the timing of Shutter and Mirror technically cannot be achieved in Super-16 without closing down the shutter angle. So all you can do is try it UNDER THE LIGHTING CONDITIONS YOU'LL BE USING, and view the footage THE WAY IT WILL BE SEEN, and find out if you notice anything.

Also, a R-16 shutter without ANY modification will prevent the track edge of the film from being exposed at all! Presumeably if the camera is a "Super-16 conversion" and shows picture in the track area, then at the very least a minimal amount of filing of the hub was done.

If you are planning to put a lot of time, effort (and $$$) into a project, converting the shutter is probably worth the piece of mind. If it is a demo short being made on a shoestring, then that may be a different matter. (note: a R-16 shutter gery-rigged to close the shutter angle will not balance 100%; a lot of cameras have been converted this way and appear to work fine. But an out-of-balance shutter could cause vibration that, at the least, might put undue wear on the shutter spindle. If you have an old ACL 1, you're probably fine to gery-rig the old R-16 shutter, as the camera's lifespan is going to be more limited than a newer ACL II. If you have a $5,000 ACL II package in great condition, it might be best to use an HD-144 shutter to ensue maximum life --- no sales pitch, just a suggestion).


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