View Full Version : Eclair ACL 1
My question is simply, what do you think about Eclair ACL 1 (16 mm. camera) ?
Is this a decent sync sound camera?
thanks a lot. :D
discs of tron
08-09-2005, 04:46 PM
imo, the best you can find for the money. see if you can get the 1.5 version though, or check out which motor your prospective cam comes with. the earlier motors worked great with the 200' mags but struggled with the 400' ones.
in general, it's a great, quiet, nice to handhold camera. with the 200' mags it's almost as small as an a-minima.
08-09-2005, 07:20 PM
The ACL1 is not necessarily so good. The motors burned out frequently, they were fixed-speed 24fps-only, and limited to 200' magazines.
The ACL1.5 or ACL2 would be a much better buy -- full compatibility with the 400' mags, and variable motor speeds, and a much heavier-duty motor.
And yes, with a 200' mag and a 10mm c-mount lens, it is *tiny*.
Some ACL 1s were made in France and some in England. The English ones had more problems, but neither were reliable with 400' mags; the motors just weren't built for the load.
The 1.5 & 2 models were a whole different beast and featured an 8-75 frame motor (crystal controlled at 24 and 25 frames) a much better viewfinder and, of course, interchangeable lens mounts...one of the reasons I bought mine. You could get mounts for Eclair, Arri standard, Arri bayonet, Nikon to C even Leica to C. It only weighed 10 1/2 pounds with lens, mag, film and that beautiful "Haskel handgrip".
I shot in almost every environment imaginable all over the world with that baby and it never failed in 20 years. Not once.
It had an occilating mirror rather than the rotating mirror on the larger Eclair NPR, which made it a much tougher Super 16 conversion (although there was a company here in LA just a few years back that did conversions).
I'm not real sure as to the availability of parts nowadays, but if you can find a clean one it's a great camera.
I sure miss mine.
08-10-2005, 09:54 AM
I agree with the Eclair ACL evaluations. I wouldn't touch an ACL 1 with the 20-foot pole I keep around for things I wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole. An ACL 1.5 is iffy, but the ACL 2 was a solid camera. Keep in mind that the NEWEST ACL is around thirty years old and, as noted, parts and service will be scarce and probably expensive.
What IS expensive is 16mm film, processing and transfer to tape unless you plan on editing on a Steenbeck, which I would NOT recommend. The last time I checked, a 400' roll of 16mm film was going for about $150, processing was another $50 and transfer with color and density correction would add about $100. That's roughly $300 for 11 minutes of shooting or real close to $30 per minute. That's $1,800 per hour, according to my math. Even with a "student discount" from the Great Yellow Father (Kodak) you're going to spend over $20 per minute or $1,200 per hour. Ouch!
You can shoot DV with a DVX100a for about TEN CENTS per minute and your end result will be, IMHO, as good or better. Why waste the money?
The one thing you will DEFINATELY learn from shooting film is discipline. Unless your father is Donald Trump, you'll learn such worthwhile skills as conducting pre-interviews and shot planning so you can conserve film. The producers of "Murderball" supposedly shot over 300 HOURS of video for a 90-minute film. That's a shooting ratio of over 200:1. A friend of mine who is an internationally-known doc producer works with shooting ratios of between 10 and 15:1 when shooting 16mm film. BIG difference.
08-12-2005, 11:03 PM
I just like to look of film over video and as much as I love my DVX, it doesn't equal film all the time. Sometimes it does, but then they'll be some fast motion or a highlight that gives away that it's video and not film. It's worth it to me to get that film look. In the end, to each his or her own.
Yes, video is video and film is film. I think that there are projects that works well in video and others that simply doesn´t work.
08-17-2005, 05:20 PM
There are some motors, cinema products made one, which will pull 400' easily. I plan on getting one for my ACL as soon as it's back from the shop. The mirror is being replaced and a official Super-16 ground glass is being installed.