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Cinema Products CP-16 16mm camera


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#1 Jason Torbitt

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 08:07 AM

Hi everyone

I've got a CP-16 16mm film camera on the shelf, which belongs to a client of mine, who's asked me to have a look over it / see what he's got for his money, as he's too scared to even open the flight case (don't ask...)

It isn't going to be used to shoot anything soon, to my knowledge. It's in mint condition, looks to be bomb proof, does anyone know anything useful about it? It's got a zoom lens on it, Beaulieu mags (I think). It's a crystal sync camera. Looks to come with power supply, charger, second mag. Is the battery inbuilt? There's a battery gauge on the rear to give a visual clue as to what charge is left in the thing.

That's about all I know about the contraption. Obviously this was one of many cameras widely used before video arrived for news crews etc. I believe it's a nice quiet camera in comparison to some others.

Has anyone worked with one on or off Steadicam? I have an eyepiece camera which I will experiment with for a video tap...

Any advice or knowledge welcome....

Edited by Jason Torbitt, 04 December 2005 - 08:08 AM.

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#2 Joshua Harrison

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 11:45 AM

well the plus side is it's film and with the new vision2 stock your doing pretty good. They are fairly light, easy to use, and quiet. However these camera's are quite outdated and not very suitable to steadicam. The mags are only top loadable and the only way to do video is to put a video camera down the eyepiece. As far as I know there is no video beam splitter for these cameras. Also they aren't many lens choices available for you because of the mount it has.
If you are looking for a more steadicam friendly camera, the Aaton is probably your best bet or slightly cheaper is the cp Gizmo.

Joshua Harrison
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#3 Chip Monk

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 02:09 PM

well the plus side is it's film and with the new vision2 stock your doing pretty good. They are fairly light, easy to use, and quiet. However these camera's are quite outdated and not very suitable to steadicam. The mags are only top loadable and the only way to do video is to put a video camera down the eyepiece. As far as I know there is no video beam splitter for these cameras. Also they aren't many lens choices available for you because of the mount it has.
If you are looking for a more steadicam friendly camera, the Aaton is probably your best bet or slightly cheaper is the cp Gizmo.

Joshua Harrison


Rich Davis used to have a steadimag for this camera i think. Also, Visual Products in Ohio does service and upgrades for this camera, including super 16 and video. Whitehouse AV also does service, and still makes batteries for it. They are 20v, and an odd shape.
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#4 Richard W. Davis

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 03:01 PM

I never have owned anything for a CP16...perhaps you were thinking of Tony Foresta and the infamous shoulder mag for an ARRI 16BL????

Re: Whitehouse...Derrick is only doing steadicam /accesories etc.... trying to semi retire while still staying in the game. A very valuable resource he still is. (did that sound like YODA?)

All the best,

Rich
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#5 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 03:20 PM

I flew that camera a couple of times for student films. It's not bad to fly, but the lenses are silly because there are no gears on the lenses, which means no pulling focus, unless you come up with some homemade rig to do it. I've heard about some such rigs, but never made or used one myself. Threading the thing always seemed to pose a problem for the 1st's I worked with with this camera. The inside of the thing is like a maze. They were film students though, so they were just learning. I would never choose this camera if I had a choice, but it's not bad to fly.
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#6 Chip Monk

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 04:15 PM

I never have owned anything for a CP16...perhaps you were thinking of Tony Foresta and the infamous shoulder mag for an ARRI 16BL????

Re: Whitehouse...Derrick is only doing steadicam /accesories etc.... trying to semi retire while still staying in the game. A very valuable resource he still is. (did that sound like YODA?)

All the best,

Rich



Ahhhhh. That's right. I thought it was a vertical mag. It has been a long time.

Wow, a plethera of bad informatiuon, I am.

Chip

Edited by Chip Monk, 04 December 2005 - 04:17 PM.

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#7 Jason Torbitt

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 11:03 AM

Thanks for the input, guys :)
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#8 Mitch Gross

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 11:33 AM

Ah, an old battleship come to harbor!

The first thing is to find out when it was last used. If it has been several years then please don't try running it. All the oil has drained or evaporated and you'll just be grinding it up to run it. The camera should be lubed and checked. What generation is the camera? Is it a true reflex (CP-16R) with the viewfinder coming out of the side of the camera body or is it a dreaded old CP-16 original with the viewfinder mounted on a "dogleg" arm off the lens itself via a beamsplitter? Does it have a slot on the dummy side for the battery brick (goes in from the front) or the casting solid, which means you need a belt? Does it have a port on the top in front of the mag? This is for a videotap and only on the last generation of the camera. Pull the lens ad check the shutter--is the mirror a butterfly design or a half moon? This is a clue as to the camera's age. A big service question is the rubber strap that connects the drive from the camera to the mag and is visible on the dummy side. This is usually one of the first compoents that needs replacing.

I second the motion to consult with Visual Products in Wellington, Ohio (visualproducts.com) about anything CP-16. The fellow who used to work at Whitehouse AV now works there, and he not only does complete overhauls of the camera but has designed many mods and accessories for it. He is pretty much THE person to contact about CP-16 cameras.

In good condition these cameras were rock steady and fairly quiet. If using the videotap port (either factory or Visual Products mod) the tap camera can only be B&W due to the type of beamsplitter able to be used. Any lens can have gearing mounted for a price, but it is a consideration whether the price is worth it. And these cameras can be retrofitted with either a PL mount or an Aaton mount. The Aaton mount used to be a common upgrade (like 20 years a go) because the CP mount was so similar.
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#9 Jason Torbitt

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Posted 11 December 2005 - 03:11 PM

It is the original CP-16, viewfinder coming off the lens barrel itself. There's no video tap port, meaning I will go down the eyepiece camera route to get a picture out. The battery does slot in on the dummy side of the camera, with a 5-pin connector to connect the charger.

I will speak to the owner and see what plans he has for it; obviously I it needs servicing, as suggested. Externally though, it looks to be in excellent condition for one of the older models. Seems almost blemish free; even the rubber strap is in good conditon. Nice and clean inside too, and well looked after. The Angenieux zoom too is fine, the no scratches on the front element, seems to function cleanly and is smooth.

I will get it taken care of and contact the relevant people; thanks for the info. If I come to operate it, on or off the sled, I will keep you all posted. Thanks again for the input.
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