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Arri SR1 Advice

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#1 chris fawcett

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 03:12 PM


I'm familiar with the SR3, and wondering if there is much difference between it and the SR1. Anything of operational importance anyway.

And...would it be a good bet to take upriver into the Amazon in a dugout?


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#2 Afton Grant

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 03:41 PM

They're quite different, actually. Probably the most important is the SR3 is 24V, and the SR1 is 12V. The SR3's I've worked with have all been relatively modern, with electronic controls, LCD displays and menus and more. The SR1's I've seen have been incredibly old, and mostly manual with the exception of the running of the camera. Low mode brackets are different for both too.
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#3 James Puli

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 06:57 PM

The other point on this, is that the newer SR3's have nice in built video taps. Where as the SR1's generally dont. You should make sure that there is a tap provided with the camera. Otherwise one of those old school eyepiece taps would come in handy with this one.

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#4 Erwin Landau

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 09:21 PM

The SR-1 is a 12 Volt camera and I mean 12 volt not 14.4 volts it will run happily between 9.5 volts and 12 volts. I would suggest to use the onboard batteries, I had trouble in the past that to much current was going to the body on my old PRO.
To use the Onboard you will need the the battery adapter that plugs into the 4 pin XLR plug in the back, make sure that the adapter comes with the thumb screw as the XLR will not hold the battery also be prepared to tape the battery to the magazine, the batteries have magnets on the back that holds them to the mag... usually the are not very strong and during dynamic balance will release. Especially if you use the after market batteries which are considerably larger then the stock Arri. I have also seen mods to NP-1 batteries as well as Anton Bauer conversions.

To run the camera remotely, you will need an 11 pin Fisher, it's just left of the 4 pin XLR power plug at the back of the camera so make sure the cable is long enough especially if you fly a zoom lens.
To be able to run the camera you have to put the main camera switch (it's on the smart side just under the viewfinder) into it's second position, depending on the age, the camera might not accept remote start. Top the camera is of, bottom the camera runs, middle it's in standby... kind of.

The camera, like all 12 volt Arri, has only one thread at the bottom and a locator. Old school... how many have still some location screws lying around for there camera plates... Also use if possible the short camera screws as the thread is fairly short and the main power board is located... you guessed it, right at the end of the thread... so to long plus force to get it tight equals dead camera...

Also on the top handle there is again only one thread and depending on the video tap might be obscured. The best Low-mode bracket was the SR/35-3 L-bracket from Jerry Hill for low mode, it mounted on top and on the rosetta on the dummy side. Be careful at how to mount your low-mode bracket as some setup's will prevent the Magazine engagement mechanism to properly release the magazine from the camera body... I used a big flathead screwdriver in the past to push the lip up that held the magazine in place as the Camera plate was to close to the mag.

Most video taps that came with the camera where dark to say the list as the split the image 50/50. The tap has to be almost exclusively externally powered or will take your run and plug into the 11 pin Fisher. Also the will not cover super 16. As most SR-1 should still be standard 16 that shouldn't effect you.

It's actually a very nice and robust camera and I have seen that particular camera all over the globe in the craziest places. As the whole movement is in the Mag, there should be special care given to the loading of the magazines. Exempt for that it's like a small tank... if carefully cared for....

Hope that helped,

Good Luck,

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#5 RobinThwaites


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Posted 06 June 2008 - 04:17 AM

Hi Chris

Just to add, I used to do a lot of work with wildlife camera ops when the SR-1 was order of the day. I would agree with Erwin, it is nice and quite rugged but that main power board can be sensitive both the the long camera screw and also to water coming downwards onto the camera which runs down the mag and accumulates on the base causing total failure. Seen it several times.

Use a viewfinder tap for 100% if you can find one, should be quite a few used ones around.

These guys also always used to take an old Bolex for when everything went wrong.

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#6 Chris Flurry

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 03:07 AM

Erwin seems to have nailed all the important issues. I would only add one thing about SRs and reliability as you seem to be taking one into the amazon. It is important to differentiate the French SR I from the German SR I. Early SRs were made in France with French Motors and French electronics. Not only are parts for these early SRs no longer available, but the way the shutter parks is distinctly different from later SRs. The Shutter in French SRs kind of slams to a stop in the viewing position. In latter German SRs the camera stops running and then the shutter advances to the viewing position. The French design is hard on the cameras movement and this can lead to problems. The SR is a bullet proof design but If the decisions was mine I would avoid one of the early French cameras. The latter German SR I and the SR II are Much better cameras.

Just my 2 Cents
Chris Flurry
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#7 chris fawcett

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 03:38 AM

Fantastic advice all.

Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with me. I really appreciate it.

Now the director has offered me the choice of an Aaton XO. This is a camera I really don't know. Might I presume more on your time to ask which one we should choose?

All the best,


Aaton X0 Camera w/ New style gate cover, front cover,
Chamois, Rubber eyecup, Set of Long rods, Set of short rods
Aaton Mags
Canon 8/64 Lens
PAG AR121 Charger w/Power Cord, XLR4 cable in PAG box
(2) Aaton 16V, (1) Aaton 12V
Aaton Ext Eyepiece (Rubber eyecup in case)
Sunshade w/ 2 4x4 trays
Petroff Mattebox
Various Filters
Nikon Adapter
Super16 centering tool
Amph9/Amp9 cable
XLR4(M)/XLR4(F) cable
Remote On/Off /L2 cable
Sm bag of fuses
Adapter ring
Aaton LTR instruction manual
Camera Case - Blue
Accessory Case - BLue
Wooden H/G, L2 cable, Double sided coupler 2
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#8 Aaron Medick SOC

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 10:16 AM

I have not used the Aaton XO, but based on all the other Aatons. I would stick with an Arri for your gig. The Aatons are beautiful machines but i would say they are like a Ferrari, best used on sunny days on nice pavement. Take the Arri(Tank) with you. I would go for the SR2 if you can. The cost shouldn't be that much different. Also bringing a Bolex is a great idea.

One thing no one mentioned is speed control. They are external. So if you need to shoot off speed. rent one. There is a cystal one and a radistat(?)(voltage dimmer) version. I believe.

Good Luck,
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