In planning for an upcoming super-16 feature, a DP and I have been discussing the use of the new 800' magazine systems. The 22 minute loads are awfully appealing.
I'd like to hear any experiences folks have had with these mags, either the GX-800 for the Aaton, or the equivalent Arri unit? Specific questions on my mind include....
- any noisier?
- any issues with overcranking - how fast can they go?
- light leaks?
- real world experience with 800' reels - stock availability, labs, etc
- anything else....
One thing I've noticed is that, in browsing three or four rental house websites, nobody seems to actually list these units. Are they actually available anywhere?
Bret Lanius - Camera Assistant - Atlanta GA, USA
>One thing I've noticed is that, in browsing three or four rental house websites, >nobody seems to actually list these units. Are they actually available anywhere?
Our rental house, Oppenheimer, subrented the 800 ft. mags from Abel, but that was a little over a year ago - they might be more common now.
Los Angeles based Director of Photography
West Coast Administrator, Cinematography Mailing List
> - any noisier?
i find the 800s to be more quiet than the 400s. i'm not sure if it's the insulation of the anti-dishing plates on each side that makes the difference, or the fact that the anti-dishing plates are part of the drive mechanism.
> - any issues with overcranking - how fast can they go?
i've used them up to 75fps without a problem.
> - light leaks?
> - real world experience with 800' reels - stock availability, labs, etc
it's mostly the vision stocks that are available. maybe there's 45, 48, and 93 also. no problems with the labs. no black and white stocks are available though the 800s happen to run the ilford black and white stocks well. You must use the large diameter cores on the take-up side for reasons of torque. you can use 400 foot loads in the magazines but still must have the large cores.
A 400 foot load taken-up onto a large core will barely fit into a 400 foot can, but it will fit.
make sure you get some 800 foot cans in case you have a larger than 400 foot short end.
Using both 400s and 800s can make matters a little complex: if you're using both 400s and 800s it can sometimes get confusing as to how much stock to order in what size: you don't want to get stuck with an 800 foot load and only 400 foot mags available, or having to shoot just a couple hundred feet and short-ending 600 feet.
if you are doing precise operating and framing, or using a jib arm, and are using both 400s and 800s, remember that you will have to rebalance the camera when switching between mag sizes.
if you're using a three axis weaver steadman, re-balancing gets a little more complicated with the use of both mag sizes, especially with the aft distance needed to pull the mag out to make a mag change when the 800 is on-board. Also make sure that if you are using a small fluid head that it has the range to balance forward enough to counter the 800 foot weight. the old version of the o'connor 1030b large euro sliding balance plate did not accommodate the range and they redesigned it. A s to whether the 800s balance out a front-heavy camera well, i'm not so sure. the weight of the mag is not really far enough out aft to really counter balance a large front-heavy rig with a large zoom, mattebox, filters, eyebrow, and handheld microforce. on the other hand, i don't really mind the additional overall weight of the 800 foot mag compared to the 400. then again, i may answer differently after a day of handholding.
> Are they actually available anywhere?
A belcinetech in New York has them available for rental.