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S-16 mm Inside of a Cessna Awaiting 4-5G

Published : 9th September 2009


I'm preparing a special shoot with a S-16 camera, either 416 or Sr3 inside of a Cessna two seater, which should fly some aerial stunts around 4-5 G.


My concern is not the rigging, this is the grips tasks, but I’m not sure if the film exposing will work well at this rough circumstances.


Could the pressure plate loss contact, and the frames will get shaky or soft or any other situations like this? Is there someone with experiences in this case, who could still my mind? Shall I take the Sr3 or the 416 for that job....I mean, the SR is definitely more stable and maybe safer in this case.


Thank you


Conrad Lobst
Germany



Conrad Lobst wrote:


>>I'm preparing a special shoot with a S-16 camera, either 416 or Sr3 inside of a Cessna two seater, >>which should fly some aerial stunts around 4-5 G.


About 15 years ago I had to shoot from a bi-plane out the side window towards another bi-plane doing "loop di loops" with a wing walker on top. I used my Aaton LTR 7 with an Angenieux 12-120 and had no problems. We were doing the same "loop di loops" simultaneously with the other plane. I don't know the exact G force on us, but it was an effort to keep the camera in place and be able to look through the eyepiece.


I also shot from a Ferrari on a racetrack following a Formula Ford car about 25 years ago. I was in the passenger seat and shooting through the open window. Again I don't know the G-force generated going around corners at 120 mph but I know that I almost blacked out a few times and lost all feeling in my arms from the pressure of the camera on my head. At that time I was using an Éclair ACL. Again, no problems with the images due to aperture plates, film gates, movement. No problems in either case at all.


Roberto Schaefer, ASC



I have never had a problem with any old spring-loaded mechanical camera in an acrobatic plane. I have used Bolexes, a CP-16, Eyemos, all kinds of old crap, and in planes much faster than a Cessna. I wouldn't worry about it.


Not only that, I have used a Nagra IV without a problem in such environments.


Scott Dorsey
Kludge Audio
Williamsburg, VA.



I don't think you will have any problem with the SR 3 or the 416 at 4-5 G. I mounted a IIC on a Pitt Special and did a full round of aerobatic maneuvers up to 5G with no issues of focus or steadiness. We did wing mounts and a tail mount.


I did blackout a little on the negative G's but the Arri IIc was fine.


Patrick Longman
Aerial DP
Active Camera Systems
Miami



My story has to do with a roller coaster. We were supposed to film the CEO of a large financial firm and they decided that a roller coaster would add "something" to the spot. That was the sole reason for the odd location. I recommended using an Arri III (it was before the 435 came out). My rational was that the Arri III was bullet proof and would function well in the stressful environment. There was dialogue but the coaster was so noisy I figured it would cover up the sound of the Arri running. The director insisted we use a sound camera and they overrode my concerns. So we used a Moviecam. Now that was a great camera in many ways but the buckle switches would trip half way through the ride because of the G forces and since the CEO was really scared of the ride, we could only get 2 takes out of him. Then he left. So we filmed a look alike from the rear to cover the spot where the film stopped both times.


It again shows that the right camera for the job is really important. I have used the Arri III and the Arri 435 in some really wild moving rides and they were great, no malfunctions. Even in planes and race cars with strong G forces. So just stay away from cameras with buckle switches! And make sure your mags are on tight.

Good luck.


No special connection to any camera company...just like to use the right camera for the situation.

Ron Raschke
Operator
Ojai, CA



16SR and ancient 16S between wings, hostess tray, and tip of vert stabilizer on a Christen Eagle flying an aerobatic airshow routine ... can't remember if we used daylight spools inside the mags of the SR or not... don't think so (we were a bit worried about dishing at + 5 G's) no problems at all... at all... I don't think anything a Cessna can do would challenge an SR (let alone an arri S).


When you are flying aerobatic, it might feel like the g's come on really fast, but from a mechanical standpoint, not so much...


Mark Weingartner
VFX DP/Supervisor
(used to rig cameras from IMAX down to Richter EMP cams on places they didn't want to go)



Thank you everybody for huge progress reports, and thanks for stilling my mind.


Today the rental house and me decided to take an ARRI SR3 HS, because of the obviously more stable pressure or exposure plate (what’s the right title for this) and the simple magazine structure with no chance for the rolling or reposing film to loss the given way.


We will see if this was the right decision and I gonna keep you informed about the result next week.


Thanks...


Best regards from Germany


Conrad Lobst



Conrad Lobst wrote:


>>I’m preparing a special shoot with a S-16 camera, either 416 or Sr3 inside of a Cessna two seater, >>which should fly some aerial stunts around 4-5 G.


As many have indicated, you should have no problem with either camera. Despite how it feels, well –tuned aircraft in controlled flight do not exhibit changes in g-forces rapid enough to cause these types of problems.


Even though the grips are doing the rigging, if you are going to be on board, if I were you, I would take great interest in what they were up to. Be sure to have the installation signed off by an aircraft mechanic familiar with this type of work.


Not only from a safety point of view, but also from the point of view of potential damage to the aircraft.


A couple of other points :


Remove everything that is not essential from the camera.


Try to use prime lenses

.
Safety the magazine to the mount.


>> Is there someone with experiences in this case, who could still my mind?


It is done all the time, just be safe.


>> Shall I take the Sr3 or the 416 for that job....I mean, the SR is definitely more stable and maybe safer in >>this case.


The SR is also a lot cheaper to replace.


Best of luck, and have fun,


Brian Heller
IA 600 DP



I think we had an GSAP-16 jam up once, when mounted on the tailplane of a biplane doing aerobatics. The leaf shutter had mangled itself.


But SRs always seem to have been fine, on cars, planes and boats. Sudden shocks due to impact probably generate much higher g forces(albeit for a much shorter time) than any maneouvres of a piloted aircraft.


I suppose a camera using daylight spools might be better than a conventional magazine, since 'dishing' of the film would be less likely.


I think Brian's advice is all good. But don't strap the mag on the SR down tightly, rather wrap with foam then strap firmly, and use opposing safety ties or wires on potentially loose bits, so that they can't lash around if they come adrift.


Chris Plevin
DoP/Camera Operator
London, UK



I've logged more than 2000 hours filming aerobatics in and out of airplanes. Put an Arri SR through a lomchivac in a YaK 55 that pulled just over 9G at the apes. No problems. Use daylight spools if you can. The only problem I ever had was with a Beta SP deck lashed to the baggage compartment. The tape would momentarily loose tracking due to the gyroscopic effects on the rotating tape drum as the airplane abruptly changed attitude. The G forces had little to do with anything.


Make sure that you securely mount the camera supporting it in all directions. A snap roll can exert lots of side load on a camera mount.


Rick Gerard
DP Special Effects
Sacramento CA



>> biplane doing aerobatics. The leaf shutter had mangled itself.


That's weird... if that's what I think that is, it's a B&H AN/N6A camera reworked by Alan Gordon for C-mount. We used plenty of N6As on F-106es doing some pretty screwy stuff, without a failure other than the usual occasional jamming due to the stupid magazine design.


Scott Dorsey
Kludge Audio
Williamsburg, VA.



>>I suppose a camera using daylight spools might be better than a conventional magazine, since >>'dishing' of the film would be less likely.


Aaton minima might be a good option.


Steven Gray
Director Of Photography
+447711009515
Website: http://www.stevegraydop.com
Imdb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1034732/



Scott Dorsey wrote :


>> ....I think we had an GSAP-16 jam up once, when mounted on the tailplane of a biplane doing >>aerobatics. The leaf shutter had mangled itself.


That's weird... if that's what I think that is, it's a B&H AN/N6A camera reworked by Alan Gordon for C-mount...


If you or anyone else is interested I have one still, though not modified by anyone. It still has the original c-mount or d-mount(?) and I have a couple of Kodak mags, still loaded and in the refrigerator for 30 years!!!


I know this isn't the for sale list, so I'll just tell you that I have it.


Roberto Schaefer, asc



Thank you everybody.


We did it last Tuesday and it went pretty fine. The pilot is still alive, he did terrific moves and it all looks brilliant from the passenger seat.


SR3 HS + Ultra 16 12mm + LMB5 + Kodak 7201 122mm


Everything was saved well by the keygrip and I did the rest at the SR; Securing the lens mount with a belt was a could hint, thanks.


Thanks a lot


Best regards from Germany


Conrad Lobst