Motion Picture Film Camera Service

CinemaTechnic 16mm & 35mm Motion Picture Film Camera Maintenance and Repair Services

Updated 3 December 2018
Originally published 
14 May 2016
I have been recently contacted by many motion picture film camera owners that cannot find a technical service provider. Although Cinematechnic is primarily a Cine Optics Service company, I can still provide motion picture film camera service.

I specialize in the following camera models:

  • Arriflex 16SR 1, 2, and 3 standard and High Speed versions
  • Arriflex 35IIB, 35IIC and 35IIIC
  • Arriflex 35-III
  • Arriflex 35BL 3, 4, 4s (limited support)
  • ARRI 435
  • ARRI 535 and 535B (limited support)
  • Moviecam Super America, Moviecam Compact and Moviecam SL (Mark I and Mark II)
  • Mitchell based 35mm, VistaVision and 65mm cameras (with some limitations).

For the above camera models I have manufacturer’s service documentation and special tools. I may be able to service other film cameras but it’s best to inquire first.

I DO NOT SUPPORT: Arrifelx 16S, 16St, 16SB, 16M, 16BL, 35BL-I, 35BL-II ARRITECHNO and any non ARRI camera, with the exception of Moviecam and Mitchell.

NOTE: I will not do electronic repairs on these cameras. If the camera has problems with its circuit boards or electronic components it will have to be sent to a 3rd party specialist at additional cost.

Hourly Labor rate $150.- per hour. 1.5 hour minimum service fee is due prior to evaluation of camera.

Camera Check-Out – starting at $225.-

A check-out invoves checking all the settings on the camera, and any other items that could affect the quality of the image or the reliablity of the camera in use. A check out can be done in less than an hour. It is the only service item we offer with an initial rate of 1/2 hour. Please note that if adjustments are needed, the 1/2 hour minimum is usually exceeded. Have you got an important shoot coming up? Make sure there will be no surprises.

Camera Written Condition Report – starting at $225.-

A condition report invoves all the items checked in a check-out, but further investigation into the condition of the camera is performed. Some disassembly may be perfomed in order to check for corrosion, especially on circuit boards. The camera’s state of lubrication is checked. A written report of the findings is prepared. Condition reports are commonly requested when purchasing or selling a used camera. There is a minimum of 1 hour labor charge for condition report. This will usually be enough, unless extensive examination that cannot be performed in one hour is requested.

Camera Steadiness Test (film test):

16mm or 35mm format: standard cameras $250.-, customer must provide raw stock. Film processing and digital transfer service not included in above price.

Flange Focal Depth Calibration (not billed separately)

This is usually perfomed as part of a check-out, condition report, or part of some other service such as an overhaul. It is usually not billed separately. Most cameras can be adjusted quickly. We perfom this adjustment on all ARRI PL mount cameras, Bayonet mount 16SR’s, and the ARRI 16S and 16M. We are not equipped to handle the 16BL or 35BL in Bayonet mount (disassembly is required for calibration on those cameras).

Super-16 or Super-35 Switch – $75.-

If you have a converted 16SR or a 35mm camera with an eccentric PL mount, it is possible to switch between Standard and Super formats. The ARRI 35-III requires a Super-35 lens mount plate. The switch can be done quickly, but requires the use of special tools to calibrate the flange focal depth. It is reccomended that you do not attempt this operation yourself if you do not have the proper calibration tools and have been trained in their use. We offer to do the switch for you in a half-hour of labor, and include a camera check-out.

Ground Glass / Fiber Optic Viewing Screen Depth Calibration

Because this adjustment is more time consuming than flange focal depth adjustment, extra labor time is usually required when this setting needs adjustment. We are equipped to adjust most ARRI cameras. Starting at $150.-

Lens Check-Out

This is similar to a camera check-out. We check lenses on the Century Precision Optics Lens Test Projector for back focus, front focus, centering, image shift, focus shift, focus tracking, zoom tracking and synchronization of the vertical / horizontal compensation on anamorphic lenses. We check for the accuracy of infinity focus on the Richter AutoCollimator. Prime lenses can be checked more quickly because there are less parameters to check. Zoom lenses require more time.

To enourage frequent testing we offer the same 1/2 hour initial rate for lens testing as we do for check-outs. We can check up to 3 prime lenses or one zoom lens in the inital half-hour. Primes are checked for back focus, focus shift, and condition of the glass. Zooms are checked for front focus, back focus, focus tracking, zoom tracking, and condition of the glass. Please note that if adjustments are needed, this usually cannot be accomplised within the inital half-hour.

Lens Check-Out starting at $150.- available for lenses with the following mounts:

  • Arriflex Standard
  • Arriflex Bayonet
  • Arriflex PL
  • Canon EF
  • MFT, Sony E, Nikon F, Leica R and Leica M support planned for future upgrades

Lens Condition Report

As described above, with a written report of the lens’ condition. The report will also indicate any weak spots in the zoom curve of a zoom lens, any focus shift in a prime, and what the best T-stop are. Any adjustments that can be accomplised in the first hour of labor are included.

Written lens condition report from $225.- (3 prime lenses or one zoom lens)

Lens Calibration

Adjustments are usally performed as part of a lens check-out, condition report, or overhaul. Lenses will be adjusted to manufacturers’s specifications.

Lens Overhaul

This can be used as preventative maintenace, or to correct problems. This service is available for Angenieux, Canon CN-E, Cooke and Zeiss cine lenses. Support for Leica cine lenses will be added soon.

Lenses are completely disassembled, and all the optical elements are cleaned. The focus helical threads and other gearing and the iris are ultrasonically cleaned. All moving parts are re-lubricated and the lens is assembled. All calibrations are performed on the lens.

Lens overhaul $150.- per hour – minimum 4 hours.

Camera Overhaul

I can offer complete overhauls of most ARRI cameras. A general overhaul is included with Super-16 conversion service.  Please inquire about your camera.

A special rate for film camera overhauls is available: $125.- per hour with a 10 hour minimum.

Custom Engraving

I can offer custom engraving on plastic or aluminum.

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Optics and Optical Testing for Digital Cinema

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