make a movie..where can I BUY an Eclair ACL camera?
If you want
to pay top dollar, buy one from a dealer off this list. (You'll easily
pay around $5000 for a basic package.) If you want to spend half of
that, ya gotta check out ebay.
com/Photo & Electronics/Photo Equipment/Movie
always find an Eclair ACL 16mm camera for sale by someone in the country. (Not to mention
Eclair NPRs too) Most regular Eclair ACL 16mm cameras seem to bid for about $2500-$3000.
Super 16mm versions top out around $4000-$4500.
about some Eclair ACL links?
Eclair ACL page - best ACL page I've found - pictures, specs,
ACL II - specs and info
Camera - ACL matte box rods
House/Robert Latimer ACL page - ACL camera specs
history of the Eclair ACL.
I pulled this off of deja.com.
It was posted by Mark Andrew Job
The Eclair ACL is a very
FRAGILE instrument indeed. At the time it was designed it was the
MOST ADVANCED INSTRUMENT available for 16mm film/television documentary
work. It was first introduced to producers at BBC-1 television in
April 1970 for trial work in England where it was first originally
assembled from parts made in Paris, France. In 1971 the beastie was
released to the general public of film makers. This camera was originally
designed with only a small 200 foot film magazine with a small hall
effect motor for the two international film speeds at the time 24
(Still is) and 25 fps Pal land in Europe. The camera's name was derived
from the three initials of the names of the three camera engineers
who designed it. They are Anston, Coma and Jacques Lecour. The little
Hall effect motor was designed at Sorehemec-Cahess-Eclair-International
Diffusion in Paris by a pretty clever engineer named Jean-Claude Beauviola.
Beauviola also designed the Beala Motor for the Heavier built Eclair
Noiseless Portable Reflex (NPR).
He is also the first to
think up exposing bar code digital information onto the opposing frame
edges of motion picture film negative as it passes through the camera
during exposure. The ACL went through many continual minor evolutions
during its travel toward oblivion. Cinematographers complained bitterly
about not being able to shoot full 400 foot rolls of film to pull
ten minutes of shooting time out of a single film load. Eclair eventually
relented and designed a good low torque "B," Wind 400 ft mag. This
mag was quiet and didn't torque load up the puny motor on the side.
However, the film take up tension arm would slowly loose tension and
fall out of adjustment and no longer take up the exposed film in the
magazine so it would jam up ! The adjustment for the English mag was
actually very easy to make if you knew how to make it and most operators
never figured it out ! This design created a sort of riot of very
mean complaints from cinematographers so Eclair created the heavier
and quieter built direct drive magazine which by this time was built
back in Paris France and the instrument was no longer being assembled
in England. This mag took up the film "A," wind (STUPID) emulsion
out but worked perfectly and was noise dampened with lead sheaths
inside the magazine door covers. This progression over torqued the
tiny motor and it would heat up and let go and die ! Well this new
development really pissed off people so Eclair designed a great big
dual speed crystal motor which didn't heat up and die. Next people
wanted an orientable view finder so the well known French firm of
Pierre Angeniuex was engaged to come up with one which they did. Then
people got upset with that because they didn't want to manually adjust
the ground glass so then they redesigned the camera again and put
a Kinoptic 13X automatically orientable viewfinder on that sucker.
The heavy duty motor went through a variety of continual evolutions.
1. Large motor was changed
to multi-speed motor (All Crystal) 2. Large motor was changed again
to allow the camera oscillating mirror to stop in the viewing position.
3. Large motor was changed again to allow external speed regulation
for the ACL-2
In 1980 the company closed
doors after designing and displaying a spinning mirror progression
of the ACL-2 Called The Eclair PANORAM !!!! THe very latest ACL-2
cameras came with the typical circular Aaton motor on them just as
the company was going out of business. If I were you would stay away
from this camera because they are now too old and have loosened up
internally and are chatter boxes ! You cannot get them quiet unless
you completely rebuild them. Most folks refuse to pay the high cost
of a complete overhaul. Parts are VERY rare too.
other crap about the Eclair ACL I found on deja.com:
Date: 9/14/98 - Author:
French designers Anston
Coma and Jacques Lecoeur amalgamated initials for the new design of
16mm Eclair cameras: and so introduced the ACL. Retaining many of
the features of the NPR, the ACL was designed as a portable and extremely
In place of the cumbersome
motor attached to the bottom of the NPR, the ACL motor is designed
to plug into the side. Retained with three screws, the motor is nothing
more than a slim rectangular box, running on 12V dc.
Unlike the NPR, the ACL
shutter is nonadjustable, fixed at 175¡ . The turret is a single C-mount
lens port, designed to accept an adaptor which will convert readily
to Eclair or Arriflex mount. The camera also contains a bloop switch
and lamp, to aid post-synching of sound with film.
200ft and 400ft coaxial
magazines are available, [Eric Bickernicks note: 400' coaxial magazines
are NOT readily available, I've looked] which clip directly onto
the camera body for instantaneous shooting. Several handgrips are
also available, allowing attachment to either the base or side of
the camera body.
A well maintained ACL has
a very low running noise and combined with it's low weight makes in
an excellent choise for sound documentary shooting. However, compared
to most workhorses of 16mm, it is a very fragile and occasionally
temperamental camera. Many of these problems were tackled with the
introduction of improved motors and magazines, designated ACL II in
the USA (although this name was never applied by the manufacturer).
The distinction being the country of manufacture engraved on the magazine
(England for ACL I and France for ACL II) and the increased size of
the motor (for ACL II). Some confusion has also arisen over the camera
bodies this way, as ACLs were constructed in both England and France.
The design specifications were exactly the same, so the difference
between the two is only origin of manufacture.
Date: 2/25/98 - Author:
to get a copy of Eclair ACL II operation manual. If you have one please
contact me. Thanks. Also, does anyone knows the address/telephone
of the US Eclair ACL II distributor?
Schaefer at: Procam 22048 Sherman Way, Suite 105 Canoga Park, CA 91303
818-346-1292 He is one of the only factory trained Eclair techs in
the USA. He would have all the answers. Good luck and tell him hi
pictures of Eclair ACLs and accessories:
I lifted most of these
from ACL postings on ebay.com.
stock certificate.jpg (126k) - Original stock certificate for
the Eclair company
Super 16mm rig (252k) - long shots of assorted parts
ACL 200-400.jpg (63k) - Shows 200' and 400' backs
rod3.jpg (32k) - example of Du-All matte rods in place.