arri 16 sb viewfinder problem

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MattWalters
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arri 16 sb viewfinder problem

Post by MattWalters » Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:54 am

Hi guys, I'm wondering if anyone can help me, I can't seem to focus through my arri 16 st that I just bought

the lenses are on right, and the viewfinder seems to be assembled correctly, nothing looks weird, but i don't have the manual so I'm not sure

the viewfinder is really dark, also a bit yellow, can I lighten this with the sunlight and tinfoil trick?

the main problem however is that it doesnt want to focus, I've moved around the compensation for prescription glasses, and I have it set i think to where its suppose to be right (i can see crisp little black flecks on the element) but its still out of focus

no matter where i move it, it won't focus

anyone have an assembly manual for the viewfinder tube? even tho I'm 99% sure I've got it assembled right I'm thinking thats the only possible problem ?

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Nigel
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Re: arri 16 sb viewfinder problem

Post by Nigel » Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:35 am

How do you know the lenses are "Right On" if you can't get the eyepiece to work?

When you adjust the diopter can you get the frame lines sharp? Not the dust necessarily.

Are your lenses wide open or do you have them stopped down and that is what is making the viewfinder dark?

Unlike the Super8 camera you may be used to viewfinders on 16mm cameras look through the lens directly and will get dark if you have the lens stopped down.

Good Luck

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cameratech
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Re: arri 16 sb viewfinder problem

Post by cameratech » Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:01 am

There are plenty of manuals online, try:

http://www.arri16s.com/Assets/PDF/Arriflex16SB.pdf

It's a bit odd that you're only seeing dust specks, the ground glass framelines should be easy to see. So first off, check that the ground glass hasn't been removed. If you unscrew the eyepiece lock ring (part 9 on that manual) and remove the eyepiece the ground glass should be right there, a frosted disc with framelines marked on it. If it's missing you'll have to source one.

As far as being dim goes, you can check the viewfinder optics with the door removed, maybe they've yellowed and/or need a clean. When fitted to the camera the mirror shutter needs to be fully covering the gate aperture (16S mirror shutters don't automatically stop in the viewing position) so you may need to inch it into place by turning the knob at the back of the motor.
Dom Jaeger
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Cameraquip, Melbourne

MattWalters
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Re: arri 16 sb viewfinder problem

Post by MattWalters » Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:01 am

Hi guys, thanks for the answers so far

nigel - I might be mistaken, but the arri mount seems super easy, push down 2 buttons and slide in lens ? I'm 99.99% sure I'm putting the lenses on correctly I mean how hard could it be ?

lenses are wide open yes, can't seem to get any frame lines though. This is the only 16s I've ever looked through but its an older one, before they started adding the bayou mount. the viewfinder is circular (like the image you see when you look through it) I'm not sure if it would even have frame lines as odd as that sounds, its quite small really.

cameratech - yea, no its quite weird. I do have a frosted piece of glass there, it has no frame lines, but it is a frosted piece of glass that sorta looks like other ground glass that I have seen. I'm pretty sure this is the ground glass unless there would be two frosted pieces, but I guess that makes no sense. I can upload a photo here later when I get home from work. I have turned the shutter properly yes.

the optics seem reasonably clean, although the last pipe length, whatever its called, seems to be yellowed. I wonder if this is the main contributor to the dimness, my guess would be about 3-4 stops too dark, just by eyeing it, if not more, can yellowing really do that ? can I use the sunlight + tinfoil method on this one seeing that its so long ?

ill try to get some pics up tonight, thats probably the best thing to do

kII
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Re: arri 16 sb viewfinder problem

Post by kII » Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:14 am

Hiya, some early STs veiwfinders did tend to go yellow, i cannot recall the SN of my first yellow viewfinder st, but my later two cameras sn 14xxx and 15xxx were fine. Its a long time ago, i think the use of primes on the 'yellow' st were difficult to focus but the zeiss t3 10-100 was ok by zooming in to the subject and pulling back. Are you sure your lenses are ok? back focus could be out on them? From the lessons learnt over the years, any used camera i now purchase with a removable lens i have both the camera and lenses checked by a service agent.

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Nigel
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Re: arri 16 sb viewfinder problem

Post by Nigel » Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:35 pm

MattWalters

I'm not asking if you have the lenses correctly mounted.

You said the lenses are "Right On". I took that to mean that the lenses are functioning correctly.

If they aren't focusing correctly there is a chance that they are not as true as you think. You will need to diagnose them to be sure that they are not part of the overall problem.

Also, the turret of Arri S/M cameras is never as solid as people think. I have gotten some images that were softer on S/M's than using the same lens on other Arri cameras. Especially if you are trying to use a heavier zoom.

Either way. Make sure the lenses are in fact not part of the problem.

Good Luck

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Re: arri 16 sb viewfinder problem

Post by CinemanUK » Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:30 pm

Not all Arri16S/B cameras have frame lines on the ground glass. I have a quite late S/B and there are no markings on the ground glass at all, not even a centre cross. What I see when I look through the viewfinder is the picture area with no frame lines. So it may well be the case that your particular camera's ground glass also has no frame lines, and that is why even when you have the ground glass "in focus", you see no frame lines. Focusing the viewer on the ground glass should bring the ground glass into focus, as you appear to achieve, and inspecting the ground glass as previously advised should tell you whether you should expect to see frame lines, or not, as the case might be. Having then fitted a lens, ordinarily one would then expect a properly adjusted lens should be able to be "turned" to bring the image fully into focus.

I therefore echo the suggestion that if you are able to get a fully "focused" image of the ground glass through the viewfinder, your problem lies with the lens or the fitting of the lens. It does seem that if the lens you are using has been collimated, the lens is, for some reason, not focusing as you endeavour to adjust it. Alternatively, it just might be that for some reason the lens is not mounting correctly. It could, for example, it seems to me, be possible that that the arri mount on the lens is not fitted correctly or has been disturbed, and it is for this reason that the lens is not focusing. I find it difficult to believe that there is something wrong with the turret, but I suppose anything is possible.

All this having been said, I have read and re-read your postings, and one thing which is not "clear" to me (excuse the pun!) is whether, when you look through the viewfinder, you see any image at all. Do you actually see a an image which might be described as a "blurred" version of what you would expect to see?

In summary, therefore, subject to what I say in the paragraph immediately above, I tend to agree with others who have suggested that if you can focus on the ground glass and can see the grains sharply in focus, the problem lies with the lens.

Finally, I have no idea where you are located, but it may be that if we had that information somebody might be able to have a look at the camera with you, and the solution might be found quite quickly. Alternatively, somebody might be able to suggest a camera service centre where help might be forthcoming.

Best of luck...

MattWalters
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Re: arri 16 sb viewfinder problem

Post by MattWalters » Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:21 am

Hi all,

thanks again for the suggestions, yes I do see "something" through the viewfinder, which is a blurry version of what I would expect to see, yes. If it is the lenses thats unfortunate, as I'm sure they're incredible expensive to realign, and I bought the whole set for just over 100 pounds (camera + 2 lenses). Thats about 170 US, sadly, that's a lot of money for me! what I find strange though, is that its both the lenses doing the same thing.

in the middle of writing this post I decided to try something, I've re-assembled the viewfinder and put it back in, and now ive realized if I dont screw it in all the way I am able to get a sharp image on the ground glass, so does that mean both my lenses are screwed ? its strange that they both seem to be screwed up the same amount. Is that possible ?

MattWalters
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Re: arri 16 sb viewfinder problem

Post by MattWalters » Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:21 am

i forgot to mention, I'm in London, UK

edit: after additional testing, if I screw the viewfinder assembly in all the way, and then look through with the lenses not fully pressed into their mounts, I can get a clean image

I guess its looking like the lenses are in fact messed up, how much am I looking at to reset them, is it worth it at all ? when the 50mm schneider is about 3-4 mm out of its mount, I get a clear image - anyone have a clue how much that translates to on a scale of lens trueness, are they just totally way off ?

CinemanUK
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Re: arri 16 sb viewfinder problem

Post by CinemanUK » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:17 am

Matt. It does seem that it might be the lens positioning in the turret sockets which is out. Living in London, you are quite fortunate. Call Simon Challenor at http://www.moviecamerasupport.com. He is a very nice guy and an expert in Arri servicing, and he is based in West London within the M25. I am sure he will help you sort matters out.

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cameratech
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Re: arri 16 sb viewfinder problem

Post by cameratech » Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:25 pm

Hi Matt,

from what you're saying I think it's unlikely that both lenses are equally way out like that. The entire focus travel of an old Schneider lens is only about 3mm from infinity to close focus.

But it's highly likely that the ground glass focus is out if the viewfinder tube has been removed. The optics in the door are matched precisely to the prism in the body and their setting controls whether the ground glass focus matches the film plane.

That's why you generally can't swap 16S doors between bodies without having the optics reset, and sometimes, if there's too big a jump in serial numbers between them, they can never be made to fit. Ideally the door and the body have the same serial number.

So you really need to give the camera to a qualified technician who can reset your ground glass focus. It's very important that it matches the film plane precisely, otherwise there's no point in owning one of the best 16mm cameras ever made. :D

You picked up the camera and lenses very cheaply, but if you want to use them properly you have to be prepared to spend some money getting them set up right. It shouldn't cost very much to get the basics - flange depth, ground glass focus and lens collimation - checked and adjusted. An expert can also quickly pick up any other issues that you might not have noticed.
Dom Jaeger
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Cameraquip, Melbourne

MattWalters
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Re: arri 16 sb viewfinder problem

Post by MattWalters » Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:00 pm

CinemanUK - thanks, I've given him a call today

Cameratech - yes you're right the gentleman i spoke to today also says the same thing

kII - do you know of any way to deal with the yellowness and clear it up ? Can I UV bleach it just be leaving it in the sun ?

MattWalters
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Re: arri 16 sb viewfinder problem

Post by MattWalters » Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:16 pm

just as another piece of info, contrary to logic, the camera door and camera body actually have the same serial number, the mystery deepens..

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Nigel
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Re: arri 16 sb viewfinder problem

Post by Nigel » Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:38 am

Not really.

My guess is the turret is bent/messed/fucked. The lenses are off and for as little as you paid the seller knew it.

An Arri S/B takes a nose dive to the deck and it will generate enough force to not only destroy a lens but push the turret in enough to be screwed forever.

I think you bought a camera that took a digger.

Good Luck

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