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Old December 27th, 2017, 04:44 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Alamogordo, New Mexico, USA
Posts: 8,624

The actual end of the trail for Kodak 16 mm motion picture cameras (at least for "commercial" cameras) was the Kodak Reflex Special. This was intended for "studio-class" work, competing in a way with such cameras as the Arriflex. It was introduced in 1961

We see a typical one here:

As the name would suggest, this camera has "full time reflex viewing": the operator sees continuously the same image that is laid on the film. This works by having the front face of the opaque sectors of the rotary shutter mirrored so they are in fact mirrors. The shutter is placed at at 45° angle to the optical axis.

During the part of the frame cycle when the film is being moved between frames, the shutter (in the usual way) blocks any light from the lens from going to the film. But since the shutter blades are mirrored, during that phase the image-forming rays from the lens are directed to the side, where they form an image on a ground glass screen. The operator then views that through an eyepiece optical system (just as we do, before the shot, in an SLR still camera).

The camera is electric motor driven. There were several different motor drive assemblies, readily interchangeable. They varied to suit the context of operation.

A spool of film up to 100 feet could be mounted in the camera itself. The supply and takeup spool are mounted "face to face", the same scheme used in the Ciné-Kodak Model B of the early 1920s and its direct descendants. When a greater capacity is needed, a 400-foot or 1200-foot film chamber ("magazine") can be mounted atop the camera proper.

The standard model had a three-position turret. A large lever locks and releases the turret. (Well, with it unlocked, you have to pull it out to turn it, then push it back in, the move the lever to the locked position!) The lenses are mounted with a mount (Type R) unique to this model (so what's new?). The lenses push straight in, oriented with a pin that goes into a slot in the mount. Then a pair of levers (per lens position) lock the lens firmly into place. All very handy? Not so much.

A head for direct recording of sound in-camera (magnetic) could be fitted at the factory. It goes in the space in the camera proper where the 100-foot film supply arrangement would otherwise go.

It seems that this machine never caught hold in the competition against such cameras as the Arriflex and the 16-mm version of the Mitchell (that, however, not being a reflex camera). It is reported than only a few hundred were ever made. The model was discontinued in 1968.

Best regards,


Last edited by Doug Kerr; December 27th, 2017 at 07:51 PM.
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