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rental house won't rent clip-on


Brad Grimmett
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So lately a lot of my jobs have been using the same rental house. This particular rental house has screwed me on multiple occasions by not sending out a clip-on mattebox with the package. It turns out that they refuse to rent a clip-on on the same job they rent there super speeds. They claim that someone damaged their lenses with a clip-on in the past.

This is getting really old because now I have to be a pain to production about it and then they have to rent a clip-on from another rental house. I doubt there is anything I can do, but does anyone have any suggestions?

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So lately a lot of my jobs have been using the same rental house. This particular rental house has screwed me on multiple occasions by not sending out a clip-on mattebox with the package. It turns out that they refuse to rent a clip-on on the same job they rent there super speeds. They claim that someone damaged their lenses with a clip-on in the past.

This is getting really old because now I have to be a pain to production about it and then they have to rent a clip-on from another rental house. I doubt there is anything I can do, but does anyone have any suggestions?

 

 

Buy one and rent it to the company yourself.

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If you haven't tried this already talking to the rental house yourself or even going down there could do a lot to straighten out the situation. I have been in somewhat similar situations that turned out to be more misscommunication than anything. Also in my experience when someone gives a BS reason like that for something it is often because they don't have one available to rent and don't want to admit it. Sometimes you can talk a little sense into them and get them to fix that.

 

~Jess

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I just had the same thing happen to me on my last gig. They claimed that it might damage the lens. In my 3 years working as a prep tech at Panavision I never heard anything about a clip on hurting a lens. I ended up just sub-renting one from my friend and letting production know.

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Buy one and rent it to the company yourself.

Is there a clip-on that is universal? I don't want to own one for each different set of lenses. I don't really want to own one at all, but if there is one that works with all of the major lens sets then I might consider it.

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If Arri makes Clip-on matteboxes themselves, I don't see how it could damage lenses.

 

However, it is true that when you tighten the clip-on too much, you are squeezing the barrel and the focus threads will have more friction, so can wear out sooner.

Don't over-tighten, check the focus resistance by hand before and after mounting.

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O.K. which rental house?

 

It seems to me it might be worth just letting the cameraman know that the rental house won't provide the gear HE needs. Let the DP have a talk with these geniuses. Camera rental is a brutal business. . . they can't afford to lose jobs to this silliness.

 

Neal Norton

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Hey guys. So in response to the no clip on matte box problem, here's the main issue (I was at the said rental house when the first incident happened).

 

The problem is that the weight of the matte box with filters on the front end of the lens warps the focus forks causing the focus of the lens to go out of whack. Each set of new forks runs about $300. Zeiss itself has said this about the lens and they strongly discourage the use of any sort of weight being put on the front of the superspeeds. This is not the case on the ultras or the masters as they are newer lenses and their internal forks were designed a bit stronger. Trust me i've seen first hand the damage the weight does to the forks and it's clearly visible.

 

So there is more to the story than meets the eye, and Birns does indeed have the LMB-5 as well as their own clamp ons. If you guys want to know more I can put you into contact with the Lens Tech Stacy over at birns and he can show and explain to you the problem in depth.

 

Again it isn't because they are trying to be difficult or lack of stock, rather it's to prolong the life of the lens and not have to repair them every week a set of superspeeds comes back. And Zeiss themselves have reported that the lenses can damage from to much weight on the front of them.

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Again it isn't because they are trying to be difficult or lack of stock, rather it's to prolong the life of the lens and not have to repair them every week a set of superspeeds comes back.

Here's the thing....every other rental house will rent a clip-on with super speeds, so either people will just go to another rental house and Birns will lose the entire rental, or they'll just rent a clip-on from another house and use it with Birns' lenses. Either way, Birns isn't helping themselves, or us as operators.

The first time this happened to me the assistants had ordered the clip-on, but instead Birns just sent out another studio mattebox without telling anyone, and the assistants didn't know until it was too late. This was an all steadicam all day type of day, including running shots and long one'rs. I was pretty unhappy and it left a bad taste in my mouth. If you're not going to give us the gear we need, at least let us know so we can make other arrangements. I don't think that's too much to ask.

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I've worked the various Zeiss Lenses lenses since the early nineties, first as an assistant and now as an operator. Never had a problem in this regard. it always comes down to how you use/take care of your equipment.

 

It is however not acceptable that the rental house makes decisions on it's own, overruling the DP, Operator and or assistant. There is a reason why we order specific tools. It's time to have a word with the rental manager and or look for another rental house.

 

I seemed to remember that there is at least one or two more in Los Angeles....

 

JP

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