Jump to content
Leigh Hubner

Practise 35mm camera

Recommended Posts

Hi all,


I am putting together a practise camera to use on my GLIDECAM GOLD rig. I come from a TV background and have used many video cameras on the rig, digi beta, SX etc and the arm holds it no worries. I have also used a SR2 and SR3 with plenty of adjustment left on the arm. I would like to simulate the weight of a 35mm camera to test the gear. I want to make 2 plywood sides in the shape of a Arri 435 then stick a small handicam in the middle. What I am chasing is the actual size and weight of the camera. I would like a weight that includes a lense, loaded mag, video spilt and any other bits that would be standard in a steadicam setup.


Any notes or details would be great,




Leigh Hubner




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

A nice and old idea...


I used to own Jacques Jouffret's wooden Moviecam Compact mockup. I found that a practice cage never totally can mimic a Camera for practice. (Duuuu!!!)

On my PRO Lite I was never able to get the rig in Dynamic Balance, using my practice cage. The moment I put a 435 or a LW2 on it, it was in perfect balance... comming to think about...it could have been me...


I know of operators that have an arrey of mock ups for practice...


The best would be to go to a rental house and get the measurements of the Camera of choice as well as the weight with loaded mag, lens, Mattbox, etc..., or an ARRI book would do the trick as well... at least for the data. Call ARRI and ask them for their support, most of the time they are very helpful to up and coming Proffesionels...


Good Luck.


Erwin"Wooden Cameras... Wooden Steadicams... where will it end?"Landau

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not just the shape and then the overall weight. You'll want to know how the weight is distributed. Generally a 35mm camera will have a lot of its weight on the front and back (the lens and the film mag), with a solid weight load in the middle (camera body). Perhaps you can make a wooden casing and then glue bits of lead to various points to imitate the weight dispersal. Good camera rental house with a mail meter scale should be able to determine the heft of various lenses, mags and such. Bring your tape measure too.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites



You might find the following info helpful (info from ASC manual & Samuelson's):


Camera Weights



Panavision Cameras - 24 Vdc (< 20 dBA.)


? Millennium XL 11.8 lbs. (5.36 kg) body only - 23.6 lbs Steadicam mode with short zoom

? Millennium 17.5 lbs. (7.95 kg) body only - 29.12 lbs Steadicam mode with short zoom

? Platinum 20.5 lbs. (9.1 kg) body only

? Platinum Conversion 18.2 lbs. (8.3 kg) body only

? Panaflex Gold 1/2 24.4 lbs. (11.08 kg) body with short eyepiece

? Panaflex Flying X 20.5 lbs. (9.31 kg) body only

? Panastar 24.4 lbs. (11.08 kg) body with short eyepiece

? Panaglide 15 lbs. (6.8 kg)


Arriflex Cameras - 24 Vdc


? Arricam ST 11.9 lbs (5.4 kg) body only

? Arricam LT 8.7 lbs (3.95 kg) body only

? 535 A 31.3 lbs (14.19 kg) with empty mag

? 535B 24 lbs (11 kg) with light mag & video top

? 435 14.3 lbs. (6.5 kg) body only

? SL 35 Mark II 5.9 lbs (2.4 kg) body only

? SR3A 15.4 lbs (7 kg) with empty mag

? SR3 14.5 lbs (6.6 kg) with empty mag


Arriflex Cameras ? 12Vdc


? BL4s 31.9 lbs (14.47 kg) with empty mag

? BL4 30.9 lbs (14 kg) with empty mag

? BL3 28.7 lbs (13 kg) with empty mag

? BL1& 2 28.5 lbs (12.9 kg) with empty mag

? 35-3 14.8 lbs (6.71 kg) with empty mag

? 35-3C 13.5 lbs (6.12 kg) with empty mag

? 35 -2C 13.5 lbs (6.12 kg) with empty mag

? SR1& 2 11.02 lbs (4.99kg) with empty mag


Moviecam - 24 Vdc


? Super America 29 lbs (13.2 kg) with 500? of film & 50mm lens

? Compact 13.1 lbs (6.3 kg) body only

? SL 8.25 lbs (3.7 kg) body only


However, heed what Mitch said in regards to weight distribution. Good luck.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

This reminds me of my early years of working in the biz. One of my first jobs was working for Peter Wallach Enterprises. Peter is the son of Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson, by the way. Anyway, he had a guy working with him who was an effects and animation wiz - Mike Sullivan. As this was an effects and animation company, we had quite a few Mitchell Standard rackover cameras. Mike started to make the most beautiful and faithful full scale reproductions of entire Mitchell cameras (Magazines, lenses, movements and working doors) all out of wood. They were truly works of art. At one point he had a gallery exhibit for several of his wooden cameras.


Sadly, I just spent the last ten minutes ttrying to dig up any pics on the web, but I came up with zilch. Oh well... I can just imagine one of those beasts on top of my Ultimate!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Leigh,

Macca here from Melbourne, also grew up in Maroocchydore. Unfortunately its all true. You need the real thing to see how your rig will react or to do an arm stress test there is dive weights. You should contact Cameraquip in Brisbane. They have all the gear there and will not mind if you you want to go play with gear on their premises. If you think of upgrading to a larger rig then here is one for sale in the classifieds. I know the owner, great bloke.

All the best


Cameraquip Ph 07 3854 1919

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

An ARRI 435 by Clairmont Camera, on there scale came in at:


- Body 435ES with 100% video top

- ARRI Steadimag with 400 feet Kodak stock

- 2 Camera Plates

- NO Lens nor Mattebox


- 14.5 lbs


Add about another 4.5 lbs for a Cook S4 and an LMB-5. Don't forget the FF motors and cable which should get you into a ~20+ lbs set up.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest SebastianMatthias

hey leigh

as everyone mentioned it´s hard to imitate an overall-35mm-wooden-box because of the big differences in measurements and weight.i myself just use long,unhandy steelplates that i can srew together ,to train for different weights.i also bring my rig out of balance purposely sometimes,to imitate cameras with coaxial mags.(as the 535 !) once you´ve done a 35mm camera you will realize that (as funny as it sounds) most of them are actually easier to handle than a betacam (if it´s not an iron-pig like a BL4 or a 535....outsch!)


cheers and good work-out


sebastian"let the sun shine in your post" matthias

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ha... so it comes full circle...


I was actually looking for 435 parts when google directed me to this post.


Originally I was looking for a practice weight/ demonstration weight. As it turned out, getting a mock up or weight plate made was almost as expensive as getting the real thing. Ended up with my very own Arriflex 435 ES... I would have never imagined. A guy was selling, I put in a ridiculously low bid and he said yes!


Funny how life works...

  • Upvote 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

A weight cage, rather than plates screwed together, will get the c.g. of the "practice camera/weight cage combo" as far away vertically as the c.g. of a "real" camera. If the cage is relatively thin side to side and long - like some camera/lens/mag combos, it will have some pan inertia similar to a "real camera."


If the weight cage is not long enough or inert enough to mimic a specific camera & lens combination, one can extend the batteries and monitor on the sled to increase the pan inertia and get the same effect, and/or mimic the pan inertia of any camera/lens/mag/sled combination.


The advantage of using a cage and practice camera is the ability to record and play back easily, and have a very,very wide zoom range with which to test your skills, and the ability to change the weights to mimic any camera you might encounter.


In terms of behavior and operating "feel," a mass is a mass is a mass and nothing more.


On the other hand, with a new camera I always had concerns about the exact shape of the camera, how to attach it, cabling, outputs, and the like. That's what prep days are for. The "operating feel" can always be adjusted and/or accommodated for, and better yet, adjusted for the specific shot. - that's what practice is all about.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now