Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
DaveAltizer

ARRI Alexa cheap enough to own now?

Recommended Posts

A year ago, I was contemplating picking one up when it hit the 12.5k mark. I priced it out at time, and looked at what I would need to get it in motion (all that I shoot), and decided to hold off. That decision ended up setting in motion the conversion idea for a somewhat smaller camera ;). I will still likely get one eventually, as I am a nutty fan, but it won't really be practical for personal shooting for me, because of the weight (the motion tools and crew needed for them etc.). It would still be nice to have one however, and I spoke to Roman Alaivi a while back about it (someone who ended up getting one when it hit 12k). Here are his thoughts:

Hey man, yeah I did get a classic Alexa last December. I've loved it so far. Basically, in terms of functionality it is a beast and not quite as simple as the URSA logistically. It's big, uses lots of power and can be a bit of a pain in terms of getting up and running smoothly once you buy the camera.

Here's what I had to get off the bat to make it just as useful / practical as the URSA. 
- 6 * 155WH Anton Bauer batteries. Each battery giving me approximately 1hr 15m. 6 batteries was the minimum to run a normal shoot for me. $1600

-O'Connor 2060HD head used $6k. O'Connor sticks, $1500. I suppose you could skimp out here and get another head... but man... this thing is no joke lol. You need a serious head. There's older versions of the O'Connor you could probably use though

-4 * 64GB SxS media: $1k. This was the dumbest purchase, because I could have literally gotten a Gemini with an ARRI Raw licence for about that much, and multiple 512GB cards... so silly. Either way, look to spend about that much to make it useful media-wise

-Hot swap battery plate, to run 2 batteries $300

-Good telescoping rosette arms. With other cameras, I could care less, but with how big the Alexa is, I pretty much needed exactly the right length of arm to make handheld feel as natural as URSA or other cameras. I got the shape handles for $1k. Might sound like overkill, but other rosette handles just don't hold up with how much weight you're bouncing around. The solid Tilta handles I had eventually wore-down and the rosettes didn't even lock into place properly because of the bumps and jolts they'd get tossing the camera around sometimes.

There's a few more things for sure, but those were the main purchases.

In the end, once I had everything I needed, it wasn't bad at all. Takes more time to setup for shoots, but less time in post. Footage looks so good, and just the ARRI REC709 LUT looks like a movie every time lol. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't worth it just for the look and how consistent it is no matter what I shoot. I've been loving it so far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs
1 hour ago, Sage said:

It would still be nice to have one however, and I spoke to Roman Alaivi a while back about it (someone who ended up getting one when it hit 12k). Here are his thoughts:

http://www.cinematography.com/index.php?showtopic=73289#entry468864
 

Quote

 

Well, I didn't actually buy the camera, it's only graciously being lent to my production for a decent period of time.

 


Did he buy it or borrow it? Sounds like the latter. (unless something changed in those few days/weeks from November to December last year) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

Did he buy it or borrow it? Sounds like the latter. (unless something changed in those few days/weeks from November to December last year) 

Must have decided to go ahead with it; in context, 'get' seems like a probable buy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Sage said:

A year ago, I was contemplating picking one up when it hit the 12.5k mark.


It is interesting to ponder the more recent price changes of the Arri Alexa Classic as well, as if a person had purchased one a year ago they'd now have lost US$3K ish of its value. 

That is a steep price drop! But the camera still has retained a lot of value at around US$9K ish, so will it keep on dropping by $3K every year?! (one could wish! ha, in only three more years I can get one for free :-D )  Or might it even speed up, or slow down, or plateau out completely?

Anyway, I'm sure if a person has a good client base it wouldn't have been hard to make more from the Arri Alexa Classic over the past year than the $3K of depreciation you'd have lost on it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, IronFilm said:

But if you've got a budget and shooting for work, then an Arri Alexa can still make a *lot* of sense with all its many benefits over a BMCC. As even ten thousand dollars, if you're constantly shooting with it, is nothing at all really when spread out over a couple of years of shooting.

Oh heck yes if I was making a living doing this I would have a high end camera, and it would probably be a used Alexa. I am talking personal use. Unless you won the Lotto having a Arri is a little over the top LoL. :grimace:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, webrunner5 said:

I've been watching that get listed on eBay for a while now. The F23 is almost identical to the famous F35, except the F35 has a S35 sensor (thus the name! While F23 has a 2/3" sensor).

In fact almost all the F23 bodies got sent in to be upgraded to a F35, but still a few F23 remain. The really tricky part would be next to get suitable lenses for its mount/sensor. (if you find a set of DigiPrimes going dirt cheap then snap them up ASAP!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

I've been watching that get listed on eBay for a while now. The F23 is almost identical to the famous F35, except the F35 has a S35 sensor (thus the name! While F23 has a 2/3" sensor).

In fact almost all the F23 bodies got sent in to be upgraded to a F35, but still a few F23 remain. The really tricky part would be next to get suitable lenses for its mount/sensor. (if you find a set of DigiPrimes going dirt cheap then snap them up ASAP!)

I would assume it has a PL mount on it, but if a person could find a B4 to PL mount adapter there are a bunch of great B4 lenses around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The F23 has a B4 mount so a B4 to PL mount is not required. If you have B4 lenses like the Digi Primes they can be used with the GH5 in 4k EXT TEL mode with a number of optical B4 to PL adapters and then a PL to m4/3 non optical adapter. The Abakus 132 is and example of one such a B4 to PL optical adapter.  Here's the product info on BH Photo https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/580779-REG/Abakus_120_132_Converter_Lens_B4.html

The Abakus 132 sells for about $1000 on ebay when they come up.

So the question is for about the same price do you go with a F23 at 1080p without rolling shutter due to the CCD's and 444 12 bit color 12 stops of DR or do you go the GH5 with 4k 60p 10bit 422 color and rolling shutter with ? stops of DR - both requiring an external recorder...  thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, majoraxis said:

So the question is for about the same price do you go with a F23 at 1080p without rolling shutter due to the CCD's and 444 12 bit color 12 stops of DR or do you go the GH5 with 4k 60p 10bit 422 color and rolling shutter with ? stops of DR - both requiring an external recorder...  thoughts?

Well 'logic' goes that these very high end cameras had millions of dollars of professional development, thus in the fine details of the image quality they end up looking better than consumer grade ones. (thus for example Arri Alexa or F35 being preferred over a GH5, even though the GH5 is 10bit 4K and the other two are "just" 1080, and thus it is about more than just whatever stats you might be able to measure from one camera or another. Instead the feel of it)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks!  The GH5 can't touch the cameras you mentioned but I think the choice is a little less clear when comparing an adapted b4 host camera with the F23.  I can shoot on a BMCC with an adapted b4 lens and get at least a 1080p image with 13 stops of dynamic range in a 12bit raw in camera format.  The form factor will be a lot lighter and cheaper to rig up.  My money is on a 4K 1" bmpcc with global shutter and 12 stops of dynamic range hopefully introduced at NAB 2018 to use with Digi Primes and other such b4 lenses and optical adapter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the downside if you're trying to market yourself as an Arri Alexa owner with the "current" sensor (which is true, the original will create an identical image to even the latest as of right now in 2018) then you'll have a tough sell once the new one arrives (but that is also exactly why the current ones will go down in price! Maybe... they might not if the new one is a flop)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess the new alexa's will also come down in size a lot. Probably the size of a ursa mini pro. Which makes grip life much better. And yeah the image will blow away the current alexa image probably. But I am happy with the current Alexa look :), so for me it would not be a deal breaker. Its still better a better look then any RED for me. But I do not have the money for the supporting grip atm. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...