The Panavision PSR 35mm movie camera that was used for most of the principal photography in the original 1977 ‘Star Wars’ movie has been sold at auction for $625,000 — the highest price ever paid for a movie camera. While the price is record-setting for both Star Wars memorabilia and film movie cameras, it still pales in comparison to prices seen in the world of still photography — the most expensive camera was auctioned earlier this year for $1.9 million.
Lomography has launched the LomoKino, the world’s first consumer 35mm movie camera. It’s an old-school hand-cranked camera that uses standard rolls of 35mm film (yeah, the kind you use in film cameras). The camera captures 144 individual frames onto each roll of film, producing a video that lasts 50-60 seconds. Once you have your film developed, you can watch it using a separate LomoKinoScope: a hand-cranked movie viewer! Read more…
Over the past year, major movie camera manufacturers ARRI, Panavision and Aaton have all quietly stopped manufacturing film cameras — a tough blow to film, and grim news for film photographers. Debra Kaufman over at Creative COW writes,
Can the continued production of film stock survive the twin disappearance of film acquisition and distribution? Veteran industry executive Rob Hummel […] recalls when, as head of production operations, he was negotiating the Kodak deal for DreamWorks Studios. “At the time, the Kodak representative told me that motion pictures was 6 percent of their worldwide capacity and 7 percent of their revenues,” he recalls. “The rest was snapshots. In 2008 motion pictures was 92 percent of their business and the actual volume hasn’t grown. The other business has just disappeared.”
Panavision’s Executive VP Phil Radin states that, “Film will be around as long as Kodak and Fuji believe they can make money at it.” With their revenues from the movie industry drying up, Kodak and Fuji are going to have a harder time keeping their film businesses profitable. If you want to see film survive, then you can do your part by buying film and encouraging others to shoot analog as well!
We’re waiting for the day when someone makes this kind of video for how DSLRs are made, but in the meantime, here’s a neat “How It’s Made” episode by the Discovery Channel showing how Arri movie cameras are manufactured.