Caution with Arriflex 35 cameras with low serial numbers

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HA Lusznat
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:17 pm

From time to time, early Arriflex 35 cameras are offered on the internet which are considered to have a special historical value because they have a low serial number. Often, these are models that only partially correspond to the original historical condition that the serial number suggests. Even if the Arri company can assign a specific production date and a first customer on the basis of the serial number, this does not mean that the camera is still in the condition in which it was delivered. The Arriflex 35 was delivered from 1937 and, after many modifications and model improvements, was not discontinued until 50 years later in the 1980s.
With such a high-quality means of production, it was natural that a device would remain updatable with regard to improvements in the series, and because the cameras were valuable means of production, many owners had their cameras repeatedly adapted to the improvements, which, seen over the production period of 50 years, were not very many compared to today's developments. With such an upgrade - which various companies were able to do - the entire housing was sometimes changed, repainted and given the original number. The biggest innovation push came with the new bow-triangle transportclow in 1956. In addition to the faster transport, a rebuild required the replacement of the entire gearbox, a new mirror cover and a new side cover. A camera with a pilot tone transmitter from the early 1940s has probably been rebuilt several times. Here are listed some important features that allow a classification into the correct time sequence:

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Sorry, it is written in German but can easily translated with deepl or google.
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