This post comes a day later than our habit as we have spent much of the last week lifting, carrying, opening, and sorting a treasure trove of Mitchell camera equipment and lenses. (My back does not forgive me for this!) After several days of negotiation, I acquired a storage unit filled with absolutely wonderful movie stuff, and I had to share it with you all. One of the most exciting things in the collection is an unmodified, original rackover Mitchell BNC camera. The rackover BNC, in its original blimp, has become very rare as most BNCs were converted to reflex viewfinding. We also received its cousin, a BNCR that looks to have been converted to spinning mirror reflex by Mitchell Camera Corp. themselves. In addition to the 2 BNCs, there is also a Mitchell 205, a later evolution of the venerable BNCR. The 205 is a smaller, slightly “lighter”, modernization of the BNCR. As I go through them, I will bore you with more details about each camera. Also included in the collection was a Mitchell Standard, the silenced version, that appears unmodified with the exception of 2 Nikon lens mounts machined into the turret.
The treasure of the collection though are two sets of lenses, one mostly complete set of Super Baltars in BNCR mount, and a very complete set of standard Baltars in the old BNC mount. I wonder if anyone has the courage (and the funds) to shoot a project with a rackover BNC and the amazing set of Baltar lenses like the days of classic Hollywood. Along with the other miscellany were two Richardson pin registered film transports, one in 35mm full aperture and the other looks to be Super 16. Either of these movements would be wonderful for a do-it-yourself film scanner or an optical printer. The rest of the collection includes accessories for the cameras, a couple of wooden tripods, some repair parts, and other odds and ends. I am very excited about this find, and I will share more details as I go through all of the equipment more thoroughly.