BNCR Serial Number on movement and blimp?

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Re: BNCR Serial Number on movement and blimp?

by marop » Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:26 pm

Greg, your welcome. It's a fun and interesting hobby. I bought my BNCR from Martin Hill and it was originally owned by Paramount. I'm not sure if Ken Stone (Stone Cinema) still has a blimp or not. He calls them prop cameras. The last compllete BNCR (also Paramount) that sold on eBay, that i know of, i think went for under 5k. The buyer of that camera re-sold it after finding some history on it and sold it for more. A company in Florida bought all of Martin Hill's left over BNCRs but is high on his prices. He also sells just the blimp, but does not include the top (magazine cover), which should be part of the blimp. He is high on these too but may be negotiable for complete cameras or blimps.

Keep us posted,


Re: BNCR Serial Number on movement and blimp?

by Greg » Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:59 am

Thanks Mark and Ed!

This is really helpful. Years ago, Visual Products (20 mins from my home) had a few Paramount cameras, but I didn't have the funds at the time. I now noticed a place in LA has one. I'd love to have a complete "Hollywood" camera, i.e., movement and blimp, but I may even be happy to have just the blimp. Years ago, I spoke with Martin Hill, a nice gentleman who has since passed away and he had a few BNC conversions for sale reasonably priced, but I never pulled the trigger. So, it's time to finally time to buy one. If you know of any complete cameras or just the blimps, please let me know. I appreciate your time and getting back to me. I will be in touch and keep you posted as I move forward. Thanks gentlemen!


Re: BNCR Serial Number on movement and blimp?

by mediaed » Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:19 pm


Would suggest it is a real hassle to dismantle a BNCR to find the possible factory stamp on the inside. Probably unnecessary. On the BNC, the camera was designed to slide sideways on the internal gibs in order to rack over the focus and could be slid out of the blimp easily. Much like the standards and NC's on which they were based. For a BNCR conversion or build out, this feature was defeated and the lens mount was joined to the internal body. The camera body was fixed in place.

Better the external Mitchell badge and the main movement plate inside match and it will be judged a complete camera. That may be difficult as some of the non-factory conversion shops had the habit of grinding the internal number off in the conversion process for unclear reasons.

Any questions, I am located near Columbus. Hope this helps. ED.

Re: BNCR Serial Number on movement and blimp?

by marop » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:20 am

Hello Greg,

Good question. I have seen numbers on the blimp that appear to have been cast in. The moderators Camera, you should be able to find photos somewhere on the site, should show this. His is an older camera. I believe it was in the back of the camera along the bottom? I just checked my camera, made in the 1950s, and could not find a number...although it may be there somewhere? Note that typically a non-blimped Mitchell camera will have 3 main parts with the same serial number; the movement, the camera block (the main box that holds the movemen)t, and the ā€œLā€ base. You may be aware that Mitchell did not make a lot of cameras built from the ground up as a BNCR. Most, like mine, started out as a BNC and then were later converted to reflex by Mitchell and at least one other company. The 2 types of reflex, that I am aware of are; pellicle (a partially reflective mirror which allowed some of the light coming in from the lens to be diverted to the viewfinder, which reduced the light passing to the film and had to be adjusted for by 1/3rd of a stop); and a spinning mirror reflex, like an ARRI. More rare is a BNC that has not been converted, which means it may have came from the military and not an active studio, which would have converted it.

Hope this helps. Ed (Mediaed) may be able to add to this.


BNCR Serial Number on movement and blimp?

by Greg Zaryk » Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:42 am

Hello Mitchell friends, this is Greg in the Cleveland, Ohio area. I'm starting to look for a Mitchell BNCR camera and wanted to know if the serial number that's stamped on the movement plate should match up to the number that's cast/stamped on the blimp. Also, where can you find this stamp inside the blimp? Thank you, Greg