Mitchell Beauty shots from Seawood Photo

Post a reply

BBCode is ON
[img] is ON
[flash] is OFF
[url] is ON
Smilies are OFF

Topic review

If you wish to attach one or more files enter the details below.

Expand view Topic review: Mitchell Beauty shots from Seawood Photo

Re: Mitchell Beauty shots from Seawood Photo

by cwstratn » Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:07 am

I think someone on this forum suggested that I provide a close-up of the Mitchell "Acorn" number plate on my camera, so here it is.

CWH_1042 copy - e-mail size.jpg

Re: Mitchell Beauty shots from Seawood Photo

by cwstratn » Sat Nov 02, 2019 9:54 am

Just shot a close up of it a minute ago! Will send soon.


Re: Mitchell Beauty shots from Seawood Photo

by cwstratn » Sat Nov 02, 2019 9:52 am


Thanks for your reply and the information/bio on yourself. Interesting that you come from a different direction than many of us who come from the motion picture FIELD. I'll try to get some more photos shot of my camera for you and post them here soon.

All my best,


Re: Mitchell Beauty shots from Seawood Photo

by marop » Sat Nov 02, 2019 9:34 am

Chris, also of interest is what is the number on the acorn tag which is on the cranking side of the camera?

Re: Mitchell Beauty shots from Seawood Photo

by mediaed » Sat Nov 02, 2019 4:04 am


Thanks for the info. Kudos for making the move to LA. I stayed in Ohio reinventing the wheel.
The camera on the Scorpion dolly/Worrell is BNCR 104 one of the few bowtie spinning mirror Mitchell factory conversions. It was a Hollywood rental camera bought originally by Armistead as BNC 104 in 1951. It is detailed in one of the videos.

Yes, the instructions on our registration page are the way to go.

It may seem an impossible undertaking but the registry is an attempt to build a census of the surviving Mitchell cameras on the planet. We see this as the best hope for their continued future and possibly as a resource for future research. These artifacts are traveling through time and we are just the custodians of the moment.

Rest assured your camera is complete but it is not an NC.

This can be seen from the evidence presented -especially the pictures of the differences between the film drives.

A complete camera is when the inside film movement plate, the outer badge and the stamp on the L base (remove the 12 o'clock lens to see the number) are all the same. Accessories like the motor, magazine, sidefinder and mattebox/compendium are never the same as the number of the camera. They each have a completely different numbering system.

Registration would be as Standard #397.

Re: Mitchell Beauty shots from Seawood Photo

by marop » Fri Nov 01, 2019 10:31 pm


I’m a member here and I would certainly enjoy seeing additional photos of your camera! It’s always fun and I always seem to learn new things. Ed is a great source of information. I’ve never been in the film industry but had an interest since I was a kid playing with my windup Kodak Brownie Camera. I recently was telling someone that I taped it to a go-cart while driving around...perhaps the first GoPro??? As an adult I returned to my fascination with the machines that made movies. The very first pro camera I bought was on eBay about 12 years ago, a Mitchell GC (stands for Government Camera which your camera likely is). That then gave me the bug to buy a camera that was actually owned by a major studio. Well about 8 cameras later... Funny thing is 5 of the 8 were originally owned by Paramount Studios. So now I’m a Paramount fan! Then I got the bug to actually find out what particular movies my cameras actually filmed...but that’s another story, some of which you can find on this forum as an older topic.

In this hobby of collecting this machines I’ve met some interesting people. Welcome to the forum!


Re: Mitchell Beauty shots from Seawood Photo

by cwstratn » Fri Nov 01, 2019 8:27 pm


Thanks for the additional bio information on yourself. It's interesting to learn how people arrive at a certain place in their careers. I started life as photojournalist and combat photographer in Vietnam. When I returned from the war, I was hired as a full-time staff photographer on the San Jose Mercury News. I spent my weekends working for UPI and AP, mostly covering professional sports events in the Bay Area.

After five years of covering everything from fires to plane hijackings to presidents and NFL games, I became sort of disenchanted with still photography and moved to L.A. to become involved in cinematography which I felt would offer more of a challenge. I wanted to restrict myself exclusively to shooting feature films as Director of Photography, but found myself shooting commercials, documentaries and corporate films, in addition to a few features.

Later, as video cameras began to improve, I started shooting (and yes, editing in the Avid) more video-based productions, although my heart was always in film!

I'm retired now and living on the Central Oregon Coast where I have a screening room that needed some "Hollywood" flavor in the form of a Mitchell camera. That's why I bought the camera from Seawood photo. It was the first camera I had seen that was offered in such a complete state. I hope I didn't make a huge mistake!

If you think that registering my camera might possibly help some other folks on this forum, then I'll gladly do it. I can also send photos of the Mitchell "acorn" emblem, the inside, showing the camera movement, and any other close-ups you think might be helpful,although the Seawood Photo shots show most of the detail. Again, I'm just not sure exactly what this is that I have. It seems to have all genuine Mitchell parts and accessories, but now I'm concerned it's not a Mitchell NC at all!

Wow, you've been able to collect a lot of interesting stuff! Is that a BNC I see behind you? And is it sitting on a Worrall gear head? I've used Worralls and Mitchell gear heads on every feature and commercial I've ever shot. I prefer them to fluid heads for most kinds of shots!

Please let me know how I should proceed to register my camera. Should I just follow the instructions listed under "Camera Registration"?

Thanks Ed!


Re: Mitchell Beauty shots from Seawood Photo

by mediaed » Fri Nov 01, 2019 3:50 pm


Glad to he of help. I too was closed out of working with these cameras by time period and budget restrictions. I gravitated to video as a producer and moved into the Avid world really early. (Dancing pixels) Later, I found a few of these cameras in need of TLC. Being of a mechanical bent, I took on the challenges because I admired the beasts and had been trained as a cinematographer. That lead to years of research, fun times in the workshop and networking leading to where I am now with a runaway stable of old working studio cameras.

Please consider registering your camera here and feel free to peruse through our knowledge base.
I have some videos posted in the "members articles section about some of my cameras you may find interesting.

Thanks for the feedback.

Ed Johnson-director

Re: Mitchell Beauty shots from Seawood Photo

by Guest » Fri Nov 01, 2019 1:34 pm

Thank you so very much for your response and all the detailed information. Not sure yet what to think about this camera. It looks great and appropriate in my home screening room where I'm sure it will bring a lot of questions and conversation, which was my purpose in purchasing the camera in the first place. I'm not a knowledgeable collector of Mitchell cameras and now that I've found this website, I'll try to learn more about the cameras. As a cinematographer, I came along too late to use any of the Mitchell cameras, and only have had experience with the Arriflex 35mm cameras. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge about the Mitchell NC!


Re: Mitchell Beauty shots from Seawood Photo

by mediaed » Fri Nov 01, 2019 9:45 am

All of this does not go to negate that Navy chronograph camera 397 is not a worthy piece especially with all the high value accessories. It is just unfortunate that the camera was misrepresented - as original unmodified NC's are rare.

Another factoid: NC's are taller than Standards with the faceplate measuring 7" wide X8" high (not counting the mask knobs/)