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Old 03-15-2017, 08:24 PM
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80's tube ENG cams fun

To all of my fellow ancient broadcasters, check out my 1984 Sony BVP-30 with the first Betacam BVV-1 back and the original Fuji 12x lens. Plumbs in the cam and a record only deck. Record and pray. I bought it used in 1986 or so for $18k. What was I thinking but I had a production business to make work and I needed the best...of the day. And it has been around the house since then as a doorstop as technology left it in the dust. Now it needs some history love.

It is the last gasp of Sony ENG tube cams for the field and the first Betacam field deck. And it still works like a champ. I dusted it off and after mistakenly loading a SP tape that will not work and it is alive with a plain Beta tape. It is as pretty in color, registration and recording as 30 years ago. The color reproduction is vibrant beyond chip color. Plumbs rule. Now I have to get something digitized for stills to show. The cam mic is on the bench for remounting. Stay tuned. I just started.

It weighs a ton and I am missing the tripod latch base but that is for later. If you look at the cam closely you will see a RCA Victor brass logo on the side. I did that in the day removing the Sony badge and subbing a 50's RCA tv brass script just to confuse the locals. They looked and scratched their heads.

I would like to hear from others that may still have working Plumbicon cams still making a picture. Ikegami HL-series cams are welcome. Or am I alone as usual.
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Last edited by Dave A; 03-19-2017 at 06:15 PM. Reason: add pix and correct item
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Old 03-15-2017, 10:07 PM
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I'm not at all familiar with details of the many camera models, but you really floored me with the revelation that there was no playback on this. Wherever did they get that idea?
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Old 03-16-2017, 07:03 AM
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It was the same with consumer betamax camcorders. They wanted to use a MUCH smaller head drum than standard...They did, but it used some oddball method of recording that was too difficult/expensive to play back off that mini drum, but played fine on a stand alone deck...Part of what hurt beta in the format wars.
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Old 03-16-2017, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electronic M View Post
It was the same with consumer betamax camcorders. They wanted to use a MUCH smaller head drum than standard...They did, but it used some oddball method of recording that was too difficult/expensive to play back off that mini drum, but played fine on a stand alone deck...Part of what hurt beta in the format wars.
Thanks - I vaguely recall that now that you mention it.
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Old 03-16-2017, 03:36 PM
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Any details? I am really scratching my head trying to figure out how they did that.
Full alpha wrap??

jr
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Old 03-18-2017, 05:35 AM
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Some more about the BVW-30P

Hi.

I'm also a big fan of the BVP-30!

Together with the BVV-1 (.. not PVV-1, that was a later only professional recorder P..!), not Broadcast (B..!) and the chest-pad it was a perfectly balanced camcorder, that gave you even at medium shots a good steadiness. Steady shots also need weight and of course cams in these days were heavy..

The no-playback-thing:
Yes, many Recorders in these days were only capable of recording and couldn't play back anything. But coming from 16mm film in ENG that wasn't really a flaw. Checking your "real" picture (o.k., it was b/w in these days) already was a step ahead compared to the e.g. SR2 (Arri) viewfinder that only showed you your shot, but not the exposure or how the film will handle the light.
There even were Recorders like the BVU-50 Sony U-Matic recorder, that could not roll back the tape. There was only one knop on the front: "REC".
If the tapes you took with you were rolled to,the end, you were lost..
But in these days the Cassettes were little bit like the film rolls: Insert it, "exposure" it, see it again at he editing suite.

The BVV-1 already was a little step ahead, there: You could roll back the tape. (the knop on top, that was no switch but more a kind of a clutch pressing the motor to the spools off the cassette.
Here is my BVP-30/BVV-1: https://www.engcameracollection.com/...-bvp-30p-2-2-2
hope you like it.

By the way: the Camera was also available as a saticon-version, with almost the same look https://www.engcameracollection.com/blank-xvhlu
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Old 03-18-2017, 06:33 AM
kf4rca kf4rca is offline
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I was fortunate that my station didn't jump on the Beta format till the BVV5/BVP5 (BVW505) combo came out. Then they bought 5 sets.
They later bought BVW300's and then later bought the SX cams when digital came out.
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Old 03-18-2017, 10:45 AM
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BVP 300P Colour Issue

Hi kf4rca.
'Hope your BVW-300 were the later ones that were more sensitive (lens on chip).
I remember the color of the first BVW-300P (Pal) they had a light tendency to green in gamma. Grey-chart was clean and linear, but in Skintones and in "real live" in generell this tint was obvious.
The later 300 (300AP or 300A) not only were more sensitive, they also were free of that problem.
Same it was with the BVP-7P resp. 7AP.
Or has that been an PAL-only problem and the NTSC-300 was clean? (if any NTSC signal can be "clean" anyway ;-)
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Old 03-18-2017, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dauberich View Post
Hi kf4rca.
'Hope your BVW-300 were the later ones that were more sensitive (lens on chip).
I remember the color of the first BVW-300P (Pal) they had a light tendency to green in gamma. Grey-chart was clean and linear, but in Skintones and in "real live" in generell this tint was obvious.
The later 300 (300AP or 300A) not only were more sensitive, they also were free of that problem.
Same it was with the BVP-7P resp. 7AP.
Or has that been an PAL-only problem and the NTSC-300 was clean? (if any NTSC signal can be "clean" anyway ;-)
I wonder if the PAL and NTSC versions used different color matrix values?
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Old 03-18-2017, 01:51 PM
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Dave, sounds like you could use a playback machine... like a non-SP rack mount machine. I may be able to set you up, especially if you'll be in town in a few weeks.

Two quick camera notes. Our shop had a newbie tech straight out of the Navy, who pronounced Ikegami as I-keg-me.

Last HL-79 I saw was on top of a rack in a post house, functioning as a color bar generator.

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Old 03-19-2017, 06:56 PM
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Thanks for all the international contributions to this thread. I keep learning. And I did mistake my BVV-1 for a PVV-1. Corrected on my first thread.

That still keeps it as a record only with a bit of help as you record. It does have warning indicator lamps on the side of the deck for RF/servo/humid/slack/tape end/battery. You would get a red lamp in the VF if something went wrong. RF was the best warning which said you had a head clog. And you could rewind the tape to wherever but why? If it went slack then; power down/remove battery/install battery/power up.

I used mine yesterday out in the snowy backyard on a NOS tape. I did the auto registration and all was good. White balance was a bit to the red side. If anyone has a manual in any version I could use it to tune up the auto white. I remember that you had to hold the switch in the auto white position but forget which of the multiple white controls to tune up.

I also hooked it to a NOS Sony DNV-5 SX type recorder as it has the same 50 pin connector connection. No joy as I expected. It powered but no video probably looking for component or better. I wonder what the top Beta docking deck could be used on the BVP-30.

The DVV-5 is available for trade for something interesting in the same tube era.

And somewhere around here is a Sony VA-5 composite adaptor that would fit on the front of the BVV deck to allow composite video to be sent to the deck as a stand-alone Beta record deck with a separate power supply still with no replay.

There may have been a camera adaptor to allow the BVP-30 to connect to a CCU via a 50 pin connector.

Dauberich...I remember the Saticon version being the BVP-300. Correct me if my memory is failing.

Chip...I do have a PVW-2800 near-mint SP deck and all is well here for playback. Stop by anytime and bring me an Ikegami HL-77...my first cam at WCEE. I remember the cards came out the back end and having to install shims to keep them in place.
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Last edited by Dave A; 03-19-2017 at 07:20 PM. Reason: text
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Old 03-20-2017, 05:36 PM
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Sony Broadcast and Pro Saticon Cams

Oh, I think there many great Saticon Cameras from Sony, some closer to broadcast others tended more to the professional segment:

The strangest I think was the BVP-150 as I don't understand what i was meant for. Maybe it was the BVP-30 as a non dockable version:
That's what she looks like: https://www.engcameracollection.com/...ny-bvp-30p-2-2

And this is the DCX 6000, that was Saticon only but looked like a BVP-300 or a BVP-330: https://www.engcameracollection.com/sony-dxc-6000p

And of course the BVP-3, that was a BVP-30 with Saticons instead of Plumbicons: https://www.engcameracollection.com/blank-xvhlu

Both the 6000 and the BVP-3 have great colour for a saticon camera.
Less lagging and better skintones than JVCs or Panasonics.

The BVP-300 I think was the predecessor of the 330. No autocentering and maybe some other not yet features. The body looks very much like the 6000s one. But I'm sure it was plumbicon..
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:20 PM
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Somewhat off the 80's ENG topic, but may be some indication of the question about color differences:

When we did the format comparison tests for setting the HDTV standard in the early 90s, the HD cameras all used Sony Saticon tubes. However, Sony would not make any versions with scan rates other than 1125 interlaced; the others were done with a BTS camera with interchangeable scan rates up to 1050 interlaced and a specially modified BTS camera to do 787.5 progressive (Zenith's proposal). Sony sold the Saticons to BTS, but would not sell their proprietary low-noise pre-amps, so BTS had to unsolder the preamp from the tube face, return it to Sony, and solder on their own preamp.

Regarding color, the Sony camera was unique, and had a matrix that did not match the HD standard at all - it had a unique Sony look. IIRC, the yellows were super-bright compared to the real world, and actually ended up outside the HDTV gamut, although they really were not that way on the chart.

LeRoy Demarsh of Kodak and others including me did measurements on the Macbeth color chart for all the cameras and calculated the best (least mean square error) color matrix for each. It turned out that the BTS cameras were already close to proper. In fact, they may have been precisely correct theoretically, but it was hard to tell, as the Saticons had a positive but temporary image burn in, that is, the brighter patches got even brighter over the first 5 minutes or so of staring at the pattern, so a red patch got even redder, a blue patch got bluer, etc. This meant that our scope measurements depended somewhat on which order we measured the patches in. The Sony had to be modified to give standard color reproduction, so that the subjective comparisons of resolution (done by non-expert viewers) would not be confused by differences in color.

So, this makes me think the observations above about color oddities may have something to do with a unique "Sony look."
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:34 PM
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Dauberich...how did these power hogs ever operate on the skinny NP-x in that onboard battery tray for very long? Mine came with the AB battery mount.

The 30 is my only ENG pioneer unlike your great collection. Sony had so many variants in the day. No room here for more but a few early RCA stripe-tube color home video cams. The CC-001 and CC-002 from 1978 or so are my favs. One great working 002. That is another thread.

When the vast whiteness of snow leaves I will find something colorful to capture a few snapshots of video of the 30 and the 002.
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:45 PM
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Wayne, in the day we in the field at local stations always noted the "look". Sony was "warm" and Ikegami was "cold". In our case we bought HL-77's (price being the factor for a small corn-fed station) fed to JVC 3/4" decks (price again). I do still have some of that footage I have salvaged on a HD. That was the end of our knowledge of the gamut specs. We never looked at the others as we did not consider them "broadcast".

And we were chasing the ABC affiliate up the road that beat us on the air with field color from the Akai 150 1/4" color system. Now that is the cheap way to be first.
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