Best Mitchell Geared Head - Worrall of course!

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Re: Best Mitchell Geared Head - Worrall of course!

by Stein8perf » Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:57 pm

Just an FYI about Worrall... They are actually still around and last I spoke to the grandson would still manufacture replacement parts for them. I had them make me six intermittent sprockets for VistaVision projector zi constructed back in the late 80's and they did an excellent job on them. They do not have a website, but their address and phone number is below...

Worrall Grinding
1639 South St
Anderson, California, CA 96007-4243

(530) 365-4565


Re: Best Mitchell Geared Head - Worrall of course!

by kitzel667 » Fri Jul 01, 2016 10:25 am

I agree the Worrall was a great head - until the Panahead and Super Panahead. I remember the Worrall had some lash in the gears so if a backpan was required you had to gingerly engage the gear in the reverse direction so that when you started to backpan there was no bump. Meanwhile I haven't used a geared head (the last one was an Arri II) on a show in a couple of years. The producers don't want to rent them because of cost. Oh well. The O'Connor 7525 is a very good fluid head.

Re: Best Mitchell Geared Head - Worrall of course!

by mitchellbnc » Sun Jun 05, 2016 7:07 am

Hello members! Check out this great video tour of the lightweight Mitchell gear head with an excellent description of all it's features including the innovative tilt base feature. For the original product brochure from Mitchell, take a look upthread (previous page) which one of our members has uploaded.

Re: Best Mitchell Geared Head - Worrall of course!

by mediaed » Sat Apr 30, 2016 8:06 pm

Great pix from all!

For some video shots of both the Moy and Worrall heads in action (albeit in rotation), see the video inserts for the 1930's Fearless blimp and the BNCR in "Member's Articles" under the title "Blimped cameras that made the movies."


Re: Best Mitchell Geared Head - Worrall of course!

by Charlescowper » Mon Jun 29, 2015 4:14 pm

thanks i'll check it out :)

Re: Best Mitchell Geared Head - Worrall of course!

by marop » Mon Jun 29, 2015 3:38 pm


So you have a camera mounted on it and you tilt the platform and then it won't stay in that position, if I understand you correctly? There is a lock on these but the camera should be balanced on the head. There is some movement in the thread that holds the camera down. Check and see if there is room to move it opposite the side that drops. You should be able to balance it but I am not sure that it is intended to stay at an angle without holding the wheel or locking it.


Re: Best Mitchell Geared Head - Worrall of course!

by Charlescowper » Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:34 am

I've just aquired a Worral head and it currently doesn't stay at tilted at an angle. Instead, it slips down. Is this normal or does it need servicing? Many thanks.

Re: Best Mitchell Geared Head - Worrall of course!

by Cinemachinery » Sat Nov 22, 2014 2:31 pm

As has been pointed out in this thread, Ed DiGiulio's Cinema Products bought the Worrall Company. CP announced the purchase in the Feb 1976 issue of American Cinematographer.

A very good pdf about the history of geared heads.

Geared and Belt Heads
Professional motion picture camera support

Written by Ryan Patrick O’Hara ... dHeads.pdf

A big Thanks to Ryan Patrick O'Hara for putting this article together and making it available to everyone!

In the mid 80s, Mitchell offered 2 geared heads for sale, the 'Lightweight Geared Head' and 'The Vitesse'.

I don't beleive Mitchell built these 2 heads, as they say "Built to exacting Mitchell standards" in the fliers they gave out. I think the heads were made in the U.K. by Dunton.

In the late 70s and the 80s, the Panahead was the popular head for the new lighter weight 35mm cameras. That is until the Arri head came along in the 90s.

As for the camera operators, the very experienced guys would often have their own hand wheels which no one else used. Usually they bought them from the manufacturer, or, they would have custom hand wheels made in various sizes to fit their hands. Larger wheels for more refined camera movement, smaller wheels for faster movements. These hand wheels were perfectly balanced. Operating a camera with "wheels" is an art, and your reputation is on the line when shooting the big stars.
76-2 Worrall 01.jpg
76-2 Worrall 03.jpg
85-1  Mitchell Lightweight 01.jpg
88-1  Mitchell Vitesse 01.jpg
88-1  Mitchell Vitesse 02.jpg

Re: Best Mitchell Geared Head - Worrall of course!

by marop » Thu Nov 20, 2014 11:50 am

I here they are like a Swiss watch mechanism inside making them difficult to work on. I have not seen any interior views or diagrams.

Good luck,


Re: Best Mitchell Geared Head - Worrall of course!

by pilotpin » Sat Nov 01, 2014 8:42 am

Yes, the Worrall geared head is a beautifully crafted peice of equipment. Unfortunately, the companies (Worrall of course plus Cinema Products in later years) that produced it have long since disappeared and there is very little in the way, at least on the Internet, of pertinent documentation to be found. Would any one out there have any assembly and/or exploded view drawings related to these heads? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks and cheers.