Mitchell Cameras; ownership history

Feel free to discuss any topic related to the Mitchell Camera. Both 35 mm and 16 mm models are welcomed here. Also consider posting topics of other major motion picture cameras that you feel are important to the development of the Mitchell Camera.

Update: You may have noticed that we have returned to just one category as opposed to dividing the forum into 7 different areas. Apparently, it was an unpopular change and returning to the old format will allow posters to find their submissions more easily.

Re: Mitchell Cameras; ownership history

Post by Guest » Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:30 am

Does anyone know what year and model?

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Re: Mitchell Cameras; ownership history

Post by marop » Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:14 pm


This is a “Blimp” for a 16mm Mitchel movie camera. In case you don’t know what a blimp is, it’s a sound reducing camera housing for use during sound recording so the sound of the camera running is not recorded. I’m not aware of any particular models of these and there probably was only one, with maybe some changes over the years. This is likely from the 60’s-70’s, but I am not sure when they started making them nor when they stopped.

I hope this helps,


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Re: Mitchell Cameras; ownership history

Post by mediaed » Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:27 pm

Mark is on the money but I can add some more information. This is a 400' sound blimp for a Mitchell 16Pro camera. The cameras were introduced in 1947. Probably the blimp would have been very shortly thereafter if not part of the initial packages. These cameras were phased out by the early 70's in favor of a more modern design loosely based on Arriflex cameras that were starting to take over the professional market.
There was another version of the blimp later (probably mid-50's) that allowed for use of the 1200' magazines which understandably was quite bulbous. This one pictured has the rare square filter holder which is a definate plus. Because these cameras used double perf 16 film with dual registration pins and could film up to 120fps, they were mostly research cameras. The blimps were not as numerous as they were only required for productions doing sound work.
If you want to see how this works with a 16Pro camera, click.on the "member's articles" tab on the front page and select the first article which has my stop motion videos of the major Blimped cameras is the 1950's to 1960's' My 16Pro with blimp is the 5th video.
The camera is #333 from 1961 the blimp is #134 from the mid 1950's so whatever your serial number is, that will give you some idea of approximate age.

Feel free to contact if you have any more questions. ED.

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Re: Mitchell Cameras; ownership history

Post by Richard700 » Sat Sep 01, 2018 2:23 pm

I realize that this is an old thread, but I just found it -

There was a handwritten list that I saw back in the early 1990's that listed all the Mitchell cameras by serial numbers, and the names of who bought them. I foolishly did not ask to make a copy of it.

I own a couple of Mitchell GC's and a S35R (maybe the last one made - it has no serial number on the tag!)
My older GC is #26 (which was listed as made in 1921) - I could not make out the handwriting of the purchaser's name. One of the ones just before it was sold to Pickford Studios.
I also one a Mitchell VistaVision head (for their "elephant ears" camera) - Serial#002

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Re: Mitchell Cameras; ownership history

Post by mediaed » Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:47 am

Great to hear from you Richard.

According to the records and the serial number chart I have published on this webpage, ( top tab "serial numbers" on the main page -
# 26 is a Standard from 1923. As explained in the charts, GC's and Standards-based on serial numbers-were considered the same cameras by Mitchell. But, Government Cameras or GC's were not prevelant until the 1930's when the military required high speed research cameras and contracted with Mitchell which gave new life to the company then owned by William Fox of Fox pictures. Those contracts resulted in essentually freezing specs for the standard/GC product line development to minor changes for the next 40+ years. The product line essentially became military and research cameras from that point on and the more silent NC's were the new default "hollywood" motion picture camera. has access to those handwritten records which we believe were shipping notes. For #26, the writing is garbled but our best bet it was purchased by Terrell Mackey who was associated with the Laskey studios.

As part of our efforts to preserve and celebrate the legacy of Mitchell and these iconic cameras, please visit our camera registration page and participate in our drive to document the survivors still in the world. The goal is to provide further information to current owners and be the definitive reference for these cameras. Currently we are working with ASC and museums around the world to add to the listings.

Thanks for joining. Feel free to contact me.

Ed Johnson, director.

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