Birns & Sawyer Camera Auction

Birns & Sawyer will auction off its entire 16 and 35mm Film Camera inventory. Bids close October 19th. Bill Meurer (Owner/Cinematographer) writes, “It is with mixed feelings that we will be exiting the 16 and 35mm film camera business after 57 years. Nevertheless, our success with RED Mysterium X, ARRI Alexa, CANON 5D/7D, SONY F-3 and Panasonic AF-100 cameras as well as our lighting and sales operations keeps business as exciting as ever. Production has been robust this year and we are thankful in this time of US recession, our business is booming.” Viewing and bidding can be done online: take a look auction prices and pictures online.

You’ll find Arriflex 416, 16SR3, 535, 535B, Aaton XTR, A-Minima cameras, ZEISS Superspeeds, Cooke zooms, lenses, lights and accessories.

Birns & Sawyer was founded in 1954 by Jack Birns and Cliff Sawyer. The company helped introduce Arriflex 16 and 35mm cameras which were lighter and smaller than contemporary Mitchell cameras. As production moved to practical locations, these lighter Arri cameras gained in popularity on films like Easy Rider, Bullitt and many others that rented production cameras and lenses from Birns & Sawyer. History repeats itself.

Bill Meurer explains, “Birns & Sawyer began providing digital video cameras in 2000 with the Sony F-900 and Panasonic Varicams. Jim Jannard and RED introduced 35mm format digital cameras that were widely accepted by major studios and independent filmmakers several years ago. Arri stopped building new film cameras in 2010 and currently will be supplying their digital Alexa camera to most of the situation comedies being filmed this fall in Hollywood. The economics of rental for Birns & Sawyer have shifted from analog to digital.”

Direct link to auction is:



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2 Responses:

  1. Brian Mathew Kowalchuk says:

    This is amazing. I thought most serious A List directors were still using 35mm.

  2. Elisabeth Westphal says:

    Don’t let this headline mislead you–Birns and Sawyer sold FIFTEEN film cameras–that does not even make a dent in the film cameras available to rent. Billions of feet of film are shot every year–Chris Nolan is currently shooting the next Batman installment on film, Speilberg’s War Horse on film, Tree of Life, Ides of March, The Descendents, Footloose, Twilight franchise, Harry Potter franchise, X-Men, Tower Heist, Money Ball, M:Impossible 4 …the list goes on and on.