Éclair was a movie camera manufacturing company established in Épinay-sur-Seine, France by Charles Jourjon in 1907 (later SOREMEC-CEHESS, Department “ECLAIR INTERNATIONAL” in Paris).
Originally a production company, they started building cameras in 1912. Their products played a major part in the French New Wave through the development of camera systems such as Cameflex (35mm and unique 16/35mm dual format camera), Éclair NPR éclair ACL, éclair EX16 (similar to ACL with fixed viewfinder and 24/25fps fixed motor) and ECLAIR PANORAM (first dual format 16+Super16 camera called Varigate system). NPR stands for Noiseless Portable Reflex and ACL comes from the letters of the names of its designers Agusti (Austin) Coma and Jacques Lecoeur
The coaxial design of the camera magazine in NPR (the very first), ACL, EX16 and PANORAM models revolutionized 16 mm filmmaking, in particular documentary films, which could now change magazines in seconds without the need to spend time lacing the film in the camera. ACL model uses focal plane shutter for exposure and oscillating mirror for reflex viewing at all.
The company was acquired in the early 1970s by British film producer Harry Saltzman and the company name was ECLAIR-DEBRIE (UK) LTD located in London, so English ACL (similar to French one with minor differences) is born, but the company was eventually sold to Aaton S.A. in the 1980s while they were just marketing PANORAM, who dissolved the assets. There is also a French film lab called Éclair International.
"Hey what camera you gonna get?" John
"An Arriflex 16S!" Dave
"Hell no that thing is loud as fuck!" John
"Get an Eclair NPR if your shooting sound sync hell you can't argue 28Db over the Arri's 38db!" John
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