Most Mitchell cameras had
such long careers that they were modernized and upgraded more than
once. The camera body containing the movement was such a wonderfully
and precisely engineered diamond that several companies used them as
the basis for building modern reflexed cameras.
Fries Engineering took hundreds of Mitchell cameras and converted them
to modern use cameras by taking off the whole effects rackover base,
turret, matt box and motor. They then put a modern lens mount, reflex
spinning mirror shutter, digitally controlled motor, modern
matt box system that would take modern filters and through the lens
viewing with a video tap attachment. Fries Engineering and PanaVision
would have thrown all the old Mitchell accessories seen with this
camera in the trash.
Today's PanaVision cameras were based on the Mitchell movement and in
fact the first PanaVision cameras were Mitchells that were upgraded to
meet industry's modern demands. Many, many Mitchells were converted
over to title work and to animation. It is extremely rare to find a
Mitchell Standard in factory original condition.
A Mitchell that has been cut up and remanufactured to the standards of
the 1980’s now sells for around $7,000. An original undamaged
Mitchell is now quite rare sells for somewhat more.