ACL nameplate

ACL stands for Agusti (Austin) Coma / Jacques Lecœur (named after the designers).

Erkan Umut proudly owns a latest make ACL II !

ACL II 1980 1984
Two modern ACL IIs



latest ACL II
A latest ACL II with the Kinoptik HC orientable viewfinder, Thomson-CSF high-speed motor and flat base (toggle switch) – Courtesy of Mr. Jose Araujo of TUPA FILMS, New York

ACL II components

The latest French ACL (officially called ACL II) Specifications

Source: Original U.S. brochure

SIZE (H x W x L) and WEIGHT:

* CAMERA BODY: 6 ⅜” x 3 ⅜” x 3 ⅜” (162mm x 86mm x 92mm), 3.3 lbs. (1.5kg)
* CAMERA w/ viewfinder (extended), motor and 400′ magazine: 8″ x 7 ¾” x 12 ⅜” (203mm x 197mm x 321mm), 11 lbs. (5kg)
* CAMERA w/ viewfinder, motor and 200′ magazine: 6 ½” x 6 ⅜” x 10 ⅜” (165mm x 166mm x 276mm), 9 lbs. (4kg)
* MOTOR: 2 ¾” x 1 ¼” x 6 ¾” (70mm x 45mm x 168mm), 2 lbs. (.9kg)
* 400′ MAGAZINE: 8″ x 3″ x 11 ¼” (203mm x 76mm x 286mm), 6lbs (2.7kg)
* 200′ MAGAZINE: 6 ½” x 2 ½” x 9 ½” (165mm x 64mm x 241mm), 4lbs (1.8kg)


* FILM: 16mm — double perf or single perf (A winding or B winding) on 2″ core or daylight spool.
* FILM TRANSPORT: claw movement controlled by an eccentric and a fixed cam and positively positioned by a counter cam.
* REFLEX VIEWING: oscillating mirror traveling at half camera speed, reflected onto ground glass with 16mm full aperture and TV safe action area markings.
* SHUTTER: 175° rotating focal plane shutter with fixed opening; shutter speed 1/50 second @ 24fps.
* FILTER SYSTEM: gel filter holder located on a plane ½” (12.7mm) in front of aperture



* TYPE: brushless, Hall effect, crystal controlled, variable speed
* POWER CONSUMPTION: less than 1.1A at 12V (68°F or 20°C) at 24 fps; film footage driving capacity remains relatively constant at all speeds.
* FILMING SPEEDS: 8, 12, 24, 25, 50 and 75fps (all crystal controlled).
* OUT-OF-SYNC WARNING LIGHT: detects sync accuracy to ± 8ppm

* Fuse: 8A

ACL mags
Earlier design 400′ magazine with display counter, its feed side, later design 200′ magazine take-up side and 400′ magazine take-up side (Later design magazines are almost the same with earlier design magazines except some minor refinements such as in footage counters.)


* TYPE: 200′ or 400′ (60m or 120m) single sprocket belt drive; coaxial; snap-on; instant change
* FOOTAGE COUNTER: indicates unexposed film in both feet and meters

ACL groundglass
ACL II ground glass

Kinoptik HC


Specially designed for the ACL II; both viewfinder and eyepiece rotate 360°, left or right eye viewing, pressure of the head opens the eyepiece iris, ±6 diopter adjustments.
* SENSING ELEMENT: rapid response CdS photo-resistant cell.
* TYPE OF MEASUREMENT: behind the lens (TTL); semi-spot (e.g. 4mm diameter — 10° acceptance with 25mm lens).
* AREA OF MEASUREMENT: Center 30% of viewing area
* DISPLAY: seven light emitting diodes representing ± 1 ½ stops in ½ stop increments


flange focal distance 48mm

The CA-1 type is the heavy-duty bayonet lens mount and no mere adapter. Lenses are rigidly and precisely held against the camera face. So you can use zooms, or other long or heavy lenses without any other lens supports. 

“C” Mount:

flange focal distance 17.52mm

The “C” type is not so heavy-duty mount like the CA-1 type, so use lens supports for long or heavy lenses!


TS inter-mount



-13°F to 140°F (-25°C to 60°C), special winterizing available


* Cannon (XLR) 4-pin Male
* WIRING OF PINS: 1) Ground; 2) Bloop [.3 second fog, .3 second 1000Hz 8V signal]; 3) 12V output to pilotone module; 4) 12V input

4 pin XLR

ACL II accessories


Most known genuine batteries and chargers

Batteries (Ni-Cad):

Mini module battery pack 12VDC 2Ah, Battery MIBAC 12VDC 1.2Ah, On-board battery 12VDC 1.2Ah (connected to the camera body), Battery BAKEL 12VDC 4Ah (for high-speed work)


Fast Charger MIRAP Type MK 2 (specially designed for the Battery MIBAC only) , Charger CIBRE Type 76 – Charging rate: 320mA, SOREMEC-CEHESS charger – Charging rate: 1200mA

If you are planning to use custom-built battery packs, please take the following important information into consideration:

The ACL II camera drive with its heavy-duty high-speed motor, like in other motion-picture cameras of the same era, due to its electronic components structure of its time needs precise voltage and high current, especially at high-speeds, therefore:

For a high-speed work like 75fps, between 12V and 15.6V Ni-Cd or NiMH battery packs having min. 4Ah capacity are highly recommended. In continuous use, the camera motor supplied with a 15.6V battery produces less heat and draws about 1/3 lower current than others.

When the battery drops voltage once the current required exceeds the capacity of the battery at high-speed, the out-of-sync (orange) warning light on the motor lights up and camera runs for a while until voltage drops significantly, because all speeds are crystal (quartz) controlled. 

12V Ni-Cd or NiMH battery packs having less than 4Ah capacity will be sufficient for general use with normal (24/25fps) and lower speeds.

Lead-acid batteries may be used, but they will be too heavy to carry with.

Note: The motor does need min. 11VDC theoretically.

In any case, don’t check the camera running without fully-loaded magazine with dummy film!

Two BAKELs with the SOREMEC-CEHESS charger on the top
ACL on-board battery box
Genuine on-board snap-on battery enclosure

If camera has screw holes, but no retaining bar screwed-in and no on-board battery enclosure is available, it’s possible to make or have made one each right for you. Waterproof plastic electrical enclosures help a lot.

ACL custom-built battery enclosure
Custom-built battery enclosure example
BAKEL electrical connections
The original handgrip cable has ⌀3.5mm and two wire.



– It will be better choice, if you can buy only a French-made called ACL II or 2 model (1.5 model is also fine). Especially, when you want to use 400′ magazines, and shoot at hi-speed up to 75fps. Magazines should be French-made also (There are I or 1 model & magazines, which are English-made, but not recommended for precise works!).
– Do not forget to cover the magazines or to tape the edges of magazines when loaded.
– Be sure that the magazine is seated against the body properly and check the magazine lock. This is one of the most important disadvantages of ACLs = Magazines might fall or would leak light onto the film!

– Put some gaffers tape over the fps button for fixing (the button may pop off).
It is a real best buy camera for budget documentaries & music videos, which is really lightweight, simple to use and gives excellent image steadiness! Higher priced ones may include video tap, Super16 or Ultra-16 conversion.

Available options flow:

Magazines: French 200′ > English B-wind low-torque rubber capstan 400′ (suitable for small Thomson dual speed (24/25fps) Hall effect motor, but having jam up problems and adjustment is difficult) > French A-wind (!) direct-drive 400′ (heats up and dies the small Thomson dual speed (24/25fps) Hall effect motor)

Motors: Thomson dual speed (24/25fps) Hall effect motor > Dual speed Xtal motor > 8-48fps motor made by Cinema Products, Los Angeles > Thomson-CSF high-speed (up to 75fps) motor

Viewfinders: Angénieux rotatable box (rotating image) > Tubular (fixed) > Rotatable small (rotating image) > Angénieux dove prism orientable (always erect image) > Kinoptik HC orientable (always erect image)


ACL II Super16

ACL gate & HD-144 shuttle
144° shutter for Super16 (HD-144 modification)
ex16 TFM
Artist’s impression (1982)
Later model E.X.16 is similar to ACL except the some minor differences such as a small dual speed 24/25fps Xtal motor and a small rotatable viewfinder (MASTER SALES CATALOG, NUMBER 20, alan gordon enterprises, Hollywood, 1985).

Cameras éclair ACL page (Highly recommended!)