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Thread: Bolex anyone!

  1. #1
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Bolex anyone!

    I recall a thread a while back discussing the merits of having a cine forum. I guess that never happened. Well I have been shooting B&W 8mm for about 8 years now. Here is one of my Bolex Reflex cameras. Again, this is 8mm, so with a 100ft roll I get as much running time as the 16mm camera with the big 400ft magazine on top.

    I'm using ISO 100 reversal B&W. I was just shooting with the camera today. I have two other Bolexes also. One has the EE zoom and the other has a f0.9 Switar lens on it.


  2. #2
    sun of sand's Avatar
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    They are very handsome.

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    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Just some more info for those interessted.

    The lenses are little optical gems. They have preset-levers so you can rapidly open them up for focusing (of course all viewing while shooting is done at working aperture, thus the absolute requirement for the eye hood)

    The shortest one is 5.5mm retrofocus and the longest is 35mm. The short one is like a 40mm lens on a 35mm camera.

    Bolex has an unusual shutter angle, and that, coupled with the light loss from the full-time viewing prism can lead to errors in exposure estimation. The Gossen/Bolex meter takes care of everything. I use a zinc battery in it.

    Due to the magnification of the viewfinder image, the center lens (12mm) has the effect of being a "normal" lens (ie both your eyes open, the images are similar size). Compared to still photography, it is a long lens, approximating a 75mm lens on a 35mm camera. So, in effect the "normal" lens is what a still photographer may call a " portrait " lens.

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    ben-s's Avatar
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    It looks a real gem, in lovely condition. Thanks for sharing.
    I'd like to get a 16mm at some point, although it looks like it costs a lot to feed them.
    Where are you getting your film from? Are you processing it yourself?

    I don't know what happened to the proposed Cine forum here... I guess Sean thought it best to leave that side of things to dedicated cinematography forums.
    Lens caps and cable releases can become invisible at will. :D

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    ic-racer's Avatar
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    I have been getting a good steady supply of B&W reversal from John Schwind on the internet. Although the film is 16mm wide, it needs to have twice as many perforations as standard 16mm film.

    The main problem for me with processing it myself (which I would not mind doing) is getting it split afterward. It has to be a precision split, otherwise the film won't make it through a projector.

    For 7 years I have used Prep Film services for processing and splitting.

    The Bolex 8mm splicer is another precision device. It actually tapers the two film ends and preserves the emulsion on one side, so the splice area is not much thicker than the rest of the film and no image is lost. Depending on how well you do it, there will still be a fine line across one frame.

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    hey there

    i had an itty bitty bh8 as well as the h8, the no-rx version of your camera.
    i really enjoyed using it and put a ton of film through it when i had them.
    when i originally won a H8 on ebOO, the seller didn't realize he was selling me a H16 LOL
    with a boatload of lenses so i had one of thems too.
    later i found a H8 ... and used them all for a while,
    until i realized i was broke and sold everything off to folks i knew would enjoy using them.
    ritz camera ( not the chain but the camera store in AZ ) used to have a very active discussion board
    and there were a ton of movie makers there ...

    i miss my bolexes and often times think of getting another little one, but unfortunately i am still as broke
    now as i was when i sold everything off.

    john
    silver magnets, trickle tanks sold
    artwork often times sold for charity
    PM me for details

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    Wow, that brings back som memories. I shot a ton on 16mm Bolexes and B&H wind up cameras. Those switars are indeed wonderful. I fell in love with the Schneiders on the Arri-S I used and have used them ever since on my LF rigs. Do the 8mm Bolexes have the in camera fade capabilities like their big brothers?

    Isaac
    See my adventures in Yemen here:
    www.isaharr.com

  8. #8
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by isaacc7 View Post
    Do the 8mm Bolexes have the in camera fade capabilities like their big brothers?

    Isaac
    Yes. You can see the lever just behind the lens turret. It pulls out and actuates the variable shutter, just like the H16. What you don't get is the behind the lens gel filter holder. The shorter focal length of the lenses does not give enough space. All most all the other features and accessories are identical.

    The lenses actually are "C" (not "D" like the non-rex H8) mount but won't cover the 16mm frame on the H16.

    This camera actually came from Sandy Ritz.

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    bsdunek's Avatar
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    This brings back good memories for me too! My H8 and all the accessories are still in the case in a closet. I even pull it out and look at it once in a while. What a precision machine!
    I went to video when processing became so expensive, but video is not the same as film.
    My Dad started taking 8mm movies when 8mm first came out - 1938 I think. I continued. We have family movies all the way to 1989, and then videos since. All the movies are edited with titles and on 400 ft reels. Special events, like trips, are on their own reels. We show movies at family get-togethers sometimes. They sure look good up on the big screen (70X70).
    Maybe I should try some B&W. I have a splitter that uses a razor blade in a guide. I've never used it, so I don't know how accurate it is.
    Bruce

    Moma don't take my Kodachrome away!
    Oops, Kodak just did!


    BruceCSdunekPhotography.zenfolio.com

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    ic-racer's Avatar
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    More little details. Since the lenses are so small, diffraction rears its evil head around f4 or f5.6 so I have ND filters to use outdoors. The lens hoods are clever in that they form series-size filter holders when you unscrew them.

    Much has been written about the Minox lenses (I'm a Minox user and owner) but these Switars seem to me to be better than the Minox. Of course with the barrel they are physically about 5 times bigger than the Minox lens.

    If you are wondering, the diagonal of the Std-8 frame is about 7mm. This is smaller than the Minox frame (about 13mm).

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