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Bolex EL stutter starts


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#1 tom lombard

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 09:06 AM

I push the button to shoot & maybe 2 frames advance and the EL stops.  Push button again and maybe 5 frames advance and the EL stops.  After several attempts, the EL runs fine.  Once it's been running, I can usually get it to run normally if I take another "shot" (no film in it right now) within a few seconds but if I let it sit for even a minute, I need to repeat the process... push the button, it advances a few frames, it stops... sometimes just 2 or 3 attempts but sometimes 6-10 attempts.  I get same result if using power adapter or charged batteries and it runs fine once it's running so don't think it's strictly a power issue.  I've tried different FPS from 24 on down (and reverse even) and results are same.  Any thoughts?


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#2 Simon Wyss

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 10:31 AM

Sounds like a sick condensor with the power circuitry. Have it checked by a specialist.


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#3 tom lombard

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 02:31 PM

Who (in US) might you suggest?  I contacted Bolex USA (Procam) about a CLA when I acquired this EL and they actually discouraged me from pursuing it.  It seems there's a special jig used when an EL gets opened up and they don't have the jig.  I was also understanding that there's really not much serviceable (due to the early circuit boards?) and that I should enjoy the EL while it was working but look for another camera if it developed issues.  And it was working well until recently :(  And I've got 10, 100' rolls of D50 in my fridge for an upcoming short  :( 2


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#4 Simon Wyss

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 02:42 AM

Super 16, Inc.

607 Broad St., 1 FL Left, Endicott, NY 13760


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#5 Samuel Berger

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 04:16 AM

Alternatively: http://www.chambless...log/service.htm


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#6 tom lombard

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 08:11 AM

Thanks.  Will check with these places.

I may just consider this a "sign".  I've been reluctant to put any additional money into my Bolex kit as I'm wanting to put what little funds I have towards an Aaton purchase.  I had just gotten to the point of thinking I should just expand with the camera that I have (the EL) when this issue arose.  So now I'm back to questioning putting money anywhere other than my Aaton fund.


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#7 Simon Wyss

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 07:33 AM

A Bolex H-16 EL and an Aaton are rather unsimilar cameras. Which direction in cinematography are you taking?


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#8 tom lombard

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 09:48 AM

Quite so.  At least I suspect so but I haven't had my hands on an Aaton (or Arri) just yet :)  As with most people, I started with what I could afford.  At that time, it was a Bolex M4.  The short shooting duration limited by the hand winding led me to getting the EL.  It was quite cheap and a gamble as it was a questionable eBay auction in another country that came with no power supply.  I managed to cobble power together and it's worked well for me until now.  I've been looking forward to graduating to an Arri SR 2/3 or Aaton XTR Plus/Prod and S16 but finances haven't allowed that just yet.  As for direction... I've been involved (write and/or produce and/or direct and/or shoot and/or edit) in several shorts and a couple feature lengths.  Sadly, most has been digital.  I'd like to do a feature length in S16 as best I can and, while it's possible on an S16 Bolex, I have a bit of a sweet tooth for hardware.  I'm not alone in that regard am I!!

Back to my EL... I have a fairly functional work around for now.  The EL has powered reverse.  So I zero out the frame counter, keep the lens cap on, do a few of those stutter starts until it decides to keep running, reverse back to zero on the frame counter, and take the lens cap off.  If I'm reasonably ready to roll camera and yell action, this seems to work in my testing (in private, sans film).  I hope to test this with a faux shoot in 2 weeks.  Thanks, Tom


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