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Bolex H8 modified to Super 8?


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#1 Izreal

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 06:17 PM

Another question. Can a Bolex H8 be converted to super 8, and if so how? What would I have to do in order to modify it myself? And where could one go to get this done professionally? The reason I'm asking is my friend just bought one of ebay and I know Bolex makes some very good camera's, plus they have interchangeable lens. So if anyone has any info on this please share.
Thanx
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#2 A.Oliver

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Posted 05 December 2005 - 07:06 PM

Hi, my tail of woe. Purchased a bolex ds-8 on ebay in mint condition. First reel yeilded jittery images so did the second. Well after the third visit to JK cameras, the jitter was resolved. However the images are still not as stable as the super 8 cartridge. I spend around £1800.00 in all on the camera shipping from the uk to the USA and back etc, and still super 8 gives steadier images. This was my second bolex, the first camera also yeilded slight unsteady images. Now i use the bolex for hand held home movies of the family only, you dont notice the unsteady registration when shooting hand held. The images the bolex produces apart from the unsteadiness are amazing, i really think the image quality on k25 is unsurpassed in the super 8 format, of course thats until kodak give us a better stock that can match k25. Lenses are a problem on the bolex, you can only use a couple of zooms as well as the 5.5, 12.5 and 36mm switar. My advice is, by a bolex ds-8 with a full money back warranty or dont touch it. The other concern is, how much longer will the format survive. You can still get ds-8 k40, but i doubt for much longer. I only got into the format purely so i could use k25, as there were still stocks around till around 12months ago, i personally would avoid the format.
I was in correspondence with a guy from Germany who advised me that a bolex H8 to DS-8 conversion is possible but requires a lot of internal work, i seem to recall the sum of 3000 euros being quoted. This conversion would yeild rock solid images as a JK conversion causes every 5,6 or 7 frame to be out of alignment, thus causing unsteady images. Well if your still awake heres the JK link. http://www.jkcamera....lex_h16_rex.htm
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#3 uoliwils

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 04:28 PM

I'm not completely sure about that registration issue. I own a Bolex ds8, from JK, and, even though I agree that the image is not significantly steadier than super8, I can't see any 5,6,7 frame misalignement. I'm sure of it because I transferred myself some film with the frameline visible and it's steady as a rock. It was a 7-8secs clip (I did it with a DSLR and I had to move the film frame by frame manually - got bored after a while so no bigger clips done yet). The rest of my films were transferred by andec to minidv and they are very steady too.

Apart from this I have to agree with k25rip - super8 can easily be just as steady, if not more. Modifying your camera is quite expensive, and film is not readily available (but it seems next spring wittner will be selling velvia 50 also in ds8 format too).

The only thing I could add is I noticed that the bolex gives me always the same good results, while my zeiss s8 footage sometimes is rock solid, sometimes REALLY jittery. I realized it yesterday, I got back lots of rolls from andec, shot both with the zeiss and the bolex. (plus some stuff with a beaulieu 4008 that, apart some other problems, gave the steadiest footage together with the bolex)

Also agree you can't find many lenses for the bolex ds8, but those little switars are wonderful prime lenses anyway, and I find them more than adequate for my needs.

If I find a way to do it I'll try to post some clips. Any advice? how do I get some free webspace to do so?
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#4 santo

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 06:29 PM

Ourmedia or whatever it's called? Your internet provider must give you a free wiebsite with 10 to 15 mb of space, don't they?

Can't really comment on the double super 8 conversion thing, but at risk of going off topic on the original poster, I can comment on the Zeiss super 8 camera from experience and a few other things.

Obviously, you couldn't use Plus-x or Tri-x in the Bolex as probably the only double super 8 films available are fomopan and k40 -- maybe somebody has some k25 still around? Soon fomapan 100 in 25 foot feels will be all that will be left for a double super 8 choice. Unfortunately, that's just how it is and there is really no changing that unless some multi-millionaire decides differently and orders a big batch of custom order modern stock and comes up with a means to develop it. I can't see any incentive to do so.

So you compared Plus-X -- I guess? there's only two choices -- shot in super 8 with big zooms, vs fomapan shot with some primes. From what I have seen posted on the net and other sources, fomapan is not as sharp a film stock as Plus-X, although it is a very nice-looking one. I really like the way it looks, actually. I would guess that the results would be pretty similar in sharpness (70's zooms with a sharp stock, vs primes with a slightly less sharp stock), but different in look (grain structure, contrast, and whatnot).

I would honestly be very surprised if you saw any difference in the super 8 vs the double super 8 footage in steadiness provided the Beaulieu was in top shape. Nobody has ever posted any double super 8 footage that demonstrated any advantage on the internet and I have never seen any anywhere else -- as wonderful as some of those double super 8 cameras are. It's a damn shame, really, but that's a fallacy. With the Zeiss, I can say from experience that the Precision Pressure Plate makes all the difference in the world with that camera. It puts it in league with the legendary Leicina Special for steadiness. I will say that the lens on the GS8 Zeiss Ikon I used to own was terrific except in the extreme wide-angle mode (6mm) where it showed too much distortion and got a little soft. Other than that, probably the best fixed lens in super 8. Very impressive footage 10 - 60mm for a zoom of that era. As it damn well should have been for what those cost when new.
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#5 uoliwils

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Posted 08 December 2005 - 06:46 PM

I have to agree with you Santo. In my previous post I didn't mean that ds8 is steadier than super8. Sometimes the zeiss is just as steady even without the pressure plate (not to mention the beaulieu, even if it's in bad shape). And the 9-36 is also a great lens (never tried the 6-70 so I cannot compare them).

One question: how do you know the lovely foma r100/100ft is going?? That's the only reason I'm not selling my camera, I'd like to know more about it! (agree plusx is sharper, but somehow I prefer the foma look. to each his own)


Thanks for the info on the free webspace. 10-15 mb is not that much, but it's better than nothing!
david
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#6 A.Oliver

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Posted 11 December 2005 - 06:20 AM

Hi, my previous coments about the 5,6,7 frame were drawn from my poor memory, the chap did tell my exactly what caused a JK conversion to jitter. I seem to recall internal parts required replacing, not just the spocket,claw and gate parts. My leicina special gives much steadier images than the bolex.
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