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16 to super 16 on Bolex Reflex?


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#1 seth christian

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Posted 18 December 2005 - 01:34 AM

anyone out there ever altered their Bolex Reflex into a super?

Can this be done by just shaving something off on the pins or something??

Any recommendations to doing it yourself, if at all possible?

Link to the exact same Bolex model:
http://cgi.ebay.com/.....AMEBI:IT&rd=1
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#2 Tim Carroll

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Posted 18 December 2005 - 09:33 AM

anyone out there ever altered their Bolex Reflex into a super?

Can this be done by just shaving something off on the pins or something??

Any recommendations to doing it yourself, if at all possible?

Link to the exact same Bolex model:
http://cgi.ebay.com/.....AMEBI:IT&rd=1


If that is the type of Bolex you bought, I do not believe it can be converted to Super 16. The most common Bolex cameras to convert to Super 16 (and the ones that the factory will do) are the Rex 5, SBM, SB, EBM and EL. The model you linked to on ebay is a much earlier model Bolex.

Some folks will widen the gate on regular 16mm cameras for something they refer to as Ultra 16, but I do not know much about that, maybe someone else can help you.

-Tim Carroll
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#3 Boris Belay

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Posted 18 December 2005 - 10:12 AM

Ouch ! You're paying too much for that camera ! It's not a Reflex model (and you could get it for $150). Try to cancel your bid before the end of the auction, then wait to put your $400 into a Rex-2 or later Bolex H16 -- those are Reflex and have a very nice 10x. viewfinder.
As for converting to Super-16 by yourself, it is possible, but complicated : widening the gate, moving the turret, modifying the viewfinder... not a week-end endeavor.
And you do need a Reflex for that, so start by cancelling your bid (it's possible on eBay).
That's my opinion, at least...
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#4 seth christian

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Posted 18 December 2005 - 10:12 PM

thanks for the education. I was able to cancel my bidding!!
After evaluating anyway, I decided I wanted more of a
package deal because you can usually grab 1 or 2 or more
400'mags with the camera, which is great.

I'm looking to buy a Bolex EBM now, this way I can convert
it to Super eventually.
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#5 Tim Carroll

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Posted 18 December 2005 - 10:31 PM

thanks for the education. I was able to cancel my bidding!!
After evaluating anyway, I decided I wanted more of a
package deal because you can usually grab 1 or 2 or more
400'mags with the camera, which is great.

I'm looking to buy a Bolex EBM now, this way I can convert
it to Super eventually.


If you are going to be buying a Bolex EBM, make sure you can have the camera tested before you pay for it. I had a REAL BAD experience with buying an EBM off of eBay a few years ago. If you plan on shooting sync with it, i.e. 24 fps to later sync to audio, test it with your sync, be it the Bolex one or the one made by Clive Tobin, and shoot some footage in different light. Because if it is like mine was and has an intermittent shutter bounce, it can be hard to detect unless you have a really good camera tech, and it will ruin all the film you shoot with it. And it is REALLY expensive to have it fixed.

They do not all have this problem, as Boris will attest to, but you are buying a pig in a poke when you buy off of eBay and we even sent our camera to one of the more reliable Bolex service shops in the United States, and they missed the problem. We did not find it until we had processed over 1600 feet of film, all of it ruined by the flicker caused by the shutter bounce.

-Tim
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#6 seth christian

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Posted 18 December 2005 - 11:11 PM

any way to oil or maintain the camera to avoid that from happening?

I thank you for your warning, it sounds like you got a bad egg, because
I've heard nothing but good from EBM's.

Is there a sight out there to attest to your "watch out for EBM" theory
so I can read up?
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#7 Tim Carroll

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 12:12 AM

any way to oil or maintain the camera to avoid that from happening?

I thank you for your warning, it sounds like you got a bad egg, because
I've heard nothing but good from EBM's.

Is there a sight out there to attest to your "watch out for EBM" theory
so I can read up?


The thing that causes the intermittent shutter bounce is in the camera's electronics. And it is hard to diagnose. So the only sure way to fix it is to replace both electronic boards, which is very costly. Bolex in Switzerland told me they could fix it for me and guarantee that it would be okay, but they wanted $1800 for the service, not including shipping the camera over to Switzerland and back.

I knew the guy who ran Franklin Film Labs before they closed and he told me that he had seen the problem with a number of Bolex cameras. I do not think it is real common, but to be sure, you need to do film tests, and you need to have the sync attached when you do the tests to know if you are getting the issue.

Hope that helps,
-Tim Carroll
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#8 Boris Belay

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 09:11 AM

What is your budget ? Some of the better eBay seller will offer a return option on their cameras (and these are obviously serious sellers in the first place, so the camera is probably good). Or you should at least look for a 'film-tested' kit by somebody who's shot with that camera -- that's the second best option.
For the money you were apparently willing to put in that late Rex-5 (13x. VF), you should indeed be able to find a nice standard EBM package with a Kern Vario-Switar 16-100 (better than the Angénieux 12-120, I think), and 1 or 2 mags. Make sure you get the EBM grip with it (necessary for running the camera, but sometimes not included) and the MM (or WM) motor for he magazines. $1000 would be a good price for that kit, more if it's from a good dealer on eBay.
Or again, don't you have a camera shop in your area ? I'm personally all for eBay, but a shop is a safer option for a first camera in that price range.
-B
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#9 Tim Carroll

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 09:43 AM

What is your budget ? Some of the better eBay seller will offer a return option on their cameras (and these are obviously serious sellers in the first place, so the camera is probably good). Or you should at least look for a 'film-tested' kit by somebody who's shot with that camera -- that's the second best option.
For the money you were apparently willing to put in that late Rex-5 (13x. VF), you should indeed be able to find a nice standard EBM package with a Kern Vario-Switar 16-100 (better than the Angénieux 12-120, I think), and 1 or 2 mags. Make sure you get the EBM grip with it (necessary for running the camera, but sometimes not included) and the MM (or WM) motor for he magazines. $1000 would be a good price for that kit, more if it's from a good dealer on eBay.
Or again, don't you have a camera shop in your area ? I'm personally all for eBay, but a shop is a safer option for a first camera in that price range.
-B


If you are dead set on a Bolex, and you really should rent one and try it before investing your money because the one huge difference you are going to see going from video to a Bolex, or even an Arri 16S, is how much darker the viewfinder is. If you shoot your music videos in dark nightclubs or arenas, you will definitely have to get used to that. But if you really want a Bolex, you might check out the Bolex factory website. They sell refurbished and used Bolex cameras and lenses and you would be sure that you got a good one. Also Andrew Alden's Bolex UK web site is a great resource and his stuff is top notch.

If you are just starting out, eBay can seem like a great way to go, but it can also be a total waste of your money unless you are dealing with a very honest seller who will let you return the camera and get your money back.

Boris is right, if you go the EBM route, the Kern Switar POE 16-100 lens and the two mags with an MM or WM motor is the package you want.

-Tim
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#10 Ron_mc_Don

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Posted 29 December 2005 - 01:09 PM

Ha HA! You told the Ebay seller that you has a house fire! Points for originality!

Tony.
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