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dilemma!! arri 16 st or bolex h16 rex5..give me an advice!


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#1 DaNiElE BeLArDo

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 02:57 PM

i d like to buy my first 16mm camera....... could we tell me pros/cons of this two camera??


could i mount on bolex the famous taylor hobson lens?? ( i have seen that most cooke are c-mount) ...

many thanks
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#2 Tim Carroll

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 04:44 PM

i d like to buy my first 16mm camera....... could we tell me pros/cons of this two camera??
could i mount on bolex the famous taylor hobson lens?? ( i have seen that most cooke are c-mount) ...

many thanks


I will tell you up front I am a huge fan of the Arriflex. I have owned a Bolex REX (original reflex, I guess would be referred to as a Rex 1, but they really did not call them that) and a Bolex EBM and have shot a third film for someone else with a Bolex SBM. And I now own an Arriflex 16S (which is basically the same camera as the ST). For me there is no comparison. In my opinion the Arriflex 16ST is a professional motion picture camera and the Bolex is a prosumer motion picture camera. The Bolex is definitely better than the consumer cameras of the 1950's and 1960's, but it is not at the same level as the Arri.

The Arri has a registration pin for a much steadier picture. It employs a rotating mirror instead of the reflex system on the Bolex which uses a beam splitter that sends a certain portion of the light entering the camera to the viewfinder, robbing that light from your exposure. And if you are talking about a motor driven camera, the Arri is unbelievably simple compared to the Bolex EBM and EL as far as electronic circuitry goes. The Arri is basically a battery hooked up to your electric motor, and the speed is controlled mechanically on the constant speed motor, and with a rheostat on the variable speed motor. Having had the electrics go out on a Bolex EBM and had it cause an intermittent shutter bounce which no Bolex service tech in the United States could diagnose, I can tell you the electronics in the Bolex EBM can be a nightmare when they do not work right.

If you have a chance, look at each camera in person. Open the film door and look at the gate, pressure plate, registration pin or lack there of.

Naturally you will get the best images from either camera when the camera is properly cleaned, lubricated and adjusted, so make sure whatever camera you buy has been serviced.

The other major importance is lenses. The Kern Switar lenses for the Bolex are top notch, especially if they are properly calibrated. There are many fine lenses for the Arri as well, from Schneiders to Cookes and you can even find an occasional Angenieux that is sharp and optically excellent. So I think the lenses come out pretty even with maybe a wider selection available for the Arriflex.

But if you plan on keeping the camera for a while, and taking good care of it, I would invest in the Arriflex even if it is more expensive than the Bolex, I feel you will be happier with the results. And I will admit that is just my personal opinion based on my three experiences shooting with Bolex cameras and two experiences shooting with Arri's.

Good Luck,
-Tim
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#3 DaNiElE BeLArDo

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 06:49 PM

many thanks TIM ..i have one question to ask ...(escuse me if my english is poor)


my friend told me, that the arri st between two stack of shot burn always one frame because the mirror remain in a certain position (this would like to mean a long time of post processing work on film!)

this is a really problem??

thanks


The Kern Switar lenses for the Bolex are top notch



the angenieux and the taylor hobson cooke are on the same level???
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#4 Tim Carroll

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 07:39 PM

many thanks TIM ..i have one question to ask ...(escuse me if my english is poor)
my friend told me, that the arri st between two stack of shot burn always one frame because the mirror remain in a certain position (this would like to mean a long time of post processing work on film!)

this is a really problem??

thanks
The Kern Switar lenses for the Bolex are top notch
the angenieux and the taylor hobson cooke are on the same level???


The situation you describe with the shutter stopping in a position where one frame is burned out can happen with both the Arri and the Bolex. I am not sure why that would be a problem in post production if you are editing the final footage. If you want to be able to just shoot some reversal film and project it just as it comes back from the lab, I guess the one white frame between shots could be an issue, but I am not sure why you would want to do that.

Most of the lenses for the Bolex and ARRI cameras are very old. I have an Angenieux for my Arriflex 16S that is sharp as a tack and takes great images, and it is forty eight years old. Angenieux seemed to make some great lenses and some not so great lenses and sometimes it just depends on which lens you get. Most of the Kern Switars were very good, as were the Schneiders and the Cookes, with the Rodenstocks being a slight tier below. But a big issue with these lenses is what has happened to them in the last fifty or so years? How were they taken care of? Were they cleaned, lubricated and adjusted with any type of regularity or have they not been serviced in decades? Have they been dropped or kept in a place with too much humidity or used in harsh environments with high levels of dust and other particles (like sand? :o ) The quality of any one lens now really depends on what has happened to it since the day it left the factory until it ended up in your hands or on your camera. And that makes it tough.

There are a number of users on this forum who own and love Bolex cameras and maybe they can tell you more and better things about them. Again, if it were me and my money, I would go with the Arri.

-Tim Carroll
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#5 Clive Tobin

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 08:18 PM

...The Arri has a registration pin for a much steadier picture...


Have you ever run registration tests on a late model Bolex in good condition? I have, and in a double exposure at normal 24 FPS speed there is NO movement between the two passes. Since on such a test the Bolex references the perforations exactly both times, I don't see how an Arri can be expected to do any better.

This is only the case on a Bolex that is not worn out, is not running at 64 FPS, and has a serial number above 100401 when they changed to the so-called Registration Claw. Earlier cam-driven claw models were not as good, and also had some sideways weave.

It is true that trying to film with a Bolex Reflex with the lens stopped down, and with a #85 filter in place, the view through the finder is about like looking through a bar of chocolate. For grab shooting, the cameraman is better off using the side finder with prime lenses so he can see what he is pointing at, and just use the reflex finder when he really needs it.

It has also always bothered me that the Bolex camera bodies are full of holes that can let in dirt, rain and sand and gum up the gears. Still, overall I like them.
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#6 Tim Carroll

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 09:11 PM

Have you ever run registration tests on a late model Bolex in good condition?


Clive, I ran registration tests on that EBM and it weaved noticeably. But I think that particular camera had some really bad stuff happen to it before I got it, so it is really not a good comparison. I do know the Arri is rock steady, but I suppose you could probably find a really worn out Arri that did not have great registration.

Those are the types of things that make it tough buying a camera off of eBay. You do take your chances. That garbage EBM came off of eBay, but then so did my current Arriflex 16S, which is a gem. And I do realize that I got a real chunk of bad karma with that Bolex, and I do not believe in any way that all EBM's were like mine. It was just such a frustration to have to deal with that thing for eight months, and the hundreds of dollars I wasted on it, until it finally found its true resting place in the bottom of the dumpster.

-Tim Carroll

PS: Speaking of eBay and Arri 16S cameras, I see you have your crystal sync motor for auction. Where is the inching knob on that, it is hard to tell from the picture? Also, does the 12 volt power cord plug straight into that motor (4 prong XLR), or does it go through the old style power cable and into the camera like the normal Arri motors do? Thanks.
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#7 Sam Wells

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 11:17 PM

Bolex registration can be quite good indeed. IF has been properly serviced, etc.

Old camera off the shelf, I'm not surprised Tim had better luck with an Arri S.

ps the Bolex shutter should stop in the closed position *unless* it is at the end of a spring wind-down, in which case I've found they'll stop anywhere.

pps I have a wild motor made by the very same Clive Tobin, it gets the S up to speed by frame 2 at 24 fps, as the Bolex does. (The Arri variable speed motor is great though if you LIKE flash frames which some people do. Much cheaper than renting Lightning Strikes units B) )

-Sam




I assume the Tobin crystal motor for 16S can stop in the shutter closed i.e. viewing position ?


-Sam
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#8 Tim Carroll

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 11:34 PM

I assume the Tobin crystal motor for 16S can stop in the shutter closed i.e. viewing position ?
-Sam


That is what I thought originally, then I got to thinking about it more and since the motor transmits the drive through the rubber coupling, and the motor's orientation in the coupling is completely random anytime you take the motor out or put it back in (something you should always do when you store the camera even for a short period of time (to protect that achilles heel of a rubber coupling)), how would the motor know when the shutter is open or close? How would it index?
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#9 Sam Wells

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 03:45 PM

Tim I think you have to align it then.

Norris single frame motor should stop it in the right place. It would hardly be viable otherwise.


-Sam
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#10 Sam Wells

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 04:04 PM

Hmm I notice he doesn't have the S on his web page. I did have the instructions for how to do it w/ a Norris but never used it. It's easy on a S35R ! -- but not the same issues.

plus no need of capping shutter.

Which are reasons I like a Bolex better for some stuff.

What we really need is a Super 16 version of the 435ES; a Bolex and Arri S all in one. You could even hand crank.

It would only cost 100 grand or so, hey B)

(Maybe they could do a Springwound motor accessory.... )


-Sam

somebody shoot me now if I don't stop......
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#11 Rachel Oliver

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 05:08 PM

Hmm I notice he doesn't have the S on his web page. I did have the instructions for how to do it w/ a Norris but never used it. It's easy on a S35R ! -- but not the same issues.

plus no need of capping shutter.

Which are reasons I like a Bolex better for some stuff.

What we really need is a Super 16 version of the 435ES; a Bolex and Arri S all in one. You could even hand crank.

It would only cost 100 grand or so, hey B)

(Maybe they could do a Springwound motor accessory.... )
-Sam

somebody shoot me now if I don't stop......


Hi;

Can we have a compass and a mini saw too? Oh and a fishing hook....
Ps must say my REX-5 has been very solid for me in terms of registration and l believe the path to S16 conversion would have been harder with the Arri too?

Olly
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#12 Clive Tobin

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 09:48 PM

PS: Speaking of eBay and Arri 16S cameras, I see you have your crystal sync motor for auction. Where is the inching knob on that, it is hard to tell from the picture? Also, does the 12 volt power cord plug straight into that motor (4 prong XLR), or does it go through the old style power cable and into the camera like the normal Arri motors do? Thanks.


The inching knob is on the back end of the motor. Power is supplied through the usual means, namely the split pin power plug, the run and buckle switch, and the live contact inside the sleeve that the motor slides into. It does not stop with the shutter closed; this would be difficult as the motor turns 3 times per frame and there is no guaranteed relationship owing to the smooth rubber coupling.

Sorry about your EBM, even if it was of no real value as a regular camera I would have been willing to pay a few bucks for it just to use it as a model in my TXM-24 crystal control catalog page. Also people have been asking me to come up with a version of the TTL time lapse motor that would fit an EBM, and having a body around would be handy for that. Not that I really need any more projects.
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#13 Tim Carroll

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Posted 03 January 2006 - 10:59 PM

Sorry about your EBM, even if it was of no real value as a regular camera I would have been willing to pay a few bucks for it just to use it as a model in my TXM-24 crystal control catalog page. Also people have been asking me to come up with a version of the TTL time lapse motor that would fit an EBM, and having a body around would be handy for that. Not that I really need any more projects.

I really did throw the thing in the dumpster behind my house in Chicago. But I sold the door to one guy and the whole viewfinder assembly to another guy. I knew what a nightmare that camera was and I would have felt terrible if someone else had ended up with it and went through the same frustrations that I did, so I felt the dumpster was the best place for it.

I do have the Bolex EBM tool still if anyone is interested. It is the little wrench that takes off the round studs with the little slots. Little sucker set me back forty bucks, but it was necessary to get the cover off so I could get to the electronics. Not that getting to the electronics solved anything. <_<

It does not stop with the shutter closed; this would be difficult as the motor turns 3 times per frame and there is no guaranteed relationship owing to the smooth rubber coupling.

I couldn't figure out a way that you could do that because of that rubber coupling. There is no way to know for sure what orientation the ball on the motor shaft is sitting in inside that rubber coupling, especially the older ones that are dry and brittle and the ball slips around inside.

-Tim Carroll
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