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Noob question on the Bolex 660 macro zoom


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#1 Michael Douglas Roberts

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 11:06 AM

In a moment I call E-bay-itis, I bid on and won a Bolex 660 macro zoom. I was getting frustrated on getting out bid on the 16mm bolexes I was bidding on and thought S8 was a great way to go to get the effect I was looking for on my project (bungee jumping while filming to put as a lead-in to the stills I sell of other jumpers).

The question is... did I buy a good camera, regardless of the price I paid for it? :blink:

Thanks, I think I will be utilising the talents on this forum a lot in the near future...

Michael
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#2 Steven Budden

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 01:12 PM

How are you going to edit? Because there are a lot of other things involved besides the camera.

If the camera works it will get you started, but you'll need other 8mm gear if you're going that way (splicers and viewers) and 16mm gear if you're going that way. Unless you're scanning it all to go to video, then 8mm is quite a lot cheaper and the quality is fine for the television screen sizes.

But it is fun to play with the film itself, especially when you're just starting out.

Steven
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#3 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 04:40 PM

I think you bought a smashingly good camera. Please don't use it as a crash camera. It should do time-exposure, time-lapse, offer several filming speeds including slow motion and single frame. I'm thinking it is a knock off of the eumig 880 or 860.

Bolex of switzerland actually still services this camera, (and the eumigs as well). If it runs and you want to sell it let me know.
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#4 Michael Douglas Roberts

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 06:51 PM

[quote name='Alessandro Machi' date='Feb 22 2006, 01:40 PM' post='92073']
I think you bought a smashingly good camera. Please don't use it as a crash camera.

It's kinda funny you should put those two sentences together. :D Because the vast majority of my clients buy their jump pictures burned onto a CD, the bungee jump lead-in will be done right from a digital intermediate. I will be shooting the film, having it developed and telecined to a DVD, and then edit and author on the computer to a digital final product.

Alessandro, Thank you for the concern for the camera, but I assure you (experience setting up video cameras for jumpers) that I am not considering anything that has "Bolex" written on it as an expendable crash camera. Because I have to rappel to my photography perch with my still camera, a Nikon D200 (over $2000 in body and lens), I have ample fall protectionfor me and my gear. I come from a background of Confined Space Entry and Rescue and routinely hang from ropes and wires with rather expensive gear that tends to break if it gets dropped. So, I promise you, my camera is an important and valued tool to me, one that I will look after to keep safe.

That being said, I think this could be the best $13 I ever spent... kid you not!
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#5 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 09:05 PM

It is your camera and you do have the right to do with it what you will. I just wanted you to know the camera you bought for 13 dollars :blink: is the kind of cameras high end DP's would salivate over if they actually knew how versatile the camera was for pre-testing various visual effects shots that require manipulation of the shutter and frame rate.

The Eumig version of that Bolex camera needs lubrication perhaps more often than most other cameras, so it may not actually be the most ideal camera to have in precarious places. Do the "screetch" test. Put some film in it and see if the camera screetches when you start filming, the screetching will get louder the higher the frame rate you choose. If your camera motor does screetch, it really should be lubed by a camera repair expert otherwise the torque on the dry camera motor probably hastens the demise of the camera motor. Also, the exposure meter uses twp servo's that also need lubrication, so an additional screetch can be heard if you put the camera in auto-exposure and pan the camera through a contrasty setting.
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#6 santo

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 02:25 AM

Have you seen this on the Eumig 860/880, Alex?

http://super8wiki.co..._to_disassemble

Not all that bad for a diy clean and lube job. I always thought these Eumigs were very interesting cameras, but like most super 8 cameras, a disaster for even simple maintenance. But these Eumigs are not too badly engineered it appears, so you could spend a pleasant couple of hours opening one up, cleaning it if it needs it and putting a few drops of oil on the metal pieces and a little swab of lithium grease here and there. Little modellers paint brushes work great for that. If you could run it with covers off, you could really see which parts are moving and what's squeeling and quieting that right down would be no problem. Then you'd have a fun little camera for a few more years.
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#7 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 03:07 AM

You may have hit upon the solution, keep the sides off of the darn thing.

The buttons and dials were not that smartly put together so when it comes time to actually reassembling the camera the springs and what not are a pain to put back together.

I've seriously wondered if the sides of the camera body could be dremeled in such a way as to create a hatch door for easier access to the lubrication parts, although usually there's a big old circuit board in the way.
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#8 Michael Douglas Roberts

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 04:59 AM

Thanks for the replies and what to look out for. My guess is it hasn't been used in years so the first order of business is to go through it with a fined toothed comb, or a fine bristled modelling brush, so to speak. Is there a repair manual I can get somewhere? If it is beyond simple preventative maintenance, I will definitely ship it out and invest in having it done over by a pro... Reccomendations for out here on the left coast?

Thanks again, I think my 13 bucks was well spent. Now I have a Bolex H16S to my name as of today, so I think my artistic endeavours will be satisfied for a long time to come... Now if I can just get a faster computer, with more RAM, Final Cut Pro... Jeez, I better stop!

Michael Douglas Roberts
Portland, OR

Duh, I just went to Santos' link and saw what I need. Thank you very much!

Michael Douglas Roberts
Portland, OR
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#9 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 02:13 PM

I purchased the service manual for the Eumig cameras. It cost close to a hundred bucks.

I plan on letting Spectra Film and Video borrow it. If their technician goes a good job servicing my camera I'll post here.

Another option would be to send it to Bolex Switzerland. I'm guessing they go over the whole camera, down to setting motor voltage specifications and incidentals we have no clue about. I think the minimum they would charge be $250.00 plus shippimg and perhaps as much as $350.00. (might include shipping) Really a bargain but most people have it in their minds that if they pay 20 bucks for a $500 dollar camera they should not spend more than 20 bucks for any servicing! :blink:
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