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K3 or Bolex H16


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#1 Gareth Munden

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 04:29 AM

I'm new to 16mm and wanna get a starter camera , which would you guys ( and girls ) go for , a K3 or a Bolex H16 ? .

Thanks Gareth M .
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#2 Herb Montes

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 06:59 AM

I'm new to 16mm and wanna get a starter camera , which would you guys ( and girls ) go for , a K3 or a Bolex H16 ? .

Thanks Gareth M .


I'm leaning toward the Bolex. More versatile, many accessories, larger choice of lenses.
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#3 Nick Mulder

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 07:35 AM

I love my bolexes - try to get at least an RX4 - you'll appreciate the extra amount of bits you can build around it or buy for it due to its 'open plan' interface..

they are loud but i'm not sure if the K3's are quiet anyway
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#4 Adam Wallensten

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 09:03 AM

The K-3 is not quiet either, so don't let the noise-factor affect your choice. I have a K-3 and I'm happy with it, but since I don't have any experience with the Bolex I can't advice you more.
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#5 David W Scott

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 09:08 AM

Having shot with both, and owned the Bolex, I lean towards to K3.

I am assuming that you are really looking for the basics -- a sturdy wind-up camera with one decent zoom lens. You can't add as many accessories to a K3, but out of the box, it's more usable than the Bolex. Image quality is about the same, and if you get the M42 mount K3, you can put some interesting lenses on it. I find the Bolex fiddly, slow and uncomfortable to hand hold. I also prefer the viewfinder in the K3.

Now for the caveat:
Make sure that the K3 is clean and in good operating shape before you buy. You don't want to have to sink money into it having it overhauled/polished, etc.
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#6 Chris Keth

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 09:12 AM

Having shot with both, and owned the Bolex, I lean towards to K3.

I am assuming that you are really looking for the basics -- a sturdy wind-up camera with one decent zoom lens. You can't add as many accessories to a K3, but out of the box, it's more usable than the Bolex. Image quality is about the same, and if you get the M42 mount K3, you can put some interesting lenses on it. I find the Bolex fiddly, slow and uncomfortable to hand hold. I also prefer the viewfinder in the K3.

Now for the caveat:
Make sure that the K3 is clean and in good operating shape before you buy. You don't want to have to sink money into it having it overhauled/polished, etc.



I back up David's opinion. A good K3 will get you to the same places a bolex will for less money.
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#7 Mike Lary

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 09:29 AM

I've used both. If both cameras are in good operating shape, the K3 is considerably louder, but they're both too loud to use for sync sound. I like the turret on the Bolex because you can switch quickly between primes (not a big fan of zoom lenses). I found cheaper lenses for the Bolex (Switar primes) than I did for the K3 (M42 mount). The Bolex is easier to load, initially, but the K3 isn't bad once you get used to it. If you get jams, the K3 makes a bigger mess of the film. Quality-wise, I was very pleased with the K3's Meteor lens, but I've heard of huge variations in results from other users, so quality control may not have been consistent on the Meteors. If you need to perform maintenance on the camera, K3's can be very problematic (mine never worked again after disassembly). The Bolex, on the other hand, runs like a top after surgery. My vote would be for the Bolex.
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#8 Rik Andino

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 12:10 PM

I'm new to 16mm and wanna get a starter camera , which would you guys ( and girls ) go for , a K3 or a Bolex H16 ? .

Thanks Gareth M .


It all depends on how much money you're willing to spend.
You can get a K3 for under $500--some as low as $200
Usually a decent Bolex cost between $500-$1500...the better ones going upwards of a grand.

Most Bolexes are better than K3 hands down.
They're precision built, larger lens selections, have added features not found on K3s, etc...
But K3s are better than parallax (non-reflex) Bolexes
And if you're starting out a K3 will teach you the basics just as well.

So your decision will mostly be affected by price
How much you have to spend or want to invest in this potential career.

Good Luck
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#9 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 12:52 PM

...and if you get the M42 mount K3, you can put some interesting lenses on it.


With the Boleex the lens choice is a lot better, particularly in the standard and wide focal lengths
plus al the M42s with a C-mt. adaptor.

---LV
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#10 Sir Alvin Ekarma

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 03:47 PM

A Canon Scoopic M/MS is probably a better bet for a starter camera, even given it's limitation of having a permanent lens. It's easier to load than even a Bolex, it's motorized w/ multiple speeds, has behind the lens filters and a sharp fast 6-1 zoom lens Macro lens capability. Also, 400ft magazine adaptors usually turn up on Ebay for around $250-$300 every 3-4 months and 9.5mm wide angle lens attachments turn up every 9 months. I shot a whole feature on one and it has got to be the most idiot-proof camera on the planet. Scoopics turn up on Ebay at least once a month and it's posible to get one for $200 to $500 plus the sellers are usually in the USA. Often the batteries are duds, but you can get a scoopic to XLR cable for around $70 and I've seen instructions on how to make your own battery pack that you can load w/ either standard AA batteries or NiMH batteries. (Btw you should avoid the early Scoopic models-- the ones w/o M or MS; I've heard bad things.)

I've never worked w/ a K3 but I have a friend who does and he says it's okay; he's not crazy about the Meteor lens though and not having filters behind the lens can be a real pain.. I'd be interested to use one as a danger camera and it's nice that it can be easily upgraded to S16 for $375 (if you include having the viewfinder adjusted).

At the moment, I have an S16 EBM and man, the learning curve was steeeeeep.

Edited by Sir Al, 27 April 2006 - 03:49 PM.

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#11 Joe Gioielli

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 06:34 PM

Gareth, as you are starting out, I'd say get the K3. Great little camera for the money. The lens is fine for a starter camera. As it uses m42 mount (the same as old 35mm cameras) there is plenty of secondhand glass to pick from so you can get a set of primes for little cost.

Great starter camera, upgrade to something better down the road.

Joe
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#12 Gareth Munden

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 01:35 AM

Hi , thanks everone for your help ( keep it coming ) .When I say a starter I have shot Super-8 and have a handle on that . Also been a photographer ( Advertising , design and film stills ) for the last 10 years . So I'm not completly green . Would like to shoot some nice 16mm footage , maybe a silent short and some doc stuff . But as always money is tight . Anymore help ? .

Thanks
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#13 Landis Tanaka

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Posted 30 April 2006 - 09:34 PM

I got my K-3 for $175, and I have yet to find out if it works right....I'm running through my test roll.
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#14 Galen Carter-Jeffrey

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Posted 30 April 2006 - 10:13 PM

I got my K-3 for $175, and I have yet to find out if it works right....I'm running through my test roll.


I too just shot my test roll for my K3 today. I paid $400 from an american professional photographer who said the camera was in top working order. I used the Kodak Color reversal Ektachrome film. 7285 i think. Is that a pretty good film stock?
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#15 Landis Tanaka

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Posted 30 April 2006 - 10:32 PM

I don't know...I use 50d 100ft #7245.
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#16 Will Montgomery

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 10:30 AM

I too just shot my test roll for my K3 today. I paid $400 from an american professional photographer who said the camera was in top working order. I used the Kodak Color reversal Ektachrome film. 7285 i think. Is that a pretty good film stock?


7285 is a great reversal stock. If you are projecting it (you can get a 16mm projector school surplus on eBay for cheap) you'll love it.

If you are transfering it to video via a decent telecine house, then investigate negative stocks like the Vision2 series. Its more forgiving for improper exposure and looks amazing. Then again, if the real purpose of shooting film is to look more "film-like" then the reversal stocks might be the way to go as they have more of a "home movie" look. Keep in mind 16mm is a big improvement over Super 8 so even the "home movie" look is more like what the movie stars of the 40's & 50's shot then your grandparents movies of your parent's birthday parties.

Try some black & white too, its cheaper to buy and comes in reversal and negative versions.
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#17 Galen Carter-Jeffrey

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 03:58 PM

7285 is a great reversal stock. If you are projecting it (you can get a 16mm projector school surplus on eBay for cheap) you'll love it.

If you are transfering it to video via a decent telecine house, then investigate negative stocks like the Vision2 series. Its more forgiving for improper exposure and looks amazing. Then again, if the real purpose of shooting film is to look more "film-like" then the reversal stocks might be the way to go as they have more of a "home movie" look. Keep in mind 16mm is a big improvement over Super 8 so even the "home movie" look is more like what the movie stars of the 40's & 50's shot then your grandparents movies of your parent's birthday parties.

Try some black & white too, its cheaper to buy and comes in reversal and negative versions.


Thanks! I should have used Blacka nd white for my first role but I got to excited. I'm not worried about looking "film-like" or anything, I just want a crisp image. I shot a bunch of random things and made sure i used every setting on the camera to get a good feel for it. I hope it turns out good

Where is a good place to process for students?
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#18 Olex Kalynychenko

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 03:04 AM

=I'm new to 16mm and wanna get a starter camera , which would you guys ( and girls ) go for , a K3 or a =Bolex H16 ? .

I recommend choose russian professional Kinor-16 SX-2M camera.
This is real professinal cine camera with reflex system,
high precision transport mehcnaism with registration pin.
Electrical motor can be modify to multispeed crystal sync, 30 m, 120 m film magazines.
Prime lenses from 6 mm up to 300 mm, zoom lenses 7.5-75mm, 10-100 mm, 12-120 mm.
And all this equipments have price less Bolex.
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