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$100 Video Assist for Bolex!


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#1 Sir Alvin Ekarma

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Posted 14 July 2006 - 11:14 AM

Just wanted to give a heads up for anybody interested in putting together a video assist for their Bolex (or K3 even). There's an Ebay store that sells nice, fast (.08 lux/f 1.2) CCTV lenses for $60 http://cgi.ebay.com/...oQQcmdZViewItem . You'd need to get your own manual focus/manual iris 8mm c-mount lens (like $25 on Ebay) and some other knick-knacks (BNC to RCA adapter, some conduit clamp, various screws) and you're good to go pretty much . I haven't put mine through its paces but it seems to work just fine. Check it out here: http://www.flickr.co...57594198988966/ Even if you include the 12V CCTV battery I have on order, this set up just tops out a little over a C-note. And since I'm using my miniDV camera as a monitor, I can even have playback of a take which is nice.
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#2 Glenn Brady

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 03:36 PM

Even if you include the 12V CCTV battery I have on order, this set up just tops out a little over a C-note.


This is a nice setup. I've put together a similar system for my H8 RX4 DS8 camera, but paid a lot more. You don't mention the CCD camera that's an essential part of the setup; surely you couldn't have gotten it along with the rest for just $100.00. Tell me it isn't so!
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#3 Sir Alvin Ekarma

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 05:48 PM

This is a nice setup. I've put together a similar system for my H8 RX4 DS8 camera, but paid a lot more. You don't mention the CCD camera that's an essential part of the setup; surely you couldn't have gotten it along with the rest for just $100.00. Tell me it isn't so!

I'm gonna break your heart: got the CCD camera for around $60 with shipping-- that was probably the most expensive bit-- and still brought the whole rig in for about a c-note. It's pretty easy to find a very cheap, light sensitive CCD camera off Ebay; all I did was take the specs of a high end microscope CCD camera and did some trolling to see which came the closest. The old links in the last post are long dead but finding new ones shouldn't take much effort.

Edited by Sir Alvin Ekarma, 28 October 2008 - 05:53 PM.

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#4 Ira Ratner

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 06:24 PM

Holy effin' crap:

I'm a K3-er/amateur who hasn't shot a single frame yet, so can you explain this to me?

In other words, instead of looking through the viewfinder to shoot, I can rig this and view via a CCD camera viewfinder?

I WANNA KNOW MORE! PLEASE!

To me, there's nothing like easily seeing the entire framing as opposed to trying to do this by peeking through the viewfinder with your eye. In still film photography (years and years and YEARS ago), I learned to look at the viewfinder and view it as a complete picture to get best results, but this was easier said than done.

I am FASCINATED! And Friday is payday so I'm ready to eBay right now!

Edited by Ira Ratner, 28 October 2008 - 06:28 PM.

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#5 Chris Burke

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 06:35 PM

this is great but to judge focus, I would still want to look through the viewfinder. Do you think it is possible to have both on either a Bolex or K3? Check out www.spytown.com, they have loads of very small cameras that could in theory, be mounted anywhere. Question is, could one be added internally to a K3 and still have a SLR viewfinder?
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#6 Sir Alvin Ekarma

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 06:39 PM

In other words, instead of looking through the viewfinder to shoot, I can rig this and view via a monitor?

It would be fine for framing but I don't think you can do really critical focusing although it might be possible if you could get a pricey CCD camera w/ an S-video output; still, you'd be safer measuring out focus with tape to make sure things were sharp. Since this isn't a true tap, you can't check focus via the viewfinder but I imagine a way could be worked out so that the CCD camera flipped out but that's a whole other thing.

Another caveat: make sure the Lens is for 2/3" CCD (I think that's the right size) because if it's smaller it may vignette on the camera and it should be 8mm (but a 3mm-8mm zoom lens would be better) and have manual focus and f-stop. When I put together my rig, these lenses were all over the place but they seem to have dried up (or at least the the cheep ones have.)
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#7 Sir Alvin Ekarma

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 06:49 PM

Do you think it is possible to have both on either a Bolex or K3?

Definitely but you'd need to come up with a different way to secure it to the lens but that's something a trip to your local hardware store could sort out.

Question is, could one be added internally to a K3 and still have a SLR viewfinder?


Doubtful plus you'd need some skillz to rock the K3 and not just wreck it up. Plus, it's just a K3-- I don't think it would be worth it.

Another thing: I've noticed that I've been using CCTV and CCD interchangeably but for clarification the CCD is referring to imaging dealie in the CCTV camera and they can be 1/3" or 2/3". Everybody probably knew that but I didn't want to confuse matters :)

Edited by Sir Alvin Ekarma, 28 October 2008 - 06:52 PM.

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#8 Sir Alvin Ekarma

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 07:01 PM

Correction #1: do an Ebay search for "CCTV lens" and you can take your pick. Just get something in a c/cs mount.

Correction #2: whether a lens is for 2/3" CCD or 1/3" CCD is less important than whether or not it's compatible with the camera but a lens for 2/3" CCD can usually be used for CCTV cameras that are either 2/3" or 1/3".

Edited by Sir Alvin Ekarma, 28 October 2008 - 07:04 PM.

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#9 Rolando Fernandez

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Posted 03 November 2008 - 09:49 PM

Hi , this is my version for video assist for a Canon Scoopic MS:

http://www.facebook....mp;id=516095643


cheers!
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#10 Sean McHenry

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Posted 04 December 2008 - 11:33 AM

I have been thinking of building something similar for a while for the Bolex Rex1, K-3 and my Canon 814XL-s Super 8. Trouble for me is guessing on the right range of lens to use when held to the viewfinder. I can take getting extra around the image but I would want to see the whole frame, naturally. Anyone ever used a simple board type "spy" camera for this and if so, what range should I be looking for in a tiny zoom to see the whole frame in a Bolex Rex viewfinder for example?

I would love to fly these cameras on my jib arm one of these days.

Sean
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