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Too much camera choice!


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#1 paul roberts

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 04:16 AM

Having once narrowed my choice from a K3 (which I decided against) to a Bolex H16 reflex (maybe the RX5) I have stumbled once more.

I think I have around £450 ($850USD) to play around with - although play around isn't such a suitable choice given the pain of indecision I am in.

To whit, who would choose what from the following...

A BOLEX H16 RX in its original case for around £300 - three primes (switar 25mm edition)...

A BOLEX H16 RX with a Som Berthiot Pan-Cinor Zoom (17.5-70mm) at around £300...

A BEAULIEU R16 with a 17-68mm Zoom and some film for £545...

OR FINALLY...

AN ARRIFLEX 16S from 1967 recently checked (with NO LENSES) for £600...

I was really tempted by the BOLEXs but now I have seen the R16 (with 200ft load - will it have to be hand loaded at 200ft?) and I am swingin towards that one.

Ideally I would like to get maybe two of these cameras.

It is my aim to become a DoP - currently I am working in the Digital realm as a cam assistant so need a camera that can introduce me gently but can grow with me.

Thanks for reading this -

Regards
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#2 Mike Lary

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 11:20 AM

For a starter camera, I would go with the RX with Switar primes. Primes are generally sharper than zooms, plus they'll get you in the habit of using standard focal lengths instead of dropping a camera somewhere and adjusting the zoom to frame the shot. I don't think a 200 foot load capacity is a very big deal at all, and I wouldn't rate that convenience over sharp lenses. Once you know how to load a Bolex, you can swap out the spool in less than a minute and be up and running again.
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#3 Bernie O'Doherty

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 08:42 PM

Hi, Paul,

I agree with Mike's recommendation. The Beaulieu is not as reliable a camera as the others (too many bells and whistles), and the Berthiot zoom (that goes with one of the Bolexes) was one of the first zooms ever designed and isn't that great. The Arri 16S is good, of course, but by the time you get it up and running with lenses, you'll be paying the same again for it, and it sounds like that's out of your budget.

If you're used to digital, you're going to enjoy learning with the Bolex, and you'll still get decent images. You didn't say which models the Bolexes were, but the Rex5 is very good and has the capability of 400-ft. loads.

Cheers,
Bernie
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