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How to access the shutter of my Bolex


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#1 Brian Rose

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 03:06 PM

I've got an old bolex that I want to modify to shoot color film. What I mean is, since the camera has a two blade butterfly shutter, it is possible, with colored filters, to achieve crude color akin to Kinemacolor. I want to experiment with this. Now, I can sort of access the shutter through the prism gate, but it would make my job a heck of a lot easier if there was some way I could remove the front face place so I could see the entire shutter. So far, I've removed all the screws I can find in the plate, but there is still something holding it in place (though it is loose, so I must be close). Any tips? Thanks!
Best,
Brian Rose
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#2 Nick Mulder

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 04:00 PM

I've got an old bolex that I want to modify to shoot color film. What I mean is, since the camera has a two blade butterfly shutter, it is possible, with colored filters, to achieve crude color akin to Kinemacolor. I want to experiment with this. Now, I can sort of access the shutter through the prism gate, but it would make my job a heck of a lot easier if there was some way I could remove the front face place so I could see the entire shutter. So far, I've removed all the screws I can find in the plate, but there is still something holding it in place (though it is loose, so I must be close). Any tips? Thanks!
Best,
Brian Rose



Kinemacolor - just a had a quick search online, very interesting process (most of the old formats are :) ) - have a read at http://www.widescree...or/kinemaco.htm before suggesting he shoot with color film :P

The Bolexes with 'two blade' shutters that I know of are the variable shutter models and aren't actual butterfly shutters which expose two frames in one revolution - they are instead a one exposure per revolution system in which the blades together form the single shutter, the reason there are two is so that by sliding relative to each other any shutter angle from 130deg (I think?) all the way down to zero degrees can be achieved...

You could hack into them and make a butterfly shutter but you have the problem of the pull down happening on only every other frame, ie. one frame good, one frame vertically blurred and so on...

But to answer your question (assuming you have a 3 turret model ?) - there are the 4 screws, one of which has a nut on the inside that will fall off into the claw/sproket mechanism :ph34r:

... but you also need to remove the finder system as to make it light tight there are very close tolerances between the top of the shutter/prism housing and the finder - its a chore, but I haven't found a way other than that... If you find it is still sticky then it its is probably because it is actually stuck there with light proof 'gunk' around the gate leaf springy thing that guides the film - it should really be re-applied upon reassembly, I find that in my Bolexes that it isn't required, which is not to say the same for yours !
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#3 Brian Rose

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 04:29 PM

My Goodness you're right! I can't believe how dumb I was. I could have sworn my model had a butterfly shutter. It must be some sort of illusion, because in the past, I was sure the shutter had two blades, on what I could see of it. After you mentioned it, I went and made a tiny mark on one blade, and bam, I find that it is a single bladed camera. I must've gotten my wires crossed! Well, I'l have to think of something else now! Thanks alot for saving me a ton of needless of work!
Brian Rose
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#4 Nick Mulder

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 06:00 PM

My Goodness you're right! I can't believe how dumb I was. I could have sworn my model had a butterfly shutter. It must be some sort of illusion, because in the past, I was sure the shutter had two blades, on what I could see of it. After you mentioned it, I went and made a tiny mark on one blade, and bam, I find that it is a single bladed camera. I must've gotten my wires crossed! Well, I'l have to think of something else now! Thanks alot for saving me a ton of needless of work!
Brian Rose


It spins pretty fast, probably giving the impression it couldn't have done a full revolution, and you are only seeing a very small section of it when looking at it with the lens removed so it was a fair guess at a butterfly shutter :lol:

Your Kinemacolor thing sounds fun, if you were to get some footage the next question is how are you going to project it ? Or are you going to telecine it/do it it in post ?

Maybe you could make an intermittant mechanism that rotated gels in front fo your bolex every second frame - easily acheived with time-lapse as you could even do it by hand - the exposure would have to be tuned finely tho...
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