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Repairing a Bell & Howell Filmo 70DR 16mm Camera


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#1 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 06:07 PM

This thing was runnin' like a champ, until a couple years ago when I ignorantly ran the thing dry at 64fps.

It's a great workhorse of a camera that my uncle used as a newscaster in the 60's. These cameras have gone through wars and come out alive.

http://www.tfgtransfer.com/70dr.gif

Does anyone know of a place that does simple repairs such as this? I'm pretty sure the spring's just wound too tight, or something. Or, if you have any instructions for doing it myself, that'd be even better.

thanks!

Jon

Edited by Jonathan Bowerbank, 10 November 2006 - 06:07 PM.

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#2 Fran Kuhn

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 12:21 AM

Does anyone know of a place that does simple repairs such as this? I'm pretty sure the spring's just wound too tight, or something. Or, if you have any instructions for doing it myself, that'd be even better.

thanks!

Jon


Hi Jon,

You can try Alan Gordon Enterprises in Hollywood; they may still work on these, though I heard something about their B&H stock being sold off to some place in Florida a while back.

FYI: I seem to recall one of the service techs at Gordon telling me that their service department has a heavy metal plate (or something like that) they open these cameras under when accessing the spring compartment. Apparently the large spring can be a threat to life and limb. Might be worth confirming before you decide to make it a do-it-yourself project.
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#3 Hal Smith

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 02:39 AM

...................though I heard something about their B&H stock being sold off to some place in Florida a while back.

http://www.iceco.com/ has had a lot of B&H stock. I think they're the company that bought out Alan Gordon.
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#4 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 02:57 AM

Apparently the large spring can be a threat to life and limb. Might be worth confirming before you decide to make it a do-it-yourself project.


Thanks, yeah, I just bought a repair manual for this specific camera. I will for sure take strict precautions if there is any danger in playing with the spring, hopefully the manual includes warnings such as this ;)
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#5 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 02:26 PM

Apparently the large spring can be a threat to life and limb. Might be worth confirming before you decide to make it a do-it-yourself project.


Indeed it is.
There is a special restraining tool for removing the spring.
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#6 chuck colburn

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 03:00 PM

[quote name='Leo Anthony Vale' date='Nov 11 2006, 11:26 AM' post='137570']
Indeed it is.
There is a special restraining tool for removing the spring.

[/quoteBe afraid......very afraid. I converted a few of the 16mm and a lot of the Eyemos (35mm version) to DC electric motor drive. This required removing the spring completly from the mechanisim. And yes there was a factory rig to hold the sprocket drive assembly (the film transport) while it was removed from the camera body. Most techs either had one or built their own. But the main tool was a pair of heavy steel ring sections that could be dropped over the springs. The mechanisim was then run untill the spring unwound tight against these ring(s) thus allowing it's safe removal from the transport plate. If you or whoever does not have such tools no attempt should be made at spring removal. I saw one from a Eyemo explode across a room... Mucho more terrifying than any Flying Dagger, kung fu knife thingy you ever saw in any movie. Then of course there are the industry tales of the camera tech with missing finger(s).

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#7 Charlie Peich

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Posted 11 November 2006 - 03:29 PM

[quote name='Jonathan Bowerbank' date='Nov 10 2006, 03:07 PM' post='137442']
This thing was runnin' like a champ, until a couple years ago when I ignorantly ran the thing dry at 64fps.

It's a great workhorse of a camera that my uncle used as a newscaster in the 60's. These cameras have gone through wars and come out alive.

Jon,
You might want to check out this Yahoo group bh_filmo70. A lot of info there.

Charlie
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#8 Robert Hughes

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 03:56 PM

I've serviced a couple of my own Filmos, but have never needed to get in as deep as the mainspring. My guess is that you can remove the front shutter assembly and find whatever is jamming your mechanism (on a 70KRM I found a broken leaf from the clutch gear, which necessitated removing the top plate and replacing the gear). If you aren't comfortable with doing your own troubleshooting and repairs, you may be better off buying another one off eBay and keeping this one for parts.
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#9 David Leugers

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 09:01 PM

This is probably no help, but years ago I had my jammed Filmo repaired by the guy who used to operate as
Eso-S in Kansas City. He used to sell all kinds of film stocks and supplies. He repaired my camera and it still
purrs today. As I recall, the cost was extremely reasonable. Don't know how to contact him, or if he is even still
around. Does anybody know?
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#10 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 02:41 AM

Hmmm, looks like I'll be leaving it alone if it IS the spring.

I'll run a diagnostic on it using the repair manual, and if it IS the spring, I may not even bother and just hold to it as a family heirloom.

:)
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#11 Jeff Missinne

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 07:33 PM

This is probably no help, but years ago I had my jammed Filmo repaired by the guy who used to operate as
Eso-S in Kansas City. He used to sell all kinds of film stocks and supplies. He repaired my camera and it still
purrs today. As I recall, the cost was extremely reasonable. Don't know how to contact him, or if he is even still
around. Does anybody know?

I'm sorry to say that Harry Hilfinger of Es-O-S Pictures passed on a couple years ago.  He was in his mid-90's, a master film technician, and one of the nicest guys in the business.  After "retiring" and closing down his store and film lab (probably sometime in the 80's,) Harry continued to sell remaindered and used merchandise and used Castle Films-type subjects from the basement of his home and a P.O. Box address.  I miss Harry, and am sure many others in this hobby do too.  "We shall not see his like again..."


Edited by Jeff Missinne, 25 October 2014 - 07:35 PM.

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