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Reflex viewing with non-reflex Bolex


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#1 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 07:41 AM

With the older Bolex H16 non-reflex models, I do know that there is some way to accomplish temporary reflex viewing before exposing film. I'm not sure how but I know that something is swung into position that allows you to view directly through any of the lenses on the turret. Is the view that you get through the lens close to 90 or 100% of the image that will be exposed on the film or is this only a partial view? Additionally, using this method of viewing, is it possible to focus accurately through the lens? I assume there would be no ground glass screen. If it is just an ariel image then this would be no good for critical focusing as there would be no proper plane for your eyes to focus on. Also, do most non-reflex H16 models have this reflex viewing feature or only a few of them? Which particular models have this feature?
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#2 Bernhard Zitz

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 08:17 AM

With the older Bolex H16 non-reflex models, I do know that there is some way to accomplish temporary reflex viewing before exposing film.


Hm, I have a reflex model, don't know to much about the non-reflex models, but I never heard about such a thing. There are Pan Cinor lenses with dogleg viewfinder,

and there is the viewfinder on the side of the bolex that needs paralax correction and can't be used for focusing...
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#3 Herb Montes

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 11:45 AM

There is a Bolex rackover made for non-reflex H models. It attaches to the tripod mount and it works by sliding the whole camera over so that the top focus finder can be used to lineup and focus the lens moved into the upper position. There is a picture of the rackover on this page:

http://www.bolexcoll...ies/misc50.html

I've seen these show up once in a while on eBay though you might ask dealers like Chambless if they have one.
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#4 jacob thomas

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 02:13 PM

Perhaps you're thinking of the critical focussing device?
Often on non-reflex bolexes there is a eyecup on the top of the camera at the front above the top turret mount. If you turn the lens from the taking position to the top position on the turret you can look through this eyecup for through the lens focussing.
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#5 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 08:58 PM

Ah thanks Jacob. That must be the one! I assume that with the critical focussing device, you would see 100% of the lens' field of view just as you would when viewing through the lens on a large format view camera before inserting the sheet film. However, what's it like for accurate focussing as I assume there's no ground glass in there - or is there?
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#6 Clive Tobin

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 09:02 PM

There is a Bolex rackover made for non-reflex H models. ...


Besides this, Bolex used to make devices that fit into the film gate after removing the pressure plate. Basically a groundglass, mirror and magnifier. These would be useful for the initial setup of something like an animation stand, and very awkward and impractical for general filming as there would have to not be any film in the camera when using it.

I believe they made two styles, for below serial 100400 with the cam-driven claw, and above serial 100401 with the so-called registration claw. The wrong one will not fit. In my senile state I don't recall what they were called.
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#7 Simon Wyss

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Posted 21 April 2016 - 01:08 PM

Bought myself an H-16 couple of days ago,

 

Nr. 107288 - Kopie.JPG

 

going to restore it to best condition. Now my discovery, perhaps nothing new to some of us, but nevertheless: I have never tried to put an H-16 with big base on the rackover (models sold after 1963) until today because I thought that were not possible. Brain is not everything,

 

it is perfectly possible!

 

Now we also know why there are three tapped holes in the big base. The rear one is used when camera is put on rackover, the front one usually chosen for camera together with the weight of three lenses. I have a couple of big-base Paillard-Bolex H cameras.

 

Rackover work most often is one-lens work at very close or macro distances. It’s also mostly about compact and lightweight lenses, possibly even symmetric designs around 1:1 ratio.

 

I strongly advise against the use of the film-gate prisms. Glass is harder even than hardened steel and when moving the ground prism surface over the polished film rails one risks to scratch them. Gelatine will likely find a halt to sit down and build up in scratches. We don’t want that. The rackover allows to keep film in the camera, the gate prisms don’t. The Paillard-Bolex rackover links us directly with the Bell & Howell Standard camera of 1912. Bell & Howell offered a similarly reduced three-port turret camera, the Filmo Viceroy Double-Eight, and a horizontal rackover device to it. Extension tubes complete the system for stunning macro shots.


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