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Should I Buy?


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#1 Zamir Merali

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 11:24 PM

I found this auction on ebay for an arrifex 16s with some missing parts. It is being sold by cinevision new york but they say that they do not have the missing parts except for the constant speed motor. Do anyof you know where I could get these parts (the serial number of the camera is below 15000). Also, would it just end up being more trouble to get this for cheap and then have to buy all the parts rather than to just get a complete arriflex camera.
Its missing its door, buckle trip mechanism, and back pressure plate.
http://cgi.ebay.ca/w...t...p;rd=1&rd=1

Also I have another unrelated question. What makes a bolex worse than an arriflex or another more professiona camera. If both cameras had similar lenses would they produce the same images? thank you
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#2 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 03:20 AM

The price is nice, considering it's basically only the camera housing. But why go through the expense and headache to rebuild it? Makes it worth an extra 1 to 2 grand to just buy a complete one.

If you're comparing the Arri S with a Bolex, I'd say the only thing that makes the Arriflex more "professional" (probably not the best choice of words) is its ability to adopt a 400' mag, thus helping a production go smoother by not having to reload every 2.5 minutes of film that's rolled.

And the lens of course is very crucial to the image's quality, if both cameras are functioning flawlessly then they should be able to match in quality if you're using the same lenses.
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#3 Nick Mulder

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 03:40 AM

If you're comparing the Arri S with a Bolex, I'd say the only thing that makes the Arriflex more "professional" (probably not the best choice of words) is its ability to adopt a 400' mag, thus helping a production go smoother by not having to reload every 2.5 minutes of film that's rolled.

And the lens of course is very crucial to the image's quality, if both cameras are functioning flawlessly then they should be able to match in quality if you're using the same lenses.

Sorry to be a Bolex nerd but...

There are at least 5 bolex models that can take 400' mags and the lens comparison is redundant as if you are using a reflex Bolex you will most probably be using the Switar range of reflex collamated lenses which are made to compensate for the prism optics in the Bolex, this is at least true for the wider angle lenses so your comparision may well be good for longer focal length C-mounts (75mm + etc...) ...

The compensation unfortunately makes the Switars not the best choice for mirror shutter and paralax view cameras .
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#4 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 03:45 AM

Ahh yes, I was aware that some Bolex models accepted 400' mags...you are correct. It's just so rare for me to actually see anyone going about it, that it was furthest from my mind.

Cheers for your correction :)
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#5 markb

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 04:08 AM

The nice thing about a Bolex is that you can start off with a small cheap setup and then gradually add to it, parts and accessories are also very easy to come by. On the downside they are quite noisy.
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#6 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 04:15 AM

Although a Bolex H16 is not as advanced or sophisticated as an Arriflex, I don't think it would be right to call a Bolex a 'worse' camera! Some Bolex models do accept a 400ft magazine so there is no problem with running times there. An Arriflex does have a registration pin however, which produces extremely steady footage. Although the Bolex does not have a registration pin, it is so well designed that it does produce very steady footage that is on par with some cameras with registration pins, according to camera operator who has used a variety of 16mm cameras. Though whether the registration of the Bolex could match that of an Arriflex S/B is questionable.

An Arriflex would undoubtably have a better viewfinder than a Bolex. The viewfinder screen is the worst aspect of a Bolex Reflex. The mirror shutter of an Arriflex allows 100% of the light to reach the finder and the film alternatively whereas there is some small light loss incurred by the beam spitter prism of the Bolex. On the hand, mirror shutters in some movie cameras have been known to cause some light leakage when doing long interval times during time lapse. I cannot say whether this would happen with an Arriflex though.

Most Bolex models use screw mount lenses (C mount) which take time to screw and unscrew. Also a C mount can be put under great stress if a long telephoto lens is used without support. Additionally, whenever you are using a screw mount lens, there is always the risk that you could accidentally unscrew the lens while turning the aperture or focus ring. An Arriflex camera uses a bayonet mount where the lens is positively locked into position. Lenses can also be changed quickly with a bayonet mount. You should also be able to get away with using slightly longer lenses on an Arri than a Bolex without the need for lens support. However, the later Bolex models such as the SBM and EBM employ heavy duty bayonet lens mounts of their own. Lastly, the Bolex has one great trick up it's sleeve that none of the Arriflex cameras have. Being spring wound, most Bolex models are mechanical cameras requiring no batteries for operation. An Arriflex camera requires a power source and is inoperable if the batteries run out.

So as you see, each camera has it's own unique advantages and disadvantages.
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#7 Nick Mulder

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 05:07 AM

However, the later Bolex models such as the SBM and EBM employ heavy duty bayonet lens mounts of their own.


There are only a handful of lenses that have this bayonet mount and they are all zooms. All the primes are c-mount and a c-mount/bayonet adaptor must be used which leaves you with the same potential unscrew if your focus or aperture rings are sticky like you mentioned. Mind you, its never happened to me with my 10mm, 26mm or 75mm - It would be at the level of being malfunctional if it were that stiff, especially focus...

As for the thread topic, I have only used Bolex cameras and not any Arri's - I own an RX4, SB and EL, I especially like the wind-ups as they have so many features that allow for modifications and experimentation, not to mention almost routine super16 conversion with the bayonet models (at least just the gate and lens re-centre) ... With all the modifications and add-ons I've designed and bought the wind-ups now have much more functionality than the EL which is Bolexes current flag ship model, if you like tinkering then bolexes really come with my recommendation (+ its nice having the variable shutter).

they are loud though, the EL is the quietest of the three
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#8 Tim Carroll

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 12:48 PM

I found this auction on ebay for an arrifex 16s with some missing parts. It is being sold by cinevision new york but they say that they do not have the missing parts except for the constant speed motor. Do anyof you know where I could get these parts (the serial number of the camera is below 15000). Also, would it just end up being more trouble to get this for cheap and then have to buy all the parts rather than to just get a complete arriflex camera.
Its missing its door, buckle trip mechanism, and back pressure plate.
http://cgi.ebay.ca/w...t...p;rd=1&rd=1

Also I have another unrelated question. What makes a bolex worse than an arriflex or another more professiona camera. If both cameras had similar lenses would they produce the same images? thank you


I would strongly recommend against buying the Arriflex 16S that is being auctioned off, unless you already have an Arriflex 16S and want the camera for spare parts. To buy the parts needed to make that a whole camera would be literally thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, replacement parts for those cameras, since they have not been made in over twenty years, are very expensive. The great thing about the cameras though, is that you rarely need to buy replacement parts, as most parts of the camera are rebuild-able. In fact, I just rebuilt a faulty tach last week, saving a client about $1500 for a replacement one.

As far as comparing an Arriflex 16S to a Bolex, it is really not a fair comparison. The Bolex was designed as a consumer camera, or more of what we would call today a prosumer camera. The Arriflex 16S and S/B were professional production cameras.

The Bolex is a nice camera and the Switar lenses are very nice as well.

Having rebuilt Bolex EBM's and Arriflex 16S's, I can tell you there is no comparison with the build quality. Again, the Bolex is a consumer camera and the Arriflex is a professional production camera.

When you look at lenses, the Arriflex can take a wide range of professional production glass, where the Bolex is limited to the Switar line (albeit nice glass but not of the same level as Zeiss and Cooke) and a few modified Angenieux and other lenses that can be adapted. And if you are talking about an Arriflex 16S/B, you can use the whole range of Zeiss Super Speed Mk1 lenses as well as the Zeiss 10-100 T2 Mk1 zoom, which is far superior glass to the Switars.

Certain Bolex cameras can take the 400 ft mags, while all Arriflex 16S cameras can. Both cameras are very noisy.

There is absolutely no light leak issues with the butterfly shutter in the Arriflex. And the viewfinder is quite a bit brighter, making critical focus much easier.

If you want to do stop motion, or want a spring wound camera, the Bolex is the way to go, as the Arriflex is only electric powered and very difficult to use for stop motion.

Those are the differences that spring to mind. I am not saying that you cannot get very nice images from a Bolex, it is just not a camera in the same league as the Arriflex.

For samples of footage shot with the Arriflex 16S, check out the web page below:
Arriflex Film Clips

-Tim
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#9 Zamir Merali

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 09:12 AM

Thanks for the helpful replies, i have decided against getting the parts camera.
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#10 Ayhan Duman

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Posted 01 January 2007 - 02:56 AM

I found this auction on ebay for an arrifex 16s with some missing parts. It is being sold by cinevision new york but they say that they do not have the missing parts except for the constant speed motor. Do anyof you know where I could get these parts (the serial number of the camera is below 15000). Also, would it just end up being more trouble to get this for cheap and then have to buy all the parts rather than to just get a complete arriflex camera.
Its missing its door, buckle trip mechanism, and back pressure plate.
http://cgi.ebay.ca/w...t...p;rd=1&rd=1

Also I have another unrelated question. What makes a bolex worse than an arriflex or another more professiona camera. If both cameras had similar lenses would they produce the same images? thank you


Would you be interested in a Beaulieu R16 E/S camera package including the Schneider 10-100mm Hydro
Zoom lens, the Beaulieu is a better option than the Arri 16S or the Bolex cameras. If you'd be interested drop me a line at leigh@superonline.com and I'll send you some picts of the camera as well as more information.

Would you be interested in a Beaulieu R16 E/S camera package including the Schneider 10-100mm Hydro
Zoom lens, the Beaulieu is a better option than the Arri 16S or the Bolex cameras. If you'd be interested drop me a line at leigh@superonline.com and I'll send you some picts of the camera as well as more information.


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#11 flavio filho

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 11:08 AM

Would you be interested in a Beaulieu R16 E/S camera package including the Schneider 10-100mm Hydro
Zoom lens, the Beaulieu is a better option than the Arri 16S or the Bolex cameras. If you'd be interested drop me a line at leigh@superonline.com and I'll send you some picts of the camera as well as more information.


WHY is the Beaulieu a better option that the Arri 16s?
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#12 kevin jackman

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 12:12 PM

I think he sold it by now...
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