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building a water housing?


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#1 Jeremy Rumas

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Posted 30 March 2007 - 02:18 PM

I am considering building my own water housing for my Bolex Rex5. I plan to use it in the surf, mainly shooting while holding the camera above the surface, so it needs to be light. It will need a control to wind up the motor and a trigger button/lever at the very least. Does anyone here have any experience with this? I have a lot of questions...

thanks,

Jeremy Rumas
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#2 Antonio Bunt

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 10:28 PM

Once on the web I saw some pictures from a guy who built a housing from an aquarium. Of course it was made out of glass, which of course not qualifies as light for surf but maybe you can try to look for an Ewa-Marine old housing. I bought one for a Super 8 camera but I guess you can find one for Bolex if there was something like that in the market.
Here is the image from the Ewa-Marine site itself:

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#3 Nick Mulder

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 11:20 PM

Gidday Jeremy,

Nice to see you've made a decision to build one !

If I didn't have my EL housing I'd make one for my wind ups for sure ...

What I was thinking is that you could save weight by removing the spring and associated mechanics from a Bolex and put an electric motor on it instead, its much easier to make a water tight electronic switch than a mechanical winder/switch combo - you could even make a wireless switch for it for less than $100

I'd think about getting get a cheap as chips non-RX bolex for this which incidentally is much easier to convert to super16 at the same time - why non-RX ? well, cos you aren't going to be looking through the finder anyway ;)

Also, if for any reason your housing goes kaput and you end up with a soggy camera, you've just got a lens to send away for repair (unless you have the skills and tools to fix it) - the motor and battery will probably have to be hiffed but they are cheap ... The camera itself will be relatively stripped and much easier to clean and reassemble. Thats worse case anyhow ...

I personally think the amount of design time put into making a winder housing will be in excess of the $$$ spent on the stuff I'm talking about - you might need to know a little electronics, which is easy to pick up with this darn tootin internet thing - having access to a mill, lathe etc will make things progress smoothly but even with only a good vise, set of files and patience its all doable
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#4 kevin jackman

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 10:37 AM

i know of somebody that actually did it...twice.he built some really nice housing that actually allow you to go down to 300 ft if i remember right.you could even go lower if you induced negative pressure or whatever its called through a valve in the side.he did excellent work. too bad he hasnt used it in like 20 years.
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#5 Jeremy Rumas

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 02:04 PM

Once on the web I saw some pictures from a guy who built a housing from an aquarium. Of course it was made out of glass, which of course not qualifies as light for surf but maybe you can try to look for an Ewa-Marine old housing. I bought one for a Super 8 camera but I guess you can find one for Bolex if there was something like that in the market.
Here is the image from the Ewa-Marine site itself:


Antonio,

These look like splashbags, right? I have tried to use a splasbag type housing before in the surf, and won't ever again. They're just not built for being in waves I think. Also pretty awkward to use. Thanks though.

Jeremy

Gidday Jeremy,

Nice to see you've made a decision to build one !

If I didn't have my EL housing I'd make one for my wind ups for sure ...

What I was thinking is that you could save weight by removing the spring and associated mechanics from a Bolex and put an electric motor on it instead, its much easier to make a water tight electronic switch than a mechanical winder/switch combo - you could even make a wireless switch for it for less than $100

I'd think about getting get a cheap as chips non-RX bolex for this which incidentally is much easier to convert to super16 at the same time - why non-RX ? well, cos you aren't going to be looking through the finder anyway ;)

Also, if for any reason your housing goes kaput and you end up with a soggy camera, you've just got a lens to send away for repair (unless you have the skills and tools to fix it) - the motor and battery will probably have to be hiffed but they are cheap ... The camera itself will be relatively stripped and much easier to clean and reassemble. Thats worse case anyhow ...

I personally think the amount of design time put into making a winder housing will be in excess of the $$$ spent on the stuff I'm talking about - you might need to know a little electronics, which is easy to pick up with this darn tootin internet thing - having access to a mill, lathe etc will make things progress smoothly but even with only a good vise, set of files and patience its all doable


Nick,

Great ideas. But I need a housing for my one and only Bolex, and I'm not going to take the spring out. Maybe in the future I could try that out. For now though, it'll have to be for my Rex5 as it is. Thank you for the ideas and the encouragement.

Jeremy
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#6 Kirk Anderson

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 11:25 AM

I'd also like to be able to shoot some surf footage when I go down to San Diego this Summer. I figure instead of taking out my surf board, I would grab a sponge and some fins. What I'm planning on doing is picking up an old Filmo 70 or even a Keystone, for $50. Then I'll probably attempt to make some kind of splash bag or even a box. I think one of these cheap cameras would be better because they're not reflex, and cheap, and if I destroy it, I still have my Arri and my Bolex.
Also, If you read or see pictures about surf photography, most photographers have their cameras mounted on a pole and they are swimming free. They stay under water inside the wave and use the pole to put the camera in position. They then end up getting smashed and attempting not to get sucked up and pushed over the falls because to get a good shot you have to be right in the pocket of the curl. My first advise is to swim out with a sponge and no camera and practice setting up and get super comfortable. Then, only after you feel super comfortable and you're not tired, bring your 15 lb camera out. Surf Cine is extremely dangerous and a 15 lb brick of steel WILL drown you if you get tired and disoriented. Be safe, have a buddy and stay the hell out of the way. The last thing you want is to only get a shot of a local punching you in the face.
sorry, I recognize the tangent, you said in the surf, not surfing. anyhoo, I'd buy a filmo and a cheap bag, rather than risk an electric rex 5.
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#7 Nick Mulder

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Posted 04 April 2007 - 02:51 PM

This would be the kind of bolex I'd get for a housing:

http://cgi.ebay.com/...1QQcmdZViewItem

The spring and wotnot has already been removed ... Its just the bare necessities - a darkbox you can load film in with a claw/shutter mechanism and a lens mount - you can put whatever motor you want on the side and are not restricted to RX lenses ...

and the super16 conversion would take about an hours filing - honestly (actually, hmmm unless that lens mount is on the same hunk of cheese as the shutter shaft, then it would take about 2 hours)

critical focusing (before the fact) done via one of these badboys:

http://www.trademe.c.../p-38602069.htm

ahhh! impulse purchases coming up!

must stop buying!
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#8 Nick Mulder

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Posted 06 April 2007 - 11:45 PM

http://cgi.ebay.com/...1QQcmdZViewItem

You can get some ideas as to how to build your winder from the photos at the above auction.

To make gears like that you'll need a mill with a dividing head, I would have thought there was an easier way though...
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#9 David Nelson

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 05:26 PM

I am considering building my own water housing for my Bolex Rex5. I plan to use it in the surf, mainly shooting while holding the camera above the surface, so it needs to be light. It will need a control to wind up the motor and a trigger button/lever at the very least. Does anyone here have any experience with this? I have a lot of questions...

thanks,

Jeremy Rumas

Hi Jeremy
I've made a few surf housings for EOS slrs, video and medium format (but not for motion picture equipment)
Although I imagine a bolex housing wouldn't be much more difficult.
Check out this little thread I had on magic seaweed a while back. It's got links to a few pics of my housings and you might get some good ideas.
linl to magic seaweed topic
Any questions you have about building one, I'd be happy to try and help.
Cheers
David Nelson
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#10 David Nelson

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 05:48 PM

Here's one. It's a EOS20D.
A bolex will probably be a more akward shape, but definitely buildable.
Posted Image
Dave
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