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B & H Filmo 70DR 16mm camera


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#1 gavinfrankel

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 05:45 AM

I just bought this camera and have a few questions:

1. Can it use modern single perforation film without adjustment (eg filing a sproket)?
2. Can it be easily upgraded to shoot Super 16 or Ultra 16?
3. If so then who is recommend for the job?
4. The camera came with three lenses and I have no idea if they are good quality, or whether they will cover Super 16?
12.5mm F1.4 Trinitar Wide Angle lens,
25mm F1.4 Trinitar Normal Lens ,
75mm Schnieder F2.8 Tele XenarTelephoto Lens

Thanks, Gavin.
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#2 Robert Hughes

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 08:24 AM

1. Can it use modern single perforation film without adjustment (eg filing a sproket)?

Any brown Filmo takes single perf, including the later -DA, and any DL, DR, HL, HR, or KRM

2. Can it be easily upgraded to shoot Super 16 or Ultra 16?
3. If so then who is recommend for the job?

Depends on what you call "easy". You can file the gate yourself, but some disassembly is required. If you know which end of a screwdriver to hold and have any mechanical aptitude you can figure out how to file down the gate. Recentering the lens turret is probably not feasible, unless you have access to a machine shop. A Filmo costs about $100, but a trip to somebody else's machine shop will raise your investment costs significantly. Maybe that's why you dont' see too many S16 Filmos around.

4. The camera came with three lenses and I have no idea if they are good quality, or whether they will cover Super 16?
12.5mm F1.4 Trinitar Wide Angle lens,
25mm F1.4 Trinitar Normal Lens ,
75mm Schnieder F2.8 Tele XenarTelephoto Lens

Lens quality on used equipment comes down to a "test it and see" procedure. Shoot some material on TriX with plenty of texture and detail. Try your lenses wide open and stopped down to f/11 or so - most lenses look fine stopped down, and better (more expensive) lenses look just as good wide open.

As for Super 16 compatibility, you'll probably be fine with the 75mm without recentering, the 25 may work, the 12.5 almost certainly will show vignetting with or without recentering. You will have to pay at least 10x the cost of that camera to get a wide angle lens that would cover S16, so don't bother. When you're ready to worry about such niceties you'll be getting a more appropriate S16 setup anyway; in the meantime, use your Filmo - shoot B&W like crazy. Friends, games, street traffic, fireworks, Ince-style overcranked madness, you get the picture. The more you shoot the more you learn. Project it, edit it, learn from your errors. Shampoo, wash, repeat.
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#3 Robert Hughes

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 08:37 AM

An addendum to Filmo S16 conversion:

If there's anyone with a machine shop or CNC mill out there, you might consider running off or reworking a batch of Filmo turrets with lens mount placements (on at least 1 lens mount) reworked for proper S16 alignment. You could probably sell a couple hundred units at $100 apiece to Filmo owners.

Edited by Robert Hughes, 25 May 2007 - 08:39 AM.

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#4 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 03:05 PM

I've never seen a S16 Filmo but I'd switch mine over if I knew where to do it.
Starting to think it is somewhat of a technological urban myth. Possible but unsubstantiated.
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#5 chuck colburn

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 03:26 PM

An addendum to Filmo S16 conversion:

If there's anyone with a machine shop or CNC mill out there, you might consider running off or reworking a batch of Filmo turrets with lens mount placements (on at least 1 lens mount) reworked for proper S16 alignment. You could probably sell a couple hundred units at $100 apiece to Filmo owners.


Hi Robert,

Would just like to point out that $100.00 in machine shop time (not to mention the enginerring involved) is about the time the machinist gets his first cup of coffee and turns the mill/lathe on.
Just how it is.
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#6 Ian Marks

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 03:59 PM

Would just like to point out that $100.00 in machine shop time (not to mention the enginerring involved) is about the time the machinist gets his first cup of coffee and turns the mill/lathe on.
Just how it is.


I think that's the reasoning behind producing a "run" of a couple hundred pieces or more. The first one off the line is always the most expensive. After that, I presume, one simply repeats the process. However, as Clive Tobin apparently discovered, while a lot of people may express an interest in owning something, it's another matter to get them to pony up the money to buy it. There may be a market for 2-300 recentered turrets (at $100 per), but that's probably about it.
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#7 gavinfrankel

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 04:53 PM

I have found a place in the UK that has done B&H Filmo '70' camera Super 16 conversions for a reasonable price, about 235 Pounds Sterling, which 'involves adding a larger diameter shutter after machining out to accomodate this, also two of the 'C'-mounts are shifted on the turret, so as to optically centre on the wider frame ( third mount left for telephoto lens only, as almost any long focal-length covers a far larger frame, a wide-angle & zoom will not, so they fit the new mounts ).' I am saving up to send my Filmo DR, so have no personal experience yet...just thought I would pass on the information: http://www.stecica.co.uk/
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#8 gavinfrankel

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 04:59 PM

One last thing, about the trinitar lenses, I wrote to the people who look after Filmo parts in the US and they said the lenses are good quality for 16mm, muliti coated etc. I looked around on the web and found that the same lenses were made by pentax for video survelance cameras.
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#9 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 04:02 PM

One last thing, about the trinitar lenses, I wrote to the people who look after Filmo parts in the US and they said the lenses are good quality for 16mm, muliti coated etc. I looked around on the web and found that the same lenses were made by pentax for video survelance cameras.


If the 12.5mm Trinitar is 1" CCTV it will cover S16.
Even if the C-mount is not recentered, vignetting will be in the corners of the right hand side only and ought not show up in 1.85/1 or TV safe area.

The viewfinder mask has to be opened up.
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#10 Jake Spooner

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 03:08 PM

i just got a bell & howell very similar to this camera (i think its a 70D or DL.) and its double perf, what can i do to make it single perf?
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#11 Robert Hughes

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 03:26 PM

You'll have to pull the sprocket wheels and machine off the sprocket teeth on one edge of each wheel.
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#12 Toby L Edwards

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 07:57 PM

There are several places that do S16 conversions for these camera's
I was quoted $350.00 from Camera Pro if memory serves.
Toby
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#13 Gareth Roberts

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 05:52 PM

I just converted a double perf filmo to single perf. I won't be held responsible for any injuries, damages etc. To do this is at your own risk. To convert the two sprockets: unscrew the screw at the top of the sprockets - the chrome guide will come off and then the sprocket can be removed, pull the cog and sleeve out of the sprocket. You will notice that the sprocket has a channel cut across the bottom of it. This is the side of the sprocket that you want the gears left on. Take a bolt that will fit through your sprocket and then put on a nut to tighten the sprocket. Take the bolt with the sprocket on it over to your drill press and put the threaded section of the bolt into the drill press. Set up the drill press so that it rotates at its slowest. Then take a dremel with a grinding attachment and carefully grind of the sprockets as they rotate - you might even want to grind off enough to allow for s16mm THIS ALL CAN BE DONE ON A LATHE FOR MORE PRECISION. Do both sprockets - remember where they came from( on one of my cameras they were of slightly different dimensions). To convert the pull down claws. Take all lenses off of the front of the camera. Pull the center out of the nut holding the front turret onto the camera (this is also an oiling point) remove the nut and then carefully pull the turret off of the camera. There are three spring loaded cams that might fly out if you yank the turret off. What I did was tape the cams in. Then there is a circular shim that needs to be removed. Next you need to make sure that the filmo is un-wound hold down the button until the filmo stops. Then there are four screws that need to come out - remove them and carefully pull the front off of the camera. Have your hand over the run button as this is spring loaded and will fly out - remove it and continue to pull the front of the camera off. You might have to jiggle it a bit as it comes out - no brute force. When you have the front off of the camera you need to remove the gate to get at the pull-down claws. The gate is held on by four screws and it has a spring underneath it that you need to be careful of - do not loose it. This spring forces the side plate against the film to hold it steady. Remove the gate and you will notice that the pull-down claws are underneath - you need to cut the furthest one off. I rotated the shutter out of the way and using tape and large kimwipes (paper towels) covered anything that metal filing might get into. I cut off the claw using a cutoff wheel on a dremel. You can also attach a grinding wheel onto your dremel and enlarge the portion of the front of the camera that the gate sits on for s16 - don't enlarge the area right behind the lens as you are libel to get light leaks as the shutter is right there and there is not much metal making it light tight. Blow out any filings that might have gotten past your kimwipes and tape. You can take a file to your gate now to make it s16 - what I did was file off enough of the gate so that the gate now ends parallel to where the cut/hole is for the pull-down claw that you just cut off. I then put a polishing bit on the dremel and polished the gate where I had filed it and also where the old pull-down claw used to be as "picture" will be be there. To reassemble the gate - place the side plate onto the gate and place it on the front of the camera. Take the spring and place it under the gate, hold the gate down while you push the spring under with a jewelers screwdriver. When the gate is flush and the side plate is pushed by the spring the carefully replace the two screws above the spring, tighten them. Place the other guide and it's screws in place and tighten them. Place the front back on the camera - jiggle don't force. When you have the front on flush place the runbutton and its spring in place. Push the run button in while you carefully lift the front of the camera again, it just has to be lifted slightly for the run button to go in - you want it in an intermediate position - not all the way in and not falling out. Replace the four screws, replace the shim. Place the turret onto the front until it hits the spring loaded cams, then push the cams in with your jewelers screwdriver while slipping the turret past them. Put the nut on the front of the turret, and then replace the rivet from the center of the nut. Wind and try. My camera is all reassembled and I have run film through to scratch test and will be doing a film test to check for steadiness etc. A cheap conversion for a cheap camera. By the way my gate is not quite s16 .295 X .488 but is close and I can enlarge it later with better tools (Milling machine). My camera - my two cents.
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#14 Robert Crewdson

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 12:48 PM

Any brown Filmo takes single perf, including the later -DA, and any DL, DR, HL, HR, or KRM

Depends on what you call "easy". You can file the gate yourself, but some disassembly is required. If you know which end of a screwdriver to hold and have any mechanical aptitude you can figure out how to file down the gate. Recentering the lens turret is probably not feasible, unless you have access to a machine shop. A Filmo costs about $100, but a trip to somebody else's machine shop will raise your investment costs significantly. Maybe that's why you dont' see too many S16 Filmos around.

Lens quality on used equipment comes down to a "test it and see" procedure. Shoot some material on TriX with plenty of texture and detail. Try your lenses wide open and stopped down to f/11 or so - most lenses look fine stopped down, and better (more expensive) lenses look just as good wide open.

As for Super 16 compatibility, you'll probably be fine with the 75mm without recentering, the 25 may work, the 12.5 almost certainly will show vignetting with or without recentering. You will have to pay at least 10x the cost of that camera to get a wide angle lens that would cover S16, so don't bother. When you're ready to worry about such niceties you'll be getting a more appropriate S16 setup anyway; in the meantime, use your Filmo - shoot B&W like crazy. Friends, games, street traffic, fireworks, Ince-style overcranked madness, you get the picture. The more you shoot the more you learn. Project it, edit it, learn from your errors. Shampoo, wash, repeat.


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#15 Robert Crewdson

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 01:13 PM

Any brown Filmo takes single perf, including the later -DA, and any DL, DR, HL, HR, or

On the strength of your posting I bought a Brown Filmo 70DA and found it to be double sprocketed. Disappointed, thought the info on here would be reliable.



Depends on what you call "easy". You can file the gate yourself, but some disassembly is required. If you know which end of a screwdriver to hold and have any mechanical aptitude you can figure out how to file down the gate. Recentering the lens turret is probably not feasible, unless you have access to a machine shop. A Filmo costs about $100, but a trip to somebody else's machine shop will raise your investment costs significantly. Maybe that's why you dont' see too many S16 Filmos around.

Lens quality on used equipment comes down to a "test it and see" procedure. Shoot some material on TriX with plenty of texture and detail. Try your lenses wide open and stopped down to f/11 or so - most lenses look fine stopped down, and better (more expensive) lenses look just as good wide open.

As for Super 16 compatibility, you'll probably be fine with the 75mm without recentering, the 25 may work, the 12.5 almost certainly will show vignetting with or without recentering. You will have to pay at least 10x the cost of that camera to get a wide angle lens that would cover S16, so don't bother. When you're ready to worry about such niceties you'll be getting a more appropriate S16 setup anyway; in the meantime, use your Filmo - shoot B&W like crazy. Friends, games, street traffic, fireworks, Ince-style overcranked madness, you get the picture. The more you shoot the more you learn. Project it, edit it, learn from your errors. Shampoo, wash, repeat.


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#16 John Sprung

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 04:54 PM

i just got a bell & howell very similar to this camera (i think its a 70D or DL.) and its double perf, what can i do to make it single perf?


You can buy a single perf Filmo for $100, so best to leave it alone. It'll be worth more as an antique in a few years.




-- J.S.
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