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HELP my bolex h16 broke on location!


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#1 Justin Lovell

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 05:09 PM

Bolex rex5, trigger not responding anymore.

Was shooting a 48fps shot, no problem. (Using the spring wind, no batteries)
Switched motor to "O" with a full wind, put camera away. Switched motor "MOT", set camera to 18fps. Pull trigger, "CLICK" and nothing happens.

1. When I push in the trigger nothing engages.
2. (may not be an issue) noticed that when I switch down to "O" on the side of the bolex there is resistance- that is normal. If i switch to "MOT" there is no resistance. The switch flops around in between the "MOT" sign to about the 9 o'clock position.

It was recommended that i try spraying some wd40 into the "release selection control (M STOP P) control.

Any help would really be appreciated... I'm SOL out here in KALMAR, SWEEDEN, I don't know what to do!

Heading to budapest on Monday via train... hope to get 'er working before then..
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#2 Mike Rizos

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 07:56 PM

It seems the spring won't engage, try moving the lever to MOT and run button to M simultaneously. If that doesn't work, try hand cranking and repeat as before.
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#3 Nick Mulder

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 08:08 PM

Try also jiggling back and forth to the P position (single frame) ... ('clutch' in the MOT position) - you might be halfway through a frame and the system has glugged up ...
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#4 Justin Lovell

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 02:11 AM

It seems the spring won't engage, try moving the lever to MOT and run button to M simultaneously. If that doesn't work, try hand cranking and repeat as before.


Well, tried the jiggling trick, no luck. Maybe this problem is more routed in the 'engage' switch for the motor MOT/ O switch. That feels rather loose. Though if the trigger isn't working properly, it could be causing the MOT/ O switch to not be working.

Kind of like the question, :"what came first the chicken or the egg..."

any other ideas?
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#5 Nick Mulder

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 03:39 AM

open her up and check for film jam or otherwise - you have done this already ? basically looking a the rollers and claw, shutter even at a pinch (that would be an interesting fault!)

Without having the unit here its hard to say - I can only suggest jiggling all switches and settings at once, wish I could be more technical ...

Its one of those things where there are myriad possibilities of what has actually happened also vs. what each of us is describing

User error, one of those 1 in a thousand odd things that can happen or real internal physical damage - gotta rule each out in turn ...
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#6 Don Brown

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 05:43 AM

Bolex rex5, trigger not responding anymore.

Was shooting a 48fps shot, no problem. (Using the spring wind, no batteries)
Switched motor to "O" with a full wind, put camera away. Switched motor "MOT", set camera to 18fps. Pull trigger, "CLICK" and nothing happens.

1. When I push in the trigger nothing engages.
2. (may not be an issue) noticed that when I switch down to "O" on the side of the bolex there is resistance- that is normal. If i switch to "MOT" there is no resistance. The switch flops around in between the "MOT" sign to about the 9 o'clock position.

It was recommended that i try spraying some wd40 into the "release selection control (M STOP P) control.

Any help would really be appreciated... I'm SOL out here in KALMAR, SWEEDEN, I don't know what to do!

Heading to budapest on Monday via train... hope to get 'er working before then..


Hi Justin
Have just emailed my mate in France who service's Bolex says it could be anything even broken
spring I know when I put motor on mine I have to release tension by pushing run button


Regards

Don
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#7 Justin Lovell

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 12:18 PM

Hi Justin
Have just emailed my mate in France who service's Bolex says it could be anything even broken
spring I know when I put motor on mine I have to release tension by pushing run button
Regards

Don


Thanks guys, here's the latest update:

I've managed to free up the camera. I used a knife to rotate the 1:1 rewind shaft.
However, it does not purrrr like a kitten. It chug-chug-chugs quite loudly. I am worried. Do you know what might be causing this? I have noticed a gear under the spot where the pressure plate screws in that is not centered under the screw, but this may be normal. It is taking up film normally (I sacrificed a roll to watch the movement).

Any thoughts? Should I try putting wd40 or some kind of sewing machine oil into the camera?

Thanks!
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#8 chuck colburn

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 12:45 PM

Justin,

First off I'm not a qualified Bolex mechanic so this may be pointless. You mentioned that the lever is loose and does not engage the function it should. Is that part attached to a shaft with a screw? I was wondering if perhaps the retaining screw is loose and is not allowing it to do what it should. As I said I might be whistling dixie here. lol
Good luck to you.

Chuck
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#9 Nick Mulder

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 03:45 PM

I have noticed a gear under the spot where the pressure plate screws in that is not centered under the screw, but this may be normal. It is taking up film normally (I sacrificed a roll to watch the movement).


That gear is not normally used, its a loop reformer - if things go bad and the loop gets tight, it engages and pulls the film down due to its non-concentric funky rollercoaster ride nature ... If it is working all the time then you have a problem somewhere with all that mechanism - good in some ways as its much easier to fix (than an internal problem) - if you know how ...

Do you have a rewind crank ? If not it will be hard... Hopefully its just a screw loose (2 actually) on the top roller or the claw has come to some sort of odd arrangment with itself - again due to loose screw... see that plate with the two screws directly above your funky loop reformer - take it off ! have a look at the claw flim-flam. and check the top rollers screw also...

Get back to us with yer findings - hold tight on the oil for now ...
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#10 Justin Lovell

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 04:53 PM

Hey,

Thanks for the tips.

I have uploaded a QT video of the camera sound and operational problems. 1 clip is of the outside of the camera running at 24fps.
The other is of the film running through the film path at 12fps.

You can tell she's sick when you hear the sound she makes :(

Maybe this will help in diagnosis.

www.framediscreet.com/video/bolex

Thanks guys,
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#11 Nick Mulder

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 05:36 PM

yowsa!

Well - damn, cant help you there ...

A couple of things - the MOT/0 switch works like that on both of my wind-ups (SB and RX4) so I dont think thats a fault.

The second movie shows you have a problem with the rollers being out of 'sync' (for want of a better term) with the claw, hence your loop kept favouring the higher side. But then in your third movie it appears fine, yet you've still got that 2 stroke outboard motor sound going.

No idea without having it here with me ... I'd try not to run it in the meantime and if no one else from here has anything to suggest (there are others here who know a lot more than I) - I think its time to go to the shop with that badboy.

well, hmmm = did you check the rollers ? or the claw ? thats about all you can get to without cracking the mastic seal and getting to the innards - (I dont think the fault is in the shutter/lens housing) - hard to know where the noise is coming from ..
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#12 Justin Lovell

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Posted 23 June 2007 - 06:01 AM

Hey again,

Here is a new clip of the bolex running, maybe this will tell you more.
www.framediscreet.com/video/bolex

(june 23rd files)

thanks again,

Justin
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#13 daniel mahlknecht

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Posted 23 June 2007 - 07:53 AM

Hi,
Try to see if the shutterblade has been damnaged or is touching something, you can check this by rotating the lensturret away and opening the Beamsplitterprism. Then disengage the motor and turn the motorshaft manually.
Or try to change the I T lever (the lever for singleexposuer mode just over the speed selection knob.


I hope this can be usefulle.

Daniel
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#14 Justin Lovell

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Posted 23 June 2007 - 10:19 AM

Hi,
Try to see if the shutterblade has been damnaged or is touching something, you can check this by rotating the lensturret away and opening the Beamsplitterprism. Then disengage the motor and turn the motorshaft manually.
Or try to change the I T lever (the lever for singleexposuer mode just over the speed selection knob.
I hope this can be usefulle.

Daniel


took a look at the shutter and it appears to not be moving out of the way.

The shutter must be getting jammed somehow.

Does anyone know how to dissasemble (safely) the shutter and access it, or know what the problem may be?
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#15 Nick Mulder

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Posted 23 June 2007 - 04:03 PM

took a look at the shutter and it appears to not be moving out of the way.

The shutter must be getting jammed somehow.

Does anyone know how to dissasemble (safely) the shutter and access it, or know what the problem may be?

Shutter dissasembly is not too hard - its tricky getting it back together with the shutter in sync with the pull-down though without a rewind crank it would be very annoying...

copy & paste from the animato site :

" re-assembled the front, and attached it back on the camera. When this is done, care must be taken that the shutter gears are positioned correctly. This is a trial and error process. If incorrectly assembled, the camera will expose the film while it is moving, causing blurred images. There is a simple way to check if the assembly is made correctly: Set the camera's I/T knob to T, press the side release forward, and hold it there. Check that the shutter blade's upper edge is just about coming to the top of the gate - if not, remove the front, turn the shutter a little, re-assemble, test again. When you finally get it right, secure the front with its screws."

either that or randomly put the front back on and adjust the relationship by moving that clear plastic gear the shutter is connected to (you should be able to see it now that you've removed that plate)

As for what the problem is, well, somewhere in the chain of gears and wotnot something has stripped itself or fallen off its mounting - the noise you are hearing is probably the part wearing out !

Once its open you'll prob want to run it to see whats going on - be careful with the claw, it no longer has the gate to run against and will flap around like a madman - I put my nice'n'soft finger in place of the gate - much better with a rewind crank

The shutter should spin freely in the front part - and the main body should run fine (no noise) - but because of your problem one or both of those assumptions should fail (hopefully!)
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#16 Justin Lovell

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 03:55 PM

against some suggested advice, I opened up the camera.

Posted updated video which may help someone diagnose the problem, or compare it to the shutter movement on their bolex. Heck, its going to have to get serviced either way...
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#17 Nick Mulder

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 04:38 PM

Posted updated video which may help someone diagnose the problem, or compare it to the shutter movement on their bolex. Heck, its going to have to get serviced either way...


The vids dont help me answer this:

"The shutter should spin freely in the front part - and the main body should run fine (no noise) - but because of your problem one or both of those assumptions should fail (hopefully!)"

The first vid does however show that something in the chain of bits'n'bobs is faulty as the shutter seems to come to rest in random positions - I dont know if you had it set on I or T though ...

Your vids are good but remember, we cant feel what your fingers are feeling, nor can we see the other side of the camera :rolleyes: ;)

The shutter appears fine btw... But I need to know if there is any resistance...
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#18 Justin Lovell

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 05:03 PM

Shutter spins freely now.
noise is back to normal.

shutter was on T in the new video.
no resistance, spins smoothly.

Something is not right with the variable shutter I believe.
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#19 Nick Mulder

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 06:10 PM

Shutter spins freely now.
noise is back to normal.

shutter was on T in the new video.
no resistance, spins smoothly.

Something is not right with the variable shutter I believe.


"the shutter spins freely now" - So the fault is gone ? or it spins freely now that you've disassembled it ?

same question applies to the fact the noise is no longer there ...

The variable shutter huh ... The video that shows the shutter stopping in random places would indicate something wrong in the chain of wotnot between the mechanism that stops and starts the spring being active and the shutter, unless maybe your shutter was stopping correctly and the variable shutter was loose as a goose causing the randomness ?

Anyhoo... so the fault is solved for the time being ? If not you could tape the variable shutter in place at the 130deg spot - again, really hard to diagnose from the other side of the planet ...

Now you have the fun part of trying to get the shutter in sync with the pull down - anything less than perfect will result in vertical ghosting in your footage :o
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#20 Sean McHenry

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Posted 26 June 2007 - 10:55 PM

Justin, just saw this post. If you need a loaner H16 (non reflex), I just got the one off Ebay a while ago and while I am still learning much about these beasts, it seems to purr nicely. Let me know if you need it.

On another note, shot the Super 8 project this weekend, film is on it's way to Pro8mm. More on that when the negatives return.

Hope tomorrow works out better for you now that it seems solved for a while.

Sean
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