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Bolex H16 Rex 4 Question


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#1 Ray Noori

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 02:06 PM

Hi. I'm new to these forums and a newbie when it comes to cinematography. All my experience is in shooting on video and I want to make the transfer to film. I thought I could buy a 16mm camera to start experimenting. Someone is offering me a Bolex H16 Rex 4 package for $350. It is in excellent condition it seems, the lens has no scratches or marks. The lens is a Kern Paillard Vario Switar 18-16mm f2.5 RX zoom lens. It also comes with a filter set with four pre-made filters and four gel packs (ND, 85 x 2 & Skylight). You can see some pictures here:

http://img42.imageve...1_122_777lo.jpg
http://img21.imageve...2_122_680lo.jpg
http://img179.imagev...3_122_489lo.jpg

Now my questions are:

1) Is this package worth the asking price?
2) Is it a good starter package or am I wasting my money and time?
3) The seller claims that he shot this video using the camera in discussion. Does this look like it could've been shot with this Bolex camera? http://homepage.mac....Theater169.html

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to a newbie.
Ray
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#2 Toby L Edwards

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 03:15 PM

A working REX-4 for $350.00? if you don't buy it, I will. Check EBAY they go for $ 600.00 to $ 1,200 last time I checked.
I had a Rex-5 and an EBM they are great little starter camera's. With the new film stocks from the big K and Fuji you can get some very nice results. There are quite a few shops that will repair them as well.
This was shot on a Bolex, Not by me but very cool.

Toby
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#3 Nick Mulder

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 03:16 PM

an 18-16 mm zoom huh ?

your picture links are not of an RX4

$350 sounds ok - pretty good actually, depending on that lens

yip, that vid could have been done with an RX4
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#4 Ray Noori

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 03:36 PM

an 18-16 mm zoom huh ?

your picture links are not of an RX4

$350 sounds ok - pretty good actually, depending on that lens

yip, that vid could have been done with an RX4


The pictures are what the guy sent me, are you certain they're not of a RX 4? If not, do you know which model the pictures show?

"an 18-16 mm zoom huh ?" Is something wrong with the description of the lens?

Thanks for the reply. I have until Saturday to decide whether to buy it or not, so I appreciate any information.
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#5 Toby L Edwards

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 03:59 PM

16-18 zoom. Makes no sense?
The Pics are of Girls, no camera?
Good luck.
Toby
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#6 Ray Noori

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 04:14 PM

Thanks for the response Toby. I will try and clarify what the seller meant with that lens description.

As for the pictures, imagevenue often messes things up like that. You should refresh a few times and hopefully it'll be fixed. If not, is there an e-mail address I can send you the pics at?

Thanks,
Ray
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#7 Toby L Edwards

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 04:22 PM

Ray'
Search the internet for Bolex Rex 4
You will find all the pictures and info you could ever need.
Toby
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#8 Herb Montes

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 06:58 AM

I got a Rx4 I bought several years ago for $1,000. Great camera, came with Schneider lenses. It was modified to use the 400 foot magazine. The zoom could be 18-76 instead of 18-16. The numbers mean the focal zoom range. I have several of the compact zooms as well as the larger Pan Cinor. Here is a recent picture of my Bolex, the body is obscured by an animation motor but that is the compact zoom on it.

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#9 Ralph Tabith

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 07:12 AM

This was shot on a Bolex, Not by me but very cool.

Toby


Do you think this footage was manipulated after on computer? It's very nice, considering that it was on a humble bolex?
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#10 Toby L Edwards

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 10:56 AM

The camera has very little to do with the image, other than if it's working properly and giving a solid registration. The main factors are the film itself and the Lens. The new Kodak Vision2 film stock's are amazing.
A Bolex can deliver excellent results with the proper lens, film stock and lighting assuming it's exposed properly.
When film is transfered to video at a professional lab the colorist can tweak the image to further enhance the beauty of film. This process is commonly referred to as grading. Not sure if the clip I attached was graded or not. It's completely feasible that it was just a basic one light transfer. It's amazing how good film looks once you start looking.
Hope that helps,
Toby
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#11 Ray Noori

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 12:13 PM

Thanks Herb. I know the Imagevenue links don't work, but now I'm sure the camera offered IS indeed a Rex 4, but not modified to load a 400ft. magazine. I take it you use the camera for animation work mostly, do you like it? Would you recommended as a starter camera for someone new to shooting on film?
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#12 Ray Noori

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 12:18 PM

Toby, that footage does look quite amazing actually, do you know if it was shot with a Rex 4 or do you just know that it was shot with a Bolex and not sure what model? Also, I've been looking at the specifications of the camera and I read under film capacity: "100ft (30m) daylight loading spools of 16mm film". What does that mean exactly? That the spools don't have to be loaded in the dark and with extreme care?
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#13 Toby L Edwards

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 01:14 PM

Go to the link again and send the "shooter" a message. I'm sure he can tell you what model he used. If I remember he used a 10mm lens for most of it.
Yes 100 ft. Daylight spools can be loaded in light although you should try to get in the shade.
The REX-5 is a very sought after Bolex. The REX-4 is the same camera without the 400' mag option. If memory serves.
Keep searching online. I found a site a couple years ago that had a complete breakdown of the models by date of manufacture and features.
It was very helpful.
Toby
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#14 Ray Noori

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 01:50 PM

Go to the link again and send the "shooter" a message. I'm sure he can tell you what model he used. If I remember he used a 10mm lens for most of it.
Yes 100 ft. Daylight spools can be loaded in light although you should try to get in the shade.
The REX-5 is a very sought after Bolex. The REX-4 is the same camera without the 400' mag option. If memory serves.
Keep searching online. I found a site a couple years ago that had a complete breakdown of the models by date of manufacture and features.
It was very helpful.
Toby


Thanks Toby. I sent a message to the guy to learn more about what he did. Is the only advantage of a 400' mag that you can shoot for longer before changing it? I found that site as well, it's called Bolex Collector, and based on that site and the information the seller gave me the Rex 4 he's selling was made in 1966.

Ray
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#15 Toby L Edwards

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 02:02 PM

Thanks Toby. I sent a message to the guy to learn more about what he did. Is the only advantage of a 400' mag that you can shoot for longer before changing it? I found that site as well, it's called Bolex Collector, and based on that site and the information the seller gave me the Rex 4 he's selling was made in 1966.

Ray


Yes the 400' is just that, more film.
It's a nice feature but then you need the electric motor's for the camera and mag.
It's alot easier if you just go with the 100' daylight spools.
Do you have a light meter? If not your going to need one.
Toby
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#16 Herb Montes

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 03:39 PM

Thanks Herb. I know the Imagevenue links don't work, but now I'm sure the camera offered IS indeed a Rex 4, but not modified to load a 400ft. magazine. I take it you use the camera for animation work mostly, do you like it? Would you recommended as a starter camera for someone new to shooting on film?


The Bolex is a good camera to start with. And still flexible enough after you gained some experience. Yes, I got mine setup to film stop motion animation. The motor is a Meritex and came from Chambless. The camera was already modified when I bought it. Besides this one I also have an M4 and an M5 with a magazine. Both use the zoom lens with dogleg reflex finder.
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#17 Ray Noori

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 03:48 PM

Yes the 400' is just that, more film.
It's a nice feature but then you need the electric motor's for the camera and mag.
It's alot easier if you just go with the 100' daylight spools.
Do you have a light meter? If not your going to need one.
Toby


I don't have a light meter, but a friend of mine who studies filmmaking at Ryerson University does, I can use his until I get my own. Why is the lightmeter absolutely necessary, for determining where to place the camera and the exact depth of field?
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#18 Robert Hughes

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 04:17 PM

No, you need the lightmeter to accurately determine the light levels on your subject. If you are shooting at or near high noon, you can use the "sunny 16" rule as a sanity check, especially with the more forgiving negative film stocks. Google for "sunny 16"+exposure and you should get all the information you need.
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#19 Toby L Edwards

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 04:33 PM

In order to really understand what your doing you MUST use a light meter.
Have you friend show you how to use it. If you buy the camera go online and find a manual. You will need to know what the shutter speed and angle of the shutter are. It's a REX so you won't be shooting at 1/60th sec @ 24fps like most cine camera's

Toby
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#20 Ray Noori

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 08:27 PM

In order to really understand what your doing you MUST use a light meter.
Have you friend show you how to use it. If you buy the camera go online and find a manual. You will need to know what the shutter speed and angle of the shutter are. It's a REX so you won't be shooting at 1/60th sec @ 24fps like most cine camera's

Toby


I'll definitely get my friend to show me how to use a light meter and I'll keep an eye out for one to buy for myself. You mentioned that with the Rex I won't be shooting at 1/60th sec @ 24fps like most cine cameras? How does this fact affect the result that I get when compared to other cine cameras?

Ray
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