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Bolex EBM- How noisy?


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#1 Jon Rat

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 02:19 PM

Hi all,

I'm thinking of buying an EBM, I know noise will depend to some extent on when it's last service was, but can anyone give me an idea of just how noisy these things are, if I got a blimp on it would it be feasible to record sync with it?

Also, does anyone know if these electronic Bolexes are repairable, I'm planning to get it converted to super and just wanted reassurance that it's going to be cost effective?

cheers all,

Jon R
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#2 Tim Carroll

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 02:59 PM

Jon,

They're pretty noisy, and it's not so much an issue of when they were last serviced. Brand new they were pretty noisy. Don't know of a commercially available blimp for the EBM, though Bolex made a number of different barneies for them. The barney doesn't really cut the noise that much.

The one thing to be aware of with the EBM is that the gears wear, and if you get one where the gears are pretty worn, and you try to hook up a crystal sync to it, you can get shutter bounce, where the image gets brighter and darker, sometimes called flicker. We had that problem with the one we used years ago.

Best,
-Tim
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#3 Jon Rat

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 03:47 PM

Jon,

They're pretty noisy, and it's not so much an issue of when they were last serviced. Brand new they were pretty noisy. Don't know of a commercially available blimp for the EBM, though Bolex made a number of different barneies for them. The barney doesn't really cut the noise that much.

The one thing to be aware of with the EBM is that the gears wear, and if you get one where the gears are pretty worn, and you try to hook up a crystal sync to it, you can get shutter bounce, where the image gets brighter and darker, sometimes called flicker. We had that problem with the one we used years ago.

Best,
-Tim


Thanks for the reply Tim,

Are they any quieter than the clockworks though?, I don't suppose there's a decibel figure out there somewhere for an EBM is there?, I might be better off getting myself one of those Kinors then.

Jon
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#4 Craig Mieritz

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 05:40 PM

Hi-

I have a dandy barney for my EBM. You can see a photo here:

http://cmieritz.blog...culousness.html

It was made by Custom Upholstery Products. It takes some persistence to get one made, he is quite busy, his main customer is a prestigious camera company. But if you can get him to make you one, it's really well made. Your real issue then will be how to minimize noise through the lens.
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#5 Boris Belay

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 05:26 PM

Thanks for the reply Tim,

Are they any quieter than the clockworks though?, I don't suppose there's a decibel figure out there somewhere for an EBM is there?, I might be better off getting myself one of those Kinors then.

Jon

Hi,
Don't know much about the Kinors, so I can't help with the comparison. If you're going to shoot synch-sound with an EBM (or any H16 for that matter) in an enclosed space, you'd better work with a sound engineer with skill and above all, understanding and patience. It's not impossible, but... Hell, movies are made with half of that ! All the rest is comfort, no?
I know Bolex inside and out, but when I decide to shoot synch-sound and/or 120m. rolls, I move on to an Eclair ACL. I'd recommend you give them a good look, as they are quiet (not the quietest, but synch-prone), simple, dependable, and very flexible, for quite cheap too. At least, that's my advice.
B.
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#6 Chris Millar

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 07:03 PM

The EBM is if not the easiest, one of the easiest Bolexes to convert to super 16 ;)

Noisy yes
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#7 Craig Mieritz

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 04:03 PM

Boris' point is valid but, as he says, the ACL can be noisy. It can range from slightly noisy to very noisy, depending on the camera. The ACL also has a more professional "build." than the Bolex.

There are two sync units out there for the EBM, one by Tobin (what I have) and another one that I cannot remember the name (Spectrum?). I recall that one of the shops in NYC sell it and people claim it is very good. You can get EBM's converted to Super 16 fairly cheaply, but really do your research because the quality of the conversions varies wildly. I'd think you could find one out there already converted.
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#8 Boris Belay

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 06:28 PM

Boris' point is valid but, as he says, the ACL can be noisy. It can range from slightly noisy to very noisy, depending on the camera. The ACL also has a more professional "build." than the Bolex.

There are two sync units out there for the EBM, one by Tobin (what I have) and another one that I cannot remember the name (Spectrum?). I recall that one of the shops in NYC sell it and people claim it is very good. You can get EBM's converted to Super 16 fairly cheaply, but really do your research because the quality of the conversions varies wildly. I'd think you could find one out there already converted.

Craig,
I didn't mean to say the ACL was noisy ! I shouldn't be if it's maintained halway properly. It should be quiet enough to have a decent synch-sound session in an enclosed space, especially so with a barney.
What I meant is that it's not quite up to today's standards in silent cameras (an Aaton XTR is nominally half as loud, I believe), but those cameras are in an altogether different price bracket. So the ACL is not the quietest camera around, but perhaps the most affordable of the quiet ones (or perhaps the NPR is).
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#9 John King

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 04:49 AM

Hi all,

I'm thinking of buying an EBM, I know noise will depend to some extent on when it's last service was, but can anyone give me an idea of just how noisy these things are, if I got a blimp on it would it be feasible to record sync with it?

Also, does anyone know if these electronic Bolexes are repairable, I'm planning to get it converted to super and just wanted reassurance that it's going to be cost effective?

cheers all,
Also
Jon R



Hello Jon,

Tim is basically right, Bolex was never famous for making quiet cameras (not until the later EL models probably, but someone will probably argue against that as well--haha!). However, as they always say there is an exception, and I am the fortunate owner of just such an exceptional camera. I bought a Bolex EBM from a fellow on ebay. Guy at CamerasPro said that it was the quietest EBM he had ever serviced. It is an extremely quiet camera, and I can blimp it easily with a heavy blanket. So it only proves that the good people at Bolex can do when they wanted too. --haha! With that said, keep in mind that the Bolex EBM was designed to be used as a sync sound camera. It even has the "sync" position on the speed controls. It was designed to be used with a leaded and padded barney, but again I think that a well serviced EBM ought to be usable with a heavy quilt or maybe something plastic or rubber.

Also for servicing, repairs, and even conversion to Super16, I recommend the good folks at CamerasPro. They are experts with the Bolex. But I am happy with my Bolex EBM. Also as far as I know all Bolexes are among the easiest to convert to Super16. Hope this helps! Respect and Best Regards to all!

God Bless!

Mark King
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#10 Chris Millar

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Posted 10 November 2009 - 05:05 AM

Also as far as I know all Bolexes are among the easiest to convert to Super16.


Turrets either require new parts, boring modifications or some kind of compromise compared to the bayonets.

Some older turrets have viewfinder pathways that border onto the super16 GG image (even with the 13x finder replacements) - you either leave it be or have a bit of machining to do - not so the bayonets.

Of the bayonets the EL has the light meter to work around - delicate stuff.

Easiest = EBM, SB and SBM
Hardest = EL, and RX4 (with the older style finder)

I've never done earlier models...
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#11 John King

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 11:07 PM

Mr. Millar,

Yes, you are right about the bayonet mounts being easier than the older turret mount models. In fact from what I have seemn most of the conversions of the older style cameras render a bayonet type mount, although I have seen one or two Bolexes being sold on ebay that had turrets and that the sellers at least claimed were S16.

Also I did not take into consideration the difficulty that the internal light metering system would pose to the conversion of the Bolex EL, and I am so glad I caught your post here, because I have an EL that I am wanting to get converted to S16, so will have that issue to deal with.

Thanks for the info!

JM King
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Glidecam

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