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H16 SBM or RX5?


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#1 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 05:02 PM

I'm thinking of buying one of these cameras, but I haven't used Bolexes since film school. Is there anything to promote one camera over the other? I know they're identical other than the lens mount, but what else should I watch out for? Are Bolex Bayonet lenses as easy to find as C-mount?

i'm also going to need a hand-crank, where can I get one of those fom?

opinions welcome....
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#2 Mike Rizos

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 11:41 PM

The SBM has the better mount if you're planning on using mostly a zoom. Bolex made a C mount adapter that usually comes with the camera. Bayonet primes exist, and are generally of later date, but are kind of scarce and cost more. The c mount primes outnumber them by a large margin.
In my estimation, here's how the zooms rank from best to worse. 12.5-100, 17-85 compact, 16-100, 18-86, 12-120 ang. 17-85 pan cinor. I never used the 12.5-100, but I have to assume it's the best of the bunch.
Remember all zooms, and primes of 50mm and below need to have the RX designation to correct for spherical abberations introduced by the prism. One exeption is the above mentioned pan cinor which somehow works without being RX.
The best primes to get are 26mm macro, 50mm and 10mm presets.
If you're planning on using primes, the Rex5 can be slightly quicker.
Both cameras came in two viewfinder versions, first with the 10x and about 1972 with 13x magnification. Get the 13x as it's brighter and makes focusing a little easier. The difference can be seen here: http://www.jkcamera.com/Super16.htm

As far as the hand crank, it's very easy to find and usually comes with the camera as standard accessory, like filter holders, body cap, locking turret plug (if Rex) etc.
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#3 Nick Mulder

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Posted 11 May 2008 - 11:56 PM

The SBM is also easier to convert to super16 - no compromises or (much) awkward machining to do ;)

Along with the presets already mentioned I'd spring for a 75mm Macro-Switar also ...

The 12.5-100 comes in two flavors - get the iris-preset model if super16 is a consideration.
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#4 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 01:03 PM

Thanks for the advice. I've managed to get my hands on a 1968 Rex 5 with a 17-85 Compact zoom. I'll be doing some tests on the lens when it arrives, but if anyone has any opinions on it, let me know. The only immediate problem I can see is that it's slow (T3.8), which i'm guessing means stopping down to at least t4.5 to get best performance out of it. Any recommendations for faster zooms? I'm going to look into getting some fast primes as well, so if anyone has some to sell....
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