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Black In Viewfinder


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#1 Fred Neilsen

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 05:45 AM

Hello everyone

This is my 3rd post,

Anyway, this is probably an easily resolvable question, but it has caused me allot of problems and hours of web research (I'm waiting for my copy of the bolex bible).

I have just purchased a bolex REX 5 off ebay. I had it lubricated and the optics cleaned, but when they returned the camera, and I (with much excitement and anticipation) looked through the viewfinder, I saw black.

The viewfinder was working before the servicing so I do not think it is a mechanical error, so I think it is simply a switch I have to press.

Note I do not know much about reflex Bolexes as I have only ever used non reflex ones.

I have tried pushing that viewfinder lever, and adjusting the focus, taking off the lens and looking through, changing the rexofader (which shouldn't effect the viewfinder anyway...)


This is a frustrating question with an easy answer (well probably)

Thanks in advance,
Fred
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#2 Bernie O'Doherty

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 05:59 AM

Hi Frederik, There is a little shiny arm on the viewfinder tube which must be in the horizontal position. Maybe it is vertical ?
Good Luck.
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#3 David Auner aac

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 06:00 AM

I have just purchased a bolex REX 5 off ebay. I had it lubricated and the optics cleaned, but when they returned the camera, and I (with much excitement and anticipation) looked through the viewfinder, I saw black.


There should be a lever on the side of the finder to close/open it. Check that!

Cheers, Dave
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#4 Edgar Dubrovskiy

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 06:10 AM

And there is a small lever on the side of the film plane.
It should be in up position... or down.
In one of the two, basically.
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#5 David Auner aac

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 06:17 AM

And there is a small lever on the side of the film plane.
It should be in up position... or down.


Yup, that's the variable shutter. It should be all the way up IIRC. If that fails too, I'm pretty clueless... Oh, are you certain you have rotated the turret in such a way that you're looking through a lens and not at the back of a lens port cap? Just to make sure.... ;)

Cheers, Dave
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#6 Chris Millar

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 03:44 PM

Better to be methodical.

Take the lens off... Can you see now?

If no then look back at the prism... Can you see it?
(is it oriented correctly etc...)

Spin the turret completely 180 so you can swing the prism out (yup, it's on spring loaded hinges)
Is the mask/ground glass obscured?

Is the bottom of the periscope prism (above where the usual prism sits) obscured?

If no, then you've got something in the finder assembly and/or a broken lever for the light trap thingy... You'll need some jewellers drivers with loooong necks to reach through the 400' mag assembly to get in there and have a look ;)

Now having typed all that I do recall on my first time looking through a bolex finder that I couldn't find an image to help myself, it was there however you just have to learn how to find it - is this a possibility?
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#7 Fred Neilsen

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 07:53 PM

Thank you everyone for your fast replies

I have tried the following

Take off lenses
Change diopter
Flick switch next to viewfinder
Change the variable shutter

(none of them working, but I still haven't tried any of the other sugestions)

I do not fully understand what to look for in the prism, or even how to find the prism, as I have only worked on non reflex cameras.

I think I will send my bolex to the bolex service center in melbourn, australia. Unless anyone knows a sydney based bolex technician

Thanks again, this forum has been so helpful
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#8 Chris Millar

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 08:30 PM

damn - I was in Sydney 3 weeks ago ... I'll be in Melbourne in May

variable shutter is nothing to do with it - it is behind the prism so you can forget that for now :)

It isn't hard to figure out what is going on, at most you'll need a long nosed flathead jewellers driver (long to get to the one screw through the hole in the mag top structure)

Pretty much this is it (older model same stuff goin on):
Posted Image

Just make sure there is nothing obscuring the image path at any step - at worst you'll have to send it off to the same Bolex guy in melbourne so I reckon have a play, bet you'll solve it and learn something helpful about your camera in the process.

A is the prism
B is a diopter thingy that is sometimes on the prism mask itself but sometimes mounted in the camera(RX4 and below I think)
C is the periscope prism (accessed behind the plate thing with all the patent notes behind the turret)
D another prism !
E more lenses and hoohah ... D & E accessed via the finder top thingy-dinga-ling
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#9 Fred Neilsen

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Posted 06 February 2009 - 09:56 PM

Thanks Chris

I'll have to get a set of jewelers screw drivers and have a look

Thanks,

Fred
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