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Bolex Aperture / Gate


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#1 Scott Bullock

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 09:40 AM

Can anyone tell me if Bolex ever used materials other than stainless steel to manufacture apertures/gates in their camera bodies? And, if so, when did they start doing that?

All comments are appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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#2 Simon Wyss

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 10:55 AM

Yes, we can:
Magazine Bolex have anodized aluminium plates.
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#3 Scott Bullock

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 12:32 PM

Yes, we can:
Magazine Bolex have anodized aluminium plates.


It's the strangest thing, I was looking at a Bolex the other day and, for the life of me, it looked as if the aperture/gate was plastic. I don't know for sure if it was but it looked that way; kind of a light brown or tan color. Anyone ever see anything like this before? It wasn't a S16 modified camera, so that wasn't the reason, but I swear, it looked like hard plastic. The anodized aluminum plates look like stainless steel, right? Any thoughts on this?
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#4 Jean-Louis Seguin

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 02:54 PM

It's the strangest thing, I was looking at a Bolex the other day and, for the life of me, it looked as if the aperture/gate was plastic. I don't know for sure if it was but it looked that way; kind of a light brown or tan color. Anyone ever see anything like this before? It wasn't a S16 modified camera, so that wasn't the reason, but I swear, it looked like hard plastic. The anodized aluminum plates look like stainless steel, right? Any thoughts on this?




What you believe looks like plastic is in fact the anodized aluminum gate.
Bolex most likely switch from steel to aluminum to cut manufacturing costs and it does the job.
Aluminum can be anodized to just about any color you want.
The pressure plate is also anodized but this is what is called "hard-anodized" to a deep shine and it is black.

Cheers,
Jean-Louis
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#5 Chris Millar

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 06:29 PM

I've seen examples of RX4 models both with stainless and with aluminium gates...

The non magazine SB I have is also aluminium.

Much easier to file to super 16, easy to file too far actually !

;)
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#6 Scott Bullock

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 07:23 PM

Thanks for the information, folks! You've been very helpful.

The camera I was looking at is an SB. It belongs to a friend of mine and I've considered purchasing it. I have a REX 4 that's been modified to S16 and if I snag this SB, I will probably have it modified too. It's hard to believe how expensive the modifications are though, especially on an SB where the bayonet mount can be so easily moved (though I've never done this). I suppose it's worth the $$ to have it done professionally, especially if you want the ground glass remarked for S16. Meritex (JK Optics) did the conversion on my REX 4 and it is a spectacular job. The viewfinder was modified from 10X to 13X.

On another note, my friend's SB has gaffer tape and camera tape residue all around the outer edge of the camera door. It's caked on so thick that it can't be removed simply by rubbing it off with a finger. Any suggestions on what to use to remove this stuff without jacking up the leatherette finish?

The camera runs like a dream but has been put to extensive use. Other than the aperture/gate situation (thanks again for the replies about this), my only concerns are the gunk on the door and the eyepiece that needs to be repaired - the diopter won't focus properly when turning the ring; it has to be manually pushed in and out. The locking nut still holds it in place and it is functional but I prefer things to work as they were intended.

Chris Millar, have you modified your own cameras to S16?
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#7 Jean-Louis Seguin

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 10:28 AM

On another note, my friend's SB has gaffer tape and camera tape residue all around the outer edge of the camera door. It's caked on so thick that it can't be removed simply by rubbing it off with a finger. Any suggestions on what to use to remove this stuff without jacking up the leatherette finish?




WD-40 will remove the camera tape residue without damaging the leather.
Spray onto a cloth or paper towel, NOT directly on the camera.

Lighter fluid will also work well but may dry the leather.

Cheers,
Jean-Louis
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#8 Bernie O'Doherty

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 12:55 PM

Hi Scott, I believe the alumium aperture plate is coated with Teflon.
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#9 Scott Bullock

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 12:08 AM

Thanks for all of the information, folks!

Hey Bernie, how are you? Haven't spoken to you in a while. I hope all is going well.

Scott
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#10 Chris Millar

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 01:52 AM

Chris Millar, have you modified your own cameras to S16?


Yup, uh huh - I did

It's an elaborate process to get it completely converted - can be done with hand tools (a good set of files and an experienced/patient hand) that is aside from the milling of the gate side support rail thingy bits ...

Most Bolex techs squirm when I explain how I 'lathed' down the guides on the rollers - tee hee ;)

The hardest bit is actually getting a proper representation of the new aperture in the finder - I ended up forking out for a laser cut gobo manufacturer to make the mask, but still, getting it in place is tricky as is clearing the path for the extended view in the finder optics ...

Done both the SB (easy!) and the EL which has some electronics and delicate electromechanical parts to get around to access the areas that need adjustment and modification (like dismantling a money bomb)....

All up the amount of time and work involved is equal or in excess of the fee's most people are charging on the net for the service - but you sure do learn a heap about your camera ...
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#11 Boris Belay

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 06:06 PM

What you believe looks like plastic is in fact the anodized aluminum gate.
Bolex most likely switch from steel to aluminum to cut manufacturing costs and it does the job.
Aluminum can be anodized to just about any color you want.
The pressure plate is also anodized but this is what is called "hard-anodized" to a deep shine and it is black.

Cheers,
Jean-Louis


The light yellow/tan gate was introduced by Bolex in their late series, maybe when they moved to the 13x. viewfinder. So it can be found on Rex-5, SB, SBM, EBM and EL models of the later production runs. It does seem like an improvement over the previous steel gates in terms of film movement on the gate.
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#12 Bernie O'Doherty

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 05:49 PM

Hi Scott, Hope you're well. I'm busy as ever. They said Tape would put film out of business. NowTape is gone.
Doing a s'load of Ultra 16 conversions, apart from everything else.

Cheers, Bernie.
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#13 Cary Lee

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 05:25 AM

Hi Scott, Hope you're well. I'm busy as ever. They said Tape would put film out of business. NowTape is gone.
Doing a s'load of Ultra 16 conversions, apart from everything else.

Cheers, Bernie.


Bernie...I just got a Rex-4 and was thinking of sending it to you for the Laserbrighten and for a checkup. You mention Ultra 16, How is that compared to S16 conversion in cost of having it done? Is ultra 16 the new s16?
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