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bolex H16 repair HELP


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#1 yowyip

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 10:45 PM

After trying to simply clean out the viewfinder on our H16 Reflex Bolex, (it has a mag adapter which made it trickier to get at) there is now a nut floating around the inner body of the camera, at the back/bottom. It is from the top right hand screw just below the viewfinder Hard to get at. We have some experience repairing cameras, but are scared to open everything up. So:

1) Does anyone have a repair manual they could send me
or
2) advice as to how to proceed?

We are in a very small town with no bolex repair shop to let the pro's do it.
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#2 Jean-Louis Seguin

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 07:44 AM

After trying to simply clean out the viewfinder on our H16 Reflex Bolex, (it has a mag adapter which made it trickier to get at) there is now a nut floating around the inner body of the camera, at the back/bottom. It is from the top right hand screw just below the viewfinder Hard to get at. We have some experience repairing cameras, but are scared to open everything up. So:

1) Does anyone have a repair manual they could send me
or
2) advice as to how to proceed?

We are in a very small town with no bolex repair shop to let the pro's do it.




Can you post a few pictures showing where this nut comes from and what stage of disassembly you are at?
That'll help.

Cheers,
Jean-Louis
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#3 Simon Wyss

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 08:44 AM

It's not that hard to open a Bolex. First, unscrew all levers and knobs on the right side of the camera. The next step is the worst, to loosen the screws that retain the works within the housing. You count them around the main blank from the top clockwise: five. Don't loosen the two adjacent ones. Those hold the governor. You have browned slotted countersunk head steel screws which may have corrosion due to the fact that different metals are in touch. Avoid cracking a head by the use of a big enough and snugly fitting screwdriver blade.

After that loosen the four screws in front that fix the revolver plate. Now pull on the spool spindles and the blank itself if you've been able to pull the front plate in the direction parallel to the film plane towards you. That depends on the model.

When you have the mechanism out of the housing it is well worth go give it an overall lube attack: grease on the steel spindles, oil on the governor's upper and lower bearing (two droplets with a syringe and needle). Avoid oiling the spring box but grease its gears.

Before you replace the mech you pull out the front release knob and fix it with the aid of a clothes-peg. The T-I switch can make you sweat when it slips back in with the operation, so hold a threaded pin at hand long enough to catch this group. Once the mech is screwed in back you may release the front release.
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#4 Chris Millar

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 07:18 PM

It's not that hard to open a Bolex.



Ha - now get it back together again ! What about all that think black paint/light sealant you have to crack ? - and registering the pull down correctly, easy enough once you know how, but hard to explain in text :huh:

Assuming you've removed the shutter and lens mount (in which case the pull down registration is already an issue to deal with) you should be able to see the governor then and have a window to the insides, at least enough to maybe shake the nut out (?). I assume as if you haven't removed the lens mount and shutter then I don't see how a nut could have made its way into the body in the first place.

You should be able to figure it out without a manual - the only thing that may require a little force is the cracking of the light seal and perhaps some sticky screws here and there (make sure you use properly sized drivers - yes, buy more - those things easily shear)- remember that, any time you feel yourself putting in a little juice it's time to sit back and have a another look (there's prob just one screw you overlooked, especially the control knobs and what not, it isn't perfectly clear what needs to come off)

Don't be tempted to run the camera with the governor disconnected - I've done this - it equates to spare parts from Switzerland.

More info and/or clear pics will really help here - don't be afraid to show us what a mess you've got it into (if that is the case) - I've assed up many cameras thinking I could DIY, learned quite a bit, but also ruined quite a bit

heh heh - have fun ;)
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#5 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 10:25 PM

I agree with Chris - opening a Bolex is not that easy, and putting it back even harder. As Chris mentioned, there is the light seal and the pull down to shutter timing. Also the T/I knob (single frame shutter adjustment) often disengages when you undo the screw. And it's easy to damage the footage counter wheel when you try to fit the guts back in. I would also strongly dissuade amateurs from greasing and oiling the mechanics. Specific greases and oils are used in specific places in these cameras, and the wrong viscosity or chemical makeup etc can cause problems.
If you need to access the inside to remove a loose nut, there is a hole beneath the viewfinder, a relic from the older style viewfinder, that is plugged with a screw-in cap. Remove the 4 screws that hold the viewfinder cover plate, then 4 more inside the viewfinder cavity to remove the viewfinder.
But how did the nut get in there? It presumably comes from the end of the top right screw that secures the front, so if the front has been removed, you need to check that the shutter timing is not out. Take out the pressure plate and run the camera while holding the engaged wind up lever to slow it right down. Check that the pull down motion of the claw coincides with the shutter covering the aperture.
If it's out, just send it to a proper repair facility. You'll save yourself a lot of headache.
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