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PRIME LENS SET for 16mm Cameras - ROOKIE question


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#1 flavio filho

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 09:08 AM

Ok, I'm a Rookie on Cinematography, and some details I still have no clue on what to do regarding the 16mm cameras/lenses.

I'll buy a Bolex EL Super 16mm (Body) with a Kern Switar H16 RX 100MM
And a Beaulieu R16, with the usual Angenieux Zoom lens.
(Then will convert both to Ultra 16mm)

Well, what I need (and is my question) is to choose a 2 SETs OF 3 PRIME LENS each that would be wise choice for each (i know most of lenses coudl work on both with c-mount adaptor). I was thinking to have a 10mm/25mm and 50mm set for one camera and a 5mm/16mm and another 25mm for another - in case of shooting with both cameras at the same time, I could use the 2X 25mm lens (one on each)? Maybe the 25mm one would be best to have 2, as I could use more on shots of dialogue, etc? Or maybe 2 of 50mm?

I'll buy them all used, of course. And regarding the brand to choose, probably Kern-Paillard ones?

Anyway, this is what is in my mind now and maybe I'm on a "trip inside a maionese" (like we say in my country)...I mean, maybe makes no sense what I'm intending and I'm kind of lost?

I know its a lot of question in one, sorry, but I need some LIGHT! :P
Thanks all.

Edited by flavio filho, 23 July 2010 - 09:11 AM.

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#2 flavio filho

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 04:46 PM

Ok, I'm a Rookie on Cinematography, and some details I still have no clue on what to do regarding the 16mm cameras/lenses.

I'll buy a Bolex EL Super 16mm (Body) with a Kern Switar H16 RX 100MM
And a Beaulieu R16, with the usual Angenieux Zoom lens.
(Then will convert both to Ultra 16mm)

Well, what I need (and is my question) is to choose a 2 SETs OF 3 PRIME LENS each that would be wise choice for each (i know most of lenses coudl work on both with c-mount adaptor). I was thinking to have a 10mm/25mm and 50mm set for one camera and a 5mm/16mm and another 25mm for another - in case of shooting with both cameras at the same time, I could use the 2X 25mm lens (one on each)? Maybe the 25mm one would be best to have 2, as I could use more on shots of dialogue, etc? Or maybe 2 of 50mm?

I'll buy them all used, of course. And regarding the brand to choose, probably Kern-Paillard ones?

Anyway, this is what is in my mind now and maybe I'm on a "trip inside a maionese" (like we say in my country)...I mean, maybe makes no sense what I'm intending and I'm kind of lost?

I know its a lot of question in one, sorry, but I need some LIGHT! :P
Thanks all.


Too boring post?

:P
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#3 Jean-Louis Seguin

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 09:19 PM

Too boring post?

:P



For lenses with a focal length shorter than 50mm, you might have to obtain separate lenses for each camera system for best results.
Do a search for previous posts on the effects of the Bolex prism on sharpness.

Cheers,
Jean-Louis
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#4 Oliver Christoph Kochs

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 09:18 PM

Hello, H16 and R16 are in the same categegory. A "Super 16 EL" doesn't have to be converted to Ultra16. They're both so called MOS cameras, which means they are too noisy to record sound unless you blimp them. (A Blimp is a noise dampening housing). You obviously have to gather some experience shooting film, so why not rent a camera for a day and shoot a test roll.
But if you're into buying, the Bolex EL is a nice and solid camera, capable of a S16 conversion. The Beaulieu is not so well built so i'd stay away from it. Regards Oliver
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#5 Evan Ferrario

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 11:55 PM

Flavio,

congratulations on your interest in 16mm, based on your post, I would suggest you start shooting some "test" rolls in order to educate yourself. Shooting film is the fastest and easiest way to learn film, I started shooting 16mm about 5 years ago and each time I shoot and review my film, I learn something new. I can't tell if you already have a bolex, or are planning on getting one, if you don't have a camera yet, look for a nice 16mm package that comes with a zoom or a turrent with different focal length, I don't think you should worry about a prime lens set until you are comfortable with the format. Also, if you try to find a super 16mm camera, expect to pay a high premium. While there are lots of cheap 16mm cameras on ebay, any true super 16mm camera has had an expensive conversion and it highly sought after. I see you have discovered ultra 16mm as well, however it would be foolish to convert a super 16mm camera to ultra 16mm. Ultra 16mm is a cheap way of converting old 16mm cameras to offer more widescreen real estate, Super 16mm requires the lens mount to be repositioned but offers more physical film real estate than ultra 16mm. That being said, if you are, like most of us, on a budget, get a regular 16mm camera and plan to upgrade it to ultra 16mm in the future once you have mastered the format and are ready to make your dream project. There is still no better format to shoot when you are starting out than regular 16mm, all labs support it and when you look through the viewfinder, you will be able to see the proper framing.

If you need some other camera recommendations look for a krasnogosk 16mm camera, there are literally 100's on ebay for around 200. Bolex is a very nice camera, however because it is so well know, you will pay a premium. If you want a basic windup camera, look for a kodak k-100, pathe webo is also good if you can find one in nice condition. I got a Revere 16mm windup with 20mm lens for $14 a few months ago on ebay, it works like a tank. After that, if you want another quiet camera, expect to pay around 700-1200 for a nice silent 16mm camera with 24fps crystal sync. Arri is the most popular, but also check out Eclair ACL or NPR, I've gotten one of each of these in the last 6 months for around 500 a piece, you just have to search ebay and find the ones that no one else bids on.

Since I started shooting 16mm, I've collected a 4.5mm, 8mm, 12mm, 16mm and 25mm prime c mount lens. They are varied brand. Any set will sell for way more than finding individual lens. Also in general, the wider lens, the more it will cost. I got lucky with my 8mm lens when I found for $40, usually they are hundreds. Also look out for the popular ones which will sell for more. However, a c-mount zoom is going to be cheaper and perform as well as the primes. The only sacrifice with a zoom is the close focus, a zoom is usually around 5 feet while a prime will be 1/2 to 1 foot. Also be prepared to spend a while or a lot finding anything wider than an 8mm lens. The 4.5 mm lens I own sticks so far out the back of the mount that it will only fit on my kodak k-100, any other camera the lens hits the shutter, the k-100 has the most clearance of any 16mm camera made. Besides trying to get a nice wide angle, it would benifit you more to get a zoom to cover a wide range rather than looking for a set to cover the range. Once you know the format and want a prime set, it would be best to buy a PL mount adapter and rent the lens that cost thousands of dollars to own.

I hope some of this was helpful, you've found the right path to beautiful images in 16mm, I suggest you invest in experience shooting rather than trying to get the perfect set together.
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#6 Nolan M Berbano

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 01:54 AM

Flavio,
I'm looking to sell my Bolex Rx-5 package soon. It is a regular 16mm camera but is in really good condition and recently serviced. I'll be posting it on the board soon if you would like to look at it. Best of luck with your film endeavor though and I hope you have some fun with it :)
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#7 Ian Cooper

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 03:01 AM

I get the impression from one of your previous posts that you're based in the Uk. If you're planning to get a Bolex EL S16 body, Beaulieu R16, plus lenses, then get Ultra 16 conversions, then you've got a reasonable budget.

A super-16 Bolex EL body is likely to cost around £1300+
The 100mmRX is likely to be another £200 or so.

You also intend to get an R16 (although this is effectively much the same camera as the electric Bolex EL), with the "usual" Angenieux zoom lens. Beaulieu R16s crop up on UK Ebay reasonably frequently, but if you mean the Angenieux 12-120mm when you mention "usual" zoom, then I think you'll find it is rather rare to find that on Uk R16s, they tend to have either some other prime lens, a CCTV zoom lens, or sometimes an Angenieux 17-70mm zoom. The price for the R16 is likely to be around £250-£300 or so (unless you're lucky), then the price for a 'C' mount Angenieux 12-120 is probably going to be around another £200-£250 or so.

The set of prime lenses you're talking about will also start to add up. The 5mm in particular won't come cheap and you'll have to be patient to find one! Unless you buy ready serviced from a dealer you'd also be advised to get both cameras serviced - another £200-£300 each. That may sound expensive, but wasting film with misalignment or scratches costs even more!

So far your budget is in the region of £1300+£200+£275+£250+£250+£250 = around £2500+
You haven't shot any film with that, haven't converted anything to U16, and still haven't got any of the prime lenses you're asking about. You'll have an S16 electric Bolex that shoots 100ft spools and an R16 Beaulieu that's otherwise much the same - neither will really allow you to easily record sound.


If you look on UK ebay at the moment there's an Arri 16BL listed with an Ang 12-120mm which keeps popping up from time to time and not selling. Bids starting at £650, buy-it-now at £800. I think it's accepted the BL can't be converted to super-16 and I'm not sure about ultra-16. You may find other 'issues' about getting repairs, it is a silent camera, although from the listing I'm not sure if that one is crystal sync.

Alternatively also listed on UK Ebay is an Eclair ACL which also appears from time to time without selling. This too comes with the Ang 12-120 zoom, is crystal sync (25fps) and silent. It's also a lot more compact than the Arri 16BL. Bids starting at £750. The ACL can be converted to both Super-16 (industry standard support available in UK and worldwide), and also Ultra-16 (no support in the UK I'm aware of, with limited support in the USA)

I don't know either seller and don't know the condition of either camera, usual buyer beware. But if you factor an additional £300 for a basic service then you might get a silent regular-16 magazine based production camera for £1000 less than you're currently planning for two daylight loading MOS cameras.

Les Bosher advertises a Super 16 conversion for the ACL for £600, still leaving you around £1000 to spend on test film! Converting to S16 does leave the lens problem (the 12-120 won't cover), but Les also advertises an Arri PL to Eclair ACL adapter for £380, thus opening up the prospect of renting an industry quality lens... and you'd still be saving money compared to your current plans. The "Complete-16" package from Fuji at the moment has 400ft of film including processing and rushes Tk for £140.

Even if you found the camera needed some attention and repairs, assuming you don't go mad with the purchase price then your budget still has room to get "more of a camera for your money". Clearly it has been covered in your other threads that a lot will depend on your intended use for the cameras as to which will best suit your plans, but usually a bolex or an R16 is thought of as cheaper than the alternatives.

Best of luck with your purchases which ever route you choose to follow.
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#8 flavio filho

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 02:06 PM

I get the impression from one of your previous posts that you're based in the Uk. If you're planning to get a Bolex EL S16 body, Beaulieu R16, plus lenses, then get Ultra 16 conversions, then you've got a reasonable budget.

A super-16 Bolex EL body is likely to cost around £1300+
The 100mmRX is likely to be another £200 or so.

You also intend to get an R16 (although this is effectively much the same camera as the electric Bolex EL), with the "usual" Angenieux zoom lens. Beaulieu R16s crop up on UK Ebay reasonably frequently, but if you mean the Angenieux 12-120mm when you mention "usual" zoom, then I think you'll find it is rather rare to find that on Uk R16s, they tend to have either some other prime lens, a CCTV zoom lens, or sometimes an Angenieux 17-70mm zoom. The price for the R16 is likely to be around £250-£300 or so (unless you're lucky), then the price for a 'C' mount Angenieux 12-120 is probably going to be around another £200-£250 or so.

The set of prime lenses you're talking about will also start to add up. The 5mm in particular won't come cheap and you'll have to be patient to find one! Unless you buy ready serviced from a dealer you'd also be advised to get both cameras serviced - another £200-£300 each. That may sound expensive, but wasting film with misalignment or scratches costs even more!

So far your budget is in the region of £1300+£200+£275+£250+£250+£250 = around £2500+
You haven't shot any film with that, haven't converted anything to U16, and still haven't got any of the prime lenses you're asking about. You'll have an S16 electric Bolex that shoots 100ft spools and an R16 Beaulieu that's otherwise much the same - neither will really allow you to easily record sound.


If you look on UK ebay at the moment there's an Arri 16BL listed with an Ang 12-120mm which keeps popping up from time to time and not selling. Bids starting at £650, buy-it-now at £800. I think it's accepted the BL can't be converted to super-16 and I'm not sure about ultra-16. You may find other 'issues' about getting repairs, it is a silent camera, although from the listing I'm not sure if that one is crystal sync.

Alternatively also listed on UK Ebay is an Eclair ACL which also appears from time to time without selling. This too comes with the Ang 12-120 zoom, is crystal sync (25fps) and silent. It's also a lot more compact than the Arri 16BL. Bids starting at £750. The ACL can be converted to both Super-16 (industry standard support available in UK and worldwide), and also Ultra-16 (no support in the UK I'm aware of, with limited support in the USA)

I don't know either seller and don't know the condition of either camera, usual buyer beware. But if you factor an additional £300 for a basic service then you might get a silent regular-16 magazine based production camera for £1000 less than you're currently planning for two daylight loading MOS cameras.

Les Bosher advertises a Super 16 conversion for the ACL for £600, still leaving you around £1000 to spend on test film! Converting to S16 does leave the lens problem (the 12-120 won't cover), but Les also advertises an Arri PL to Eclair ACL adapter for £380, thus opening up the prospect of renting an industry quality lens... and you'd still be saving money compared to your current plans. The "Complete-16" package from Fuji at the moment has 400ft of film including processing and rushes Tk for £140.

Even if you found the camera needed some attention and repairs, assuming you don't go mad with the purchase price then your budget still has room to get "more of a camera for your money". Clearly it has been covered in your other threads that a lot will depend on your intended use for the cameras as to which will best suit your plans, but usually a bolex or an R16 is thought of as cheaper than the alternatives.

Best of luck with your purchases which ever route you choose to follow.



Hi everybody.

Thanks a million for all your posts.

I forgot to mention... I'm actually making a TRADE of services for a Bolex with zoom lenses, and after, with another services, I'mm get the primes.
So, pretty much, I wont expend a penny for anything, except the postage.

Also, I didn't mention, I have a good background in still photography, so, lights are not a problem for me, but I know, of course, each camera has its capabilities of operation and yet, some are better than others
The reason I'm asking its because I'm really going for the Bolex. And the gentleman also has a Beaulieu, so I have a chance to get a lighter camera. And he has loads of prime lenses.

I know the 50mm and the 25mm ones are reasonable to get... I;m still thinking about the third one, and how can I have a decent set for both. I dont think its a good idea to get 2 50mm lenses, but as they are nice, maybe...

Resuming... My intention on this post, is to find a best deal for me, within what the guy has, so, any advice (and thanks for all you already posted) would be great.

I'm really going for the ultra 16mm conversion, as it's the only investment I will do, apart from the postage, its the conversion, as for me, the aspect ratio is magical, and I would feel better to invest in films that would have that feel and the pleasure to edit the footage.

Apart from that, any advice on the primes, would be great, so I can figure out my set and then, yes, start practicing.


Thanks a lot guys.
;)
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#9 Ian Cooper

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 03:11 PM

Ah, in that case things are rather different! Lol

...and if you've got a super-16 Bolex then you've got no need for any further conversions either.

The aperture of Super-16 is 7.5mm x 12.4mm, whilst ultra-16 is smaller at 6.23 x 11.8mm. Therefore, if you particularly like the look of the smaller frame from ultra-16 you can save your money and just get the lab to telecine/print a 6.2x11.8 section out of the larger S16 frame. The results will be the same and you can use pretty much any motion picture lab anywhere in the world to do it.

A google around seems to suggest the Bolex will weigh in around the 6lb mark, and I've just checked my own R16 and found that too is about 6lbs (compared to 20lbs for my NPR!!!). So the Beaulieu isn't likely to be any lighter weight than the Bolex. Having said that, I don't tend to turn down free cameras myself either!



All the best,
Ian.
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#10 Chris Elardo

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 03:13 PM

If you're going to convert to S16, then you need to be aware of the kern/switar lenses that can safely be used with the camera. The important thing is that the lens opens up to larger than f2. For a zoom, the POE4 16-100mm accomodates S16. For prime lenses, the standard set is 10mm, 25 or 26mm, and the 75mm. Try and get the newer preset models if available, but if you're lucky enough to see a 26mm kern preset it will cost you an arm and a leg. They are in high demand and considered the best of the kern line developed for Bolex and used for S16. It's a super-fast lens stopping up to f1.1
I hope this helps.
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#11 flavio filho

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 09:22 AM

If you're going to convert to S16, then you need to be aware of the kern/switar lenses that can safely be used with the camera. The important thing is that the lens opens up to larger than f2. For a zoom, the POE4 16-100mm accomodates S16. For prime lenses, the standard set is 10mm, 25 or 26mm, and the 75mm. Try and get the newer preset models if available, but if you're lucky enough to see a 26mm kern preset it will cost you an arm and a leg. They are in high demand and considered the best of the kern line developed for Bolex and used for S16. It's a super-fast lens stopping up to f1.1
I hope this helps.

Hi all.

Thansk for the answers so far.

Maybe I didnt explain myself right. I want to convert the camera to ULTRA 16. Not super 16

I've spoken with Bernie O'Doherty that clarified me a lot about what I should do. I'm getting two standard Bolex instead of Super I was initially. Nernie said soem lenses will cause problems...

Now I'm on the chase for the best prime lenses to have. Any tips help!

Thanks,

Flavio
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#12 kevin jackman

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 06:55 PM

the best and easiest to deal with will be the switar RX lenses. somebody mentioned that a non corrected lens needs to be f2 at the maximum, the reality that ive seen from friends shoots and read around is f2.8. that kind of sucks imho. the best of those is the preset lenses which you can buy in either single coating or multicoating. i have a spare 75mm that i will be selling if you are interested.
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#13 flavio filho

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 09:45 AM

the best and easiest to deal with will be the switar RX lenses. somebody mentioned that a non corrected lens needs to be f2 at the maximum, the reality that ive seen from friends shoots and read around is f2.8. that kind of sucks imho. the best of those is the preset lenses which you can buy in either single coating or multicoating. i have a spare 75mm that i will be selling if you are interested.



Hi, thanks for your answer.

You mean NON CORRECTED lens, referring to PRIME LENS or ZOOM lens?
If its prime lens you mean, that means the lens have to be corrected?

I'm looking at some Switars 25mm, 10mm (these are RX) and a 50mm (non RX).
This is probably the set I'll have. Let me know if would work fine in ULTRA 16 Bolex. And more about what you said of the f2 or f2.8...

Thanks!

Thanks!
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#14 flavio filho

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 10:01 AM

Actually, I reckon they will, They're all 1.4f or 1.6f...

Am only weondering about the ZOOM lens I'll also have... kern vario 16-100 RX POE.
Would that work well in a 16mm Bolex converted to ultra?

Thanks again...
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#15 kevin jackman

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 02:00 PM

from what i understand they all should work but i have concern with the 50mm. id get a reflex lens.
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