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Bolex EL/EBM, quick Q's


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#1 Francis Elvans

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 07:45 PM

Hi,

I just have a couple of quick questions I hope you wouldn't mind helping me out with, Ive searched the forums and the internet but I cant quite find exactley what I'm looking for.

Can the Bolex EL be used hand held? If so does it accept a grip like the EBM or the older style pistol grip?

When it comes to operating the EBM and EL am I correct in understanding that you have to press and hold a trigger to run the film? That seems strange to me as how can one operate a tripod, focus the lens and zoom etc whilst depressing a button, is there really no simple switch?

I am after one of these two cameras is there a distinct advantage of one over the other (EBM/EL)?

Do you need a seperate battery for the EL, or is it built in?

Many thanks for all your help,

Francis
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#2 Chris Millar

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 08:13 PM

Hi,

I just have a couple of quick questions I hope you wouldn't mind helping me out with, Ive searched the forums and the internet but I cant quite find exactley what I'm looking for.

Can the Bolex EL be used hand held? If so does it accept a grip like the EBM or the older style pistol grip?

When it comes to operating the EBM and EL am I correct in understanding that you have to press and hold a trigger to run the film? That seems strange to me as how can one operate a tripod, focus the lens and zoom etc whilst depressing a button, is there really no simple switch?

I am after one of these two cameras is there a distinct advantage of one over the other (EBM/EL)?

Do you need a seperate battery for the EL, or is it built in?

Many thanks for all your help,

Francis




The EL has a newer 'older' style grip in fetching dark grey and black

You can latch the switch on permanently on the body or run it remotely by wire with both latching and momentary switches also

EL has more speeds available and a internal TTL averaging light meter

The EL needs an external battery, but there is a bolex made model that can attach itself to the film door making it essentially 'built in' - I think it came as the included DC source, so many cameras may come with one - if its still operational is the question

One of the best places for camera info turns out to be searching completed eBay listings - you'll find all this in there...

If you want an EL - I have a super16 for sale ;)
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#3 Jean-Louis Seguin

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 08:18 AM

Hi Francis,

The cameras have very different features.
The EL has single frame capability, motorized reverse operation and of course the built-in exposure meter. The EBM doesn't.
In terms of reliablility, the EBM is less prone to breaking down and if it ever does need repairs, will generally cost less to maintain than a EL.

Cheers,
Jean-Louis
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#4 Robert Lewis

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 12:40 PM

Hi Francis.

I think it is also worth mentioning that the EL will normally stop with the shutter closed. The EBM, on the other hand, does not have a mechanical shutter stop, and so the camera will often come to a stop with the shutter open or partly open. This causes "flash frames" and one then has to edit them out. If you are going project your films, it means that changing from one shot to another requires that you edit out the flash frames, otherwise you will not get a neat change from shot to the next.

I have also been told that the Mark II and Mark III ELs are better than the Mark I, but as to whether this is particularly so I have no personal knowledge and I have not come across any owner who has provided evidence of this. It may be, therefore, that it is simply a case of progressive improvement of the model.

You might also wish to bear in mind that both cameras can still be serviced by the maker, Bolex Internation SA, in Switzerland. The Company is a delight to deal with. Also, should you be thinking of converting to S16 format, I believe that the EBM is easier and may be cheaper to convert than the EL. This is less relevant, of course, if you intend to project your films, however. It might mean, though, that a non-converted camera would be obtainable at a price lower than you would have to pay for a converted one.

These points and others having been made, I have to say that I have both an EBM and an EL and I very much enjoy using both and,as an amateur cinematographer, I project my films. The flash frame issue, which I mention above, doesn't cause me to favour the EL over the EBM. They are both lovely cameras to work with and, frankly, I doubt whether you will be disappointed whichever camera you decide on.
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#5 Francis Elvans

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 05:22 PM

Chris, Jean-Louis and Robert,

Thankyou for your most informative responses and technical advice. Chris I am on the look out for an EL particularly after reading these responses, however I am still somewhat acquiring funds, I understand ebay has good bargains for this sort of thing quite often (though not without risk). If you are not in the UK I fear shipping would be un-economical towards the whole project.

I am glad to know these are good cameras and that one would prove a good investment for me as far as the development of my skill in cinematography.

Once again thanks for your help,

Francis
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