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Whats your Favorite H16/h8 tip


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#1 andrew parrish

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 11:40 AM

After Years of fooling around with thrift store super 8 and HDV cams, wrestling over what intermediate's camera to buy, I finally took the plunge, and bought a H8 rex 4. The film stock is in the mail, and I am getting ready for my first shots. Apart from the obvious stuff, what bolex tricks did you learn that nobody told you about? Thanks for looking, and hopefully making my " first time " a good experiance.

AP



ps

Apart from the camera, my kit bag includes; kern pallard 8-40, a c-mount adapter, SMC Super Takumars in 50mm, 105mm, 135mm, and 200mm, canon .6 adapter, a westron master 2 light meter, A manfrotto 190 with a 200 head, bolex matte box, ND's and pols, etc
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#2 Simon Wyss

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 12:14 PM

I have learnt that the mounting of the sideways acting prism consists of cork wedges. After so and so many years there’s chance that the prism comes loose a little. Not that focusing will become uncertain but you get an oblique view of the ground surface. A very good investment will be a new 13× enlarging eyepiece like it is built into the still manufactured Bolex SBM and EL cameras. Ask Bolex.
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#3 Chris Millar

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 01:11 PM

noseoil.

It's in the older manuals, but not many people believe it. - rub your finger on your oily nose, then onto the pressure pad at the top of every roll...

As for not in the manual - hmmmm - ok, pre focus two or three of your lens on the turret on an object, then try rotating the turret while the camera is running, instant wipe edit and a nice push in or out zoom effect.


I have an RX4, an older one (steel gate) - it's got a newer 13x finder though... for what it's worth, it's cork supports for the periscope prism are fine.
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#4 andrew parrish

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 02:06 PM

[quote name='Chris Millar' timestamp='1316542270' post='358134']
noseoil.

It's in the older manuals, but not many people believe it. - rub your finger on your oily nose, then onto the pressure pad at the top of every roll...

As for not in the manual - hmmmm - ok, pre focus two or three of your lens on the turret on an object, then try rotating the turret while the camera is running, instant wipe edit and a nice push in or out zoom effect.


I have an RX4, an older one (steel gate) - it's got a newer 13x finder though... for what it's worth, it's cork supports for the periscope prism are fine.
[/quote The noseoil thing is funny, because it is the only trick that I know, and was going to use it as example, I didn't though, because I thought that it might be a newbie snipe hunt. I am now a believer, and will add it to my pre shot check list.
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#5 Roger Gerbig

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 03:47 PM

I made a decision similiar to yours when my last "good" Super-8 camera finally stopped working. Rather than buy multiple cameras on eBay looking for one that worked, or paying Bolex-size dollars for a semi-pro refurbished S8 cam, I decided to actually buy a Bolex H16 SB instead.

Since I'm one of those bizarre people who like to project, I've been shooting E100D exclusively. Great film, but its speed (actually exposed at iso 64 to accomodate the narrower shutter angle and prism) on a sunny day is a recipe for ND filters and f-stops smaller than f11. This makes the reflex viewfinder extremely dark, especially when your eyes are adjusted to daylight. Following action can be a challenge. The solution seems counter-intuitive - use the octometer (side viewfinder) when the action/brightness warrants it.

Also, carry a flathead jewellers screwdriver just in case... I had the winding crank knob come loose early one afternoon. Being on a screwdriver-free boat on Lake Michigan made for a long afternoon. Had to wind using the crank's shaft. Slow!
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#6 Philip Nasadowski

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 07:48 PM

I learned how to make a changing bag out of a Carhartt sweatjacket:

1) Zip it up fully
2) Put camera and film box in, with the zipper (front) of the jacket down
3) fold bottom over few times
4) Fold hoodie over.
5) Insert arms through sleaves and do your unloading.

Learned it from an old Time/Life book on photography...

Oh, Bolex tips? Always rewind the camera before loading. It's not obvious until it dies 1/2way through loading :(

Also, be sure you know if your footage counter is in meters or feet. Guess how I found out mine's in meters? :(
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#7 andrew parrish

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 04:48 PM

These are all very cool tips, guys. Thank you so much. I shot my first 1/2 roll, and tried out many of these, and I like them. I remembered to wide it up, but forgot to reset the foot counter. ( 13 shots, 6seconds a piece-Duh)

The octometer is interesting. I was also thinking it might be useful as a spotting scope when shooting surfing with extreme tele.



Apart from the foot counter, the only other problems ( before the film comes back, anyways) is that with my c-mount adapter attached, the aperture scale is directly face down, and a pain to read, and I need to get a real camera journal, because the note taking has gone to a whole 'nother level. and my tripod head ( maybe tripod) isn't going to stand up to telephoto.

Thanks

Andrew
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#8 Joe Zakko

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 06:35 PM

Be a light leak nazi. Make sure the filter holder is always in place, tape up the door, make sure that you're covering up the viewfinder completely with your eye and if you can't, switch the viewfinder shut (not sure if all bolexes have that option). Light leaks are awesome the first couple of rolls, then you realize it's incredibly distracting. Also, this applies for any film camera, always reshoot the last shot you did before the roll ran out. One last thing, always remember to plan around the 30 second time limit. You're not shooting the next russian ark on your bolex.

Edited by Joe Zakko, 18 October 2011 - 06:36 PM.

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#9 andrew parrish

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 11:30 AM

I am definitely going to have to make a check list with all these things on it. Thanks for the new tips Joe. My h8 does have a closer for the viewfinder. Also, my eyecup is one that I scavenged off an old zm2008. I'm know thinking that I should pop the $30 and get the elliptical one.

I shot my first action stuff Whit it, and it was boarderline overwhelming compared to my super 8s. Very cool, though. It just re-enforces that I need to keep a Camera Log, at least at first.

Thanks Guys,

Andrew
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#10 Jeremy Rumas

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 01:40 PM

hey Andrew, I see you might shoot some surfing. I shoot surfing with an H16 Bolex and a few different telephoto lenses, 75mm, 150mm, and a 300mm. Though I don't use an octometer, I think it'd be a really good idea for spotting a surfer. Especially when a lineup is crowded, and you have your lens stopped down, it can be really hard to pick out the surfer(s) you are trying to shoot. I recently told myself I need to get an octometer again because of this, I think it'd help out a lot.

A proper eye cup is a good idea. One thing I do now when shooting surfing out under bright sunlight is drape a thick dark shirt over my head and camera body, blocking out a lot of light. This really helps with seeing through my viewfinder. I was surprised how much more I could see when I did this.

Binoculars are helpful. Especially if you have a friend standing with you who can help you spot the surfers you are shooting. As soon as they see your guy paddling for a wave, they call it out and you hit the trigger.

I personally don't have time to tape up the door after putting a new roll in, and I haven't noticed any light leaks from that. I do keep my filter holder taped over though, and I always have some gaffers tape with me for who knows what...

Changing bag for when you have time for it or really need it due to critical shot at end of roll.

The nose grease tip...it seems to work. I do it. Learned of it on this forum.

For outdoors, always carry a rain cover for your camera, and a lightweight poncho or even umbrella. It really sucks when you forget to pack these and it starts to rain!

If you're handy, carefully take apart your viewfinder and clean it...I did this with mine and it helped immensely with seeing through. A lot of dust and debris accumulates in there.

I've posted a bunch of still frames from my footage here if you'd like to take a look:

www.hangsuponnothing.blogspot.com


Chris, that turret wipe technique sounds awesome, never thought of that.

Edited by Jeremy Rumas, 20 October 2011 - 01:42 PM.

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#11 andrew parrish

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 11:42 PM

Thanks for the Input Jeremy. I live in Vancouver, and the rain tips a much apreciated ( I dig through new electronics looking for silica packets like a kid going through a box of frosted flakes looking for the prize). I think that the octmeter is going to go on " the list" ( Along with a good fluid head) I am driving the PCH for a couple of months this spring, and my goal is to get my equiptment sorted by then.

BTW, I loved your blog, and I am stoked to see the movie. I love many genras, but it was surf flicks that first inspired me to start shooting film. I am guessing by the quality of the stills, format, surf and surfers that this project is going to be get a dvd release? ( sorry if this is in the blog some where- I am have the bad habit of skimming first, and reading later)

With the amount of Surfers and Skaters on this site, I thing we should lobby for our own forum.
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#12 Jeremy Rumas

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 11:11 AM

Thanks for the Input Jeremy. I live in Vancouver, and the rain tips a much apreciated ( I dig through new electronics looking for silica packets like a kid going through a box of frosted flakes looking for the prize). I think that the octmeter is going to go on " the list" ( Along with a good fluid head) I am driving the PCH for a couple of months this spring, and my goal is to get my equiptment sorted by then.

BTW, I loved your blog, and I am stoked to see the movie. I love many genras, but it was surf flicks that first inspired me to start shooting film. I am guessing by the quality of the stills, format, surf and surfers that this project is going to be get a dvd release? ( sorry if this is in the blog some where- I am have the bad habit of skimming first, and reading later)

With the amount of Surfers and Skaters on this site, I thing we should lobby for our own forum.


I didn't realize there were a bunch of other skaters and surfers on here actually...that's cool to know though. For me it was a friend showing me Jack Johnson's The September Sessions that got me to buy a Bolex and shoot film again. That was mostly shot with Bolex, I'm not sure about the water shots though. I just thought the look of the footage fit surfing so perfectly. Thanks for the good words about my project. Yeah, I'd like to get this project out there one way or another.

Sounds like you have a good plan. A solid tripod with a good head is really important, that's where you should probably spend what it takes to get a good one that will last.
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#13 andrew parrish

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 01:22 PM

Hey Jeremy,

when you shoot back lit waves, do you use a hard line ND grad? I was wondering how well it works in the real world.

Cheers,

AP
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#14 Jeremy Rumas

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 02:01 AM

Hey Jeremy,

when you shoot back lit waves, do you use a hard line ND grad? I was wondering how well it works in the real world.

Cheers,

AP


Nope, I've never used one, sounds like an interesting idea though. I've been surprised by how much latitude film has in these situations. Here's what I do. For a light meter, all I use is an old beat up Sekonic incident meter like this one:
sekonic meter

I used to use a spot meter also, but this is all I use now. Since sometimes or often the light hitting a surfer or lineup is different than the light falling where I'm standing, I have to do some mental estimations, or walk around a bit and take a few measurements of light. It works though.

For shooting in back lit conditions, I'll take a light meter reading with the meter facing the surfer/sun, and a second reading with the meter faced the opposite way 180 degrees(face of the meter in shadow). Go halfway between those two readings for where you set your aperture. Lean toward one reading or the other depending on what is more important in your shot: seeing the surfer and face of the wave/inside the barrel, or the surrounding composition.

I usually lean toward getting a better exposure on the face of the wave/surfer, sometimes only using that second meter reading. That's where your eye goes when watching the footage.
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#15 aapo lettinen

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 05:29 AM

my bolexes (H16RX-0, H16) are quite unsteady when filming in low temperatures (under about -15 Celcius)
I usually wind the raw film to opposite direction (emulsion out, A-wind, perfs towards camera) to the reels, never had any problems w. the cameras when using these reels and the image is rock steady even at -30 C or lower :)
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#16 andrew parrish

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 09:47 PM

Nope, I've never used one, sounds like an interesting idea though. I've been surprised by how much latitude film has in these situations. Here's what I do. For a light meter, all I use is an old beat up Sekonic incident meter like this one:
sekonic meter

I used to use a spot meter also, but this is all I use now. Since sometimes or often the light hitting a surfer or lineup is different than the light falling where I'm standing, I have to do some mental estimations, or walk around a bit and take a few measurements of light. It works though.

For shooting in back lit conditions, I'll take a light meter reading with the meter facing the surfer/sun, and a second reading with the meter faced the opposite way 180 degrees(face of the meter in shadow). Go halfway between those two readings for where you set your aperture. Lean toward one reading or the other depending on what is more important in your shot: seeing the surfer and face of the wave/inside the barrel, or the surrounding composition.

I usually lean toward getting a better exposure on the face of the wave/surfer, sometimes only using that second meter reading. That's where your eye goes when watching the footage.




Wow! Thanks for the great insight. It sounds like the system that you use is past the line where tools and technique blur into art. If you are shooting in BC, and need a flunkly, PM me. I am sure you will like the price.

Thanks,

Andrew

Edited by andrew parrish, 30 October 2011 - 09:48 PM.

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#17 Jeremy Rumas

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 03:43 PM

Wow! Thanks for the great insight. It sounds like the system that you use is past the line where tools and technique blur into art. If you are shooting in BC, and need a flunkly, PM me. I am sure you will like the price.

Thanks,

Andrew


Well, hope that helps out Andrew. Good luck shooting. Don't know when I'd be in BC again, but thanks bro!
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#18 andrew parrish

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 12:31 PM

Here's A good one Jean-Louis just gave me, and I will share, about how much weight the turret can take:

One very general rule-of-thumb for turret cameras like the Bolex is to grasp the rear mount with your fingertips and if you can't hold the lens horizontal, then it probably needs additional support.
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