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KOWA Primes for S16 Bolex EL?


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#1 John King

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 05:59 PM

I originally posted this in another thread, but looking again, saw the tread was a bit old (2008) so thought I might ought to post it fresh here. If I am mistaken in doing that my apologies in advance.

I am looking at buying a set of prime lenses for a Bolex EL (also converted to Super16) The set is described as super-fast with 1.4 apertures, made by KOWA and are fitted with PL mounts originally on an Eclair NPR.

Will these lenses work OK with the EL in Super16? Also, what adapters will I need for the mount or is the PL lock for the Eclair the same or similar to that of Bolex?

Here is the list of lenses:

KOWA Lenses fast lenses with 1.4 apertures

12.5mm
16mm
25mm

They are PL mount for Eclair NPR

Thanks in advance for all help and advice!
God Bless!!!

Mark King
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#2 Robert Ditto

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 06:12 PM

At the very least, you will need a PL mount to Bolex Bayonet mount adapter to use the lenses.

I cannot comment personally on the lenses themselbes though.

If the lenses are large enough glass to cover the gate, I dont see why they wouldn't work, assuming they are in good condition optically of course.

Sincerely, Respectfully,
Robert M. Ditto
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#3 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 07:40 PM

You can find PL to Bolex bayonet adapters, but they're not cheap. These guys, for example, have one for £275:

http://www.filmcamer...zoom_lenses.htm

I assume the Eclair the lenses came off was converted to PL mount, since originally the NPR came with C and Cameflex bayonet (CA) mounts.

From what I've seen of the Kowa primes they're pretty nice, comparable to 16mm Zeiss Super Speeds. The ones you're looking at all cover S16. There's also a 9mm which doesn't quite cover.
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#4 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 08:57 PM

Also worth noting that on a Bolex that has a reflex prism the Kowas won't perform optimally when used at wide apertures (around T2.8 and below), mainly a case of the prism introducing negative spherical aberration. As the other thread you posted in mentioned, the best lens options for reflex Bolexes are Rx Switar primes, designed to optically compensate for the prism. Stupidly expensive these days unfortunately, especially the Macro-Switars.

For a good explanation of the prism effect see:

http://www.city-net....olex/truth.html
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#5 John King

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 09:20 PM

Thanks to you both! You guys are the greatest!! Also please excuse my typo, the lenses are T1.3 (not 1.4~~ oops!) so yes, they are pretty fast. Yes it was reading that other thread that I became aware of the "prism problem" I had not idea! Back in 2008, I shot some footage on a Bolex EBM I have (also Super 16) with some "TV lenses" I got off ebay really cheap. Some of the fellows here were worried that the footage might come back a little on the soft side.

The footage came back to me pretty good though, much better than I was expecting, and in fact rendered a pretty good picture-- so I was prepared to use those lenses for a feature I was shooting (and actually still would) If I recall, I was using a 25mm or a 12.5 in the footage I shot. So I thought the Kowa's being faster lenses would do better, but again this prism problem worries me. I still want to try and find a set of the Kern Switar primes because they are basically Bolex "brand" (Kern-Palliard being parent company).

Will look into those mounts! Again thank you both so much!!

God Bless!!!

JMK
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#6 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 12:08 AM

KOWA Lenses fast lenses with 1.4 apertures

12.5mm
16mm
25mm

They are PL mount for Eclair NPR

Mark King


These sound like the set that was just on eBay, but with CA-1 (Cameflex) mount.

Cheers,
Gregg.
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#7 Michael Schroers

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 09:34 AM

How is the quality of the Kowa Cine PRIMES (for example the 1,1 / 25mm) compared to the Zeiss HS or the Kern lenses like the Kern Macro-Switar 1,1 / 26 mm ?

I'm not sure If I should use the Bolex EL with Switar 1,1/26 or the Arri SR with the Kowa Cine 1,1 /25 next week. What would you do ?

Michael
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