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Bolex Reflex Focus Advice


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#1 David Cunningham

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 10:05 AM

Hi All,

 

I am very frustrated by the fact that I can never seem to get my focus right on my Bolex H16 Rex (1) with a Kern Switar 25mm RX... or really any lens.

 

This is a really big problem indoors when the viewfinder is just WAY too dark.  I can't see the image well enough to focus it.  

 

My focus is fantastic if I physically use a tape measure to measure the distance from subject to film plane mark.  But, I can't do that on the fly, bouncing around, primarily chasing my 20 month old son for home movies.

 

Any advice on dealing with this problem is greatly appreciated.  Are there add-on range finders, hand-held laser rangefinders, etc that I should try?  I am clearly NOT going to be able to use the reflex viewfinder for anything other than framing.

 

Thanks in advance... especially for offers to sell or links to purchase necessary equipment.

 

Dave


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#2 Jean-Louis Seguin

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 12:59 PM

Sounds like you have the first version reflex viewfinder which was very dim.

You can upgrade the viewfinder with a kit sold by JK Camera.

Or upgrade the whole camera to a newer model!

 

For on the fly shooting, you can use a wider lens such as a 10mm which has more depth of field.

Set it at the hyperfocal distance and you should have good focus over a wide range of distances.

 

Cheers,

Jean-Louis


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#3 David Cunningham

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 01:40 PM

Hi Jean-Louis,

 

Yeah, doing some googling I came to pretty much this same conclusion.  Now I'm on the fence.  Do I upgrade to another camera, do I upgrade this camera, do I upgrade to Ultra16 or Super 16 at the same time and, if so, which one.

 

Lots of decisions!

 

I'm leaning towards sending this in for an upgrade to Ultra16 (primarily for the reduced cost and lens compatibility).  What do you think?  I'm waiting for the people at super16inc to get back to me about whether than can do a 13x/14x upgrade.  They already quoted me a very good price for a U16 and GG Laserbrighten.  Now I'm asking if they can upgrade to 13x/14x as well.

 

Dave


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#4 Jean-Louis Seguin

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 08:14 PM

A real original 13x viewfinder is a completely different optical design, maximizing whatever light is available on the groundglass to create a much bigger and brighter image. It also has almost no distortion unlike previous versions.

 

My advice: I would upgrade to a better camera.

 

Jean-Louis


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#5 Chris Elardo

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 04:00 PM

If you really want to simply maximize your Rex 1, buy a PanCinor lens with the dog-leg or 90° viewfinder attached. You can adjust it to sit on the opposite side of the camera and ignore the dim Rex viewfinder completely. They're very nice optics, extremely bright and plentiful on ebay. I have a 17-70mm Pan Cinor zoom mounted on a non-reflex M-5 and it's a very good lens. I'd still listen to Jean-Louis and buy a better Rex5 or SBM for S16 conversion as well...

 

Chris


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#6 Richard Jura

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 05:26 PM

buy or print out a siemans star, I had one glued to the back of my grey card.

Rich

focus_chart.png


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#7 David Cunningham

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 07:50 AM

Thanks everyone!


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