Jump to content


Photo

Best Bolex Conversions in the US


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 Steven Budden

Steven Budden
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 347 posts
  • Other
  • San Francisco

Posted 20 May 2005 - 11:44 AM

I've been from one end of the internet to the other, tossed back and forth on waves of indecision, inquired of most of the experts in the known universe for the answer to this question:

Who does the best Bolex conversion to Super in the US?

Please feel free to chime in here. I've been researching the heck out of it and mostly I only hear from people who saw Cameraspro's convincing website, or JKcamera's. Andrew Alden said to ask Tobin, who said he didn't have any personal experience with any of them either. The three US authorized Bolex people, Chambless, Procam, and... what's that other one... all send the camera to the factory for conversion at seemingly exorbitant prices. Please chime in here if you have experience with this. Who is the Les Bosher of the United States?

Hopefully we can solve this mystery once and for all.

Thanks,

Steven
San Francisco

Edited by Steven B, 20 May 2005 - 11:44 AM.

  • 0

#2 Steven Budden

Steven Budden
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 347 posts
  • Other
  • San Francisco

Posted 20 May 2005 - 12:19 PM

New info came to light just today! Procam in Arizona does a semi in house conversion, circa $1000 for an SBM (I guess they sub it out), and Chambless does one for about the same price, in house. JKcamera is about the same price as well, and includes a viewfinder upgrade, even on the 13x... I guess he bumps it up to 14? Cameraspro is slightly cheaper, and I've heard both good and bad.

Steven
  • 0

#3 Bruce McNaughton

Bruce McNaughton
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 114 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Melbourne Australia

Posted 24 May 2005 - 08:50 PM

Can't resist putting in a plug here, even though we are not in the US

http://www.design.arandafilm.com.au

There are links to our other services, 2/3 perf conversions, custom equipment design etc.

super 16 camera conversions

Bruce
  • 0

#4 Steven Budden

Steven Budden
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 347 posts
  • Other
  • San Francisco

Posted 25 May 2005 - 12:32 AM

Can't resist putting in a plug here, even though we are not in the US

http://www.design.arandafilm.com.au 

There are links to our other services, 2/3 perf conversions, custom equipment design etc.

super 16 camera conversions

Bruce

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Bruce,

Are the prices on the website somewhere?

Steven
  • 0

#5 Stephen Williams

Stephen Williams
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4708 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Europe

Posted 25 May 2005 - 03:20 AM

Can't resist putting in a plug here, even though we are not in the US

http://www.design.arandafilm.com.au 

There are links to our other services, 2/3 perf conversions, custom equipment design etc.

super 16 camera conversions

Bruce

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Bruce,

I see you have converted an Ultracam 35 to 2 Perf! could you give me more information? You better answer in 35 as this is off topic!

Stephen Williams Ultracam Owner

www.stephenw.com
  • 0

#6 Xandy Smith

Xandy Smith
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 12 posts
  • Other
  • Los Angeles

Posted 26 May 2005 - 11:41 PM

I converted my EBM at Cameraspro with Guy. He was extremely helpful, very friendly and ended up working extra hours for me. It was also $895, a tad cheaper than the prices mentioned so far. I've shot tons with it since and it all looks great. Nothing but good things to say for cameraspro. That's my 2 bits.
  • 0

#7 Guy

Guy

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 10 February 2006 - 09:35 PM

B)-->
QUOTE(Steven B @ May 20 2005, 08:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I've been from one end of the internet to the other, tossed back and forth on waves of indecision, inquired of most of the experts in the known universe for the answer to this question:

Who does the best Bolex conversion to Super in the US?

Please feel free to chime in here. I've been researching the heck out of it and mostly I only hear from people who saw Cameraspro's convincing website, or JKcamera's. Andrew Alden said to ask Tobin, who said he didn't have any personal experience with any of them either. The three US authorized Bolex people, Chambless, Procam, and... what's that other one... all send the camera to the factory for conversion at seemingly exorbitant prices. Please chime in here if you have experience with this. Who is the Les Bosher of the United States?

Hopefully we can solve this mystery once and for all.

Thanks,

Steven
San Francisco
[/quote]
  • 0

#8 Guy

Guy

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 10 February 2006 - 09:52 PM

B)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Steven B @ May 20 2005, 08:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->
I've been from one end of the internet to the other, tossed back and forth on waves of indecision, inquired of most of the experts in the known universe for the answer to this question:

Who does the best Bolex conversion to Super in the US?

Please feel free to chime in here. I've been researching the heck out of it and mostly I only hear from people who saw Cameraspro's convincing website, or JKcamera's. Andrew Alden said to ask Tobin, who said he didn't have any personal experience with any of them either. The three US authorized Bolex people, Chambless, Procam, and... what's that other one... all send the camera to the factory for conversion at seemingly exorbitant prices. Please chime in here if you have experience with this. Who is the Les Bosher of the United States?

Hopefully we can solve this mystery once and for all.

Thanks,

Steven
San Francisco


Hello

I am Guy from Cameraspro.
I can tell you that Chambless will send your camera to JK or to Bolex Switzweland. Chambless doesn't make the conversion inside his facilities, because he doesn't have any!
About my friend Dieter from Procam, he doesn't make any conversion at all. Or he send the Camera to Bolex Switzerland (High priced) or he send me (Cameraspro) the camera or the customer for conversion.
Dieter is the best Bolex technician in the US. Cameraspro is proud to work with him.
I also work for Visual Products (Important motion picture company) for Bolex conversion and for Sonny Miller (Who was one of the cameramen who shot the last James Bond movie with Pierce Brosnan. I converted all the cameras from his crew to Super 16 . They are all very happy with my work. I convert cameras from all over the world (Film makers and Universities). You can trust our work. We have the best price and the best work. I am also a DP/Film Director so, I can help young film makers to shoot their project.
Thanks a lot for your business and a special thanks to Xandy Smith for his kind posting!
Best regards
Guy Bodart
http://www.cameraspro.com
guy@cameaspro.com
  • 0

#9 Guy Danieli

Guy Danieli
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 16 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 07 July 2006 - 04:16 AM

CAMERASPRO is working with the best film makers in the US.
They have great price for conversion. And unlike Less Bosher, Cameraspro make a complete conversion!!!

B)-->
QUOTE(Steven B @ May 20 2005, 09:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I've been from one end of the internet to the other, tossed back and forth on waves of indecision, inquired of most of the experts in the known universe for the answer to this question:

Who does the best Bolex conversion to Super in the US?

Please feel free to chime in here. I've been researching the heck out of it and mostly I only hear from people who saw Cameraspro's convincing website, or JKcamera's. Andrew Alden said to ask Tobin, who said he didn't have any personal experience with any of them either. The three US authorized Bolex people, Chambless, Procam, and... what's that other one... all send the camera to the factory for conversion at seemingly exorbitant prices. Please chime in here if you have experience with this. Who is the Les Bosher of the United States?

Hopefully we can solve this mystery once and for all.

Thanks,

Steven
San Francisco
[/quote]


PROCAM doesn't make any conversion at all.
Procam send the cameras to Switzerland or to CAMERASPRO
Chambless have no technician and send the cameras to Switzerland or to JK
CAMERASPRO is the best one in the US. He works for almost all professionals, National Geographic etc...

B)-->
QUOTE(Steven B @ May 20 2005, 10:19 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

New info came to light just today! Procam in Arizona does a semi in house conversion, circa $1000 for an SBM (I guess they sub it out), and Chambless does one for about the same price, in house. JKcamera is about the same price as well, and includes a viewfinder upgrade, even on the 13x... I guess he bumps it up to 14? Cameraspro is slightly cheaper, and I've heard both good and bad.

Steven
[/quote]
  • 0

#10 Jaakko Kurhi

Jaakko Kurhi

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 08 April 2007 - 09:44 PM

Steven

Regarding your request for information about a quality Bolex conversion, I assume you are referring to all Bolex H16 Rex camera bodies, including all turret and bayonet-mount reflex cameras.

I have been modifying cameras and building post-production equipment for independent filmmakers and art schools for 48 years, and have an outstanding reputation. My work is done to specifications that ensure customer satisfaction, and I maintain that the best feedback is no feedback -- it means the buyer received the goods and is busy working with the product because it works fine.

And customer statements can be deceiving -- when evaluating a complicated product, it's hard to tell what you are missing unless you have a superior model. For example, that old Volkswagen worked fine and you couldn't ask for more, until you took that Porsche for a test drive.

I've inspected, repaired and reworked S16 conversions done by various companies. There aren't concrete specifications as to what must be done for a complete conversion; it's dependent on the capabilities and tools of the technician doing the work.

All converted cameras work, albeit in various capacities. One common problem I've encountered is in the viewfinder system, it's alignment and a lack of ground glass markings. All 10x viewfinders should be modified to 13x magnification for enhanced clarity and image details.

Some customers are happy with what they get. Other more discerning eyes would reject it. I've seen conversions done right, and those done by a primitive file-and-hammer operation. Let the buyer beware -- a conversion can literally make or break a camera.

Here's a quote from Cameraspro, on the cinematography.com forum "best bolex":
About my friend Dieter from Procam, he doesn?t make any conversions at all. Or he send the Camera to Bolex Switzerland (High priced) or he send me (Cameraspro) the camera or the customer for conversion".

I found this curious, so I called Dieter Schaefer, owner of Procam. He told me he has never sent a camera to cameraspro for conversion, and I know it to be true -- JK Camera, aka Meritex Inc. has done all his S16 conversions!

The best Bolex S16 work in the United States is done by JK Camera teamed with Procam. I do the conversion, Procam does a perfect repair job., and he has a complete parts inventory to back up his good work.

Chambless sends cameras to JK Camera or Switzerland, depending on customer preference.

Since early S16 conversions, US filmmakers required converted camera for dual use -- both 16mm and S16 -- and this created mechanical problems for turret cameras. JK converted cameras were supplied with an extra turret plate for S16 frame center. This concept has changed dramatically, US filmmakers are changing to S16 frame only. Now we can shift the turret holder so that an original turret lens mount is in center axis with S16 frame, and all three lens mounts are useable.
This is a good improvement, and the filmmaker can shoot with either the 16mm or S16 frame, with the only drawback being that the lens used must cover the S16 frame.

The reason I explained the above is that now US converted cameras are equal to those done in Switzerland.

JK Camera vs. Bolex Switzerland. S16 Conversion.
The biggest difference is the price. Mechanically, optically, workmanship and overall function of converted camera is the same whether it is done by JK Camera or Bolex Switzerland. The ground glass markings by JK Camera are said to be more desirable, but so far not I haven't had enough feedback to be sure.

I find a pressurepad change unnecessary, as the film does not buckle under the original pressurepad. The sprocket clearance machining is necessary, but if the sprockets are set correctly they do not require reworking for a wider shoulder to support the edge of the film.

While obviously there's going to be some bias, I truly think the JK Camera Bayonet mount and turret-camera conversions, coupled with the 10x viewfinder to13x viewfinder expansion, is the best Bolex conversion in the world, not only in the U.S.

Our business is modifying Bolex H-body cameras for various applications in the motion picture industry. We've converted over 2,000 Bolex H8 Rex 3 and Rex 4 cameras to Super 8 format, and close to 300 H16 Rex bodies, ranging from the Rex 3 to EL, to the Super 16 format. You won't find other companies with this much experience, and our customer satisfaction is testament to good engineering and craftsmanship.

Jaakko Kurhi - www.jkcamera.com
  • 0

#11 Guy Danieli

Guy Danieli
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 16 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 23 May 2007 - 08:36 AM

B)-->
QUOTE(Steven B @ May 20 2005, 10:19 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
New info came to light just today! Procam in Arizona does a semi in house conversion, circa $1000 for an SBM (I guess they sub it out), and Chambless does one for about the same price, in house. JKcamera is about the same price as well, and includes a viewfinder upgrade, even on the 13x... I guess he bumps it up to 14? Cameraspro is slightly cheaper, and I've heard both good and bad.

Steven[/quote]

Hi

You can heard good and bad from anybody, Procam, Du All, Chambless, JK and Cameraspro.

All I know that we are making a great job and + --80% of the Super 16mm made in the USA are made by CAMERASPRO.

Repair are always made by Dieter that I consider as a very good friend and the best Bolex technician in the US

I can tell you that CAMERASPRO was the first one to introduce the 3 lens mounts able to be used on Super 16mm. JK, at that time used only one lens mount to shoot super 16mm

We at CAMERASPRO, we are doing the same conversion that Bolex Switzerland made. The 3 lens turret are super 16mm . JK is right about the pressure plate. He doesn't have to be replaced But I saw one camera made by JK an I did not like the system that he is using to fix the ground glass onthe prism. Ilive in Las Vegas and a customer sent me a Super 16 made by JK because h had problem with ground glass. The problem was that the heat melted the black glue used by JK and the ground glass was not able to stay at the right place.

We work with all professinal for many years. I am a DP, Film Director you can find my name on the internete "Guy Bodart"

My first set was "Onve upon a time in the West" a Sergio Leone film, with Bronson, Fonda, Claudia Cardinale and Jason Robarts.

Tony Delli Colli was my mentor. He won and Oscar for "The life is beautiful"

It's to tell you that I know what a cameraman needs. And I van give it to him. Because it's my job. I am not only a technician. I am a cinematographer!

We work with Ducovery Chanell, Sonny Miller (Last James Bond movie with Pierce Brosnan), National Geographic and of course with pros and Cinema scholl all over the world. Why? Because we are the best to convert those cameras.

About my friend Dieter, I can assure you that he send me customers when they need Super 16mm. Just call him BOLEX-USA.COM I made his web site!). Or call Mike Casey from Visual product and you will see if I am right or not!

I want to thanks all my customers for their business!

Best regards
Guy Bodart
http://www.cameraspro.com
  • 0

#12 Guy Danieli

Guy Danieli
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 16 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 24 May 2007 - 10:14 AM

Dear Jaakko

I read your post with great interest. Iknow that you convert Super 16 Bolex cameras.
But what you do not know that I learned to do it with ARC a Belgian company that lauched Super 16mm conversion on the market .It was in the 70's. They were ( And myself) formed by the the gy who invented theSuper 16mm format. At that time, the US did not know about super 16mm conversion.

What you do not know either that Cameraspro was the first one to shift the complete turret assemby to use your 3 lens mounts in Super 16mm positin. At that time, you were only offering just one lens mount on Super 16mm position. On all those point we were and are in the first position.

Bolex doen't use a Super 16 marked groundglass but only the full super 16 frameare displays in the viewfinder. One other think, you do not need a 13x viewfinder to have a good result to shoot super 16mm.

A 10x viewfinder works very well if the job is well made.

Now, about Dieter from Procam, maybe he did not tell you the truth or you did not write the right think. Because he is sending me customers for super 16 conversions.

He is a very good technician .So, he made the repairs for us.

Same as Mike Casey from visual Products. It's a big professinal company.

Here are some email from Visual products

From: Mike Casey To: Guy Bodart Show All
Subject: S16 Bolex
Hi Guy,

Is the RX5 Finished and ready to go? If so please ship directly to the customer and let me know when it left.

Ship UPS Ground to :

Scott Bosworth
Garmin International
1200 E. 151st. St.
Olathe, KS 66062
913 397-8200

Best Regards,

Mike
From: Mike Casey To: Guy Bodart Show All
Subject: Re: Scott Bolex

Dear Guy,

We at Visual Products are very pleased with the work you have performed on all the cameras
we have sent you for Super 16 conversions. Your knowledge and expertise are a welcome
resource for Visual Products!

Please keep up the good work !

Best Regards,

Mike Casey
Sales Manager
Visual Products Inc.
440 647-4999

Here a customer from Japan
From: Norihiko Watanabe a.k.a. ???? To: Guy Bodart Show All
Subject: RE: Hello Nori
Hello, Guy.

Yes, your Bolex S16 conversion is working great for me.
I shot about 1000 ft with it since the S16 conversion and footage is crystal sharp.
Most importantly, the camera is still working great!!!
I am very much satisfied with your work.

As matter of fact, I am planning to have another bolex converted by you.

Nori Watanabe
215-12 Tsuruma Machida Tokyo 194-0004 Japan
Tel: +81 42 795 5741

Etc..etc.... etc...

I have hundreds of happy customers and almost all of them are real professionals

Thanks
Guy Bodart
http://www.cameraspro.com


Steven

Regarding your request for information about a quality Bolex conversion, I assume you are referring to all Bolex H16 Rex camera bodies, including all turret and bayonet-mount reflex cameras.

I have been modifying cameras and building post-production equipment for independent filmmakers and art schools for 48 years, and have an outstanding reputation. My work is done to specifications that ensure customer satisfaction, and I maintain that the best feedback is no feedback -- it means the buyer received the goods and is busy working with the product because it works fine.

And customer statements can be deceiving -- when evaluating a complicated product, it's hard to tell what you are missing unless you have a superior model. For example, that old Volkswagen worked fine and you couldn't ask for more, until you took that Porsche for a test drive.

I've inspected, repaired and reworked S16 conversions done by various companies. There aren't concrete specifications as to what must be done for a complete conversion; it's dependent on the capabilities and tools of the technician doing the work.

All converted cameras work, albeit in various capacities. One common problem I've encountered is in the viewfinder system, it's alignment and a lack of ground glass markings. All 10x viewfinders should be modified to 13x magnification for enhanced clarity and image details.

Some customers are happy with what they get. Other more discerning eyes would reject it. I've seen conversions done right, and those done by a primitive file-and-hammer operation. Let the buyer beware -- a conversion can literally make or break a camera.

Here's a quote from Cameraspro, on the cinematography.com forum "best bolex":
About my friend Dieter from Procam, he doesn?t make any conversions at all. Or he send the Camera to Bolex Switzerland (High priced) or he send me (Cameraspro) the camera or the customer for conversion".

I found this curious, so I called Dieter Schaefer, owner of Procam. He told me he has never sent a camera to cameraspro for conversion, and I know it to be true -- JK Camera, aka Meritex Inc. has done all his S16 conversions!

The best Bolex S16 work in the United States is done by JK Camera teamed with Procam. I do the conversion, Procam does a perfect repair job., and he has a complete parts inventory to back up his good work.

Chambless sends cameras to JK Camera or Switzerland, depending on customer preference.

Since early S16 conversions, US filmmakers required converted camera for dual use -- both 16mm and S16 -- and this created mechanical problems for turret cameras. JK converted cameras were supplied with an extra turret plate for S16 frame center. This concept has changed dramatically, US filmmakers are changing to S16 frame only. Now we can shift the turret holder so that an original turret lens mount is in center axis with S16 frame, and all three lens mounts are useable.
This is a good improvement, and the filmmaker can shoot with either the 16mm or S16 frame, with the only drawback being that the lens used must cover the S16 frame.

The reason I explained the above is that now US converted cameras are equal to those done in Switzerland.

JK Camera vs. Bolex Switzerland. S16 Conversion.
The biggest difference is the price. Mechanically, optically, workmanship and overall function of converted camera is the same whether it is done by JK Camera or Bolex Switzerland. The ground glass markings by JK Camera are said to be more desirable, but so far not I haven't had enough feedback to be sure.

I find a pressurepad change unnecessary, as the film does not buckle under the original pressurepad. The sprocket clearance machining is necessary, but if the sprockets are set correctly they do not require reworking for a wider shoulder to support the edge of the film.

While obviously there's going to be some bias, I truly think the JK Camera Bayonet mount and turret-camera conversions, coupled with the 10x viewfinder to13x viewfinder expansion, is the best Bolex conversion in the world, not only in the U.S.

Our business is modifying Bolex H-body cameras for various applications in the motion picture industry. We've converted over 2,000 Bolex H8 Rex 3 and Rex 4 cameras to Super 8 format, and close to 300 H16 Rex bodies, ranging from the Rex 3 to EL, to the Super 16 format. You won't find other companies with this much experience, and our customer satisfaction is testament to good engineering and craftsmanship.

Jaakko Kurhi - www.jkcamera.com


  • 0


Visual Products

Wooden Camera

Opal

The Slider

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Metropolis Post

Willys Widgets

CineTape

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Abel Cine

Tai Audio

CineLab

Glidecam

Paralinx LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Ritter Battery

rebotnix Technologies

Technodolly

Aerial Filmworks

FJS International, LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Opal

Willys Widgets

Tai Audio

Ritter Battery

Visual Products

Abel Cine

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Technodolly

The Slider

FJS International, LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Wooden Camera

Glidecam

Metropolis Post

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineTape

CineLab

Paralinx LLC