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Just received my Bolex H16, and I have a few questions


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#1 Vincent Aalbertsberg

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 01:01 PM

Hello,

 

I just received my bolex H16 non-reflex today (still no lens though hehe, still a week or two), and I have a few questions about it :

  • The first thing that bothers me a bit is that (although it sounds quite fine when empty), when I load it with test film provided by the seller (I don't know if it's actual film, it's all black, and some stuff is written on it with small holes), the speed seems to vary... Starts well, and then after a few seconds, it gets a little slower, or significantly slower and then up again at normal speed. Is there anything (I'm thinking oiling maybe) that could help with that ?

  • The second thing is about rewinding the motors, I'm pretty scared of breaking it (first day, so, you know), so when it gets a little hard, I stop, should I go further ?

  • Last thing, it seems like there is much more single perf film than double perf, and that it would be easier to have a single perf camera if I need to buy some out of date film for cheap... I've read everywhere that's it's pretty easy, even to do it alone, but no actual method, any one of you already did it/know a way to do it ?

I guess that's it for now (although I'm sure trouble is only starting)... If you have any advice on using this camera, it would be great as well,

thank you all,

Vincent.

 

PS : I am no film guy (yet), this is the first time I ever own or actually even touch a film camera.


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#2 Mark Dunn

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 01:37 PM

If the speed is not constant when running film, send it back because it will need an expensive overhaul. The winder should stop dead when fully wound so you're not tempted to overwind, if not  it too may need overhaul.

You can run either type of perf in the Bolex as it has a single-sided sprocket.


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#3 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 01:40 PM

Yep, Mark's right. Sounds like the camera does have a problem. It should run smooth as butter with film threaded. That actually requires MORE out of the spring then no film. So if you stress it and it has problems, then there is clearly something wrong. You can try adjusting the speed knob on the side to see if perhaps it's just related to that. I've seen that knob get all sorts of messed up and cause speed problems.
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#4 Vincent Aalbertsberg

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 02:22 PM

If the speed is not constant when running film, send it back because it will need an expensive overhaul. The winder should stop dead when fully wound so you're not tempted to overwind, if not  it too may need overhaul.

You can run either type of perf in the Bolex as it has a single-sided sprocket.

 

 

Yep, Mark's right. Sounds like the camera does have a problem. It should run smooth as butter with film threaded. That actually requires MORE out of the spring then no film. So if you stress it and it has problems, then there is clearly something wrong. You can try adjusting the speed knob on the side to see if perhaps it's just related to that. I've seen that knob get all sorts of messed up and cause speed problems.

 

Well that's unfortunate (I can't give it back, shipping costs + import tax I already paid would be more expensive than the camera)...  The thing is, I might be waay overcautious since I just got it... Since the first post, I already went a lot further than before with the winding stick, and it feels stronger (I'll have to try with film). Also, maybe the film is the problem, because at some point it got completely stuck, and manually removing the film from the camera actually immediately unblocked it (the film does have a few creases, I don't know if it can impact it, or maybe I just did not put it right). 

Also Tyler, I think you did not understand (or i didn't, which is more probable since english is not my native language), the thing is, without film it's super smooth, and with film it has problems. So maybe I did not wind it enough/the film's shape doesn't allow the camera to work fine/a little bit of both ? (I won't know until I try brand new film)

 

And Mark, are you sure about the single perf ? Because I read all over the place that they were originally double perf, and some were afterwards modified (and although I'm not familiar with this stuff, it really looks like it has two ranges of "teeth", one on each side of the sprocket...)


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#5 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 30 January 2016 - 02:38 PM

The film puts a lot of drag on the system, so you have to test it with film. If the film on the spool comes off smoothly and isn't getting stuck from sitting from a few decades, then you should be fine. If it doesn't come off smoothly, that could be your problem.

Yea, the very early H16's were double perf. Double perf film has been phased out over the last two decades. Kodak still makes a B&W reversal with double perf, but that's about it. All of the color negative stocks are single perf today. This is simply because there is no reason to use double perf anymore. The only reason to even produce the stock is for pre sound cameras, which had double perf's. Single perf is what you'd use for Super 16 and sound on film.

If you have sprockets on both sides of the pulleys, then yea you have a double perf camera. Unfortunately, there really isn't a lot of film made for double perf anymore. That's probably why someone sold the camera so cheaply, it's almost a dinosaur in the world of film. It's very easy to convert though, just need to send Bolex an e-mail or simply call them. They can ship you out a kit with sprockets.
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