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Bolex P3

8mm 16mm

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#1 Hunter O'Shea

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 05:15 PM

I apologize if I'm posting in the wrong section but I've just received a mint Bolex p3 and I was hoping for some tips/information on using the camera. I see that it takes 25 ft reels of 16mm film and it's my understanding than it exposes one side (8mm) then it is flipped and the other side is exposed? Does this mean special processing instructions? Any sort of workflow insight would be appreciated.

Thanks!

- Hunter
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#2 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 08:06 PM

It takes Double 8, sometimes referred to as Normal 8 or Standard 8 film, not 16mm. Same width as 16mm but twice as many perfs.

 

There should be many threads in the archives here on this format, the precursor to Super 8.

 

The film typically comes in a 25 ft daylight spool, and is exposed once (on half the film's width), flipped and exposed again (on the other half). Then the lab processes it and cuts it down the middle to create a 50 ft length that is 8mm wide. The choice of film stocks are getting slim, but B&W reversal is most common, allowing you to simply project the processed film.

 

Your camera is a good one, Bolex made excellent Standard 8 cameras.


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#3 Hunter O'Shea

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 01:34 AM

Dom, you are the man! Thank you so much for taking the time to help me out. I'll be shooting some stuff soon and I'll post the results here.

Thanks again!

- Hunter
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#4 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 03:46 AM

While you could try and find a replacement battery for the internal exposure meter I'd recommend getting a light meter instead. I've used an old Selenium cell one made by Zeiss Ikon from the 50s with great results, but you can use a fancy new fangled one too. ;)

If you shoot at 18 fps the exposure time is about 1/40 sec - all that info should be in the manual. 18 fps is a good speed if you want to project your film, the best way to view it if you ask me. Bolex 18-5 for Standard 8 is a great projector.

I wouldn't bother with the zoom batteries unless you're really keen for a motorised zoom.

If you need a manual, the basic functions and threading are identical across all the Bolex "pocket" cameras - C8, B8, D8, P1 and 2. There's a P1 manual here:
http://www.apecity.c...m_reflex_p1.pdf

When you're first getting the hang of loading the film into the camera, do it in enough light to see what you're doing. After threading the film, run the camera with the door open and observe that the film is transporting correctly. It will only expose the first few layers on the spool. When you're familiar, you can load in more subdued light to try and get a little more out of the roll.

Have fun!
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