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Is this Bolex H-16 any good?


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#1 Per Christian L

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 08:01 PM

Hi! New member here.

 

I've been filming a lot of super-8 stuff and I really want to venture into the world of 16mm. I have looked around for a Bolex H-16 and I've found one locally that has a reasonable price (a little over 500USD) and the seller claims it is in good working condition. However I don't know much about these cameras and I know there is a lot of different ones out there (even though they all look pretty much the same to me). The seller also states that it's an H-16 reflex. I guess I'm just wondering if this looks good to you. How are the lenses on it? Is it old? Is it newer? Is there anything I should know about this specific model? Hope the pictures are good enough. It's the only ones I have.

 

03_471792002.jpg03_1121636476.jpg03_562165335.jpg03_951656515.jpg

 

Thanks!


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#2 Simon Wyss

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 12:21 AM

Per, that’s not a Reflex but the older standard model, before 1954 from what I see. You have a set of good lenses with it. I am certain that both camera and lenses need a thorough overhaul. If you bought the rackover device to it, you’d complete the outfit. With it you’ll be able to do close-up and macro work until the object touches the lens. Price is acceptable.

 

https://16mmadventur...user-manual.pdf


Edited by Simon Wyss, 02 August 2017 - 12:22 AM.

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#3 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 03:26 AM

For comparison sake, I got a 1970's vintage EBM which is a much more modern/electronic reflex Bolex for $400 bux.

Generally the one above will sell on ebay for $300 - $400 at most.
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#4 Per Christian L

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 05:04 AM

Thank you so much for the replies. This is good to know. The other one I've found locally is this:

27_798084007.jpg27_1086720869.jpg27_1264191569.jpg

 

Would that be a better choice? The price is about the same (a little cheaper than the first one). 


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#5 Simon Wyss

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 09:55 AM

Mechanics

The first camera has the initial claw drive, a 190 degrees shutter opening angle, and is a shaker. The shutter wasn’t balanced with the early models. The second camera, also a standard model, is younger, from 1956 to 1958. It’s got the swivel claw drive, a different lateral film guidance, and a 170 degrees balanced shutter. It also easily accepts the MC-17 electric motor.

 

Optics

You have the eye-level focus viewfinder system with both cameras. With the younger camera the Switar 25 mm, f/1.4 and the later series Switar 50 mm, f/1.4, both Planar variants made of six elements in four groups. These lenses were released in 1950 although the 25 mm Switar design goes back to 1943. Perhaps a matter of taste whether German or Swiss optics. Do ask the seller if there’s a side finder with it, it should be the Octameter that attaches to the lid.

 

Maintenance

Bolex International still services Paillard-Bolex products. There are independent technicians around the globe who will take care of your equipment, I am one of them. I can say that I’m  experienced with Kern-Paillard lenses and Paillard-Bolex apparatus. Personally, I’d vote for the younger model.


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#6 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 12:43 AM

The serial number can give you information about the model, a site like Bolex Collector is helpful with model information.

The older camera may only accept double perf film, which limits your film stock options, although the camera can be modified to accept single perf.

If you can wait for a reflex camera it will make life easier, but they are usually more expensive. Actually the lenses are often the expensive part nowadays, so a camera with lenses is almost always a better deal. Non-reflex is still useable, but you definitely need the door side viewfinder.
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#7 Per Christian L

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 08:12 AM

Thank you so much for the replies. I'm learning a ton!

 

Any comments on these? I know they are not REX but I got a good deal on one of those (380 pounds including a light meter). It has been tested and the seller assures that it works. Will I be fine with one of those?

 

k2s6NnR.jpg


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#8 Jean-Louis Seguin

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 08:41 AM

These two are RX.
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#9 Per Christian L

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 03:18 PM

Oh really? So would it be safe to assume that those last ones would be a better choice than the two I posted earlier?

 

Thanks for all the help!


Edited by Per Christian L, 06 August 2017 - 03:18 PM.

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#10 Jean-Louis Seguin

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 03:23 PM

Definitely easier to work with a Reflex camera.
Having 3 prime lenses is a plus.
Check if the 16mm and 25mm lenses are marked H16RX. This is preferred.
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#11 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 04:00 PM

Make sure you get the winding handle, one of those cameras is missing one.
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