View Full Version : please help with Bolex H16!!
im looking at buying a bolex h16 rx5 camera for my first film camera but i dont know what i will be getting myself into. Im happy to pay for film and converting etc. but i want a full opporating camera without having to hunt down rare pieces or pay $$$$. The one im looking at doesnt come with any lenses or batteries so im wondering if they are easy to get my hands onto. Would i need an external mag also (i will only be working on short films at the time being) or anything else you can think of? hope you guys / someone can help!!!
03-21-2005, 11:57 AM
The Bolex H16 Rex is a nice little camera:
Regarding lenses: They are "c" mount and are fairly easy to find.
Batteries: as far as I know, the Bolex is a spring wound camera and needs no batteries
Extra mags: There are 400 mags available. They're not uncommon, but you don't find them everywhere. 100' runs around 2 and half minutes.
The Bolex is a noisy camera and non-sync, so shooting sound with one will be tough.
Places to buy:
Visual Products (http://www.visualproducts.com)
I don't know much about camera sales houses 'down under".
So the camera holds 100' internally? Does it record sound at all or do i need an external recording device? Thanks alot for your help.
03-22-2005, 10:19 AM
It does not record sound and is a non-sync camera which means it doesn't run at a constant speed. This will make it hard if not impossible to have sync dialogue longer for 10-15 seconds. You'll need some way to record sound, you can use a DAT, mini-disc or even a video camera. I love the Bolex, but it's was not built to do sound. You should really get a sync sound camera for dialogue. This said, you can make some great little films with a Bolex if you work within it's limitations like having little or no dialogue. It's a great learning tool because it makes you think visually which is what you should be doing anyway because film is a visual medium. The first rule of filmmaking is "Show, 'don't tell". Use visuals to replace dialogue as much as possible.
03-22-2005, 10:28 AM
Here's a good buy lux:
Thanks again Scott, your comments helped me alot. I have been discussing this camera with my dad and if it doesnt go for more then about $700usd, then he might get it for my 21st. Does that seem a reasonable price considering it doesnt have any lenses, film mag, camera handle, manual or case? Thanks also for the link Will. It seems to have it all. Now i have two cameras too think about!
03-23-2005, 10:08 AM
The Bolex on Ebay is a pretty good starter package. When I checked it was at $281 and I expect that price to at least triple before the dust settles. It could use a wide angle lens.
If you don't get it, here are some other cameras to consider:
Don't fixate on one camera too much. You may end up over paying.
03-23-2005, 10:46 AM
the CP16 is supposed to be one heck of a workhorse too.
Is the Paillard any good?
Paillard is a company name, not a specific camera model. Paillard made the Bolex h16.
Btw, did you get the h16?
I knew paillard had something to do with bolex but didn't know they made them. So paillard generally make decent cameras?
I didn't end up getting the h16 because dad and i decided that it was best i look around and really get to know what camera is best for me at this stage before rushing into a deal. It seems, just by looking on ebay, that there is a reasonable supply of cheap 16mm cameras around so rushing into buying one when i have little money (being a high school student as i am) didn't seem to be the right idea at this point in time. We also decided that with my budget and level of experience, it's best i buy a good cheap 3ccd video camera like the gs400 to gain experience without having to pay for film, processing and converting. I know experience with film is different to video in many ways but i want to become as confident with video as i can before i devote my soul to film.
Thanks alot everyone for your help. Even though i didn't end up buying a 16mm, i have learnt alot (as with many others im sure) which will help me in the near future.
03-27-2005, 11:37 AM
I think you made the right choice by deciding to get a DV camera first. Shooting film to learn the process of filmmaking is an expensive way to go. You can work out all your kinks in filmmaking before moving up to film.
Yea. I've got a decent 1ccd camera but the auto focus has been playing up (it doesn't have manual :(), alot of noise in the picture in low-light shots etc. so the gs400 will do me well. Once again, thanks for your help.
03-29-2005, 12:55 PM
Thought I would chime in here since I own several Bolexes including a Rex5. The Bolex Rex model uses c-mount lenses but only those made for the Rex since the reflex prism before the gate requires a longer focal length. Especially with lenses shorter than 50mm. They are labeled RX and usually they are expensive. I've seen a 25mm Rx Switar sell for between $100 and $200 on eBay. So it is best to get a camera with lenses already provided.
I also own two non-reflex Bolex M-16 models. These have a single lens mount instead of the turret. I use zoom lenses which have reflex finders with these cameras. The Bolex is not suitable for sound filming though you can get a crystal sync motor and blimp for it. It would be easier to get a sound sync camera like a CP-16 or Eclair NPR. The Bolex is best suited for special effects because of its ease of backwinding and variable shutter plus rock steady images. It is especially popular with stop motion animators. A popular children's show like "Bob the Builder" is filmed with a Super 16mm converted Bolex.