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I have a Big Dilemma ....

Guest Fred

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Guest Fred

Hello fellows....I have a big dilemma...


I am a video man (nature area and some fictions projects)...I like a lot the film but for me the video is more easy for to do...and very cheap....


A friend is offering to me a 16mm camera; this is a Bolex EBM with a a 16-100mm f/1.9 Kern Vario-Switar and an aditional objetive PAN CINOR (I dont know yet it specification). The camera is in working conditions and looks very well (he sent a pic to me); The camera cames with a 400 ft magazine, a tripod with dolly (my friend says it's a sturdy and good tripod), a exposure meter Spectra Professional (I don' know the tripod brand and the exposure meter model, in some hours he will send me the list with all details....) and a hardcase....


He is selling the whole package in about US$ 700.00 (well really is a little less than that :unsure: ) 'cause nobody here use 16 mm etc....etc.... I believe (i am not 100% sure) the price is excellent.....


Until today in the morning I never thought in to buy a 16mm camera..... "She" looks sexy and.... :unsure:


What to do? ...... :huh:



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You may want to be a bit cautious, we bought an EBM last year that seemed just too good to be true, and sure enough, it was. We finally ended up throwing the camera body in the trash after selling the door and viewfinder. Ours had an intermittant shutter bounce, something totally missed when we had it serviced at a reputable New York motion picture camera house. We lost two thousand feet of film, ruined by the shutter problem, and when we tried to get the camera fixed, it was going to cost $1800 to send it back to Bolex in Switzerland, and $100/hr to have one of two different places here in the States "try" to fix it. And I emphasize "try" because they said that they would have to tear the camera completely apart and then would try one idea, then put the whole camera back together again and see if it fixed it (no guarentee by the way) and if it didn't, they would take it all apart again and try something else. Each time they took it all apart and put it all back together again was going to be about $800. And our EBM looked to be in immaculate shape when we bought it. Unfortunately, it wasn't.


People are drawn in by the low initial cost, but we ended up losing over $3000 trying to use that camera to shoot a short motion picture. As they always say, Buyer Beware.


-Tim Carroll

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Guest Fred

Hello Tim... Thanks for the useful info. In this case, looks like I am the only buyer around for this camera, he is not hurry and I have the option for test it, so think I will shot 100' of film for to assure that the camera works well...


I am not sure if I will to film to much 'cause it's expensive for me...I would like that but.....In any case, if I find that this camera is a real bargain, I will buy it for to make one or two short works...If I can continue it will be great...If not, I will resale the camera in the States.....


Lastnight I talked with the camera salesman (we live in different cities) and he inform to me that the bundle is conformed by the following items:


A Bolex EBM camera with a 16-100mm f/1.9 Kern Vario-Switar

One Pan-Cinor 17-85mm zoom with adapter

Two Spectra Professional lightmeters (working)

A 400' Magazine

A black bag for to load the film (I don't know the name of this)

A tripod...The tripod brand is Bilora....(looks like a toy :( ) ...I was waiting for a Miller, Bogen, Sachtler, o similar :P ...well nothing is perfect

and a Hardcase....


IMPORTANT: I never had a 16mm camera in my hands (I just shooted some Super 8 long time ago) so if I can get any info about what and how to test it I will appreciate that...


What kind of film is better for to test? B&W or color? Slow or fast? I think that if I shot outside and make some takes....a pan...zoom in zoom out...etc it will be enough for to know if the camera works...Is that right?





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The cheapest way is probably to shoot some colour or B/W reversal and project the camera original - do you have a 16mm projector? if not they ar pretty cheap to pick up (well they are in Europe)


By shooting reversal, you will get exactly what you have shot and will test your exposure too as colour reversal tends to be fairly unforgiving if you get it wrong.


You could try shooting some still slides first as this is very similar, and then shoot 100ft through the Bolex.



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Guest Fred

Peter and Matt:


Yes, for me is very easy to find a 16mm projector. Thanks for the lens and the use revearsal film tips. Is necessary to test the camera in interiors and exteriors? Or is enough if I make a controlled test in interiors? I preffer to make just in interiors 'cause the camera has no batteries and I do not wan to to buy one at this moment...


I knew that the 400' magazine has a motor. How can I do for to test that and for to know that it works in a correct way?


Well I must to recognize that I am excited with this camera....hehehehehe.....I receive a pair of pictures and it looks cool ...I guess.......and the best of all is that camera price looks extraordinary..... :rolleyes:


By the way: how must to be the sound of the EBM camera motor when running? Is there around some like a BOLEX sound library that shows typical problems that can be recognized for sound of the motor?


Thanks again for the info


By the way 2: If anyone here wants to see the camera pics, just let me know...I would like to have opinions about the external look of this camera....





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