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Bolex RX4 - Vario Switar 86EE (18mm-86mm f/2.5) Zoom Lens

David Nethery

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I've been given an opportunity to consider purchasing a Bolex RX4 with Vario Switar 86EE (18mm-86mm f/2.5) Zoom Lens. I'm being allowed to consider the purchase by testing the camera first, since the seller is local . (this is from someone selling their husband's equipment , but she knows nothing how it works. )


I've used a Bolex before , but never with the Kern Vario Switar 86 EE (18mm-86mm f/2.5) Zoom Lens. It's the zoom lens that is puzzling me.



I've ordered some film to run through the camera (which looks and sounds like it's in good shape) , but I'm puzzled by the Vario Switar 86EE (18mm-86mm f/2.5) Zoom Lens. From what I can read about it this has an EE meter powered by one PX13 1.35v battery , the modern equivalent of which is Wein Cell MBR625 1.35v zinc air battery.



I've already put a fresh Wein Cell MBR625 1.35v battery into the chamber of the Vario Switar 86EE (18mm-86mm f/2.5) Zoom Lens, but I can't tell if it is working or not. Is there any way to test if the battery is working ? If I set the ASA and the film running speed (24fps) with the longer , small barrel under the lens should I be seeing some change in the viewfinder when I move the camera from a light to a dark area ? I don't see any moving needle with f stop indications in the viewfinder. How do I know if it is working ?


If the EE automatic diaphragm control with a cadmium sulphide photo resistor is DEAD can I just use an external meter and set the f stop manually on the Vario Switar 86EE (18mm-86mm f/2.5) Zoom Lens ?




Does anyone know where I could download the manual for the Vario Switar 86EE (18mm-86mm f/2.5) Zoom Lens ?









Edited by David Nethery
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The seller found a copy of the user manual for the Vario Switar 86EE 18mm-86mm f/2.5 Zoom Lens , so now I've got that.


The reason the auto exposure did not appear to be responding is because it was set to manual exposure mode the whole time . The second smaller barrel (the galvanometer) to the right of the lens has to be pulled out and rotated to the correct position to engage the auto diaphram. When in auto mode you can then observe the needle move up and down the f-stop scale on the galvanometer which shows that the lens is responding to different lighting conditions . There is no f-stop scale seen through the viewfinder. The only indication in the viewfinder that the lens is opening up or closing down is that the viewfinder becomes visibly dimmer when the lens is pointed at a bright area (and it stops down to f/11 or f/16) , then moving it to dimmer area the viewfinder brightens somewhat as it opens up to f/4 or f/2.5



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  • 9 years later...

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