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Just Got Bolex H16 Rex5- What Am I Missing?

Scott Pickering

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Other then the lens for the camera itself, what am I missing to be able to use this camera with the motor drive it comes with? Do I really need a sync sound cable plugged in to use the motor on this thing? And where is the battery? I do know its missing the rollers for the inside of the camera to be able to use the 400 foot magazine. These rollers guide the film inside the camera when using the big magazine. What else do I need to buy so I can be off and running?



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One other question- if the battery is located in the motor itself, I'm assuming the charger supplied here will be usable? I tried plugging the charger into the motor and the needle on the meter didn't budge one bit. Also pressing the button on the motor release didn't activate the motor either. So could the battery in this thing be dead (assuming this thing has a battery)?

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Hi Scott,


Welcome to Team Bolex!


Hrrrm, looking at the surface corrosion of some of the external parts it looks like what might be missing is a good internal service, it's not trivial and may cost a bit relative to the cost of the machine, but there are still lots of techs about, a few here in the forum.


A TV zoom lens won't have the 'RX' correction to account for the prism on your boles, you'll get an image of course, but it won't be as sharp esp. wide.


My RX4 (non-magazine) has a set of primes only, not saying it's exclusive, it just feels a mechanically unsound having all that mass levered off not only a c-mount but the turret also - there are solutions, such as the locking plug thingy and a kind of rod based support, but the bayonet mount models are where I opt for zoom.

Edited by Chris Millar
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Chris- What will happen when I try to use the non RX lens on my camera? Will it be a viewfinder focus problem, or will the film itself be out of focus? I don't mind manually focussing a shot, but if it will be out of focus on the film- then I'll have to resell the lens.

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The prismatic focus displacement is a problem with focal lengths shorter than 50 mm and at apertures bigger than f/3.3. The exposure would be affected and you are misled by the viewfinder but to a different degree. Such a beast is the double-prism reflex system of Paillard-Bolex.


TV camera lenses are slightly different in their colour correction, i. e. to a narrower depth of residual longitudinal chromatic aberration. With film lenses that aberration is sometimes left matching the spacial arrangement of the different colour sensitive layers. You have about two to three hundreds of a millimeter or a thousandth of an inch of imaging layers total thickness. But beware, it depends on the individual lens design. The story becomes still more complicated with your reflex prism. I’d stay away from TV camera zooms and use RX marked lenses by Kern, Angénieux. Schneider, Berthiot. Not sure whether Rodenstock had made lenses for Bolex RX.


See also this.

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  • 1 month later...

Angenieux 12-120, preferably bolex specific, is a great lens for this and of course the Kern Switar Zooms. You need the roller as you already mentioned. That power supply is an easy re-cell you do not have to match the battery size just the voltage amperage.But really get that camera to a tech to clean and lube and adjust. You would be amazed at the little fragments of film and emulsion, dirt,grit etc that make it into the magazine. The worst I find is after 20 years grease has had much of it that has evaporated and what is left is a sticky light brown to red tar substance very dry and a major impediment to movement of the mechanism. I only work on Arris but I am shocked some of the stuff people sell on ebay and its bone dry and like a film garbage can inside.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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