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Best bolex to convert to super 16?


William Simmons
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Hello,

 

(A summary of my questions are bullet pointed below the first paragraph)

 

I am looking at buying a Bolex with the purpose of doing a few short films and music videos over the next 12 months . This will also be the first 16mm film camera I own and I good starting point before I move on to a 16sr3 advanced. I have done my research on the camera and most answers say the SBM, EBM and Rex 4 and 5 models are the best to convert to super 16. However I feel I need to ask a more basic question on what people in this forum would suggest, as I can ask more direct questions and hopefully get more specific answers. I know the basic benefits of converting to Super 16, but I'm more interested in what bolex model people would suggest is the best for the job. I could spend between £1,200-£1,500 on the camera but obviously if a cheaper option is just as good that'd be fantastic. I have seen some super 16 SBM for around $2,999 so yes! So here are my questions in summary.

 

-What is the best model in my price range to buy to convert to super 16?

-This may sound stupid but I know the issues with the beamsplitter and the widening of the viewfinder with conversion, but can a PL mount be put on the camera without it having undergone the conversion, as have read and seen people putting Zeiss super speeds on these cameras.

- If the new faceplate reads bolex H super 16, what bolex model was that before the conversion (again may sound stupid).

 

I do have more questions on the topic, but once I get a reply I may ask more ahah.

 

I am hoping to do a project in late June this year so If anyone has any information they might think is helpful that would be much appreciated.

 

Many thanks,

 

Will

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Ideally, try to get a late model with the 13x viewfinder which will be either a late RX5 or SBM. The electric cameras are also good candidates. Cost to convert bayonet mount cameras are slightly less than turret cameras (less work).

 

If you're planning on using Zeiss super speeds at their full open aperture on the Bolex, you will be disappointed. When stopped down somewhat, results may be acceptable. Stick to Kern Switar RX type lenses for wide and normal focal lengths.

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Guest Glenn Brady

There are adapters available that allow the use of PL mount lenses on Bolex bayonet mount cameras. Bolex H Super 16 labelled cameras are factory-built Super 16 cameras.

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I modified all my Bolexes to super16. It is not really dificult, you don't have even to relocate the lensmount, just move the filmgate sideways (drilling and milling is involved of course).

I would go for a RX5 as you can have the turret lens-mount and shoot 400ft rolls if you have the electric motor and a mag. Otherwise the SBM with its much stronger lensmount and combined with ESM motor and mag also 400ft capable. I'm not so fond of my EL but of course you dont need the extra motor, but no springdrive mecanism either...

The RX4 is also good, only no 400ft capability, but much cheaper.

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Shifting the gate is a terrible idea! Like Arthur said, that's the film path! You're now making the film shift edgeways to sit at a different height from the sprockets and loop formers and spindles, among other potential issues.

 

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  • 8 months later...

Actually, in JK's DS8 conversions of Bolex H8RX, the new gate is slightly offset to match the new optical axis. It's not ideal but in this particular case it doesn't seem to cause any problems.

 

The best choice for a super16 conversion is a camera with a 13x viewfinder.

 

I still do super16 conversions here in Canada. You can contact me directly for more information.

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  • 9 months later...

Actually, in JK's DS8 conversions of Bolex H8RX, the new gate is slightly offset to match the new optical axis. It's not ideal but in this particular case it doesn't seem to cause any problems.

 

The best choice for a super16 conversion is a camera with a 13x viewfinder.

 

I still do super16 conversions here in Canada. You can contact me directly for more information.

 

Hello Jean-Louis, is it worth upgrading a standard Bolex h16 to Super 16?? I mean is it possible?

I recently bought one and I'm considering using other lenses with it.

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To determine if it's worth it, you have to look at the alternatives.

The Bolex H16 Reflex is probably the easiest camera to convert to super-16, hence the least expensive option.

Bolex lenses and accessories are commonplace.

When you say "I'm considering using other lenses with it." what exactly do you mean?

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You could convert a non-reflex Bolex to super-16 but there would be no way for you see exactly what you're framing.

Focusing would be done either on the ground glass or my measuring the distance to the subject.

I wouldn't bother converting a non-reflex camera unless you're making a crash-cam with a fixed wide angle lens.

The only positive thing about the non-reflex is that you don't specially designed lenses. Pretty much any lens will work.

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There are a number of rollers in the mag that must be turned down to avoid all chances of scratching the film stock.

Also two large rollers fit that inside the camera chamber must be turned down also.

If you're really serious, I have mags and motors for sale. The mags are not converted now of course but I can do it.

Contact me via the personal message feature for more info.

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  • 2 years later...

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