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Servicing Bell & Howell Filmo 8s now

Simon Wyss

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Hello, everyone!


Announcing professional technical service, repair, and maintenance of Bell & Howell 8mm film cameras


Early Filmo 8s have the spigot or clip-on type lens mount. Although almost a thing of the past these can be disassembled, cleaned, checked, dressed, lubricated, reassembled, and adjusted like anything else. Some bayonet mount lenses are more desirable than others, I can give advice. Adapters are around for the use of D-mount or C-mount thread optics. The lens mounting threads with turret models is no D mount but a slightly larger one plus flange focal distance is shorter. There are adapters to bridge this gap, too. Fall 1951 one-eye Filmo 8s got the D mount. From January 1st, 1957 on only D-mount models were sold.


All-metal made Filmo Eights can have a bright future when properly maintained. I know about the two or three weakish points in the design and have remedies. What regards the gear train these little cameras are champions!


Double-Eight film is available. Perforators are around for continued conversion of unperforated 16mm stocks. Nothing against the other brands—Bell & Howell Filmo 8s are unique in perfection.


I take models 127, 134, GB 605, lenses, and accessories. Due to the age and varying conditions I am not able to standardize a price. As a rule of thumb please acknowledge a minimum of two work hours. I grant a two years warranty on my work.



Film-Mechanik Simon Wyss

Rixheimer St. 35

4055 Basel



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  • 6 months later...

Hi Simon

Very good infos above.

I repaired and serviced many Eyemo and 16mm Filmos.

If the little BH 8s are as solid and well made as their big brothers, this could be a perfect 8mm camera. Im going to buy one on eBay. But not sure which one to choose. Can you give me some advice please? Need a simple one, no turret but 24 FPS and d- mount.


Thank you



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The 8s are very well made. Adjustable bearings, adjustable governor brake, a cleverly made film advance shuttle, active lateral film guidance, take-up friction that can be oiled.


I think it’s you who knows best what to choose. 24 fps you have with all models, the regular ones have the 8 to 32 speed range, called Companion. Sportsters run from 16 to 64. Caution: early Filmo 8s don’t have a single frame function. If you want a critical focuser you pick the turret version. Here the English made with D mounts are preferable. The American Aristocrat has different threads (also very short) and FFD. With an adapter, however, you can use those lenses on a D-mount camera. Elgeet made a range of adapters.

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  • 1 year later...
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Oh, no, that lens lacks an intermediary ring from a special thread* to the 134 turret thread. RMS is metric and Taylor, Taylor & Hobson or the American manufacturer wouldn’t use metric threads. Comat and Super Comat lenses are Cookes which leaves me a bit at loss about the Made in U. S. A. It is a normal lens for 8mm film cameras. May have been Wollensak to sub-treat this.


* 95/128" or 18,85 mm, 40 t. p. i., 60 degrees flank angle

Edited by Simon Wyss
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Hmmm interesting. So i guess I'm going to have trouble adapting these lenses without 3d printing some special adapter or rigging one up somehow. If only I could adapt them  to C or D mount I'd be home free. I got a few of these lenses with a couple Bell and Howell camera's I picked up cheap, but I suppose they must head back from whence they came.

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I have seen Angénieux lenses bearing that ring, Wollensak, and TTH. For your consideration, the Comat is a dialytic four-glass design, the Super Comat has five elements. In a way, big and heavy lenses contradict the Filmo-8 concept.

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