This is a Bolex EL MK III ("Mark 3"). It's the best Bolex 16mm camera ever made, and I'm selling a complete package. Price is $13,500.
In 2013, I sent it to the Bolex factory for servicing and to have it converted to Super 16. It can now be switched between 16 and Super 16 by user. The camera has extremely good registration and no gate weave. It includes everything pictured EXCEPT the Arri/Zeiss PL-mount lens. The PL adapter is included. I cannot adequately emphasize how important it is that camera was serviced by factory. There are many people who claim to know how to properly service these cameras. My experience has been that most just throw improper lubricants into a camera and send it on its way without cleaning out sticky, caked old lubricants or undertaking numerous adjustments that are typically necessary to return a camera to proper functioning. The fact that this camera was factory serviced is huge.
- The small black battery pack that attaches to the film door was recelled in 2013 and has a capacity of 1.4ah. If you want, you can re-cell it with NiMH cells and increase the capacity more. Cells are good. I have completed about four charge/discharge cycles in the past week and the capacity is good. Bolex says 6 x 100' with one charge.
- The silver shoulder battery pack is a great backup or primary battery. It was re-celled 5/14/22. One XLR charger is 12v, the other is 13.5v. The 13.5v charge is typically used. Battery pack capacity is 4.3ah.
- The grey flat battery pack is new old stock. It must be re-celled. I never saw any reason to do that. The cells for the silver shoulder pack are available at just about any big box store. That makes it much easier and cheaper to re-cell.
- Aspherion and macro adapter are included, along with zoom lens with front and back caps. There is a bayonet c-mount adapter which doubles as a body cap.
- The Series 9 flters are all brand new. The only one that has been used is UV - that's on the zoom lens (but not shown in the lens picture). I paid $720 for that set of filters!
- Bolex intervalometer works properly. I never got around making a time-lapse film of a plant growing.
- Pelican is included. You can take the zoom lens off and stow in in the little cutout if you want to carry the camera around with a different lens on it.
- Internal exposure meter works properly. It's really handy. Having internal meter really speeds things up.
- The little black Bolex charger on the white box is new. It cost me about $195 in 2013. The charger with the grey cord is inop. I couldn't bring myself to toss it, because it's vintage Bolex.
- The only defect I'm aware of is inop battery test button. What's supposed to happen: If battery is good, LED comes on momentarily and goes out. What does happen: Press the button and nothing happens. But the shutter button has the same result and the battery indications work properly. Start the camera and LED comes on then extinguishes after about 1/2 second if battery is good. While you're shooting, battery LED comes on if battery gets low. When I got the camera back from Bolex factory in 2013 after conversion the button worked. Now it doesn't. Since the circuitry relating to battery voltage works, I imagine that the switch failed or somehow became disconnected. It should be trivial to repair the problem next time the camera is serviced.
- The zoom lens does not cover Super 16 below 25mm. At 25mm and above, it covers Super 16 just fine. There are other Bolex/Kern zooms which cover Super 16 -- for instance 17-85mm. And there are many PL-mount lenses that cover Super 16. If you shoot regular 16, it covers the entire image area for entire zoom range. The ground glass includes Regular 16 and Super 16 frame lines. If you want to change over to Regular 16, you need to spend about half an hour taking a handful of screws out and moving a plate over to change the centering. This isn't a hack, it's the way it's designed.
- There is a gel filter holder in the camera - between the lens and the body. I don't care for gel filters. It's too easy to get dust/fingerprints on them during insertion.
- I'm including 5 x 100' rolls of 16mm Ektachrome. This film has been stored at -10F since new. All rolls have same emulsion number. This can be processed by Dwayne's Photo in Parsons, KS, Spectra Film & VIdeo in Burbank, CA, and others.
Here's a test film I shot when I got it back after conversion. The first two shots were on a tripod. The rest is handheld. If you look at the first three shots carefully, you can see there is no gate weave and registration is great. The gentle rocking you see is not from the camera. It's from the Spirit at Spectra Film & Video. If you look at footage I've shot with my Arri 416, you'll see the same thing. Arri is pin-registered and isn't capable of producing that effect, which pins the problem on the Spirit scanner.
Here's a film that shows what 12.5mm looks like on Super 16. The vignetting is due to the lens not covering the Super 16 frame at 12.5mm. Most of this film is handheld. Towards the end, there are several tripod shots. You can see that there are no problems with gate weave or registration -- it's rock solid (except for the Spirit issue). The edge exposure (orange) is due to Kodak spool being slightly bent and admitting light when changing film in a brightly lit area.
I'm also including printouts of MK II (I think) manual, promotional literature, and a couple price lists. The price of this camera jumped 50% between 1976 and 1978. Talk about inflation!
Finally, I'm including a copy (scanned and laser-printed) of the Bolex EL Maintenance Manual. You won't find this anywhere on the interwebs, and it cost me a bunch of $$.
So there you have it - the best Bolex EL you're going to find.
I'll deliver this to any airport in US that AA flies to and you'll pay cash.