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Boris Belay

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Everything posted by Boris Belay

  1. The light yellow/tan gate was introduced by Bolex in their late series, maybe when they moved to the 13x. viewfinder. So it can be found on Rex-5, SB, SBM, EBM and EL models of the later production runs. It does seem like an improvement over the previous steel gates in terms of film movement on the gate.
  2. Hi Evan, So it does look like a decent deal in the end. I found that this kind of nice gesture is not rare on eBay from people who don't really know what they are selling, so it's worth a try ! Basically, they don't want to go through the hassle of the return, re-list, and poor sale (given the fault you find with the gear), so they are often willing to find an arrangement that works for both. Not too bad, if not the great deal you expected in the first place... Regarding the mount : it looks like you got one of the special order NPR's with two C-mounts (regular was CA and C, a factory option for Arri and C was also offered). Then you have a rare Eclair-built C to CA adapter screwed onto one of the mounts. It is a CA mount like the one you probably got with your ACL (typically provided with any ACL), but it differs in two points : it has a tab that prevents the lens being mounted upside down (not very useful, since Angé lenses, for instance, have the T-stop scale underneath the usual mounting position, and you may want to mount the lens upside down to see it), and more importantly, the mounting depth of the C to CA adapter is deeper than the CA adapter for the ACL. This is a little-known but important fact about the ACL : the standard CA adapter does not accept some CA lenses : they jut out too far back to fit, or if they fit, to focus to infinity. So far, I have encountered this problem with only a few lenses : the Cooke Kinetal 25mm, the Cooke Speed Panchro 18mm Series II (35 mm. lens), and some exotic remounting of Angénieux primes by a French company called SERIP (doing high precision mounts for the France broadcasting corporation in the 60's/70's). This is a bit of a problem, even though you can still mount these lenses on an ACL with a C to CA adpater like yours. If anybody else has encountered that problem with other lenses, perhaps we can make a list of those lenses in a new thread.
  3. Here is the only link to Rüdi Muster's format that I can find -- it's in German, but the illustrations make the point clear enough. By the way, this is not a widescreen 8mm. format, but an alternative to S-16 and Ultra-16. Muster calls it DS-16/9, which is not exactly a sexy name, but technically quite descriptive : DS for Double Super-8 stock and 16/9 for the widescreen image ratio. I don't have any more information about this, or whether Muster went on with the project (or servicing Bolex at all). By the way, are there any DS-8 stocks around anymore ? Fomapan ? Processing stocks? Anything ele ? http://www.super8site.com/fanzine/aktuell/r_muster.shtml
  4. Hi Jason, This one is for the Eclair NPR. In France, it was known mainly as the 'Eclair 16' (although it wasn't even their first 16mm. model), as well as the 'Eclair Coutant', named after its engineer. In the US, it's mostly known as the 'NPR', apparently for Noiseless Portable Reflex, but sometimes also as 'Eclair Douane', although that's a misunderstanding : the little plaque that states 'Douane' on some models is only the proof that the camera's duties were paid when it was exported out of France (Douane means Customs in French). Combined with the Eclair Caméflex that was originally sold as the 'Camérette' in the US (because of rights issues with the Cameraflex), and the lack of identification of ACL models through the evolution of the camera, this all makes identifying Eclair cameras a little bit more complicated than it should be ! As for the manual, it's a long list of parts with their Eclair codes, then a series of diagrams from the original blueprints of the camera. Not very useful, even for maintenance purposes. B.
  5. Yes, Emulsion Out on an roll shot on an ACL. In fact, I make a point of mentioning that (now) odd fact on my rolls when I send them to the lab: E.O. As for your mishap, the good thing is it probably won't happen to you twice ! I for one once had strange and marvelous double exposures from running the same roll of double perf film through a Bolex -- unexpected, to say the least, and double the waste... or is it? B.
  6. That does look way out of focus... I would check that before wasting another roll with this simple test : focus the camera (on a tripod) with the viewfinder on a very clear, brightly lit object. When you have a very clear image in the viewfinder, rotate the mirror out of the way of the film path (viewfinder becomes dark), remove the magazine and put a 16mm. wide piece of translucent drafting paper infron of the film window. The grain of the paper should be fine enough to act like a ground glass and give you something like the image that would actually be on the film. This rough test does not test precisely for collimation, but if there is a big difference in focus between the image you had in the viewfinder and the image projected on the paper pressed right up against the window, you can be sure that your flange focal distance is off and there is no need to waste film before sending your camera for service. If the image on the paper is roughly as sharp, then the blurring may have been due only to the short loops while loading, and you can try a test roll to confirm that. B.
  7. Never heard of such a beast in a little while spent tracking down odd ACLs ant their history... but I wouldn't rule out the possibility of a prototype DS-8 floating somewhere out there. DS-8 did seem like a promising format for a while, and Super-8 did begin to creep up in the minds of people working for tv in the late 70's. Another possibility -- more current in a way -- would be that this camera has DS-8 sprockets but a widescreen S-16-like gate. This is a format I once saw by a guy working on Bolex cameras in Switzerland (Rudy Muester, or something like that), who applied the idea of S-8 (smaller sprocket holes for larger picture area) to 16mm. film : easy enough, since that's DS-8 stock. The result was a very wide format that's actually centered on the film, unlike S-16 (but larger than U-16). I think the project has been dropped because of the availability of DS-8 stock, but it's brilliantly simple : all you need are DS-8 sprockets and a widened gate. Anyways, yes, definitely keep us posted -- even if it's just a plain old and sweet ACL ! B.
  8. As far as I know, the Switar 10 covers the S-16 frame. This is information I have gotten from this site (and others like it), it's quite a common question, which is probably why you haven't gotten any answer yet... B.
  9. Yes, you can, but you need to make sure you get the adapter plate that goes with it. The small motor has a small motor-to-body adapter plate, while the larger motors use either a larger plate or an adapter that makes the small plate larger. Besides that, it's a drop-in replacement. But if your early model ACL has the small base, it will not be able to use the advanced feature of the motor (available depending on the model of HD motor), such as mirror parking in viewing position of external synchronisation. These features are dependant on the electronics in the base. B.
  10. Are you talking about the French new wave ? the Nouvelle Vague of Godard, Rivette, Truffaut, and so on, beginning in 1959 or so ? All of those films -- the ones that put them on the map, were shot in 35mm. So it's more like the Caméflex that 'enabled' them... Sorry for jumping on you like this, John, but I can't believe how many times I have seen that same phrase repeated, while it's such an obvious fallacy (temporal and technical). The French New Wave is all about making cinema more freely, outside of studios, in the street, without lighting, and so on, but still professional (ie, 35mm.). Perhaps if it had happened in the mid-70's with Super-16 and good film stock, that might have been possible. The Eclair NPR is the camera that allowed for the new wave of documentary filming, like that of the Canadian school of Brault and co., as well as the films of Jean Rouch in France (who tested early versions of the ACL, by the way, and switched to Aaton early on).
  11. IS the lens for many, many films made throughout the 70's ! Come on, guys, this is a classic lens -- definitely not as sharp as something made recently and costing many, many thousand $, but I don't think that was the question, was it ? A better approach, in my opinion, is how old is the lens (but for that, you have to have done a bit of research in these old and dusty door-stoppers they called Professional Motion Cinematography Equipment back in the last glacial age of cinema, you know, 30 years ago). Since that lens was such a classic, it was made over a couple of decades, and Angénieux glass and mechanics did improve over the period, so a later one is probably better. Here is a rough idea of dates by serial # that I've come up with so far : serials in the 120's go back to the very early 70's, the 130's are mid-70's, and 140's are late 70's or early 80's. This applies to all Angenieux lenses, no matter the type, format, etc. So if it's in good shape and within the later range of these serials, it's probably decent and worth the price (!), and if you're after a film-look on your HD set-up, you'll probably be happy that this lens does not resolve as well as Angé's new HD lenses. Give it try, and if you're not happy with it, send me a personal message and I'll get it off of your hands ! Enjoy your shoots and stay away from the scarecrows ;-)
  12. As far as I know, each aspheron is specifically made for a particular type of lens (except of course the aspheron for Zeiss 9 and 12), optically speaking. On top of that, the thread mount is very different on a Switar 10 and on Zeiss 9 or 12, as well as on the Vario-Switar 100 and the Vario-Sonnar 100. So despite the fact that they're all made by Kern, I don't think you can adapt one to another type of lens. I'd like to be wrong about this too, though, as I've thought about getting whichever is cheaper and adapting it too, but...
  13. The last operation you describe is indeed the correct way to proceed with these lenses (and all Berthiots with such notches in the C-mount thread). The lens originally came with a little tool to do it (it looks a bit like a large bottle cap), but you can do it with anything else that acts as a spanner of that size. I can't quite remember what happens with the viewfinder window once you have rotated the lens to the right position, but it will need to be adjusted too. I think it's just a matter of rotating the mask in front of the prism in the dog leg -- the 'box' you mention -- which you can access by unscrewing the rear part of the viewfinder tube. I can't be sure about that either, but I think there may be a problem with doing what you're trying to do with a Bolex. It seems I've tried that before and found out I couldn't -- perhaps that viewfinder mask, or the physical space of the lens with respect to the Bolex body... I'm not sure... Maybe it was only with the first version of the lens, the one with the v-f sticking out a a 90 deg. angle from the camera body (when viewed from the front). It's definitely possible with the last version (right-angled v-f), but I think that one was designed with Bolex in mind. I hope I'm not too confusing! But it's definitely the thread that rotates, nothing else on the lens -- leave those screws alone ! B.
  14. Indeed, that was my impression too... I'm a big fan of the Eclair ACL camera, so I suggest you take a look at the Eclair discussion sub-forum on this site for a lot of info on these wonderful (for the price, certainly) cameras. The idea of buying a Reg.16 camera first and having it converted to Super-16 down the road when you have money is a good suggestion too. Even though you may be able to find a cheaper camera kit that is already converted (at least on eBay) than the price of a 16mm. kit plus conversion may be, if you just don't have the money, that makes sense. Also, with the quality of current film stocks, going wide-format from a Reg-16 image is a decent option nowadays (if obviously not ideal). Also worth mentioning are the old workhorses Eclair NPR, going very cheap these days -- see the new discussion on this topic on the Eclair section here too. Again, Super-16 converted cameras may even be within your price range... on Ebay. Regarding lenses, you will find out that you should either stick to a set of prime lenses or put up with annoying limitations of zoom lenses when/if you shoot Super-16 on that budget. The zoom lenses that cover S-16 with a good optical quality and go a bit wide are just very sought after and often fetch a price that is above your whole budget for a single zoom lense. So if you want a zoom lense, you will probably have to make do with a lens that doesn't go under 15/16mm in focal length (ie, medium wide) or, if it does, that vignettes below that range and thus is as limited. As for buying from a shop, I don't think it's really a likely possibility within that budget. But two things about eBay to reassure you : a lot of sellers are really quite dedicated and honest, and will reveal their true colors (if that is necessary at all) with a bit of questioning. Also it is quite common for prospective buyers to turn to this forum with their questions or worries about eBay auctions, so you shouldn't hesitate to do so yourself. Finally, this is where the "buying reg-16 and upgrading later" scenario comes back : if you buy on eBay a kit that is in decent condition and then send it to a shop like Les Boscher's (in the UK) for a conversion, you end up with a completely revised S-16 camera that's as good as if it came from a shop, but affordable. Good luck, don't hesitate to ask more questions, and welcome to the wonderful world of 16mm! Boris
  15. Boris Belay

    2x2 Filters

    I don't see why you would have a problem using filters of any material, so long as they are 2"x2" and rigid (and optically sound, of course) in Kinoptik TeGeA... But of course, if you mean soft gels (the kind you use in a filter holder inside a camera), you'd have to put them in a 2x2 holder first -- I'm pretty sure Kodak made those at one point. B.
  16. Yes, the Bolex SBM takes the same release cable system as all other mechanical Bolex H16 models (since the 1930's!). There are two basic kinds of adapters : one is attached to the side release, the other (rare) attaches to the front release. You then attach a wire release cable with the proper diameter thread to these adapters. Look in a manual for any H16, there should be an illustration. These adapters are cmmonly available on eBay for cheap. If in a pich, I can provide you with one, but I'm in Europe. Best, B.
  17. Hi Jason, That may be the way to go, actually : you've already started with the site, and I haven't yet. If your site can handle a decent amount of illustrations, it should be doable. I would keep the S-16 section pretty much as it is, but I would go over the history and the identification of models sections thoroughly. Pictures, serials, timeline... The modifications section should be open to anybody who has something interesting to suggest. Could your site also host a download section -- for manuals (no, not the same old two...), brochures, etc ? I don't know much about the NPR first-hand, but I do have some info and docs on it. I could work on a history of the company itself, and have a bit about the Caméflex and the GV-16. The lens info may be a bit much and out of place, but I could do something quick about it too. I get the sense that any info helps! What else would people like to see on this site? Boris
  18. Hi Tom, If you can't find what you are looking for in the UK, I can recommend a good solution not far on the Continent : Color by Dejonghe (see on the net) is a good Belgian professional lab that is cheap and friendly to small projects -- a rather rare beast these days ! Cheers, B.
  19. Hi Saul, As a follow-up to my last post about dating lenses : the Angé 17-68, just like the 12-120 was made for over 30 years, so this is why people have very widely different appreciations of these lenses. Not only are some 30 years older that others in terms of wear and such, but also you can imagine how much the glass and mechanics has evolved over that period -- even with the same design and specifications on paper. So a mid-50's (silver finish) 17-68/2,2 is probably not a good idea for shooting sharp S-16, while the left-over stock of the "same" lens (now in black, and called 4x17B) from Cinema Products, bought in the early 80's and available as N.O.S. on eBay regularly, may very well be the good choice you mention. This is where dating becomes important! So here's a rough idea culled from my database of Angé info : serials beginning with 120xxxx or so date back to the early 70's (I personally wouldn't bother shooting with anything earlier), serials in the 130's are from the mid 70's, and serials in the 140's are from the early 80's. I'd consider anything from the 80's in good condition to be a decent bet (there is always a risk, of course) for sharp glass -- even the maligned 12-120/2,2. These serials apply to all Angénieux lenses -- thankfully, they had only one numbering scheme (unlike Eclair and their serials for ACL vs NPR, etc.). Best, B.
  20. Hi Jason, Great initiative to revive the Super-16 ACL site, which was a good source of basic info on the ACL. I have a few gripes with some of the details on it (particularly in the section about identifying the ACL II and generally with the evolution of the camera), but it is full of good tips on modifications, upgrade to S-16 (even without the kits available anymore), etc. I have a small suggestion regarding the first page : I think your inverted image of an ACL is a bit confusing for somebody who doesn't know the camera. Also, I understand the idea behind having members and the blog/discussions form, but there is already an Eclair list that barely lives despite a good membership, and of course, there is a lot of activity on cinematography.com. So I think it's best to complement that with an informational site, rather than compete with them with more discussion threads, memberships, etc. I hope I don't come out as too critical, that's not my intention! It's just that I have been thinking about this on my side for a while. As for my site, I think I will go ahead with it because it's very specific : I want to concentrate on the history and details of the ACL so there is no more questions identifying models, accessories, etc. -- something quite in depth, with good pictures, lots of explanations, etc. I may extend it with similar info the the Bolex H16, which I know inside and out too, and perhaps something about French lenses (types, dating,etc.) -- Angénieux and Kinoptik in particular. Whaddayathink? Cheers, Boris
  21. Hi, I've posted this in another thread, but it's probably worth repeating here : don't worry about the red light -- it SHOULD be blinking when the camera is running. The logic of Eclair engineers may not be evident but the diodes on the side of the ergo handgrip adapter (originally on late models ACLs) works like this : the green diode is on when there is power to the camera (lightmeter on and motor ready) and the the red diode blinks when the camera is running. There is no fault indicator on any ACLs besides the out-of-synch light on the top of the motor. And while Aaton eventually bought out the remains of Eclair after its bankruptcy, there is no engineering designs shared between cameras of the two companies. If anything, Aaton made sure there were no red lights meant to indicate that all was right with the camera... B.
  22. Hi Nicolas, It sounds like you may have a motor problem indeed. But don't worry about the red light -- it SHOULD be blinking when the camera is running. The logic may not be evident but the diodes on the side of the ergo handgrip adapter (originally on late models ACLs) worl like this : the green diode is on when there is power to the camera (lightmeter on and motor ready) and the the red diode blinks when the camera is running. There is no fault indicator on any ACLs besides the out-of-synch light on the top of the motor. Did you try running the camera without a magazine ? If the motor runs up to speed, you may just have a weak battery. Did you try the other speeds on the motor? (Try the slow speeds first!) What more can you tell us about the clicking sound ? Where does it come from : the motor, the camera, or the mag? B.
  23. Hi, I've been servicing Bolex cameras for a while, never having owned a single official Bolex tool. What you need -- if you feel like diving into a world of minute mechanical parts (and some of us do, and the others just don't understand, do they?) -- are GOOD basic tools, a whole range of flat screwdrivers being essential (those screws have been in there for 40 or 50 years!), and if you want to do it right, you'll also begin to accumulate micrometers, precise dial gauges and so on... at least for repairing. If your camera runs well, chances are good that it'll run about as well if you manage to put it back together. The manual is actually helpful to save your sanity, and also for tricks such as how to re-synch the sprocket wheels, or a shutter on a reflex model. If you can't find a scanned manual on eBay, write me a personal message. Oh, yeah, I forget... your best tools besides those GOOD screwdrivers is a whole lot of patience! Best, B.
  24. Hi, I would start with Gérard Gallé of www.eclair-cameras.net, who has the stock of leftover parts from Eclair in France. He is active on this forum, but you can contact him directly on his site. Best, Boris
  25. I did not mean to correct your answer, Bernie ! You're up there with the demi-gods of camera science in my book ! I was just answering Anthony's indirect question : why would one want to take those screws out unless to mount something else on them. But if the question is just whether they hold anything inside or can be taken out safely to plug something else in their place, than the simple answer was yours : yes indeed. Best, Boris
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