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Boris Belay

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Everything posted by Boris Belay

  1. Thanks, Are there more or less obvious signs of wear to look out for ? Sounds to listen for while it's running ? What about for the mags?
  2. Mike, You're stating a very strong position that is definitely only one part of cinema. That I wholly disagree with it is one thing (and proves that there are other positions). But you should at least relativize your responses to somebody who's a beginner and should get a chance to hear all sides... The previous mention of Spielberg's now classic experimentation in "Saving PR" shows that cinematic language evolves also thanks to the camera/technical side of research. And perhaps not everything has been done yet... I'm sure time will prove this point. So may I suggest you begin your interesting and valid interventions with something like "In my opinion...", or "In my experience..." After all, we're trying to help people with questions, not prove we are right. -B Matt, Your question sounds very, very wide-open ! There are so many things that can be done with a camera as common as the Bolex that it's hard to even begin answering your question... Perhaps you can give us a few pointers : what sort of things do you like in films you've seen ? In the shooting you've done in video ? What kind of film are you thinking about doing for your program ? Unless you give us some amount of detail, besides the camera, about what and how you want to shoot, you're likely to get only very vague answers... Your film can be helped, bu t it's got to start somewhere, and that's for you to know -- probably the hardest quesion ! So give us pointers, and we'll give advice... -B
  3. Yes, that's correct. All Bolex H16 have that feature. On models before the mid-60's, it's a little lever switch with 'I/T' inscribed. I is the fixed shutter speed setting for single frame shots (check your manual for exposure time, as it depends on camera models), and the T setting is for a manually controled single-frame exposure : press the side release and the shutter opens, release is to close the shutter. On later models (from the Rex/M/S-4 on), the switch becomes a small rotating button, but the function is exactly the same. This feaure can also be used in conjunction with an appropriate single-frame motor. Great stuff ! -B
  4. Boris Belay

    My Old Mauer

    I check and the Maurer 150 is indeed in the "Professional 16/35mm Cameraman's Handbook" by Verne and Sylvia Carlson, 1970-1974 but only in the early versions of that excellent reference manual, well worth investing in it. I also have a 1994 "Fourth Edition" of the same book and the Maurer is not in there anymore, so make sure you get the right one ! You can easily find this classic on internet, and you won't regret paying the $10 the early editions go for ! And yes, that elaborate viewfinder is integral to the camera. Looks good ! -B
  5. I would say a Bolex H16 Reflex camera : I personnaly think they're great, but they're also the basic learning camera in most schools, so you cant really go wrong, will always be able to sell it back, and a lot of people will be able to help you with them. Also, they're very well conceived, extremely sturdy, there are a lot of them around, some of them still in amazing shape after 40 years in an amateur's closet, and the accessories are incredibly wide-ranging, so the camera can evolve with time. Regarding budget, I would say that with a bit of luck and patience, you can pick a Reflex model in working order (in my experience, you can trust sellers if they say it is and they've shot with it) for $250. Try to get what's called a Rex-2 model, which is still cheap (perhaps $350) but has a much improved viewfinder (10x. instead of 6x.). And look for a camera with a set of matched lenses by Kern, Berthiot, or Schneider, or a zoom lens by the same brands and Angénieux too. Besides that, there are other good starter cameras, so search through the past threads on this site and a lot of your questions will be answered ! Info on the history of Bolex : http://www.city-net.com/~fodder/bolex/history/index.html Pictures, accessories, and info, but not always accurate : http://www.bolexequipment.com/HomePage.htm -B
  6. Hi, Your serial number seems to date your camera to 1959. That would be just before the introduction of the Rex-1 model. The Rex-1 is an evolution of the original Bolex H16 Reflex (from 1956) : it's the came camera except for the addition of a variable shutter (quite handy actually). If your camera is a Reflex model, the top viewfider should be fixed to the body of the camera, and the word 'Reflex' should be inscribed on the top of the turret. The Rex-1's variable shutter is controled by a little lever on the side of the turret (controls side of the camera) which pulls out and moves up and down to open/close the shutter. If you don't have the lever, but it's a reflex model, you have an original reflex (also refered to as Rex-0). All the info is very clearly indicated here : http://www.city-net.com/~fodder/bolex/history/index.html
  7. Yes, This motor is a MC-17 motor (also known as Unimotor), and it will work on the camera on the picture (and in fact, on just about any Bolex H8 or H16). Your camera does not have the bottom screw mount for this motor (it appeared a little bit later), but it does not matter. The top screw (it goes into the main spring motor crank shaft) is enough : remove the crank (unscrews clockwise) and screw motor in (counter-closckwise) with the motor drive shaft going into the Bolex rewind shaft). For more details on running it, look at this recent thread : http://www.cinematography.com/forum2004/in...showtopic=11554 Good luck ! -B
  8. Still looking for a silent camera, I came across wat sounds like a good deal : several XTR's formerly owned by the Belgian National TV -- apparently, the last few they had ! They're just out, so there's a chance they had kept the best ones for last... And hopefully, they've been maintained. The price sounds very good, but it's a camera I am not familiar with first hand. So what should I watch out for ? 1) what are the possible problems on XTRs that have been used in the field ? What are the external signs of abuse or issues ? What would you test on the camera to be reasonably sure it's ok (perhaps due for a tune-up, but nothing major), besides the obvious functions : are there tricks, for instance ? 2) What are the accessories that make the camera even better ? (Or those to avoid, if any?) This is an XTR, not an XTR prod. I haven't seen the camera yet, so I can't say anything specific about it, not even the serial #. Are there many variations in XTR's ? I may have a choice between a few cameras, mag, etc., so any pointers would be good ! Thanks ! -B
  9. IF YOUR VIEWFINDER IS RIGHT... indeed, and then again, perhaps, maybe... The point of lens collimation is to text a lens' focus without anything else coming into play (well, besides the collimating system, but it's supposed to be right, obviously). In other words, excluding any possible problem with your camera lens mount, the gate setting, and any part of your reflex viewing system (a complex system in its own right). If you're confident about your camera (and its reflex viewfinder), then you can have a decent idea of your lens's accuracy through the viewfinder. A test roll will give you an even better idea. And a collimation of your lens on your camera (light reflected off the filming gate) will be the ultimate test and most precise way to set it up (accuracy of collimating systems is extremely high). Another way to think about it is that before you start checking things, you need to have at least one thing that you know to be right. Have a test of the lens mount, flange distance, viewfinder accuracy on your camera, and you can check your lenses to a degree, or collimate your lenses and you can check your camera's (or at least viewfinder's) accuracy. Then again, if you've shot with that combination of camera and lens and the results are good, keep shooting ! -B
  10. Mark, More generally, your question is answered on a case by case basis. If these are the lenses that you will actually get, then you have your answer. Otherwise, for each 16mm. lens you would buy, you'd have to find out whether they will cover a full S-16 frame or not. In the case of zoom lenses, it's a little more complicated as a zoom lens may be compatible with S-16 only on part of its range (mostly true of wide-angle zooms : a 10 or 12 -100 zoom, for instance, may cause vignetting below 15 or 16, for instance, and be fine above). If you look throughthe archives, you will find a lot of questions about this or that particuar lens model's compatibility with the S-16 frame. -B
  11. Indeed, that's the safest and simplest way to check for the rear-mount depth of a lens on a Bolex Reflex : swing the turret out, mount the lens fully on a lens port that is outside of the turret area and see if it sticks out. In doubt, swing the turret back, without forcing. I suppose some lenses could stick out beyond the turret plate without touching the prism glass, but do you really want to try ? If so, definitely insert a filter holder as protection. And obviously, your turret will be locked on that lens while shooting. In general, though, regarding CCTV lenses (and not most Television/TV-16 lenses from the 70's, which are film lenses), the first thing to do before getting your hopes up is looking up the lenses specs and make sure that model covers more than 1/3 inch CCDs, (so at least 1/2 or 2/3 inch), as those would not work on film as the image formed is too small. -B
  12. I think you mean "and not the ACL" , no? I'm interested in the answer too... anything besides being profesionally recognized as such ?
  13. Clive, I don't have much first hand experience of the MCE-17B + Voltage regulator setup to power a MM magazine motor, but I'm going on the manuals. In fact, even with the whole setup's factory wiring, the voltage to the MM is 24 Volts (and thus you need to use the special cable to the MM motor that has a grey plastic protection around it, meant for 24V. -- how baroque is that !). Is the point of the Voltage Regulator to insure the motor + mm have enough power (36V./3,5Ah minimum, possibly 48V.) ? And if so, could we really do without it with your re-wiring ? -B
  14. Wow, thanks for all the quick answers... It's already changing the impression I had gotten from the forum about the NPR being a lot of people's cheaply-priced sound camera choice. Is that because I've emphasized ergonomics and hand-held shooting, which is not the NPR's strong point, to say the least ? Is it noticeably noisier than the ACL, for example ? Does it make sense over a blimped H16 EL in terms of noise ? And to the defenders of the NPR : what are its advantages ? Why woudn't you trade yours for another model ? Otherwise yes, the ACL seemed like the right compromise, short of a very cheap Aaton kit ! So, two things : what are the things to definitely watch out for on an ACL ? I'm aware of the 1/1.5/2 differences and a bit about the British-made cameras, as well as the viewfinder issues. Are there things that are likely to go/have gone wrong on an ACL ? Ways to tell it's been overused ? Then, what are definite bonus/improvements that make one kit better than another ? And finally, are cheaper Aatons likely to be a bad deal -- because they're old after all and they wouldn't sell for cheap if they were still good ? Or are people a lot more attracted to the specs and reliability of newer models and not so interested in the older ones (as is the case, for instance with Bolex EL's : the early Mark 1 are substantially cheaper than the Mark 3, despite only 5 years difference in design and only minor improvements) ? -B.
  15. Hi Nathan, thanks for your response. I am just talking about the basic camera kit as I described it, I have all the rest, tripod, filters, lightmeter, etc. included, since I already shoot. And I am talking eBay prices here, and yes, with all the risks involved ! But with a repair manual, I can find my way around a good deal of problems. And, besides the price issue, my question is really about these cameras -- their respectie qualities and drawbacks... If $3000 is necessary, I'll save up some more (sell one more Bolex). And if an Aaton LTR is really superior to an NPR and costs $5,000, I may decide to save even more. In fact, that was my basic idea, but people's response to other questions on this forum have made me think the price difference isn't really justifiable... Is it ? (Somebody has just started another thread about the next price range, one up from me : is the price difference between a 10,000 Arri SR justified against a good ACL ? My question is the same, but for cheaper cameras.) Perhaps I should say that I am not a professional DP and don't mean to become one. I shoot personal projects on my own budgets, I don't rent equipment, and I don't work with a traditional film team. H16's have been great for that so far, but I want to shoot sound easily too. -Thanks !
  16. PS. Shoulder work is essential. Thus the ergonomics question. (And if you have particular details to add like specific handgrips that help the comfort of a particular model, that's good to know too.)
  17. No you don't. The voltage regulator is needed when using an MCE-17B with a MM magazine motor, and optional otherwise. On your cord, the Red-tipped lead is +, the Black-tipped one is - , and the middle one is just a fastener to the power pack (it should end in a metal ring). So, just get a 24V. DC source : either batteries or power adapter, just make sure it's DC out, and connect the + and - terminals and you're set for 2 min. 50 s. of 24 ips action ! The trigger is that little switch that pulls out under the camera : pushed in is continuously running (or on/off through remote cord or electric handgrip), and pulled out is the trigger : forward starts it. And remember to set the speed on the camera speed dial ! -B
  18. OK, this Bolex man is ready for a silent, shoulder-mounted camera. Big step, as I've been a Bolex user, advocate, and fixer for a while now. (So any reference to Bolex models you know will help in your answers too.) Let's just say that an EL with zoom, mag, crystal, and barney is a bit much for a single wrist... and still not so silent. I'll always keep a late Rex-5 with 3 Switar primes for everywhere, all-th-time filming, but I also need a camera conveived for sound. So, I'm looking toward Eclairs and Aatons (must be the French in me !). But... first major consideration is a budget of up to US$ 2,500. I'm talking eBay $ here, not authorized dealer prices. I'm willing to put up with a used kit that needs a minor tune-up, if I have to, and I know all the eBay ropes, so that's the cheapest way to go. This price is for a basic kit : camera body, cystal motor (different speeds is a plus, but not required at first), a couple of mags, and a decent zoom lens (obviously not the latest Zeiss 10-100 series for this price!). This would be a starting set, with the possiblity of expanding later. Super-16, if not already built-in, should definitely be an easy option. In terms of optics, I already have a couple of Eclair mount Angénieux. And a lot of C-mount lenses of course. So Eclair and C mount are an advantage, but not a requirement. So, what are the respective advantages of the Eclair NPR, the Eclair ACL, and the cheaper Aaton models (LTR?) ? Which other camera would you suggest ? CPs seem nice, but I'm weary of the mount limits (availability of lenses). Arri S and BL don't seem to do it for me, but I'm willing to be convinced... One of the reason I'm actually starting this thread is because I've been surprised at how many people still recommend the NPR over models that were designed more recently. Ergonomics are important to me, and it looks awkward to hold, and I would have assumed that Aatons where hands down better, but it seems that this camera has big fans. So, let me know what you think, both in terms of (on paper) characteristics and real-world use. And also ease of maintenance and repair (given that I like to fix things myself). Thanks ! -Boris
  19. Yes, that's the power cord to the MCE-17B motor. Do you have the tension regulator add-on ? (it mounts underneath the motor, near the base of the camera. Do you have a magazine and magazine motor ? -B
  20. Sure, there are. But first practical question : do you have the power cord to the motor (three-pronged)? If you do, you're good to go : all you need is any battery or DC-current power adapter of the right voltage. And the right voltage is that which is written on the motor, which depends on your filming speed (set on the camera, but demanding more or less power from the motor). There are two columns : one for the H8 model, the other for the H16 (yours). I think you need 24V. for 24/25ips... so that's very simple. You can even couple two 12V. batteries to get 24V., or just get a 24 V. battery or power adapter (DC !). I have a manual somewhere, so I'll check the +/- connections. Do you have the Tension regulator module too (mounted beneath the motor) -- you should, since your camera is a Rex-5 and it's necessary for the magazine motor. Anyways, I have the docs on these somewhere. -B
  21. Do you mean that it has the mount for the 120m. magazine on top of the camera ? Or are you just going by the serial number ? -B
  22. Indeed, whether flat base or not, on later models it's under the camera, by the tripod mounting screw hole : look for an engraved 6-digit number between 100,xxx and 350,xxx. On cameras before 100,00 or so (more like 120,000), the serial number is engraved inside the film chamber : either above the top spool spindle and/or inside the camera door (matching numbers, hopefully). -B.
  23. Just done lubricating another H16... something else that's easy to oil, from the outside of the camera this time, are the motor axles. (Again, use good quality light mechanical oil, such as those for sewing machines.) Both the 8/1 (or rewind handle axle) and 1/1 motor axles (on M/S/Rex-4 and later models) can use a drop of oil inside the shaft, against the axle itself. The oil will drip along the axle down to the inside mounting plate and lubricate the motor axle bearing. Another drop of oil along the shaft of the spring motor crank (along the shaft, not inside the thread) will help lubricate the sring rewinding mechanism. That should about do for light maintenance, and may even help slow or generally 'cranky' H16s ! -B.
  24. (This is the same post I wrote in the 'Bolex EL repair manual' thread, but it makes more sense to have it here, so I'm copying here) Regarding lubrication of H16s, EL included, I assume, here's what I got from the regulal H16 maintenance manual (for the lubrication points that are reachable without dismantling the camera) : You can put a drop of oil on the axle-ends that you can see turning inside the film chamber when the camera runs. It's a little hard to explain in writing, but basically you can see the end of 3 axles to be lubricated : 1 above the upper film-feeding mechanism and 2 by the upper claw. (To see the claw mechanism, you need to remove the pressure plate, then unscrew 2 small screws that hold a protective plate over the claw mechanism). One very small drop of low viscosity mechanical oil on he end of each of these axles as they turn (camera running) should help (wipe the excess afterwards with a cotton bud). If you're feeling adventurous, you can also go for a drop of oil on the variable shutter sprockets (Obviously not on the EBM or EL, without VS), which you can see when the prism is flipped out. This may help lessen the noise on an old Reflex with a noisy shutter mechnaism. None of this is 'official', only adapted from the Bolex maintenance manual and doable without dismantling anything (apart from the claw protection plate). And of course, you need the right tool or method to drop only one small drop of oil at a time. also, invest in good small screwdrivers, if don't already have them -- they're well worth the price to avoid a destroyed screw that can't be removed anymore... Working cleanly, carefully, and sensibly (no cooking oil, please !), anyone can do this bit of maintenance themselves. By the way, I do recommend buying a Bolex repair manual to anyone interested in lubricating their cameras or doing small repairs. They're great reference, will help you understand the camera and be less afraid of it, will get you out of trouble in a pinch (on location problems !), and all of that for $25 on eBay (I'm not the one selling them either!). Just make sure you get the one that's right for your camera -- but since Bolex compiled them as the models evolved, you might as well get a late one (SB/SBM + EBM, and all before) and be safe. -B
  25. By the way (since this was a topic n repair manuals), I do recommend buying a Bolex repair manual to anyone interested in lubricating their cameras or doing small repairs. They're great reference, will help you understand the camera and be less afraid of it, will get you out of trouble in a pinch (on location problems !), and all of that for $25 on eBay (I'm not the one selling them either!). Just make sure you get the one that's right for your camera -- but since Bolex compiled them as the models evolved, you might as well get a late one (SB/SBM + EBM, and all before) and be safe. Still no EL manual in sight, though... I'll have to open up another EL to compare with my faulty one. I would document the repair too, but it's so time consuming, I'm not sure I'm up for it...
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