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T Sanders

My Bolex H-16 Blimp from Ebay :)

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I just got a Bolex H-16 Blimp in the mail today. I bought it on Ebay. The seller really didn't do this thing justice. WOW! I can't wait to test it and see if I can get my Rex5 in there or if I can swap out the motor it came with for the Tobin sync I have. It's roomy in there and everything can be unbolted out if need be. Worse case, I can use it as is with a regular H-16.


Anyone familiar with these?


It was made by some engineering company called Sonex. These photos make it look small but it's pretty huge... I have to put this on one of my big beast/crane tripods.











Edited by T Sanders

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Not familiar with it no, but I got a Bolex underwater housing which serves dual purpose as a blimp when dry... Yes they are huge!


How is the finder situation, (if any) ?

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The underwater housing sounds great too. :) I haven't had time to really check it out (had to come home for work just to log back in and continue working). But there are two port hole like openings on it. I believe one of these is to allow you to look in the viewfinder (photo #4) and the other to see the footage counter I think. I'll post updates when I get a chance to play with it. Hopefully later tonight or tomorrow.

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Hi Nicholas!


I will definitely do that. It's bed time for me but I just had to at least plug this thing in to see if the motor that's in it works. It does! Even more amazing is when I put the top on it, the noise went away like magic. I have to post a video of it.


The motor that's in it is pretty quiet as well but looks like it's definitely only for the h-16. But the whole assembly inside comes out easily and my Rex5 fits in there. But I have to do more testing with the height and everything for the viewfinder hole.


This was prefect timing. I'm planning to shoot a little crime/film noir short and really wanted at least a few lines of synced dialogue.


And I almost passed this thing up; paid $200 with free shipping. :)

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Hi There,


Nice video Nicholas! I'd lean towards "no" on the rental. Locally maybe but not otherwise.


Here is the video finally. http://vimeo.com/81908440


In the video I have the motor running with the top on and then I pull the top off so you can hear how loud it is without the top. Then I run it with the top on. My camera was less than a foot away from this thing. It's really hard to show how this thing really sounds in real life. It's funny the only thing I can really compare the volume of the naked motor to is the motor on my vintage Rain Lamp which uses a small pool pump. And if you don't know the wonders of a Rain Lamp, you poor poor thing. :)


The motor the blimp came with would definitely need to be cut out in post if used outside a blimp but covered inside the blimp, its more like a low hum and I don't think it would be picked up at all with a directional mic but would be picked up by a lav although probably wouldn't be too noticeable with good sound design. I also add a low level hum to my films anyway.


With the current motor, it vibrates more on a tripod sitting on carpet and the hum is louder. But I think if I can get my camera in this with the Tobin or MST motors it will be silent. The Tobin motor is definitely quieter than the motor this thing came with. It's just a matter of if it will fit.

Edited by T Sanders

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Sorry, I misunderstood the option to hide this video from vimeo. I don't want it showing up with my other films. So it looks like if I use that option you can't view it on vimeo.com but you can if I embed it somewhere so I made a blog post about the blimp and you can watch the video there.



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I still haven't tried to get my rex 5 in this thing. But it looks like it's really for the cameras without the 400' magazine port which makes the camera 1/2" taller. I went ahead and bought a rex 4 today. So I think I will mount the Rex 4 in there with the Tobin motor to the plate that's there. I'll remove that side plate and the motor that came with it and it will all fit nicely. That way I can always have the Rex 4 in there and use it for all the sound shots and use the Rex 5 for any silent scenes.


I also recall the listing for this blimp saying the rubber seal fell apart on this thing so now I think the reason there is any hum at all is because the seal is missing. I will try to fashion one myself.

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