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Take apart or sell H16 Reflex?

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I was interested in converting a family "heirloom" H8 to a digital system, but I thought why ruin a perfectly good camera when I can by a parts only camera on ebay. So I won a bid on what was advertised as a H8 for parts only.


What I received was an H16 Reflex in fair condition. I don't feel good about tearing apart a H16 that might still have some life in it, and since I don't have the c-mount lenses, even if I successfully convert it, I'd need to acquire lenses for it.


Any suggestions? Is it worth trying to resell it on ebay and getting an H8 like I really wanted?

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When looking into an H-8 acquisition you might want to consider the basic differences between early models and younger ones. Models until serial number 100,400 have a cardioid cam controlled claw and an effective shutter opening angle of 190 degrees. Also the registration distance, i. e. the distance from the optical axis to where the claw leaves the film, is 5 holes.




Here a picture of the aperture plate assembly of an old H-8 that had a side guide rail damage.


Models from number 100,401 on have a different claw mechanism with +3 registration and 170 degrees shutter angle. Registration comes into play with projection. If your projector also has a +3 claw, image steadiness will be best. Technicians speak of hole pitch error cancellation.


I am looking for an H-8 myself, one of the last series with big base and 1-1 shaft for synch motors. Keep in mind that a 100-foot load of Double-Eight film holds 8000 frames on one side, 5½ minutes at 24 fps. There are very good D-mount lenses around, and all H-8 offer accurate framing and focussing with the built-in prism plus the rackover (which unfortunately doesn’t exist for the big base cameras.


One could build a rackover for big base models, no question. I could do it. Hasn’t been a commercial subject, yet.


Good lenses? There’s that article in German. Your name indicates you might perhaps have some knowledge of the language. http://www.filmkorn.org/d-mount-objektive-im-vergleich/


Reflex H-8 are a breed to themselves. They have the C-mount thread (1"-32), a unique flange focal distance and the loved-hated double prism system. But the lenses Kern made for this design are fantastic. Above f = 50 mm there are no optical limitations, however.


The best projection lens for Regular-8 film I have ever encountered was a Staeble on an Agfa Movector F8.



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Thank you both for your input and advice. The article Simon linked to was excellent, even just looking at the pictures.


After thinking it over some more, what I'm looking for is a camera body with working turret, H8. The springs, governors, etc will not be used, as my plan is to engineer a complete digital conversion, while still maintaining the exterior housing and operational lenses. I do not want to destroy the two working units I have, it would be a shame to do so. I would be willing to trade out the H16 Reflex SN128536 for an equivalent H8

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  • 6 months later...

rackover (which unfortunately doesn’t exist for the big base cameras.)


One could build a rackover for big base models, no question. I could do it. Hasn’t been a commercial subject, yet.


Nonsense. Big-base Paillard-Bolex H cameras can very well be installed on the rackover device.

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