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Samuel Berger

Where to buy lens set for B&H Filmo?

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I've seen some interesting Bell&Howell Filmo 70DL and 70DR cameras for sale, I'm not finding a lot of lenses, though.

 

Any idea where I can get the lens+finder sets?

 

It's not hard to find C-mount lenses but those little finders are not showing up much on eBay.

 

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I see a few on ebay. Sometimes people sell the C mounts lenses from a camera (where the money is) and then the body with finder lenses still attached in a seperate sale.

 

Best bet is to find a camera with everything still together, but that's getting harder to find.

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Dom, do you have any brand recommendations? I was told Telate lenses by B&H had some iris issues.

What would be the best set to put on my 70DR's turret? Thanks.

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I think the Telate brand was at the low-end, cheap and cheerful.. Bell and Howell didn't make their own lenses but commissioned various companies over the years to make lense for them, including Cooke and Angenieux. The ones branded made in the USA were often the cheapest.

 

It depends what you like in a lens, but my personal recommendation would be Cooke Kinetals, which were made in various mounts including C mount, and were about as good as 16mm lenses got in the 50s and 60s. Similar to Speed Panchros. Could be hard to find in C mount though.

 

 

 

Otherwise the Angenieuxs that came with 50s Filmos were good, or Kern Switars (AR version) if you like high contrast lenses, or Kinoptiks if you have deep pockets. Other Cookes like Kinics or Ivotals were decent. Kinoptik 5.7mm was a great wide angle.

 

I don't shoot much 16mm, I'm only judging from the lenses I've worked on and projected, and sometimes there are good and bad examples of the same lens. C mounts can be in all sorts of condition, sometimes you just have to try one and see.

 

Others may have different recommendations based on actual use.

 

 

 

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Thanks guys. But the big issue for me is going to be, I have no reflex view so I need a lens that doesn't require focusing. Like the Wollensak 1"/25mm I have on my Revere 101.

By the way, I tried that same lens on my Eclair NPR and was surprised to find that it did not work as expected. It only focused on objects far away and into infinity.

 

I'll start looking at the brands you suggested, hopefully there's no issue with mixing and matching brands when it comes to finder objectives, like, am Angenieux 10mm lens with B&H 10mm finder objective, etc.

 

Thanks again.

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You can still focus without a reflex viewfinder, you just estimate the distance and set the focus ring accordingly. As long as the lens is properly calibrated (10 minute check for a technician, or check it on yr NPR) the focus should be sharp enough, especially if stopped down a bit. How do you think all those cameramen shot sharp footage on Filmos and Eyemos during WW2?

 

A fixed focus lens like the one on yr Revere is just a normal lens set to focus at about 8 or 10 feet with a slow enough aperture that the depth of field covers most distances. Often they were cheap lenses (for beginners) that were not very sharp so the depth of field could be even deeper, and usually wide or medium focal lengths. If the Revere lens focuses far away on the NPR it may be out of calibration (or the NPR flange depth is off.)

 

A finder lens should work for any lens of the same focal length, in theory..

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My 70DR arrived today and I'm floored! This has likely never even been used. There's an entire roll of film in the camera, obviously expired. I can't use it because there's no way to guess what kind of film it is. Too bad.

 

Completely mint and original, the only thing that isn't original is the Canon C-mount someone slapped on there.

 

I wonder if I will need to lube this?

 

I'll take some pics of it tomorrow. I've never seen one without rust before. This seems fresh from the factory.

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It's not hard to find C-mount lenses but those little finders are not showing up much on eBay.

 

 

You can fin Filmo finders on Ebay for 15 to 50 € (or dollars, quite the same).

In Ebay/ Europe it is easy to find.

viewfinders available: 10mm, 13, 16, 17.5 (0.7″), 20, 25, 40 (quite unusual), 50, 70, 75, (100 and 150mm I think).

Not less than 10mm.

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Hi Samuel,

Of course you can focus because there is a critical focuser on Filmo 70DR.

All the explanations you needs are there :

https://krasnofilmoandco.wordpress.com/filmo70dr/

criticalfocuser.jpg?w=300&h=271

 

I am aware of the critical focuser, but it's a very odd device. I don't know how anyone can focus with such a tiny window about half the diameter of a grain of rice. I'm hoping to eventually find a dog-legged Angenieux on eBay that I can use with the Filmo.

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Let me help. Viewfinder, critical focuser, and lens belong together. You begin with the finder, decide on the focal length you want to use. Then you point the camera more or less on the object—

 

at this point you begin to understand that Filmo 70 are tripod cameras—

 

next you place the lens before the critical focuser which shows an enlarged round cutout of the frame and set focus.

Note that the critical focuser can be adjusted to your eye, unfortunately that takes a special tool. You need to see a ground glass sharply when no lens is in front of it.

 

Finally you swivel the taking lens over in front of the film aperture, set the iris stop, set the parallax correcting dial of the finder according to the distance the lens is set to, and shoot. Very simple! :rolleyes:

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I've finally managed to take some cell phone pics of the Filmo 70-DR. I wanted to take better ones outside but there's no such thing as sunlight in Seattle.

 

filmo1.jpg

 

There's a fresh roll of film in there that the original owner left. What a waste. There's really no way to know what it is. I wonder if I should just assume it's black and white reversal and try to use it and process it as such? Other than the waste of money, what's the worst that could happen?

 

 

filmo2.jpg

 

Clean interior. I should probably add some drops of the expensive whale oil that came in a little bottle with it.

 

filmo3.jpg

 

I think it's safe to say the Canon TV lens is not original.

 

filmo4.jpg

 

There's that critical focuser. Not only it's small but it's upside down! I feel sorry for those soldiers in Vietnam or wherever that had to focus on upside down trees and such.

 

filmo5.jpg

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Let me help. Viewfinder, critical focuser, and lens belong together. You begin with the finder, decide on the focal length you want to use. Then you point the camera more or less on the object—

 

at this point you begin to understand that Filmo 70 are tripod cameras—

 

next you place the lens before the critical focuser which shows an enlarged round cutout of the frame and set focus.

Note that the critical focuser can be adjusted to your eye, unfortunately that takes a special tool. You need to see a ground glass sharply when no lens is in front of it.

 

Finally you swivel the taking lens over in front of the film aperture, set the iris stop, set the parallax correcting dial of the finder according to the distance the lens is set to, and shoot. Very simple! :rolleyes:

Thank you, Professor. It might be einfach to you, but I don't find it very intuitive. The cybernetic Super 8 cameras are a bit more so. I especially don't get the parallax correcting dial on the viewfinder.

So now the plan is to get some Fomapan and do a series of tests. I can't buy the Orwo you once recommended, it seems to be out of stock everywhere. I do have several expired Plus-X rolls. I think I bought them in 2005. I'm guessing a one-stop overexposure would work. Although, those rolls have flown with me on a number of occasions through various international airports, so I'm not expecting a miracle.

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But you do have a finder with parallax correction on the DR, don’t you? It’s a disc around the eyepiece with a scale from INF(INITY) to 3 feet. Some models have the scale and marks layed out with fluorescent paint that makes it possible to correct parallax in the dark.

 

It wasn’t me who made the Filmos. I’m only trying to convey the thoughts and practice of Bell & Howell engineers from the past while we’re at the subject. A rare occasion for me

 

Wish you lots of sunlight for your health and pictures!

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But you do have a finder with parallax correction on the DR, dont you? Its a disc around the eyepiece with a scale from INF(INITY) to 3 feet. Some models have the scale and marks layed out with fluorescent paint that makes it possible to correct parallax in the dark.

 

It wasnt me who made the Filmos. Im only trying to convey the thoughts and practice of Bell & Howell engineers from the past while were at the subject. A rare occasion for me

 

Wish you lots of sunlight for your health and pictures!

 

Here are some more pictures, including the parallax correction dial. I was confused by it when I first saw it. So all I need to do is match the number on it with whatever it says on the lens. Like if the object is 8 feet away, I'd turn it to 8.

 

All of these will open into a new window, to display a larger version, when clicked.

 

filmo6.jpg

 

What, would you say, are the minimum focusing distances for these lenses?

 

filmo7.jpg

 

filmo8.jpg

 

The footage counter. I'll need to see if that is working accurately. It currently says 30 feet used but I have my doubts, the roll in the camera seems pretty full. Again, I wish I could use it. Can all film be processed as B&W negative?

 

filmo9.jpg

 

filmo10.jpg

 

Some models have the scale and marks layed out with fluorescent paint that makes it possible to correct parallax in the dark.

 

 

Thank you for the warning, I hope it isn't radium, I don't want eye cancer.

Edited by Samuel Berger

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You got it perfectly right about doing parallax correction.

 

Lenses bear a focusing ring, you should be able to read the shortest possible setting off of it. The longer the focal length is, the greater is the shortest available distance. Normal-length lenses (one inch with the 16mm format) can be focused down to a foot or so.

 

If you want to know what is on that film in the camera, better run it down completely in the closed camera, unload it, put the roll in a can, and tape the can securely. The footage counter dial revolves again and again but you can advance turn it at will. Not backwards. When loading the camera you set the counter to 96 just after having placed the lid on. You then run the film in the closed camera (turret cap or lens cap on) until the counter reads zero. Wind the spring fully and you’re ready. To prevent the mechanism from running turn the turret to LOCK.

 

Not all film can be processed black and white negative, the cheapest. If it’s Kodachrome, you need someone who does the dirty job of processing it and removing the black backing layer. Commercial processing of KM is a thing of the past. KM has a chamois hue on the light side, the other side is shiny black.

 

Cool photos!

Edited by Simon Wyss
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Thank you, Simon. I thought I'd add this picture of the matching projector!

 

filmo11.jpg

The Bell & Howell Diplomat 173 is probably the best projector I've ever had so far. If it were a sound projector, there would be no need for me to buy another one, ever. Operation is a bit more involved than later projectors and the Run-Rewind lever seems to not matter much unless in Rewind position (the neutral position in between doesn't prevent normal operation). I'm willing to bet it will never jam or scratch the film.

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Just to add that unexposed b/w film emulsion is light grey. It darkens if left out in the light for a while.

 

 

Thank you for that tidbit, Mark. Is this true of both reversal and negative black & white?

 

It's too bad I don't know how to make the edge markings visible, ha.

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Both as far as I can remember- I've got b/w neg in the junk can but I haven't seen a daylight spool of Tri-X since 1982.

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That emulsion did look yellowey, like color stock. You could process the first foot or two of film yourself to see the edge number, stock ID. Ccarefully remove the spools, rewind in the darkroom....This is assuming that there is something valuable on the exposed film, not just someones old camera test, or a scratch test. I would just biff it. Get a lomo tank and do some camera tests with whatever B&W stock you have...

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Hi Gregg, it is nice to hear from you again.

 

I'm not interested in seeing what is on the film, to be true, because only 15 feet or so have been exposed. I'm only interested in actually using the film, because there is still some 80 feet of it in the daylight spool and I would be interested to experiment with "found film". It's not a big deal, but given the current cost of film I thought I'd not let it go to waste.

 

It does look like colour stock. Whether it's reversal or negative, it's impossible to tell at this point.

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Sorry, I didn't notice the stock in the photographs.
Yes, that's colour film. As it's single-perf, it can't have been run and re-laced because then the winding would be incorrect.
Edit: just noticed that you know that already.
It would take a clip test to identify the stock but you could try it with b/w chemicals in a bucket in the dark.
Perhaps the seller has some clues about where it came from an how it's likely to have been used- if from an amateur it's almost certainly Kodachrome.

 

Edited by Mark Dunn

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Hey I just noticed the film is wound emulsion out. Interesting. In the manual it shows the feed spool inserted the opposite way from how my camera is loaded.

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