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Edwin Feliu

Considering a new camera

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I have a Bolex H16 and considered a Krasnogorsk 3, but that seems a step down, though this one is near mint. I also considered a Filmo DA. What would be a step up? My budget would be $800 or so. I know this has been covered before, so apologies for the redundancy.

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That little money won't get you anything much better than what you have. A K3 is a step down, a Filmo is rugged and steady but not reflex. If your Bolex is non-reflex you could go for a reflex one, but then ideally you'd also need new RX lenses.

 

Why do you feel the need to step up? A Bolex is a great learning camera, why not spend the money on film and processing and keep learning? The next step up would probably be a quiet sync-sound camera like an Arri or Aaton, so you could shoot drama with dialogue, but you can learn plenty within the limitations of just visuals.

 

What limitations are you feeling with your current set-up?

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That's sound advice, and I needed it. I do like to try different cameras, and maybe reflex is the way to go. But then I would need the lenses, as you pointed out. I do keep in mind that Jonas Mekas did amazing things with his Bolex, and so did Brakhage and Warhol. Probably what would help me, though, would be to find good lenses. My best score so far is a Lytar, which I think is a lovely lens. Maybe I should also consider an Angeniux. Thanks, Dom.

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There was a supply of nice kinor2m cameras some years ago but all the usable ones are gone. That would have been a nice option if good ones would still exist. Maybe you could save some more and get an c mount acl or similar?

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Honestly, I feel Bolex's are the best. I love by EBM because its compact battery operated and has a flange based mount, that can be adapted to pretty much anything.

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I also say that it is good to keep the Bolex (if you don't have reflex better to get one of them). By now, you already have something of higher quality, it's better not to go back.


If instead you had to start, I would have said K3, which has defects but for the beginning it is easy to use.

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Thanks all. I think the reflex Bolex is the way to go when the time is right. I considered a Scoopic but am mystified by the battery: I found none on eBay.

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How does the Bolex EL compare with the EBM? I've got a Bolex Rx5 S16 with two lenses and I think it's a wonderful camera. Absolutely everything is manual. I find it rewarding and get a sense of achievement that I got the exposure and focus and everything else right, while managing to still do some minimal direction. One problem with spring-wound I found is that with the turret out to the side you have to either move the turret back or shorten the winding lever. Now on a shoot with clouds blowing across and trying to catch the right light that's tough to get the thing wound in time. But it's all good. A lot of fun all up.

Edited by Jon O'Brien

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The earlier H-16 is of the old open concept. Depending on one’s needs the better apt camera has a serial # below 100,400 to be compacter, lighter, faster. These models have a 190 degrees shutter open angle. It takes 16 revolutions of the winding crank to tense the spring, 22 with later models. The lens mounting threads are longer to allow the underlaying of shim rings under lenses that have a longer thread stud. One can reach into the close-up field beyond the shortest distance allowed by a lens’ focusing barrel. I have found that a Wollensak one-inch Raptar allows up to 2,75 mm or 0.108" of pull-out. The long-thread Switar 25 can be mounted with up to 2 mm or 0.078" of move-out. The shortest TUBEX extension tube adds 5 mm.

 

Or a model from serial number 203,001 on that has the big base, the 1-1 drive shaft and attachment bushings for synch motors, compendium rail, magazine capability. The compactest, I like that comparative degree, model is the H-16 M.

 

After all the years I’ve spent with H cameras I prefer standard models to reflex ones. Prism reflex finder systems don’t please me. Bear in mind that many great films were made with 122-lb. rackover Mitchell cameras, the framing done by the side finder.

 

 

Not to diminish the merits of direct cinema where reflex cameras rule.

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Sounds like you're on a similar journey to me about 10 years ago.

 

My first 16mm camera was a Kodak K-100. Nice wind-up camera but I really wanted TTL focusing. Next step for me was a K3. Really liked it, especially with Pentax Super Takumar prime lenses...but my hand was getting tired from the constant winding and I was missing shots.

 

My next camera was a Scoopic MS. By far the easiest 16mm camera to load and the MS has an EXCELLENT lens although it is fixed. It's like a combination of Super 8 camera and standard 16mm; the autoexposure is actually very useful and the camera is motorized and very easy to use handheld. Best part is NO WINDING!

 

I moved to Arri SR2's after that to make use of higher quality PL mount glass and a steadier film path. Love the SR2 but I still go to the Scoopic for handheld work.

 

My suggestion would be to look into a Scoopic MS for around $500, then send it to Bernie at Super 16, Inc. to get it cleaned and serviced and if you like you can widen the gate to Ultra 16 (although not that useful really) and that will get you to about $800 but you'll have a great practical 16mm camera in top notch shape.

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I step into the discussion.

What about the 16mm Pentaflex? If lucky you can find a complete kit (without lens) for the price of a Krasnogorsk 3, but I imagine it is much higher.

Edited by Luigi Castellitto

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Good offer, Gareth, thank you.
At the moment I don't have that economic figure, but I would do a thought...
I remember someone here have this machine, from the research you're talking about it, I think you have it. What do you think about it?

Edited by Luigi Castellitto

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I took Will's advice and decided on a Scoopic. I found one within budget that's film tested. I really like the engineering and think it's a good fit, but I will also keep shooting the Bolex, which I like very much. I see myself shooting even more film.

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The bolex is a superior camera to the Scopic in pretty much every way. Not just the gate, shutter, pressure plate design, but also on the electronic cameras the drive system is stellar. The interchangeable lenses are a key advantage, especially since the Scoopic's lens isn't that fast or wide. Yes the Scoopic is cheap and fine for entry level, it's just a limited camera in my view.

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The Scoopic has on its side a loading hyper easy. Not that the Bolex is difficult in this regard... And then it is very practical as a camera. Edwin, it's good to have both, the Canon for "disengagement", the Bolex when you want to engage more with a less practical viewfinder, etc.


P.S. I opened on Russian Gear a thread on the Kiev 16 C-3, who knows it?

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P.S. I opened on Russian Gear a thread on the Kiev 16 C-3, who knows it?

 

 

Did ya get one? They're a 50ft cartridge based camera, so a bit odd to deal with in modern times.

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Tyler, I saw some ads and I would like to take one.
I could cut a 100ft in two, in the changing bag (using a test film of similar length), and load in the cartridges.

I found some advice about this camera, but I didn't find the inside of the cartridges, I think are loaded with the usual little cores. I read that it could give results similar to a K3, but I didn't find any data about the solidity of the gate. I saw that it has a light meter, but I would not trust the old cell, I would use my external lightmeter. The lenses, however, seem not bad, but they had a proprietary thread, so... little compatibility.

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Tyler, I saw some ads and I would like to take one.

I could cut a 100ft in two, in the changing bag (using a test film of similar length), and load in the cartridges.

I found some advice about this camera, but I didn't find the inside of the cartridges, I think are loaded with the usual little cores. I read that it could give results similar to a K3, but I didn't find any data about the solidity of the gate. I saw that it has a light meter, but I would not trust the old cell, I would use my external lightmeter. The lenses, however, seem not bad, but they had a proprietary thread, so... little compatibility.

 

 

That makes sense, but remember it uses the pressure plate of the cartridge for stability so it's never going to be the same as a normal 100ft non-cartridge camera. 50ft of film is also a very short amount. I've worked with many cartridge cameras and most of them were fixed 18fps as well.

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I just like to add that they are called magazines and not cartridges. The 16mm magazine cameras don’t run at 18fps, most have a few running speeds 16, 24, 48 and many also have 64fps too. The Russian camera mentioned, it is a clone of the Bell and Howell, but unlike the Bell and Howell cameras it has an odd lens mount. The popular manufactures of 16mm magazine cameras were Kodak, Bell and Howell, Revere and Keystone, these cameras are small and all of them take c mount lenses and have spring wound motors. As for steadiness I was amazed when I saw some footage shot with a magazine camera. The cores in the magazines are smaller than the normal ones, there are videos Youtube about loading the magazines. Loading them the way they were officially loaded is tricky but there are alternative and easier ways to load single perf film.

 

Pav

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I just like to add that they are called magazines and not cartridges. The 16mm magazine cameras don’t run at 18fps, most have a few running speeds 16, 24, 48 and many also have 64fps too.

Ahh yes, 16fps sorry.

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Yes, I had noticed the difference in threading.

Manuals are available from the B&H equivalent, so I'm getting a clear idea about this type of machines.

It does not cost much, I could try, even if lately I'm oriented on another 16mm cameras.

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The bolex is a superior camera to the Scopic in pretty much every way. Not just the gate, shutter, pressure plate design, but also on the electronic cameras the drive system is stellar. The interchangeable lenses are a key advantage, especially since the Scoopic's lens isn't that fast or wide. Yes the Scoopic is cheap and fine for entry level, it's just a limited camera in my view.

Perhaps superior depends on your needs. Even though the lens is not interchangeable, I've had multiple colorists ask me what lens I was using because of how amazingly sharp it was, especially for regular 16mm. Honestly never seen the need for another lens and I use my SR2's with Zeiss glass constantly as well.

 

I've never owned a Bolex so I can't speak to it; the pressure plate design may very well be superior and I'm sure it's a finely made Swiss product. But on a practical level, the Scoopic is hands down the easiest loading 100' 16mm camera ever made and that makes a big difference when you're changing reels at an event.

 

The built-in battery and motor drive is excellent, compact and easy to use as well as the built-in meter which I've used constantly for the run-n-gun type shoot...usually taking a reading then locking down the exposure.

 

For anything where I can put a camera on sticks, I'm an Arri/Zeiss guy. When I'm shooting backstage at a concert or home movies or any event that I can shoot film at, the Scoopic rocks.

 

However, I would put the A-Minima at the pinnacle of run-n-gun shooting but that is a much different price point.

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