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Bolex H16 vs Krasnogorsk


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I am thinking of getting a 16mm camera for my next project and thinking of getting a Bolex H16 or a Krasnogorsk. The Bolex has a nice look along with quality, but the lenses are harder to research or get while the Krasnogorsk could be fitted for m42 mounts which are much easier to get and tinker around with. I would like the Bolex, but the Krasnogorsk provides many more options at a cheaper price. What should I get?

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The H 16 was made from 1935 to 2016, the latest examples assembled from spare parts with Bolex International, Yverdon, Switzerland.

If it means anything to you, I can assure you that there are a number of trained technicians around the globe who know the Paillard-Bolex products very well, have replacement parts, and will service lenses as well as a camera.

With a Krasnogorsk you get a mirror reflex camera with a few inherent flaws and no particular service. What concerns lenses I should say that there are way more C-mount optics in reach than M-42 ones, literally hundreds, made since the early 1920s.

If it is a goal to tinker around, better stay with the USSR stuff.

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the USSR stuff is totally fine as long as you are able to service them by yourself. The Bolexes are definitely more reliable but the K-cameras are pretty OK as long as they are very regularly serviced and lubricated. 

The M42 mount does not really solve any problems unless you want to shoot exclusively extreme telephoto shots like 400mm lenses and such. btw you can fit those lenses on Bolex very easily if needed. 

Personally I would take two of the Kransnogorsk cameras if wanting to replace a Bolex with them. this way you can wait for the film tests to come back after servicing them one at a time and still being able to shoot with the other one. By my opinion, the whole advantage of the Russian cameras is that they are cheaper so that you can purchase two of them instead of one Western made one.... this way it is not the end of the World if something happens to one of them during use or when servicing them :) 

the K-cameras have brighter viewfinder image as well. the Bolex has generally better lenses; the KMZ lenses for Krasnogorsk are pretty OK for most uses but the look is not nearly as nice and they are generally less interesting looking

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2 hours ago, Raymond Zananiri said:

Is there any documentation on how and in which places to lubricate K3 cameras?

don't know about documentation but this kind of Russian mirror shutter cameras (kiev16u is another example) are especially sensitive to the shutter's angle wormgear lubrication. you will notice it first and then the pulldown claw system. those are easy to get access to by just taking off the front of the camera (4 screws under the glued-on front cover) . the problematic ones are all the other mechanics which necessitate removing the whole "main plate" from the film chamber to get access to the rest of the mechanics. there is lots of gears and slide bearings inside which may not keep the lubrication for very long. messing with the main plate necessitates removing the sprocket wheel first and one needs to be careful when installing it back because it can be misaligned on the axle which would cause jams.

but it is really easier than it sounds like. just need to open it completely to get access to the whole mechanism

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