APS Bolex 16mm Reflex Operating Guide

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Information on operating the APS Bolex Reflex.

Bolex 16mm Camera


Bolex H-16 Reflex Camera Operating Guide PDF
APS Bolex 16mm Reflex Proficiency Test

H-16 Bolex Reflex Tutorial

The Bolex H-16 Rex and H-16 SBM cameras are 16MM reflex cameras. It is an extremely versatile, portable, dependable, well built camera. The optical system permits through-the-lens viewing at all times. The self-threading allows easy loading of daylight spools. Camera features include single-frame filming, extended exposure, slow motion, backwind and a 133 ̊-145 ̊ angle variable shutter. Media Loan’s Advanced Production Services (APS) has a variety of Bolex H-16 cameras manufactured between 1960 and 1976. Although all have similar features, the controls vary slightly. Also available for use with the Bolex cameras are zoom lenses, prime lenses, and an intervalometer as well as other accessories. Although the Bolex is a very well built and dependable camera, care must be taken when using a Bolex checked out from APS as they are expensive and difficult to replace.

  • DO NOT subject the camera to severe impacts or prolonged vibrations.
  • DO NOT subject the camera to extreme heat or cold. Drastic temperature changes can cause condensation to occur inside the camera. Let the camera acclimate to the environment you are shooting in by letting it rest in the case with the case tabs opened but the lid closed for at least an hour.
  • DO NOT touch the prism.
  • DO NOT use excessive force or over tighten anything on the camera.

You are 100% financially responsible for repair and/or replacement in the event of damage or loss of the Bolex as well as any other equipment checked out from Media Loan.

Reflex Viewfinder

The optical system of the Bolex H-16 reflex cameras utilizes a beam splitter permitting through the lens viewing at all times free from flicker. The reflex viewfinder enables accurate focusing and framing, and allows you to estimate the depth of field. The reflex prism deflects 20 - 25% of the light passing through the lens into the viewfinder system. Only 75 – 80% of the light reaches the film plane. The actual quality of the light reaching the film is reduced by about 1/2 to 1/3 of an f-stop. To compensate for the light reduction, Bolex has determined that the effective shutter speed for the H-16 camera is 1/80 of a second rather than the standard 1/65 of a second. Another compensation for the light loss is the RX lens designed by Bolex with Kern/ Switar. The RX lens is calibrated to pass 1/2 to 1/3 more light than the aperture markings on the barrel indicates. When using RX lenses with the H-16 camera, the effective shutter speed is back to 1/65 of a second. APS will provide you with RX lenses (designated after the name on the barrel of the lens), unless you request otherwise or no RX lenses are available. make sure you know whether or not the lenses you are checking out are RX or non-RX. (Ask an APS employee to show you how to check the lens if necessary.) When using non-RX lenses of 50 mm or less, satisfactory results can be obtained when stopped down to f/8 or smaller.