Welcome to Bolex H16 User
For Practical Bolex H16 Filming
Whether used small scale (wind and shoot) or with sync sound motors and a full crew. These versatile cameras enable you to produce stunning Broadcast Quality HD Imagery for Prints or Digital.
This website is dedicated to the Bolex H16 Camera user, enthusiast & film maker who actively shoots film using his or her H16 camera and is looking for a more up to date resource on using the Bolex H16 camera day to day.
Hand assembled yet produced in the hundreds of thousands over 8 decades these iconic 16mm cameras were the handycam / GoPro cameras of there day.
Any H16 is a feature rich and reliable camera with each model gradually evolving from the last.
Used by everyone back in the day from you local newsman, wildlife photographer, documentarian or student radical. Perfect for moving pictures and renowned for there ease of use for time-lapse, animation and still frame work.
From the art films of Andy Warholl to Mike Judge's Beavis and Butt Head there's been a Bolex camera in more situations than you'd think.
When handed one its hard not to appreciate the Swiss craftsmanship that has gone into producing each model of H16 and there are those who collect them for this reason only.
For others its retro design may suggest to them the results of those using them will only ever be able to achieve an amateurish or 'retro look' but depending on your choice of film, lens & technique you can create any number of looks from retro to pro.
From the artsy film maker hand cranking and processing their own film to the high end picture perfect look of Kodak negative film professionally shot, processed & scanned to a 4K digital file to the unique look of direct projection of reversal stocks or prints.
You may be a film school student coming to use the cameras for the first time or an interested new user or owner who is taken by the thought of shooting something in the granddaddy of formats and want an easy to use and practical hand held camera that's also easy to carry.
Curious about dipping your toe into what may appear like a strange new area but you'd be surprised how easy it is to create images this way and how easy and enjoyable it is to integrate this camera into your life.
Or you may be wanting to shoot a professional project or capture a special personal family event like a wedding in a way removed from the ubiquitously common sensor acquired imagery that is standard nowadays.
It can also be nice stepping out of the technological rat race of continually evolving sensor based cameras and step into the world of film where your cameras always as current as the next fresh roll of film you put in it. Film has a natural look and tone that is unique and is worth all the extra effort and patience required in getting it. There's only one film image on this page and despite it standing out for not having a Bolex camera in the frame it also stands out for the natural warmth of colour and a more natural way of seeing that's purely film.
Tap into the knowledge of a H16 Camera user whose been actively shooting film with his Bolex H16 SBM since the mid 90s and having been bitten by the bug has been continually adding to the archive of his life shooting film ever since. He hopes that by reading his site you won't fall into some of the pitfalls he did and go straight to wonderful images.
After all do you really want your legacy of your existence on the planet to be a cache of pictures left in the cloud? A digital file left on a soon to die hard drive written in a format nothing will read in the next 2 decades? Or a can of film that can sit inert and last long after your gone and be as simple to access for us now as future generations?
Best of Regards & Keep Shooting
Last Article written:-
People and Projects Section > Top Tips
Next Articles I'll be writing:-
Zoom Lenses Section > Vario Switar 100 POE
Zoom Lenses Section > Vario Switar 17-85
Entirely New Section Add a time lapse section discuss Tobin Norris and CD100 Time lapse system for the Bolex
In 2015 I will be mainly shooting Negative film in pursuit of a long term personal project and looking forward to shooting the new Film Ferrania Kickstarter reversal film for a forthcoming family wedding!