400ft Film Magazine

Bolex Product Code CASFA 266.001

400ft Magazine with MM motor attached

Quite simply a camera fitted with a 400ft magazine load allows you greater creative freedom to shoot more footage without having to stop and reload all the time.

It also cuts down by a factor of four the concern that you may not have enough film to finish a particular scene before it runs out.

A 400ft load allows you to shoot 11 minutes and 6 seconds of footage as opposed to the standard 2 minutes 47 seconds you get with a standard frame rate of 24fps.

Top of a H16 camera showing magazine mountThe film magazines attach to the camera by one side hooking underneath a bar and the other side being clipped into place. The magazines are held onto the camera body extremely securely by this method. The film is loaded into the magazines either on 200ft spools or most likely on 400ft cores.

The 400ft film magazine is available for use on all H16 cameras which have the magazine mounting present on top of the film chamber. The first camera to have the magazine mounting installed was the H16 Rex 5 in 1967, with the H16 M5, SBM, EBM and EL also having them fitted as standard when they were introduced.

You may come across other, earlier models of Bolex which have the magazine mount attached but they would have been retrofitted with the mount either at Bolex's factory in Switzerland or one of their authorised dealers.

Film Chamber rollers attached inside Film chamberYou will need to place two film rollers over the two metal spindles in the cameras film chamber which usually holds the 100ft daylight loading spools. This is to enable the film to pass back easily into the magazine after being exposed.

In my experience the magazine is best loaded in a camera changing bag with it being connected to the camera at the same time rather than loading the magazine and then attaching it to the camera and trying to lace it up with the gate removed.

Once the camera and magazine is loaded you will need to attach either the MM or WM winding motor to the magazine. This is done by positioning the motor over the left hub and turning 90 degrees. The lead from this motor can be plugged directly into the supply socket which powers it on the EBM or EL's camera body or on whichever external drive motor you have attached to your spring driven Bolex.

400ft Magazine Protective CoverBolex Product Code 266.110 HUMO

Also available as a separate accessory for the Bolex 400ft magazine is a thin lightweight protective cover to protect it from the extremes of heat.

When shooting outdoors in bright light where there is no shade the film in the magazine can get quite hot, this cover prevents it suffering too much.

It quite simply fits over it and you zip it up. You are still able to attach the external WM or MM winding motors and still read how much film you have left to shoot.


Original Advert for 400ft Bolex

Super 16 Compatibility

The film magazines were only originally designed to hold Standard 16mm film, as this was the only type of 16mm film available at the time of their introduction (1967) to coincide with the release of the REX5 camera.

Three years later in 1970 Super 16mm film was invented which enabled the area previously occupied by the second row of sprockets or the soundtrack to be used to create a bigger picture area enabling wide screen 16mm film to become a reality.

Bolex began offering a conversion of its 400ft magazine to hold both standard and super 16mm film. They have however never designed a completely new magazine to take both Standard and Super 16mm film from the start.

If Super 16mm is required they much prefer to modify a Standard magazine to take both types of film.

So if you come across a Bolex 400ft magazine they will all look identical from the outside but inside they could be configured to take both types of 16mm film or just Standard 16mm.