H16 J

Year of first Manufacture and Discontinuation Unknown

Sideview of H16 JThis is undoubtedly one of the most rarely seen Bolex cameras ever made and also one of the most unloved. It is often described as being a Bolex H16 prototype because of it missing off having any real controls on it and appears just to be a body shell.

Its called a Bolex H16 J and I originally thought it was designed for companies who specialised in Stop motion / animation / time lapse or titling work and would therefore never need use of the spring found in regular Bolex cameras for normal continuous shooting.










They of course would be working only a short focal distance away from a bench containing a title card or animated scene and therefore not need a big zoom bayonet lens and prefer one sturdy C mount one and have no need for the spring because they'd be using external drive motors or so i though! Some companies in animation may have bought it but this cameras main market was for security and surveillance tasks.

Before the advent of CCTV banks and other highly secure sites would need some kind of triggered motion picture device to record criminal activity. So these cameras were put into walls and ceilings probably with wide angle lenses correctly focused and a 100ft spool of film primed and waiting for a teller to press a button when an attempted robbery happened or something similar.

There was also a type of Black and white film Kodak made for these types of cameras called Hawkeye Surveillance film. It had a wide exposure latitude, fine grain and was manufactured for a long shelf life as the film could be sitting in the camera years before being used. Shown below is one system manufactured by Matrix Instruments using some kind of Mirror system:-

Before CCTV There was a Bolex Primed to FilmBack