Category: digital bolex

Click here to view the embedded video.

The Digital Bolex has stumbled into the world. It is alive. Now it must find a place for itself. Most importantly of all – is this new replicant Bolex actually convincing?

Time to find out.

“Gosh, you’ve… really got some nice toys here”

A few weeks ago I had an email from Theo (below left), a filmmaker and EOSHD reader. Theo also happens to be the only Digital Bolex owner in Europe (well…the only one in Berlin…probably!?). So we took the D16 for a spin and shot a fun test. Frank Sauer and I handled the camera-work and the lovely Christina Mj Zahra (fashion designer) was our subject for the day at an abandoned Berlin beer factory, full of drunk ghosts.

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Above: left to right – Theo, Christina, myself (Andrew, EOSHD)

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Above: Christina and The Only Digital Bolex In Europe Probably

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Above: Frank Sauer shooting like a pro :)

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Above: Christina in a moment of reflection (and dazzling natural backlight)

The Digital Bolex D16 fills a big space in my bag for an art camera. It may not (yet) be a commercial filmmaker’s tool of choice (can’t do low light, lacks histogram, etc.) but this camera feels different to the others. The image feels analogue. A lot of that analogue feel is down to the Truesense (ex-Kodak) CCD sensor with global shutter in the D16. The vast majority of other cameras all have CMOS sensors since this is the way the camera industry cookie has crumbled.

CMOS technology is like the compact disc, CCD like vinyl. CCD is rawer, rougher, grainier, yet magical. What’s more the Digital Bolex team have really done justice to the sensor with their colour science and calibration. The raw Cinema DNG files from the D16 are a delight to look at straight off the camera without any grading. It isn’t just the image which gives this Bolex an authentic Super 16mm feel. I loved to use it handheld with just the pistol grip with trigger for record, and an EVF for composition.

A bunch of filmmakers love Super 16mm film. Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) is one. Kathryn Bigelow (Hurt Locker) another. These are the names to bear in mind when someone on a forum somewhere says ‘small sensors are crap’. On this shoot we shot 5D Mark III and Digital Bolex. That’s Vistavision vs Super 16 in cinema terms so you can’t get much more different. Most of my favourite shots came off the Digital Bolex, but there were times when the full frame look won… The point being, everything has its place.

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In Part 1 of this review I’ve edited my take on the shoot with the video above consisting only the Digital Bolex shots (none are from the 5D Mark III raw) and they are all ungraded. The workflow was simple – Cinema DNG straight into Resolve, set to Rec 709 colour and output to ProRes 422 HQ for editing in Adobe Premiere. No Film Convert was used in Premiere – these images already feels like film!

In part 2 Frank will have his edit ready and I can’t wait to see his take on it, the mood, the music, etc. This was such a fun and creative shoot.

Frank is going to do some grading to the raw in Resolve, so we’ll see how good it looks when raw is pushed a bit further.

Shooting with the D16

Focus is actually a lot more manageable on Super 16mm than on photographic full frame (5D) but you wouldn’t know it to shoot with the D16.

Truth be told we had a really hard time on this shoot getting our focus and exposure right.

These are such important things – why neglect them in the design!?

We used a Zacuto EVF via the HDMI port on the Bolex, but the HDMI output is way too soft for my needs… I was never too positive about focus as a result. The deep DOF of the Bolex also makes it more difficult to see when focus is just a bit out. With a shallow DOF you easily see where the focus plain is because there’s a huge amount of defocussed stuff around it and you see it move very clearly when racking focus. The focus aids on the Zacuto EVF didn’t help matters much – either too distracting or not effective.

Exposure was even more of a challenge because currently the Digital Bolex HDMI output clips the highlights and shadows A LOT. The CCD sensor introduces a further challenge – if you over expose the image falls off a cliff. To give you an example… Say you are exposing for F5.6 and ISO 200 and everything looks fine… without warning if you open up to F2.8 you may even lose the shot, boom, burnt image. Dynamic range is massive (13 stops) but you don’t expose from the middle, you expose from the top of the range. There’s not that margin of error you have with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera.

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mr sauer digital bolex

As Theo is a witness to, owning this camera is not the same as owning a DSLR or renting a C300. It feels almost like you’re invited into a family. People on the street want to chat. Girls sensibly ask what you use it for and the guys just want to know the spec :) Suddenly you’re connected to other owners around the world through a niche online community and due to the relatively small numbers shipped so far, it’s quite an exclusive club – much like the one which formed around the Ikonoskop (which shares a very similar image and spec).

Some may not care about this, but I really like it.

I see a huge place for this camera but that place is not as a workhorse in the production industry – it is in the indie film / artistic community where the D16 is in its element. It is like a film stock with some hard to define magic. It isn’t a common look and you cannot easily mimic it with a CMOS sensor camera, especially when it comes to skin tones.

The D16 is extremely flattering of talent. Skin is pink and fleshy on the D16 when it is yellow and plastic on a DSLR. Even raw from the Blackmagic cameras or 5D Mark III does not look as authentically analogue and film-like as the output from the D16. It captures incredible subtleties in colour tone that seems to be lost somewhere in the A/D conversion of a CMOS sensor. A hazy evening sky looks more emotionally resonant on the D16.

Emotional colours and flattering skin – so important and worth paying for! The D16 is not exactly cheap at $3299 minimum but it is less than half the price of the Ikonoskop and not much more than a 5D Mark III.

Look how lovely Christina looks in these shots… and this was all natural light…

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Click the images for the full 1080p versions

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The D16 is not a perfect camera by any means and I’m afraid we must get down to the nitty gritty.

I teased Theo a bit when he complained about the D16′s many issues… by calling him The Moaning Investor :) When you buy a D16 you feel like you are investing in the whole enterprise, actually giving Joe and Elle’s amazing venture a future. When you point out obvious possibly deal-breaking, shot-breaking, film-breaking problems it feels bad because you really want the Digital Bolex to succeed. Succeed I am sure it will, I think what all devs and engineers really want to hear are not empty platitudes but the flaws pointing out, and their level of severity from the user’s point of view highlighting pretty bluntly…

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Above: Elle and Joe of Digital Bolex

First of all the image problems at this stage in firmware that Philip Bloom pointed out in his review are really a bit of a tip of the iceberg, sadly there’s a few more to report…

Yes you have vertical banding and tearing with bright light shining directly into the lens…

But you also have a quadrant stitching issue which leaves one side of the image slightly darker than the other. It’s VERY subtle but it does show up with a heavy grade, on frames which have a lot of sky in them.

In addition to that there’s an early quality control issue where the glass covering the sensor isn’t completely clean. Spots or dark smudges can show up at narrow apertures when the focus plain gets very close to the front of the sensor, say at F11 with a wide lens.

We also had quite a lot of chromatic aberrations but I suspect these are down to the RX type of Kern Paillard Switar c-mount lens I was using for some of the shots.

Our earlier test shots were full of the above problems which Theo wrote about at the Digital Bolex forum here.

The D16 also does not handle silhouetted subjects very well either…

5D Mark III:

5D Mark III

Digital Bolex D16:

Digital Bolex D16

In terms of actually shooting with the D16 practically, the screen and the crank are the weakest parts of the spec. The screen would have been a really nice feature had it been usable for exposure, composition and focus but it isn’t – it’s usable as a menu but visibility and image quality is just too poor to act as a live-view display.

The D16 benefits from being used a certain way…

  • Attach an EVF to the side-mounted hotshot and bring it to your eye like an optical viewfinder on an Arri film camera
  • Light for ISO 200 (forget about shooting at ISO 800 or even 400 in dim light)
  • Ignore the built in screen for composition or focus
  • Maximum shutter angle is just 45 degrees so use NDs for exposure in bright light
  • Don’t be temped to shoot at F16 on an old c-mount lens for exposure in bright light, you will massively degrade optical performance
  • Don’t assign any critical controls to the crank handle – adjust all settings through the main menu

The crank handle is very easy to knock so if you have something like shutter angle assigned to it, it is asking for trouble in my view! The handle gives no precise feedback when it has changed a setting, the latency between the rotation of the crank and the setting changing is a problem. You wind the handle, then next year the setting changes on the display :)

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Above: from left to right, Frank, Andrew, Christina, Theo

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Above: Photo by Theo

Low light

This camera is ISO 200 native and you kind of need to stay there! You can apply noise reduction in post to get a usable image at up to 800. I don’t really recommend it because you lose some of the nice filmic qualities of the camera in doing too much digital post production on the image.

Below (click to enlarge to 2K) is a shot from the D16 which was accidentally underexposed by a huge 3 stops (approximately). Extreme example but it does show the power of raw. I lifted this 3 stops from the Cinema DNG in Resolve and applied noise reduction…

Digital bolex low light, raw grade

There’s a ton of magenta noise so that Resolve 10 noise filter is definitely needed, even just to restore the colour balance. You can always add film grain again later if the noise reduction makes for a plastic looking image. The good thing is with raw, that fine detail is maintained quite well when you apply noise reduction.

You feel 100% responsible for making this camera work even right down to how people view your material. Sadly Vimeo will not do it justice, which for me is quite a big problem. The authenticity of the footage is destroyed by compression. The texture changes, the colour adjusts, the analogue feeling gets digitised by the web.

Everything with the Digital Bolex takes a real artistic effort to make work… time, skill and certainly the right vintage c-mount lenses – which are getting expensive!

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I enjoy it most with the pistol grip and trigger, with only a small EVF not a huge monitor attached. On a tripod it totally loses its charm for me, neither does it look as alluring. It really is an attractive camera with a big Angenieux vintage Super 16mm zoom attached and the pistol grip. With a smaller lens and huge tripod, the attractive silver metallic camera body becomes kind of lost.

It really is a Bolex then, as we know it, but with some of the convenience of digital recording. There’s no other way to pigeon hole this camera. It defies easy comparison to a host of other cameras even the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera which has a similar sized sensor and shoots raw.

It makes my head flip upside down just thinking about it!

Stay tuned for part 2 later in the week and the conclusion.

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Above: photo by Frank Sauer

The post Digital Bolex D16 Review – Part 1 appeared first on EOSHD.com.

All credit is given to author EOSHD.comAndrew Reid

Digital Bolex

If you are in LA I highly recommend going along to Hot Rod Cameras on Wednesday.

Joe of Digital Bolex will be there to answer any questions and host a try out session for the camera along with Hot Rod Camera’s Illya Friedman!

I would be there myself if I lived in LA. Have fun people!

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The post See the Digital Bolex at Hot Rod Cameras in LA – Wednesday 15th January appeared first on EOSHD.com.

All credit is given to author EOSHD.comAndrew Reid

Digital Bolex

I received an exciting email this morning from the Digital Bolex team, The D16 camera is ready for release and they will start taking fresh pre-orders next week.

This news has been eagerly awaited since completion of the Kickstarter campaign in March 2012. Backers of the project will be excited to know that their orders will be processed as earlier as this week.

Here’s what Digital Bolex has announced:

“We’re pleased to announce that the Digital Bolex D16 will be shipping to backers starting this week. If you are a backer, we will be contacting you shortly to verify your shipping addresses and contact details, so please make sure that emails from digitalbolex.com will clear your spam filter.

For those of you who are not backers but are interested in purchasing a camera, we are also announcing our first official pre-sale for the next 500 cameras! This pre-sale will open on December 16th at 10am EST through our website with a retail price of $3,299 for the 256 GB camera, and $3,599 for the 512 GB camera.”

The announcement also marks December 16th as the opening to their online store. So if you’re interested in the brand outside of a camera purchase head over on this date. Purchase requires site registration as a member; you can do so now via the Digital Bolex website.

Digital Bolex

We look forward to obtaining the camera to provide you with our own thoughts, as well as the steady flow of user footage we’ll see in the public domain over the next few weeks. The specification and focus on aesthetics has raised a lot of eyebrows; it’s a camera that’s taken a unique approach to image reproduction and how it prioritise specific aspects, straying from the current trend of pushing resolution as a main focus.

Here’s the specification list one more time:

2k Cinema DNG RAW Digital Bolex
Global CCD Sensor
24bit 96kHz audio with phantom power via XLR
Enterprise Class SSD
HDMI output
Interchangeable Lens Mount
Removable pistol grip

All credit is given to author cinema5DTim Fok

Digital Bolex

Digital Bolex creators Elle, Joe and team have posted further updates to the development of their 2k D16 camera. If you were amongst the first 100 to pre-order the camera, keep an eye out for the postman next month.

The refreshing transparency of the Digital Bolex team has continued with a recent blog post re-affirming a mid November ship date for the initial batch, among some interesting advances with their camera’s construction, audio and color science.

The blog post displays a series of camera components sent from their Chinese supplier. Here’s what they say:

“These parts are leaps and bounds better than the last generation. The surface is clean and feels amazing, the machining is perfect, and the paint is durable and smooth. Many products these days have a little bit of a texture etched into the metal or plastic or paint. The purpose of this texture is to hide the inevitable surface imperfections in manufacturing. The D16?s paint however is smooth and clean, like the back of an iPhone, though matte instead of glossy.”

 Digital Bolex Components

The team are close to freezing development on the first version of the firmware, but before doing so have been working on the color reproduction of the cameras white balance presets, HDMI output and also testing the camera’s performance under cold conditions.

“While Toronto is certainly colder than Los Angeles, it’s still not cold enough yet to test this upgrade in extreme weather. So our resourceful engineers MacGyver’ed a great solution: they stuck a Kino Flo mini and a tiny color chart in the fridge with the D16!”

Digital Bolex

The final break through is accomplishment of audio capture on the D16. The camera now records 16/24bit and 48K audio, with 96k to follow shortly. Audio meters are displaying on screen with peak warnings also.

It’s rare a camera company is this transparent these days. There are obvious flaws to the technique; RED learnt this the hard way with the oh-so prolonged release of the Scarlet camera. However as a neutral viewer it’s great to see the progress of a camera’s development, for more pictures and information be sure to check out the Digital Bolex blog post.

All credit is given to author cinema5DTim Fok

Digital Bolex with prototype PL mount

At the start of the week, Elle and Joe (founders of the Digital Bolex) offered a sneak peak in the form of 5 seconds of video shot from the Digital Bolex. They have now released a sub 3 minute short shot on the Digital Bolex, with accompanying downloads to the original raw files.

The below video was shot on the Digital Bolex, with Zacuto follow focus, SmallHD EVF, Switronix battery and a ‘prototype’ PL mount. Lenses were a 15mm Elitar-Soligor f/1.9, 9.5mm Illumina T/1.3 and 50mm Zeiss CP2 T/2.1.

And here is the behind the scenes

In Joe and Elle’s blog, Joe explains problems they were experiencing with the C mount on the camera, hence the DIY resolved PL mount made from clamps and gaff tape. Downloads for the footage can also be found on their blog.

The footage was shot in 2K CinemaDNG (2048×1152) at 24FPS. The shutter angle was set to 220 degrees; this equates to 1/40th of a second (rounded up), hence the definite motion blur.

It seems they’re making great progress with this camera; a month ago we only had still images to work from, now there’s 10GB of public footage to play with. Let’s just hope on release day their stock levels are better than what we’ve seen with others more recently.

All credit is given to author cinema5DTim Fok

Digital Bolex with prototype PL mount

At the start of the week, Elle and Joe (founders of the Digital Bolex) offered a sneak peak in the form of 5 seconds of video shot from the Digital Bolex. They have now released a sub 3 minute short shot on the Digital Bolex, with accompanying downloads to the original raw files.

The below video was shot on the Digital Bolex, with Zacuto follow focus, SmallHD EVF, Switronix battery and a ‘prototype’ PL mount. Lenses were a 15mm Elitar-Soligor f/1.9, 9.5mm Illumina T/1.3 and 50mm Zeiss CP2 T/2.1.

And here is the behind the scenes

In Joe and Elle’s blog, Joe explains problems they were experiencing with the C mount on the camera, hence the DIY resolved PL mount made from clamps and gaff tape. Downloads for the footage can also be found on their blog.

The footage was shot in 2K CinemaDNG (2048×1152) at 24FPS. The shutter angle was set to 220 degrees; this equates to 1/40th of a second (rounded up), hence the definite motion blur.

It seems they’re making great progress with this camera; a month ago we only had still images to work from, now there’s 10GB of public footage to play with. Let’s just hope on release day their stock levels are better than what we’ve seen with others more recently.

All credit is given to author cinema5DTim Fok

Here is a peek at what we can expet from the highly anticipated Digital Bolex. It’s only a few seconds and the YT link has no audio. We are excited about a brand new camera and the CCD’s are a nice break from Jello vision CMOS world.
*UPDATE* The good folks over at DB have uploaded more footage and links to download some for yourself.

Here is the Vimeo post.

Bolex Films #2 – Strip & Razor from Digital Bolex on Vimeo.

The footage links are available on the Vimeo page here.

Here is the FB Post Video. Only a few seconds.

“Digital Bolex 1st 6 secs in 720p

For those that may not be able to convert the files, here’s a taste of what’s sure to come on vimeo. I looped it three times and took a modest shot at a subtle color grade. Look at that CCD motion cadence and film-like quality! The RAW sequence was very moody to begin with. I’d love to know about the lighting conditions. I can’t wait for more! Tease!”

Click here top check it out.

All credit is given to author Wide Open CameraJared Abrams

Digital Bolex

Things have been very quiet over in the Digital Bolex camp. In March 2012 the Kickstarter campaign kicked up a lot of fuss (pun not intended), promising 2k raw DNG via a camera in form of a Digital Bolex, with a CCD global shutter.

Since then little has been said, and Black Magic has taken to the stage with release of 4 competing cameras. (which ironically are not much farther ahead of Bolex in terms of public release).

Apart from a specification list and clean cut branding, we’ve only had prototype pictures to lust over. Until yesterday when Joe Rubinstein of Digital Bolex posted the first sample DNG images from the camera.

The images can be seen below, taken with a collection of vintage primes (in descending order) a 15mm Elitar Soligor, 26mm Kern-Paillard Pizar AR, and Canon 50mm 0.95.

Digital Bolex 1

Digital Bolex 2

Digital Bolex 3

You can download the .DNG files from the Digital Bolex website.

The images look promising. Sharp, organic like texture. There are some issues that Joe notes:

“The images aren’t perfect of course. The temperature is a little yellow, there is a dead pixel, and some other small issues, but I love the texture of the images. I am so happy with what these images look like for the stage we are at.

Joe’s explanation of the current stages of the camera is refreshing, their transparency as a company is reminiscent of early RED days.

As a recap, here’s what to expect from the Bolex:

2k Cinema DNG RAW Digital Bolex
Global CCD Sensor
24bit 96kHz audio with phantom power via XLR
Enterprise Class SSD
HDMI output
Interchangeable Lens Mount
Removable pistol grip

The complexity of the post workflow versus the cult appeal of the aesthetics provides an offset for the Bolex.  It’ll be interesting to see how it holds up in the current aggressive market for camera bodies.

The first batch of 100 cameras order via the initial Kickstarter campaign is predicted very soon, they should start shipping in August.

Via nofilmschool

All credit is given to author cinema5DTim Fok

Digital Bolex

Things have been very quiet over in the Digital Bolex camp. In March 2012 the Kickstarter campaign kicked up a lot of fuss (pun not intended), promising 2k raw DNG via a camera in form of a Digital Bolex, with a CCD global shutter.

Since then little has been said, and Black Magic has taken to the stage with release of 4 competing cameras. (which ironically are not much farther ahead of Bolex in terms of public release).

Apart from a specification list and clean cut branding, we’ve only had prototype pictures to lust over. Until yesterday when Joe Rubinstein of Digital Bolex posted the first sample DNG images from the camera.

The images can be seen below, taken with a collection of vintage primes (in descending order) a 15mm Elitar Soligor, 26mm Kern-Paillard Pizar AR, and Canon 50mm 0.95.

Digital Bolex 1

Digital Bolex 2

Digital Bolex 3

You can download the .DNG files from the Digital Bolex website.

The images look promising. Sharp, organic like texture. There are some issues that Joe notes:

“The images aren’t perfect of course. The temperature is a little yellow, there is a dead pixel, and some other small issues, but I love the texture of the images. I am so happy with what these images look like for the stage we are at.

Joe’s explanation of the current stages of the camera is refreshing, their transparency as a company is reminiscent of early RED days.

As a recap, here’s what to expect from the Bolex:

2k Cinema DNG RAW Digital Bolex
Global CCD Sensor
24bit 96kHz audio with phantom power via XLR
Enterprise Class SSD
HDMI output
Interchangeable Lens Mount
Removable pistol grip

The complexity of the post workflow versus the cult appeal of the aesthetics provides an offset for the Bolex.  It’ll be interesting to see how it holds up in the current aggressive market for camera bodies.

The first batch of 100 cameras order via the initial Kickstarter campaign is predicted very soon, they should start shipping in August.

Via nofilmschool

All credit is given to author cinema5DTim Fok

Bolex H16

Above: EOSHD picked up this Bolex H16 for under 400 euros – it came with a complete set of Schneider Xenon lenses

I love the 16mm and Super 16mm format and there are two cameras on the horizon that could offer very exciting images. Digital Bolex with their global shutter, raw and extensive feature set then Blackmagic with their diminutive Pocket Cinema Camera which shoots ProRes and raw.

With only weeks to go until the expected Pocket Cinema Camera shipping data I’ve been stocking up on c-mount lenses. Here’s a guide to which ones work, which ones don’t, and how to spot a bargain.

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and Digital Bolex feature Super 16mm sized sensors. This is a 3x centre crop of a full frame sensor. A full frame lens is designed to provide a large 36mm x 24mm sensor with coverage, therefore Super 16mm lenses can be physically smaller as the only need to cover a smaller 12.5mm x 8mm sensor (7mm on the Blackmagic when you take into account the crop to 16:9).

I’ve used c-mount lenses before on various cameras. The GH2 had a 1:1 crop mode that gave it an approximately Super 8mm sized sensor. The Nikon 1 mirrorless camera also took c-mount lenses and had a slightly larger than Super 16mm 1″ sensor.

The Blackmagic Cinema Camera’s sensor was half way between Micro Four Thirds and Super 16mm but the Pocket Cinema Camera and Digital Bolex sensors are perfectly matched and real Super 16mm. The mounts are also compatible – the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera has a Micro Four Thirds mount and both cameras will take the original vintage 16mm glass via c-mount adapters.

At the edge of a lens you often get a brightness fall off (vignette), curving of bokeh and a softness to the image. Often these attributes are actually VERY attractive and cinematic. Cropping into full frame glass with your Super 35mm sensor or Micro Four Thirds sensor isn’t always desirable as you miss the edges of the image circle thus reducing the character of the lens.

Julian on the EOSHD forum has begun a monster thread taking contributions from around the world on which c-mount lenses are good on a Super 16mm sensor. To do this Julian came up with the idea for GH2 owners to test their c-mount lenses on the full sensor and crop a Super 16mm area out of the centre. This will tell you whether the lens covers the sensor on the Blackmagic and Digital Bolex Super 16mm cameras or not. Some which are designed for smaller 8mm, 16mm and digital CCTV CCD sensors or machine vision won’t work.

Julian - GH2 crop factor

It is the vintage Super 16mm cine glass you should try and look for first and foremost. There’s some lovely stuff out there, albeit sometimes very expensive. The Switar 26mm F1.1 for example is the work of a spaceman but currently fetches upwards of $1000 on eBay.

I’ve found the best thing to do is to target the cameras themselves.

Often a seller will bundle lenses with a Bolex, and since some of these cameras have a turret, you can get as many as 3 lenses on the front of the camera for far less than you can buy them individually on eBay.

I found a CINE Xenon 16mm F2.0, 25mm F1.4 and 75mm F2.8 on my Bolex H16. These are very well built metal bodied lenses and suit the Pocket Cinema Camera because they are small and have buttery smooth short focus travels on the tiny barrel.

Some Super 16mm lenses, 25mm or longer even cover the Micro Four Thirds sensor of the GH3 but anything wider than 25mm generally won’t. The 75mm Xenon does cover it.

You will notice I am missing a wide angle in my bundle – the 16mm is actually a portrait lens equivalent to 50mm on full frame.

8mm and 10mm lenses are generally cheaper to get on eBay as none of them really work that well on Micro Four Thirds cameras, so a price bubble hasn’t quite formed. I was able to pick up a Kern Switar 10mm F1.6 for around 150 euros and it almost covers the 2.7x crop Nikon 1 sensor. I’m excited to use it on the Pocket Cinema Camera as it is a perfect match to the sensor. On the Nikon 1 the mild vignette was a nice soft edge at fast apertures which looked atmospheric but stop down to F5.6 and it becomes a harder black edge in the corners and that is not nice.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Above: the Kern Switar 10mm F1.6 in action, as well as a few Computar TV lenses (25mm and 50mm F1.3)

One advantage of such a wide focal length like 8mm or 10mm is that focus becomes very manageable. You can stop down to F4, set it to infinity and everything from about 1-2m in front of you will be in focus – great for run and gun and one of the reasons Bolex cameras were so beloved by the French documentary / news movers and shakers of the 60′s and 70′s.

I’m looking for more contributions to the Super 16mm c-mount lens compatibility list started by Julian so if you have a Micro Four Thirds camera and c-mount lenses please do add to the list. Here is Julian’s list as it stands today. Some interesting stuff on this list.

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera c-mount compatibility list

Yes = covers the full sensor of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera
No = doesn’t cover the sensor
Needs modification = Doesn’t fit on C-mount to M43-adapter without modifications
Equivalent = The focal length and depth equivalent on a fullframe camera (5D Mark III for example)

Primes

Apollo 25mm f/0.85 - YES = 72mm f/2.4 equivalent [link to proof]

Angenieux 10mm f/1.8 Retrofocus (Fixed Focus) YES (dark corners) = 28,8mm f/5.2 equivalent [link to proof] [more info]

Carl Zeiss Jena Tevidon 10mm f/2 - YES - Needs modification = 28,8mm f/5.8 equivalent [link to proof] [more info]

Carl Zeiss Jena Tevidon 35mm f/1.9 YES - Needs modification = 101mm f/5.6 equivalent [link to proof]

Century 9mm f/1.8 - YES (poor quality) [link to proof]

Computar 8mm f/1.3 - NO [link to proof]

Computar 16mm f/1.4 - NO [link to proof]

Computar TV Lens 25mm f/1.8 - YES = 72mm f/5,2 equivalent [link to proof]

Cosmicar 8,5mm f/1.5 - NO [link to proof]

Cosmicar 12.5mm f/1.8 - YES - Needs modification = 36mm f/5.2 equivalent [link to proof]

Cosmicar 25mm f/1.8 YES - 72mm f/5.2 equivalent [link to proof]

Ernitec 6.5mm f/1.8 - YES (heavy distortion) [link to proof]

Ernitec/Navitar 17mm f/0.95 - YES (v. blurry corners & distortion) [link to proof]

Fujinon TV 12.5mm f/1.4 - YES (blurry corners) - Mod.? (unknown) = 36mm f/4 equivalent [link to proof]

Fujinon TV 16mm f/1.4 - NO [link to proof]

Fujinon TV 35mm f/1.7 - YES Needs modification = 101mm f/4.9 equivalent [link to proof]

Leitz Macro Cinegon 10mm f/1.8 - YES (dark corners) = 28,8mm f/5.2 equivalent [link to proof]

Kern Switar 10mm f/1.6 - YES (slight vignette & blurry corners) [link to proof]

Nikon Cine Nikkor 13mm f/1.8 - YES =  37,5mm f/5.2 [link to proof]

Nikon Cine Nikkor 25mm f/1.8 - YES = 72mm f/5.2 equivalent [link to proof]

Pentax 25mm f/1.4 YES - 72mm f/4 equivalent [link to proof]

Schneider 10mm f/1.8 (silver version) - NO (almost) [link to proof]

Schneider-Kreuznach Cinegon 11.5mm f/1.9 - NO (almost) = 33mm f/5.6 equivalent [link to proof]

Schneider-Kreuznach Cine-Xenon 16mm f/2 - YES = 46mm f/5.8 equivalent [link to proof] [link to proof (2)]

Schneider-Kreuznach Xenon 25mm f/0.95 - YES = 72mm f/2.7 equivalent [link to proof]

Schneider Xenoplan 17mm f/1.7 - YES (blurry corners) - [link to proof]

Tokina TV Lens  8mm f/1.3 - NO [link to proof]

Tokina TV Lens 16mm f/1.6 - NO [link to proof]

Taylor-Hobson Cooke Kinic 25mm f/1.3 - YES = 72mm f/3.7 equivalent [link to proof]

Taylor-Hobson 25mm f/1.9 - YES - 72mm f/5.6 equivalent [link to proof]

Wesley 25mm f/1.4 YES = 72mm f/4 equivalent [link to proof]

Wollensak Cine Raptar 12.5mm f/1.5 - YES = 36mm f/4.3 equivalent [link to proof]

Wollensak Cine Raptar 25mm f/1.9 - YES = 72mm f/5.6 equivalent [link to proof]

$25 noname 25mm f/1.2 CCTV - YES = 72mm f/3.5 equivalent [link to proof]

Zooms

Ernitec 6-12mm f/1.4 NO [link to proof]

Kowa TV Zoom 12.5-75mm f/1.8 - NO [link to proof]

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A word on crop factors

If you are used to full frame lenses, just bear in mind the crop factor. Super 16mm is a 3x crop of full frame so an 8mm lens in terms of full frame is a 24mm wide angle. 16mm is roughly 50mm for a standard portrait focal length, and a longer portrait focal length is 25mm which equals 75mm in full frame terms.

A c-mount 75mm lens meanwhile is a long 225mm telephoto focal length in full frame terms. So that’s what we’re dealing with here.

However crop factors should  be approached with caution to avoid confusion. They can be a bit misleading as they imply the real focal length (in mm) of the lens changes. It doesn’t. A 28mm wide lens remains a 28mm, all that changes is the field of view which becomes a narrower crop – as it would if you cropped an image in post, or a photo in Photoshop.

A 28mm lens has a wide field of view (FOV) on a full frame sensor but isn’t wide angle on a small sensor. Wide angle on Super 16mm is 8mm. We’re so used to thinking in full frame field of view so we’ve taken to using a numerical crop factor to multiply the focal length of the lens, to give us an impression of what kind of lens it would behave like in full frame terms on a smaller sensor.

We’ve even taken to calling Super 35mm sensors ‘crop sensors’ since the influx of full frame Canon lenses into filmmaking. That has lead to some complaints from the film industry, who are used to Super 35mm as their standard, not full frame.

Super 35mm people think in terms of Super 35mm as being their 1.0x and they choose the right glass to suit the format. Super 35mm glass for Super 35mm, Super 16mm glass for Super 16mm. 8mm glass for 8mm. Arguably a lot more sensible than having to think in crop factors all the time.

Once you get used to matching the right glass to the sensor, you can forget about the crop factor.

Happy hunting people! And remember, try not to pay over the odds for fungus ridden crap. Some patience is required to build a collection and to prevent price bubbles from forming.

The post How to get bargain 16mm cine lenses for the upcoming Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and Digital Bolex appeared first on EOSHD.com.

All credit is given to author EOSHD.comAndrew Reid