From: David Tetzlaff (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Mar 05 2006 - 22:53:42 PST

Yup, it's a Filmo in Peeping Tom, though of course, the film-within-a-film
footage wasn't shot with a filmo -- couldn't have been shot with a filmo,
and there aren't crosshairs in a filmo finder... ah poetic license.
Whenever they show film or media equipment in movies, it's always
fictional, and I always notice -- which is kind of stupid. There's a scene
in The Aviator where somebody is shooting home movie footage with a Bolex
H16 -- and its a reflex model and I'm like "Hey they didn't have those
back then. Marty, you should know better!"

There are lots of models of Filmos. The last versions - the DR mainly but
there was another one (nomenclature escapes me) with a more offset finder
that takes a 400' mag (most don't), had gears connecting the taking lens
turret and the objective turret and came with relatively fast Angenieux
primes. They generally go for over $100 or more on eBay.

The model for bargain hunters to seek is a DL. No gears, and usually a bit
slower primes, but very servicable, very cheap, and great for beginners.
Make sure the finder objectives match the lenses. You can can buy a whole
camera for less than you can buy one specific objective if you need it
(esp. a wide angle).

Avoid the D, DA and anything earlier. They have double-tooth sprockets and
claws, so they need to be modified ($$$) to take any available stock. They
also have really lousy finders -- not using a turret of objectives like
the later models, but a wheel changing masks built into the cover. The
widest setting is 20mm and all the positions for longer lenses just mask
that off, so the image gets unusably tiny.

These things have no frills whatsoever, very spartan compared to a Bolex,
but most of them still work, so they're a good bet on eBay. As Freya
noted, the main movement requires oil lube -- so there's no 'permanent'
lubed parts to seize up (the more primitive technology proving to be more
durable here). They have bigger and stronger springs than a Bolex (the
springs on estate-sale Bolexs are often shot as they've been stored
wound). About the only problem I've encountered with a filmo is the
graphite lube in the spring compartment breaking off, combining with dirt
and gunking up the spring, but I don't think that's common. If you're into
DIY, a Filmo is also a lot easier to take apart and muck around in than a

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.