Re: [Frameworks] Bolex Lenses

From: Mason Shefa \(PC\) (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Feb 01 2011 - 16:29:52 PST

Thank you all for your suggestions! Mason



From: email suppressed
[mailto:email suppressed] On Behalf Of 40 Frames
Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2011 12:17 PM
To: Experimental Film Discussion List
Subject: Re: [Frameworks] Bolex Lenses



On Tue, Feb 1, 2011 at 8:24 AM, David Tetzlaff <email suppressed> wrote:

A 'real' camera store will charge a lot for a good lens. Buying lenses on
eBay is not so bad (better than buying cameras). You can usually tell a lot
from the physical condition in the photo, and the main things are whether:
a. the aperture and focus rings turn smoothly
b. the front element is nicked up
c. there's bad gunk /fungus / separation on the interior elements.

If the seller has not noted these things, you can ask via the question form,
since no real expertise is required to check them.

Refer to this page re: the difference between RX mount and C-Mount lenses:
Basically any lens that opens up past f 3.2 needs to be a RX lens to get
proper focus through a Bolex RX camera prism.
These were pretty much only made by Palliard under the Switar line - superb
lenses but not cheap.

One thing: on eBay people selling individual lenses or lens sets generally
know what they have and price it accordingly. On the other hand, you can
find complete camera listings from sellers who've acquired stuff at estate
sales and don't really know the potential value. They may not even say what
the lenses are in the description, but you can tell in the picture. I have
bought Bolexes on eBay just to get the lenses, with the whole kit being
cheaper than the lens set alone would be on eBay, or a single lens would be
from a dealer. Sometimes the lenses will be mismatched to the cameras: an RX
lens will be on a standard camera, or an RX camera will have a c-mount std.
or wide angle. Scour the Bolex listings diligently, and sooner or later
you'll find some real bargains.

David makes some good points, you get what you pay for when it comes to
lenses. Sometimes you can get lucky, but the
lens is often more important than the camera (unless you like the affect of
certain lenses, say non-MC lenses), so be prepared to spend some money.

Lenses also tend to hold their value, even C mount, and are seeing new use
with digital format cameras. C mount lenses have also been supplying the
security camera market for some time, and are/were used on crash cameras.

I second the recommendation to buy from Andrew Alden. He buys good stuff,
and works with David Warren to do lens overhauls on the lenses he sells.

When I was looking to buy C mount lenses for my old Bolex, they generally
sold for $400-600 for a 10mm or 26mm and less for the 75mm. I don't think I
ever used the 75mm I had, and used the 10mm the most.


Alain LeTourneau
Pam Minty
5232 N Williams Ave
Portland, Oregon 97217
+1 503 231 6548

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