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Author Topic: Bolex M8?
Jim Carlile
Film Handler

Posts: 95
From: Burbank, California, USA
Registered: Apr 2007


 - posted August 07, 2007 02:25 AM      Profile for Jim Carlile   Email Jim Carlile   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have an old Bolex M8 I found at a camera show a few years back. It's not the newer model, it's the older drab green one, with the rough crackle finish.

I was wondering what the opinion is on this projector, and if there were any differences between it and the newer versions? It's the US 120 volt M8, not the M8R. Thanks for any help.

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Paul Adsett
Film God

Posts: 3195
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted August 07, 2007 09:48 AM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The Bolex M8 is a superb machine, certainly one of the best standard 8mm machines ever made. It was designed and built to the legendary Bolex quality and precision, when their equipment was still all metal construction. Fitted with the Paillard HI-FI lens, there is probably no finer standard machine out there. I don't know if you can still get the 500 watt lamps for these machines or not, but the lamphouse is pretty big, so it may be quite possible to convert to low voltage halogen lighting.
Another superb Bolex projector is the 18-5, which was the successor to the M8, much smaller, but brighter, with low voltage halogen lighting. A real jewel.

[ August 07, 2007, 02:18 PM: Message edited by: Paul Adsett ]

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The best of all worlds- 8mm, super 8mm, 9.5mm, and HD Digital Projection,

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Jim Carlile
Film Handler

Posts: 95
From: Burbank, California, USA
Registered: Apr 2007


 - posted August 09, 2007 12:16 AM      Profile for Jim Carlile   Email Jim Carlile   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thank you for the helpful comments. Do you know if there is much of a difference between the older models with the green crackle finish, and the newer ones? I believe mine was made in 1950. I can't find much documentation on the original versions. can't believe a projector that old is considered to be so nonpareil!

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Paul Adsett
Film God

Posts: 3195
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted August 09, 2007 08:54 AM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Jim, Bolex equipment both 16mm and 8mm has earned a reputation second to none in terms of design and precision manufacture. I do not have an M8 but I do posess the later 18-5 which was first manufactured in the late 50's. You only have to look at this machine to recognize it's Bolex pedigree. The finish on the parts must be 5 microinches! Everything shines on this machine, and it runs as quiet as a mouse with just a gentle purr. That's what precision manufacturing gets you - a very quiet machine with a rock steady picture. And Bolex cameras are the same way, the standard 8mm ones all being fitted with the superb Kern Switar and Yvar lenses. I have lots of film that I shot on Bolex 8mm cameras, and they are all razor sharp- better than anything I ever got off super 8 cameras.
Unfortunately when super 8 came along, Bolex started using plastics and the quality was nowhere near what they had acheived with their standard 8mm equipment.

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The best of all worlds- 8mm, super 8mm, 9.5mm, and HD Digital Projection,

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Trevor Adams
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 681
From: Auckland,New Zealand
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted August 11, 2007 03:00 PM      Profile for Trevor Adams   Author's Homepage   Email Trevor Adams   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
When super 8mm came along manufacture of the camera film gate changed from Bolex to Kodak......... [Smile] Trev

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Trevor

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Paul Adsett
Film God

Posts: 3195
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted August 11, 2007 03:27 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
How right you are Trev. Kodak makes the best film in the World, but equipment wise (with a few rare exceptions) they left a lot to be desired. The Kodak super 8 'Tatty Pack' film charger has been a pain from day one. How much better Super 8 could have been if they had just gone with double super 8 roll film or standardised on a single 8 system (like Fujii). As it is, I have always thought that super 8 was a backward step in many ways. Nothing that super 8 acheived could not have been done on standard 8, and look at all the gorgeous standard 8 cameras around like the Bolex H8 or the Bell& Howell Viceroy triple turret, that will run forever. Plus standard 8 perforations are not nearly as prone to damage. Not that a 50% increase in picture area is not a great idea, but Kodak ruined the S8 system with their lousy camera cartridge design.

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The best of all worlds- 8mm, super 8mm, 9.5mm, and HD Digital Projection,

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Thomas Dafnides
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 218
From: St. Louis, Missouri USA
Registered: Dec 2009


 - posted December 05, 2009 10:54 PM      Profile for Thomas Dafnides   Email Thomas Dafnides   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Cartridge loading is almost a must if you shooting a live event like a wedding. But I agree, kodak's design sucked. Kodak could of gone with a simple Fuji Single 8 cartridge design, with a camera pressure plate and unlimited backwind.

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Josef Grassmann
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 133
From: Hennef-Sieg, Germany
Registered: Apr 2005


 - posted December 08, 2009 07:41 AM      Profile for Josef Grassmann   Author's Homepage   Email Josef Grassmann   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We receive every year some Bolex M8 for maintance and repair.
I fully agree to Paul´s comments. There is no better Standard 8 projector on the market.
I also like the AGFA Sonector. But this machine has some short commings e.g. replacement of bulb
Josef

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Graham Ritchie
Film God

Posts: 2274
From: New Zealand
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted December 10, 2009 04:53 PM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Here are a couple of photos of the Bolex M8R correct me if I am wrong that the difference between the M8 and the M8R is that the M8 can only take 125volts anything higher a transformer needs to be used, where as the M8R can be selected to run on any mains voltage from a small panel thats located at the rear of the lamphouse.
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had it running yesterday "no problems" a nice little projector.
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I like the original box complete with its accessories.

This projector like so many other makes I have come across seem to on forever [Smile]

Can anyone tell be a little bit more about the M8R...in particular the years of manufacture?

Graham.

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Claus Harding
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 967
From: Washington DC
Registered: Oct 2006


 - posted December 10, 2009 06:51 PM      Profile for Claus Harding   Email Claus Harding   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Graham,

Here's the lineup on the production years of the M8 in general:

http://www.bolexcollector.com/projectors/m8.html

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Claus.

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"Why are there shots of deserts in a scene that's supposed to take place in Belgium during the winter?" (Review of 'Battle of the Bulge'.)

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Graham Ritchie
Film God

Posts: 2274
From: New Zealand
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted December 10, 2009 07:37 PM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks Claus

Your projector looks great.

Had a close look at the web-site, its very interesting checked the model number which was 350854 which makes it 1954. The lens on this projector is a Cinor 1:5 25mm and is in excellent condition.

Graham.

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Joe McAllister
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 154
From: London England
Registered: May 2007


 - posted December 11, 2009 03:11 AM      Profile for Joe McAllister   Email Joe McAllister   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi I recently bought a late model M8 that has been converted to 24v 250w lighting and I have added a 12.5-25mm lens. Brilliant 6ft picture in my living room. Rock steady picture. Brings my home movies to life.

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Movies are your best entertainment!
Always interested in privately produced amateur and home movies,also glamour striptease XXX. 8 16 9.5 35.

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Claus Harding
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 967
From: Washington DC
Registered: Oct 2006


 - posted December 11, 2009 04:51 AM      Profile for Claus Harding   Email Claus Harding   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Joe,

That is interesting; could you share how this was done? Maybe a picture or two?

Claus.

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"Why are there shots of deserts in a scene that's supposed to take place in Belgium during the winter?" (Review of 'Battle of the Bulge'.)

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