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Author Topic: Bolex lenses
Tony Stucchio
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 625
From: New Jersey
Registered: Dec 2005


 - posted June 22, 2010 05:52 PM      Profile for Tony Stucchio   Email Tony Stucchio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Does anyone know if the Bolex 18-5, 18-5 Automatic, 18-5 Super, and 18-5L all have compatible lenses?

thanks

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Alexander Lechner
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 118
From: Leoben, Austria
Registered: Apr 2009


 - posted June 23, 2010 03:36 PM      Profile for Alexander Lechner   Email Alexander Lechner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've got a 18-5 and a 18-5L Super and the lenses are not compatible; the 18-5's has a smaller diameter.

--------------------
Alex

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Tony Stucchio
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 625
From: New Jersey
Registered: Dec 2005


 - posted June 23, 2010 06:33 PM      Profile for Tony Stucchio   Email Tony Stucchio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks Alex. I wonder why they designed it that way?
I have an 18-5 Auto and was thinking about buying the Super 8 version. It would be nice not to worry about the lens since I love my 15mm prime lens that came with the Standard 8mm 18-5.

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Barry Fritz
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 982
From: Burnsville, MN, USA
Registered: Dec 2009


 - posted June 23, 2010 08:54 PM      Profile for Barry Fritz   Email Barry Fritz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Not so fast Tony. Something didn't ring true about what Alex said as I have 14 18-5's...every model they made. The 18-5 reds, the 18-5 white, 18-5 auto, 18-5 super and the 18-5L both incandescent and halogen versions. I just went downstairs and took the 15mm from one of my red 18-5's and the SOM zoom from one of my Supers, and they interchange perfectly.

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Thomas Dafnides
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 246
From: St. Louis, Missouri USA
Registered: Dec 2009


 - posted June 23, 2010 10:46 PM      Profile for Thomas Dafnides   Email Thomas Dafnides   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
the 18-5 white and 18-5L zoom lenses are not interchangeable

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Barry Fritz
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 982
From: Burnsville, MN, USA
Registered: Dec 2009


 - posted June 24, 2010 09:01 AM      Profile for Barry Fritz   Email Barry Fritz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
That is correct Tom. I should have added that. However, he indicated he was thinking about getting an 18-5 Super, not the 18-5L. Tony, PM me if you are serious about getting a 18-5 Super. I have 3, all quite nice.

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Tony Stucchio
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 625
From: New Jersey
Registered: Dec 2005


 - posted June 24, 2010 08:29 PM      Profile for Tony Stucchio   Email Tony Stucchio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks Barry, Thomas.

The key word is "thinking" -- not really that serious at this time.
Didn't really care much about 18-5L vs. 18-5 Super. I've been so impressed by the 18-5 with its 50 watt lamp -- picture is almost as bright as my Elmo ST-1200 HD with the 150 watt lamp and 1.1 lens! I figured when I'm watching a Super 8 silent I could give the Elmo a rest. (Which I do sometimes with my Eumig 810 D). The 18-5 projects a sharper, brighter image than the Eumig (100 watt lamp, 1.2 lens.)

Is the 18-5L and 18-5 Super as good as the Standard 8mm 18-5?

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Thomas Dafnides
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 246
From: St. Louis, Missouri USA
Registered: Dec 2009


 - posted June 24, 2010 09:19 PM      Profile for Thomas Dafnides   Email Thomas Dafnides   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I would say they are essentially , the same, although I prefer the manual threading on the 18-5. I just love those big loops and how they handle old splices.

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Barry Fritz
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 982
From: Burnsville, MN, USA
Registered: Dec 2009


 - posted June 24, 2010 10:57 PM      Profile for Barry Fritz   Email Barry Fritz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I agree. If you do decide to get a super 8, I would recommend the 18-5L Halogen. The earlier incandescent bulb is now obsolete, and if you could find one, would cost you upwards of 70.00. The halogen is readily available, brighter and has a longer life. There are companies that convert the incandescent to halogen, but it costs 75.00 plus shipping.

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Alexander Lechner
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 118
From: Leoben, Austria
Registered: Apr 2009


 - posted June 25, 2010 04:59 AM      Profile for Alexander Lechner   Email Alexander Lechner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sorry to have caused this confusion; I checked at the bollexcollector site and refering to that I have got a 18-5 Auto and a 18-5 L at home. I just had a quick look on the model plates before I wrote the last message, which was obviously not good enough.

--------------------
Alex

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Paul Adsett
Film God

Posts: 4554
From: USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted June 25, 2010 08:00 AM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I totally agree with what has already been said. The 18-5 is an incredible little projector, all metal and built to the legendary Bolex standards of quality, and that Bolex HI-FI lens gives a razor sharp image with superb contrast, better than anything that I have seen on a super 8 projector. Projecting Kodachrome films through an 18-5 makes you realize just how great the old standard 8mm system was, making modern video look like crap. A big thing in favour of the 18-5 is the rear sprung gate, so the picture stays in perfect focus at all times. And yes, I would go for the manual thread version every time, as its is so simple and quick to thread up, and those big loops really protect the film against damage from splice jumps.

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

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Tony Stucchio
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 625
From: New Jersey
Registered: Dec 2005


 - posted June 25, 2010 05:09 PM      Profile for Tony Stucchio   Email Tony Stucchio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
So the 18-5 (auto or manual) lenses are NOT compatible with 18-5 L (a Super 8 machine), but are compatible with an 18-5 Super (without the L)?

I'm not sure I know what a 18-5 red vs. a 18-5 white is, but I assume these are both manual threaders.

An 18-5 Super is an older model, and has the 50 watt lamp. The 18-5 L (a Super 8 machine) is a later model, the earliest of which has a now defunct lamp, the later of which has a halogen lamp still available. The Super 8 models (with or without the L) are all auto threaders.

Right?

I've checked the Bolex collector site but they don't talk about the compatibility of lenses and difference between a red and white.

BTW, I find myself manually threading my 18-5 auto with satisfactory results.

thanks!

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Barry Fritz
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 982
From: Burnsville, MN, USA
Registered: Dec 2009


 - posted June 25, 2010 11:25 PM      Profile for Barry Fritz   Email Barry Fritz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The first 18-5 had a red main control knob. It came with a single shutter drive belt and later in the three belt version. Conversion kits to switch pulleys were available. (I've got one, with the printed instructions.) Some have an extra lower sprocket that was for sound sync. Later, the 18-5 came with a white switch that glowed in the dark, thus the white-red distinction. You are correct that all Super 8 18-5 and 18-5L projectors are auto-load. They can be manually loaded without to much trouble.

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David Roberts
Master Film Handler

Posts: 383
From: Suffolk. England
Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted June 26, 2010 02:47 PM      Profile for David Roberts   Email David Roberts   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
its funny that this topic should come up just when ive started using my 18-5 super 8 again,such quality,of course it was the last swiss made bolex,before eumig bought them out.
i have the st8 version as well,which has a smaller lens barrel diameter than my super 8 version.

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Shane C. Collins
Junior
Posts: 3
From: Williamsport, PA, USA
Registered: Oct 2016


 - posted July 12, 2018 08:13 PM      Profile for Shane C. Collins   Email Shane C. Collins   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I know this is an older thread, but wanted to let other Bolex 18-5L owners know of retro-fit I recently completed. Last week I purchased a Bolex 18-5L Super 8 projector fitted with a Isco Vario Kiptagon 16.5-30mm f/1.3 lens. Let's just say I was not impressed with this lens compared to the Bolex Hi-Fi f/1.3 12.5-25mm zoom lens found on my standard 8 18-5. So I decided to change out the lens barrel from the 18-5 to the 18-5L. The lens barrel on the standard 8 machine is smaller compared to the lens barrel on the 18-5L Super. However the 2 lens screws used to mount the barrel to the plate are the same width on both models. I was able to switch the barrel from the 18-5 to the 18-5L and it worked! I can now use the far superior Bolex hi-fi zoom lens. The difference is night and day. What I found with the Vario Kiptagon was it was not sharp from edge to edge and wouldn't focus correctly no matter what I tried. Once I installed the Bolex zoom lens it was prefect from edge to edge. I've noticed these focusing issues with later Eumig lenses and suspect this could have been a problem with them. A Eumig 610D I had never really focused from edge to edge. The Bolex lenses always give razor sharp focus! Plus they seem to be constructed with better material than these later plastic lenses. So if your having this problem this may be your fix!

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