This is topic B&H Model 627 in forum 16mm Forum at 8mm Forum.
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Posted by Timothy Fransky (Member # 6578) on August 18, 2018, 03:58 PM:
I'm looking at a really good condition example of this camera. The price is really good as well. I'm convinced it's a good camera, but I'm not able to find much info around. I'd like to hear opinions, if there are any.
The one thing stopping me is the lack of reflex viewfinder. It seems like this isn't a super affordable option in 16mm.
Posted by Maurice Leakey (Member # 916) on August 19, 2018, 02:28 AM:
Have you got the model correct as the 127 is a still camera taking now obsolete roll films.
Are you perhaps referring to the model 70 DL and its variants?
If so, it's a great camera. I once used one to make a film for my employers.
Posted by Harley Jones (Member # 354) on August 19, 2018, 07:41 AM:
Maybe referring to the GB Bell &Howell 627 which was a great 16mm camera capable of running 32 feet on one wind of the clockwork motor. Non reflex but very nice to hand hold and I used mine with an Angenieux L2 zoom with its own reflex viewfinder.
Posted by Timothy Fransky (Member # 6578) on August 19, 2018, 02:30 PM:
Sorry. Yes Model 627.
Posted by Maurice Leakey (Member # 916) on August 19, 2018, 02:42 PM:
This model was made in the UK by Gaumont British under licence from Bell & Howell as were projectors at this time.
I have never used one but as Harley gives it high praise it certainly seems worth buying if you wish to film on 16mm.
Here are some pics of such a model on sale in France.
Posted by Timothy Fransky (Member # 6578) on August 19, 2018, 02:54 PM:
Does it handle single perf film? Could it be converted to s16 if I wanted it?
Posted by Harley Jones (Member # 354) on August 19, 2018, 03:46 PM:
Yes it handles single perforated stock on 30 metre/100ft spools. I used this model on a few films up until 1992 with the superb Taylor Hobson 20mm prime lens which was a standard fitment plus the fixed focus Angenieux 10mm. Conversion to super 16 may be a problem due to the twin turret style mount.
Might be worth checking with a camera/lens engineer like Les Bosher http://www.lesbosher.co.uk/
Or an engineer in your country?
Posted by Timothy Fransky (Member # 6578) on August 19, 2018, 08:03 PM:
Good news about the single perf.
Less good about the conversion, but it's not deal-breaker. Aspect ratio is the real concern, but that can be compensated for with framing and staging.
Posted by Maurice Leakey (Member # 916) on August 20, 2018, 04:01 AM:
If you are considering a Super 16 conversion perhaps the Bolex H16 camera would be a better bet.
Posted by Timothy Fransky (Member # 6578) on August 20, 2018, 01:44 PM:
Obviously the Bolex is the better choice, but it's also $500-1000 more. I'd prefer a Canon Scoopic, but it's also $1500. Those prices aren't feasible for me. It's better to rent an Arri, Aaton, or NPR at that price point.
The whole idea of a portable 16mm camera is being able to shoot something off-the-cuff. I don't know how many filmmakers trudge out to remote locations with +$2k cameras.
Are Bolexes more affordable in the UK and Europe?
Posted by Maurice Leakey (Member # 916) on August 20, 2018, 02:18 PM:
I don't buy, or use cameras anymore, only projectors!
But from a quick look at eBay, I see that the Bolex cameras do vary in price. I suppose it's what you want to do with a camera that's important, the 627 was a good camera in its days, possibly now any spare parts are unobtainable. This could a future problem.
Bolex in Switzerland are still able to service the H16 models, and, I believe, have old skilled workers in some days part-time to actually make new spare parts as required.
The H16 has a three-lens turret and there are some superb lenses available for it. I used one in the early 70s and was most impressed with it.
Posted by Timothy Fransky (Member # 6578) on August 20, 2018, 02:50 PM:
Parts are an important consideration, I'm forced to agree.
Posted by Robert Crewdson (Member # 3790) on August 20, 2018, 03:13 PM:
You could go for a Krasnogosk K-3; you can buy them converted to Super 16. They are semi automatic, and have a TTL viewfinder. They come with a host of accessories. I had a B&H 627, a very good camera, but the lens that came as part of it would only stop down to F.16, and my meter kept telling me I needed F.22, so sold it after shooting only one roll.
Posted by Timothy Fransky (Member # 6578) on August 20, 2018, 03:37 PM:
I've actually read the K3 isn't a well-made camera. Very loose tolerances and rough fit & finish.
Posted by Robert Crewdson (Member # 3790) on August 21, 2018, 02:49 AM:
That's not my experience; someone described it as 'built like a tank'. You can get plenty of info on it. There are dealers in the US who sell converted versions. The camera has been used by professionals.
Posted by Timothy Fransky (Member # 6578) on August 21, 2018, 09:43 AM:
Good to know!
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