Bolex P1 manual

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BrentPowers
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Bolex P1 manual

Post by BrentPowers » Thu May 31, 2012 7:49 pm

Just got a Bolex P1 standard 8mm w/Pan-Cinor zoom. Looks to be in good shape. However, I'm lacking a manual and wondering how you turn the bloody thing on. I gave it a little wind, presssed the trigger and nothing happened. Is it busted or what?

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BAC
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Re: Bolex P1 manual

Post by BAC » Thu May 31, 2012 9:20 pm

Just above and to the right of the winding key is the variable shutter knob. Make sure that is not in the "S" position, it will not run in that position. Directly in front of that knob is a small switch, make sure it is positioned all the way down. make sure it is wound up. If it still does not run there may be a problem with the camera.

BrentPowers
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Re: Bolex P1 manual

Post by BrentPowers » Thu May 31, 2012 11:11 pm

OK. It does seem to operate. I did not realize, however, that it wound clockwise. Or have I got it in reverse? Also, it is very quiet. It sounds a bit sluggish. I have it set at 24 fps. I have no film in the camera.

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beamascope
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Re: Bolex P1 manual

Post by beamascope » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:19 am

Manual here
http://www.apecity.com/manuals/

If it's real quiet that might be a good thing but most likely it needs lubed. They will be louder with film in them but not terribly.

Lube video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqydInB1GCY

BrentPowers
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Re: Bolex P1 manual

Post by BrentPowers » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:53 am

Thanks beamascope, those links are VERY helpful. I don't even have any film for it yet because it's hard to come by. I realize we have our own source here but I have to wait for payday to buy a money order to use his service. I can certainly understand a chappy not wanting to use Paypal!

Thanks again. Most grateful.

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Shanec8mm
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Re: Bolex P1 manual

Post by Shanec8mm » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:37 am

Your P1 will need to be lubricated to run film properly. I have a P1, K2, and a P4 that all had to be taken apart and lubed. It is not hard to do but does require patience and a few small screw drivers. Once the camera has been properly lubed it will run the film at the proper speed. Trying to use a movie camera without the proper lubrication will make the film appear jumping after processing. There is also a leather cover (slip-clutch) near the left taken-up spindle that requires a drop of oil. To lubricate that requires you to remove the leather cover and to then apply a drop of oil on the spindle that the cover slips over. Also if your not inclined to take the camera apart you can drop some oil from the top side down into the gears. All you need to do is remove the claw mechanism and the film gate. After they are removed you can add a few drops of oil. It's important to wind the camera then start adding the oil. By doing it this way the oil will seep down into the gear mechanism. When removing the claw mechanism (as I forgot to point out) there is a small spring near the right spindle that needs to be kept in place or it will fly off and end up on the floor. You can use tape to keep that in place. Or if that doesn't work you can remove the spring, then when you reapply the spring you will need to add some tension to it. Just thought I'd add all this info to your post in case you buy film and discover it doesn't run correctly. If you need any assistance later just send me an email to sshane3232@aol.com
:)

BrentPowers
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Re: Bolex P1 manual

Post by BrentPowers » Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:29 pm

Well, I guess sooner or later I'm gonna have to get my hands dirty with this stuff. I avoided it with audio until it began to cost too much. Finally learned enough to make at least some basic fixes. I am not mechanical at all but, you know, when you really need to do something, you'll just do it. Watching the vid, and reading Shane's excellent instructions, I figure I'll get to it sooner or later. In my efforts to get started with film to HD, I have purchased 5 cameras, a telecine projector, a bunch of film,some lenses, batteries, and a light meter, all for under one K. I am plunging right into my Frankenstein project with my poor memory of what I learned at SFAI of analog film making, having produced 5 small digital films which I published on Youtube, one on Vimeo, all mostly experimental stuff: seeing what I could do within the limitations of my tech and software (I am using a Sanyo Xacti HD camera and iMovie for editing). I've more or less caught up to where I was thrity some years ago when I was at the SF Art Institute, getting Brakhage out of my system and moving on. Must say, I'm having fun!

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BAC
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Re: Bolex P1 manual

Post by BAC » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:05 pm

The video that shows you how to lubricate the camera is great but before you start taking it completely apart try getting it to work by just removing the plastic piece. Most of the time lubing that red gear is all it needs. I use sewing machine oil that is easy to get at a sewing machine store. Run the camera enough to let the oil get in there good. You will want to use the masking tape on the spring loaded roller, it's a pain to get the spring back right if it falls off.

Once you think it's running correctly you can check the speed if you have a piece of old film. I mark and number every 18 frames (sprocket holes) with a sharpie pen from 0 to about 40. Leave about a foot before the 0 mark. Make sure the camera is fully wound before each check. Using a stop watch check to see how many of your marks run through the camera in about 15 or 20 seconds. Each 18 frame mark should be one second. If it comes out less than that turn the speed up a little and check it again until it is running at the correct speed and note where your true 18 fps is. It's not the most accurate way to check the speed but it will get you close. A strong spring fully wound will get you around 30 seconds of run time at 18 frames per second. Sometimes if the spring is weak they can slow down a bit at the end of the wind so you want to do your checks in that first 15 to 20 seconds. Good luck!

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Re: Bolex P1 manual

Post by BrentPowers » Sat Jun 02, 2012 4:54 pm

Even more help! Thanks. I'm copying and pasting the advice I'm getting here into a file for future reference. When I work up the nerve to have a go at the P1 I'll get back and let you chappies know how it turns out. Thanks again!

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