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Friday, October 20, 2006


I recently, by the spur of the moment, 'invested' seventy dollars into a kind of camera that is completely foreign to me. It's not 35mm, not medium format, not large format and not some obscure disk or glass-plate camera (even though I secrely probably would want one of those as well) - it's an 8mm Film camera.

The Bolex film cameras have a special reputation within film photograhy and even today you will find active users of their regular/double 8mm camera as well as the super-8 and 16mm formats.
Film and development options are still available online as well as over-the-counter.
Some cities like San Francisco are fortunate to have places like ActionCamera that provides a number of services for film photographers.

My Bolex D8La was the last version in the elegant line of regular/double 8mm cameras that the Swiss company Bolex Paillard put on the manufaturing lines in the 50's-60's.
It's a fully manual camera (with a built in CdS meter) that in this version takes up to three lenses. The lenses are mounted on a turning turret which makes changing focal-length a breeze.
The camera is a gorgeous piece of machinery covered in English leather.
It looks, colour, build quality - and even size reminds me of my Leica M3.

New in the mid-60's this camera and lens-kit sold for about $450 dollars - that is about $2,700 in today's money. Not an insignificant amount of money.

My particular camera is in need of some lubing and if all goes well I am hoping to shoot my first roll of Tri-X in it next week. Moving Tri-X. The mind boggles.

Below are some photos of my latest no-batty camera - this time a bit different.
(Coke can included for scale)


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