Chapter 5: Tool of the experimenter: the Bolex H16

This chapter is a comprehensive guide to the Bolex camera. Its use by experimental filmmakers including Marie Menken, Maya Deren, Jonas Mekas, Andrew Noren, George Kuchar and Jon Behrens is cited. How to identify the different models of Bolex camera is detailed. Controls on the Bolex are surveyed: the diopter, winding crank, run button, run switch, footage counter, speed dial (frames per second dial), variable shutter, I/T switch, frame counter, spring disengage switch, 8-to-1 shaft (backwind shaft), 1-to-1 shaft, viewfinder switch lens turret, reflex prism, filter holder and slot, supply and take-up, spool ejector, film cutter, loop formers, feed rollers, pressure plate, audible counter. A survey of types of Switar lenses, including RX and non-RX lenses. A look at accessories for the Bolex, including the backwind crank, pistol grip, cable release, Rex-o-fader, matte box, MST and ESM motors, 400ft magazine, Tobin intervalometer. A step-by-step guide to shooting with the Bolex follows, including double-exposure steps. A guide to troubleshooting the Bolex is included. The chapter concludes by examining some of Marie Menken’s short experimental films.