F. and S. Marriott 140 Newbegin, Hornsea, England, HU18 1PB

May 2010. Stephanie died peacefully on 19th April after a short stay in hospital. She had been suffering from acute cervical cancer. Fred will continue to run the business to the best of his ability. The web site is slowly getting under control again as he tries to take over some of Stephanie's responsibilities, and learns some of the mysteries of Dreamweaver.

Paillard-Bolex H16 Accessories

by Fred and Stephanie Marriott





Prime Lenses for non-reflex cameras

Prime Lenses for reflex cameras

Zoom Lenses


Focusing Aids


This is a brief overview of the lenses and some of the other accessories which have been made for the H16 cameras.See also two undated Paillard Bolex Accessories catalogues in the Advertising pages.



The MC-17 motor connects directly to the camera body and drives the shaft which is also used by the hand-crank. The motor gives speeds 8, 16, 24 and 32 f.p.s. There is a transformer to permit mains operation, otherwise the battery pack is required. The motor is AC or DC. There is no reverse. This motor may be used with any H16 with hand-crank shaft.


This is the same as the MC-17 in most respects. It is DC only as it offers reverse drive. In addition to the mains and battery pack, the motor may be powered by a 24v accumulator.

In 1968, a voltage regulator was shown at Photokina, offering speeds 12 to 48 f.p.s. The regulator also supplies the magazine motor, if used.


This motor may be used with all flat-base models with a 1:1 ratio drive shaft. This motor delivers a constant speed and is suitable for sound filming. Various versions of the motor were made for different TV systems, including a 25 f.p.s. version for European television standards. A battery pack containing 10 Ni-Cad cells was supplied. This will run 25 100ft spools or 5 400ft reels before recharging. Picture


This motor is only for use with the 400ft magazine and the MST motor. It couples to the MST motor and drives the magazine.



The surefire grip is a D-shaped grip which attaches to the tripod bush on round-base cameras. The release button is at the rear of the grip, convenient for the thumb, and operates the camera by means of a removable cable release. The grip was also recommended as a means of holding the camera more comfortably when using the camera with an electric motor. In 1956, this cost about £7. Picture

Pistol Grip

The pistol grip is available in several versions, for use with the round-base comera and flat-base camera, with or without the quick release. A special version, the H-Electric, is available for use with flat-base cameras fitted with an electric motor.

The flat-base pistol grip for flat-base cameras is also called the "Declic" hand grip.

Reporter Grip

This is mentioned in literature from 1963, but it is not a common item. It seems to be for the round-base cameras only and is an angled, open-ended grip. It looks quite chunky and is made from black plastic. It appears as if it would be quite uncomfortable to use - given the weight of the camera - but it is always difficult to tell and I have not been able to handle one.

Shoulder Gunstock

This was available in 1959, as an accessory for the H16T and H16M. It is a rare item, and it has not been possible to determine which models are compatible with it.


Many lenses have been made available for the Bolex H16 series. Early, non-reflex cameras, will accept many C-mount lenses made by a variety of manufacturers e.g. Taylor-Hobson. This section concentrates on the lenses made by Kern and Berthiot for Paillard-Bolex. Where available, original prices have been stated. These are a good guide to the comparative quality of the lenses and the number of lenses which are likely to be available. In general, the more expensive the lens, the better quality it is and the fewer will be available now. This is also an indication of the likely cost of a lens now, as the better it is and the fewer there are, the more the lens will cost now.

Prime Lenses for Non-Reflex Cameras

The original Bolex Series 1 was supplied with a Dallmeyer f2.9 1 inch lens and no accessory lenses appear to be available. By 1937, the camera is supplied with a choice of two Dallmeyer lenses, the f/2.9 1 inch or the f/1.5 1 inch. By 1947, the range has changed to include the f/1.4 25 mm. coated Switar, f/2.8 15 mm. Yvar and f/2.5 75 mm. Yvar. In 1952, the list is further expanded to offer the f/1.9 25 mm. Genevar, f/1.5 25 mm. Switar, f/1.4 25 mm. Switar, f/2.8 16 mm. Yvar (about £30), f/2.8 75 mm. Yvar (about £51), f/3.3 100 mm. Yvar (about £55) and the f/4 150 mm. Yvar (about £77).

In 1956, the range had expanded to the f/1.9 26 mm. Pizar, f/1.5 25 mm. Switar, f/1.4 25 mm. Switar, f/1.5 25 mm. Pizar, f/1.6 10 mm. Switar (about £87), f/2.8 16 mm. Yvar (about £29), f/1.8 16 mm. Yvar (about £45), f/1.4 50 mm. Switar (about £72), f/2.8 75 mm. Yvar (about £50), f/3.3 100 mm. Yvar (about £54) and f/4 150 mm. Yvar (about £75).

In 1959, the 10 mm. f/1.6 Switar cost about £73, the 16 mm. Yvar f/2.8 cost about £24 and the 75 mm. f/2.8 Yvar cost about £41.

Prime Lenses for Reflex Cameras

In 1959 the RX camera could be purchased with the f/1.5 25 mm. Pizar f/1.4 25 mm. Switar, f/1.4 26 mm. Pizar, f/1.8 26 mm. Pizar, f/2.8 26 mm. Pizar, f/1.4 26 mm. Switar or f/1.6 26 mm. Switar.

In 1967, lenses included the f/1.4 25 mm. Switar, f/1.6 10 mm. Switar, f/1.9 75 mm. Switar and f/1.4 50 mm. Macro-Switar.

At the 1968 Photokina, a new Macro-Switar f/1.1 26 mm. RX lens was shown. This permits focusing to 8 inches without the use of additional filters.

In 1969, the RXVS was offered with a choice of zoom lens, or the f/1.1 Macro-Switar RX lens.

Zoom Lenses

In 1954 the Pan-Cinor f/2.8 20 mm. to 60 mm. zoom was introduced. This has a coupled parallax-corrected viewfinder and focuses down to 10 feet. When new, it cost about £170.

By 1958, the range of zoom lenses included the Pan-Cinor 70 and two Pan-Cinor 100 models. The Pan-Cinor 70 (introduced in about 1956) is an f/2.4 17.5 mm. to 70 mm. lens with a reflex viewfinder, which cost about £208. The Pan-Cinor lenses were both 25 mm. to 100 mm. and both offer a reflex viewfinder. One model has a maximum aperture of f/3.4, costing about £240 and the other is an f/2.4 which cost about £451.

As these lenses were extremely costly when new, there are correspondingly few available now.

At the Photo-Cine Fair in Olympia in 1961, a new Kern Vario-Switar was shown which had been specially developed for the RX models. It is an f/2.5 18 mm. to 86 mm. zoom lens with a pre-set automatic iris diaphragm. The lens focuses down to 5 feet. Supplied with the lens is a cable release which fits to the zoom handle. It is thus simple to zoom while filming. The first pressure on the release opens the iris diaphragm to permit focusing, while further pressure closes the aperture to the preset value and starts the camera motor. Also available in 1961, were the Pan-Cinor 85, an f/2 17 mm. to 85 mm. zoom lens with a split-image rangefinder (cost about £181) and the Kern Vario-Switar f/2.5 18 mm. to 80 mm. zoom (about £176).

At Photokina in 1968 a new lens was displayed, the Kern Vario-Switar 86 EE lens, with TTL metering, automatic stop-down, full-aperture focusing and full manual override.


A small accessory meter was made by Gossen. This fits onto the accessory shoe. When using the 400ft magazine, an additional adaptor is required to permit the meter to be fitted to the camera. A special model was made for the RX cameras which was adjusted to allow for the light loss through the reflex system.

Focusing Aids

In 1950, new accessories were announced for the then-current H16 non-reflex cameras. The Prismatic focuser is suitable for all post-war cameras, where the pressure pad is removed by undoing a thumb-screw. Earlier cameras may have been adapted to permit the use of this accessory. The Prismatic focuser is specifically for use when working close-up. It has a magnifying eyepiece and a prism with a ground glass surface. The rear half of the camera gate has to be removed to fit the Prismatic focuser so that the ground glass surface is exactly in the film plane. Needless to say, this device cannot be used when the camera is loaded with film! This device is fairly hard to find now; it was relatively expensive when new (about £11) and is of limited application. It would be useful for rostrum work, where the camera will rarely, if ever, be moved when set up. As it gives a through-the lens view, it is also useful for ensuring that the camera is correctly aligned.

Another focusing aid launched in about 1950 is the Rear Focuser. This has a right-angled prism. It is fitted to the camera by unscrewing the small lens mount in the top of the camera and replacing it with the new mount and cup-shaped eyepiece. The focuser is adjustable to suit the operator's eyesight. When new, this accessory was about £11.

The eye-level focusing attachment fits to special mountings, replacing the tri-focal viewfinder and mountings fitted to Series II, III and IV cameras. Series V and VI cameras have the mountings in place when supplied new.

In 1956 a further accessory was introduced, to be used in conjunction with the eye-level focusing attachment. This corrected for parallax, and is for use when filming in extreme close-up. The camera is mounted on a rackover slide, which requires the use of a tripod, titler or other firm support. Focusing is carried out using the eye-level focuser, and the camera is then moved using the rackover slide. This returns the taking lens to precisely the same position and that occupied by the focusing device, ensuring accurate focus and framing.


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Links to Other H16 Pages

Paillard Bolex H16 Accessories

Paillard Bolex H16 Instructions (early)

Paillard Bolex Battery instructions

Paillard Bolex MCE-17B Motor instructions

Paillard Bolex Eye Level Focus instructions

Paillard Bolex Declic Grip Instructions

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