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