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Wires in my Bolex?

2088 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Done_Fishin
Ok, this might be a strange question for this site, but I couldn't find anywhere else to ask.
I bought a 16mm Bolex Rex 5 film camera over ebay and noticed it has been modified with wires inside it that I haven't seen before on any other Bolex I have ever seen. My sister thinks they are for LED lights like in a computer, but having light inside the camera doesn't make any sense since then all the film is exposed. The only things I can think of, if this is the case, is for an optical track or someone tried to turn it into a projector for some reason, but both seem unlikely for practical reasons.

Here are some photos:

If anyone could give me any sort of information on what it looks like without having to take it all apart (which I really don't want to do since it's spring wound and don't want to ruin it) I would be grateful. Even just knowing what sticks into the small port on the front (the part being measured) would allow me to test it and find out.
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Send an email to the Ebayer you bought it off.
I already have. He bought it at an estate sale and has no idea.
From the photographs, I would say it is a 'home brew' modification. The connector appears to be a standard "Flash Triggering" OUTPUT socket. So, to get a mating plug, look for an old flash unit for the cable with a plug attached. (Or take it into a camera shop and buy a spare flash lead that fits.)

Thinking aloud:

Now, this socket fitted to a cine camera, it would be obvious that it is not for triggering a flash unit. But could it be a trigger for some other purpose?

It is either an input or an output... explore both posibilities...

I would like to know what device is connected to the other end. Is it a set of switchable contacts? If so what triggers the switching (probably pressing the 'shoot' button.) What would the advantage be if that was so. Does it switch on or start something else?

Remote control?
Single frame/slow motion trigger
is there a bulb on the other end? could it be for 'bookmarking' a moment in time?

Get a plug fitted. then using a multimeter on Resistance (ohms) scale, see if there is a meter fluctuation when the motor is run (slowest speed should show up any 'on/offs')

Is there a fixed resistance of just a few ohms ( an bulb)

Revers the connections of the multimeter and do test again - if you get results with the multimeter connected one way only, then there could be a diode (LED?) in circuit

All that said, with it being a 'home' modification, I would tend to ignore it.

What ever - all the best
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Yes I do believe that is a sync plug that is used for X or M flash synchronization. X will allow for flash syncs at 1/60th shutter speed while M will allow for a faster 1/100 shutter speed.

That plug is tied to a sensor that triggers when the mirror is at it's fully open state otherwise the flash will fire when the mirror is either raising up or closing down in which you'll get a partial image properly illuminated.


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I don't believe that to be quite correct Craig.

Remember this is a Bolex CINE camera... Also this is a 'home brew' modification. The person who did the modification happened to use 'flash' socket for his mod.

A cine camera does not need an electronic flash. Your hypothesis fails as there is no M or X switch.

On an ordinary still camera X is for immediate firing of the flash when the shutter is wide open whereas M is used for the old fashioned wire filled flash bulbs that took a finite time to come to full brilliance. M ignited the flash filaments as the shutter started to open.
Only possibility along Craig's line of thinking would be if someone wanted to use either a flash sync socket when shooting slow low light shots .. or make a flood-light turn on ... whatever it might be I reckon your original explanation is on the mark .. it's a control circuit of some sort .. research the ca,eras capabilities, maybe search the net for mods to this type of camera
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