Written by 11:36 am Documentary

Exploring the Cine Camera

I decided to try a few additional photographs of the old 8mm cine camera. Shooting with a 100mm macro lens both in full and macro mode I decided to shoot in full manual and slightly under expose the shots in an attempt to attain richer depth and colour.

Captured at f2.8 and with 1/13th of a second shutter speed the photos offered a very warm antique feel. The photo above is straight from the camera, no enhancements, edits other than cropping it down for the website.

The following image was captured in macro mode. The fact the 100mm is a prime macro I think also helps capture a strikingly sharp image.

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The camera is a 1958 Bolex 8L. The Bollexcollector site describes it as the first in a series of “Compumatic” cameras that allowed an easy method for determining proper exposure. The system consisted of a photo-electric selenium cell, galvanometer needle and adjustable guide needle (set according to film sensitivity between 10-40 ASA).

The cell was moved into position behind the lens, before filming, by pressing a control trigger; the galvanometer needle then reacted to the light intensity. Proper exposure was indicated by turning the lens diaphragm until the two needles were aligned. The photo cell was automatically retracted as soon as the camera was started with the release button.

The compumatic series of cameras featured a newly shaped release button containing a name plate. Unfortunately, the name plate was simply glued on. As a result, these cameras can sometimes be found with the plate missing although as you can see in the photo this unit has managed to hold on to it.

In addition to the light meter, the B-8L featured a slight improvement over the B-8VS: a locking shutter control. The new plexiglass dial included a chrome latch that allowed the shutter to be secured in fully open (165 degree aperture) or half open (82 degree aperture) position.

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You can view the full set of cine camera photos in flickr here.

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Last modified: October 27, 2013