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Bolex 16mm Newbie question

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Martha Horn
Bolex 16mm Newbie question
on Mar 22, 2020 at 1:57:12 pm

Hi everyone,

Apologies if this seems like a foolish question.

I recently inherited a Bolex 16mm from a friend. It's my first time using one and I'm still getting to grips with it. I loaded and some film and have been shooting with it for a few days. Yesterday I thought that the reel was finished and so opened the camera to take out the reel. When I did so I realised that the reel wasn't finished.

Does this mean that the whole roll is ruined? I did open it in a dark room, but not pitch black. I just don't want to have to pay to get it developed to find out that the film is ruined.

Thanks everyone!

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Todd Terry
Re: Bolex 16mm Newbie question
on Mar 22, 2020 at 7:48:46 pm

Not knowing your exact camera... I can offer some guesses...

Are they like the little 100' "daylight" spools? These would be spools that have a hard solid side to them... as opposed to cores (usually 400') that do NOT have any sides on them at all.

If so and they are spools, you are in luck. These spools are designed to be loaded/unloaded in the light (although I'd still suggest dim light, not harsh sunlight even though they are called "daylight"). If that's the case, you have only fogged the visible film that is between the two rolls (and the outside layer of film around the spool)... everything inside that should be fine.

Good luck!... and glad to see there is someone still shooting film.

Oh, and if this is an old camera that you've inherited, it probably hasn't been used in quite a while, so a "C&L" is definitely recommended first before you ever pull the trigger (clean and lube), but it sounds like you are past that point. Still it wouldn't be a bad idea.


Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.

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