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Digital Bolex raw camera, no longer made
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  • M43 mount is supposed to come next month. Praying metabones makes EF bmppc or d16 speedbooster as the nikkon mount is very limiting.

    @BurnetRhoades: I have the same fujinon 0.85 Joe has been using. It's a super cool lens, performs surprisingly well at 0.85

    @Vitaliy "Something tells me that financial resources of DB is near the end."

    Bold statement, got any facts to back it up?

  • @DrDave, sorry but you're wrong here. At f/0.85 the 25mm was very cinematic. Noktor/Nokton type lenses let crop format cameras achieve the look and feel of larger sensor imagery. It's typical SLR lenses attached to crop sensors that lack cinematic appeal. That f/0.85 is still a more open aperture than f/2 in Super 35mm terms. Very few filmmakers work that wide open much less wider still because it takes a rare 1st AC to make it work.

    Also, how exactly does one get bokeh without corresponding falloff in depth? Whatever, here's a video of this lens in action on a BMPCC:

    ...the D16 stands to benefit from lenses this fast even more than the Blackmagic because of the D16's slow sensor. Of course, a D16 specific Speedbooster would be pretty fantastic but I'm betting they're going to have to get their numbers up before such a new product is worthwhile.

  • @luekio - "D16 It is however perfect for 16mm enthusiasts, indie filmmakers and anyone who is fed up with the videoish look, moire, aliasing and rolling shutter of the other options in this price range. I've been shooting with it for a couple of weeks myself and can confirm it has NONE of those problems and the image is gorgeous!

    Not for everyone though, for example if you want to shoot weddings/events/your cats a gh4 would be a much better choice."

    Your snark is really getting tiresome here. There are plenty of cams out there (GH2 being one) that do not look video-ish at all with the right settings and lenses. The DBolex does somewhat resemble 16mm. Older stocks of 16mm from the 70's and 80's, not the ones where they were beginning to emulate 35 more. That is what this cam is predisposed to delivering. I know this, I loaded a crapload of S16 back in the day and worked with it a lot.

    You don't seem to like what is being said here about your camera. (Never become emotionally tied to hardware, btw) Feel free to go back to Joe and Elle and look down your noses at the people posting here from afar. For the record, I am not saying that they are looking down their noses, just your snarky attitude seems to imply that you are.

  • The DBolex does somewhat resemble 16mm. Older stocks of 16mm from the 70's and 80's, not the ones where they were beginning to emulate 35 more. That is what this cam is predisposed to delivering.

    Agreed. The DB does seem to give an authentic 80's film-look, and it does it well. It just doesn't have that modern-film look that the Alexa, BMCC, and Red can deliver. I wouldn't use it unless it was a dedicated retro-project... but even then, you could just use any camera, reduce the contrast/grade, and add grain. So I dunno if this is really going to find it's place beyond nostalgia enthusiasts.

  • CCDs have been used in video cameras for decades. This equating them somehow to be more "filmlike" now that most cameras use CMOS is getting rather tedious. The lens and the grade has more to do with the net effect of any of these cameras.

    Go look up sample video of the BMPCC shooting with c-mount lenses and a punchy, saturated grade that ignores the garbage LUTs that come with it and voila, retro 16mm look.

  • Amen to that. Here's an example, Blackmagic Pocket + c-mount lenses + Tom Majerski's Vision T LUT:

  • I was on the DB forum for a long time, and quite honestly couldn't keep up with all the future promises and hype that kept coming out. I'm glad they've mostly come through for everybody that bought in to it, but it's even with a 5DIII, 3x expensive as a BMPCC and 6+x expensive as a used canon 50D.
    So far the hype about color turned out to be hype alone.. perhaps firmware updates will bring it more in-line with ikonoskop, but again it's over 3,000$, plus more waiting for the image optimization. Meanwhile the canon cameras look absolutely amazing to me, and the B.M. cameras are great as well, again for less price

  • @BurnetRhoades thanks for saying I'm wrong, I might not have known otherwise!

    I don't really like the look of the Fuji 25 vid you posted, but my comment was about the Bolex. I don't have a Bolex to test, but from all the examples I have seen, including watching all of Bloom's review twice, it doesn't look Cinematic to me, it looks Funkomatic. Now Funkomatic isn't all bad, and of course these terms are subjective. So since the terms are subjective, I define the Bolex as the current standard in Funkomatic.

    You are free to make your own definition--cinematic is in the eye of the beholder, or, if the cam has not been delivered, the eye of the "non-holder."

    I also think that it is interesting that there is a big market for Funkomatic cameras that are ordered but not delivered. It is sort of the opposite of Zen: a desire to to nothing by doing something. The essential principles of Funkomatic are difficult to describe so I have created some terms for people to use whilst they are still waiting for their cameras. I also have some Zen-like translations:

    Funkenphänomenologie: the camera works, even if it doesn't.

    des Sich-zum-Vorschein-Bringens des Seins des Funken-groovin' : the appearance of the non-appearance of the camera

    Funkenkino: das Sein aufgebrochen ins Offene der Welt: the world premiere of new works that don't appear, and the disappearance of works that did not appear

    Grundwissenschaft der exakten Funkenwissenschaften: the camera is the foundation of Funkiness--who knew, and yet, who knew otherwise?

  • I don't really like the look of the Fuji 25 vid you posted, but my comment was about the Bolex.

    Ummm, you said:

    you can perhaps get good Bokeh but you can't get decent DOF which is a limitation for a cinematic image.

    ...and equating "decent DOF" to making a cinematic image, implying you cannot get that on the Bolex, while somehow creating this disconnect between shallow DOF and bokeh that I'm still trying to figure out. The BMPCC is simply filling in for the Bolex given they're similar, though not exactly the same sized sensors. Now you want to quibble over issues that have nothing to do with what you actually said and fill a wall of gibberish, go right ahead.

    The point is, sensor size is overcome by the aperture of the lens. Your statement was false regarding the D16 in this regard and that's before pointing out its complete incongruence with the evidence of cinematic Super-16mm filmmaking.

  • You can rephrase my statements any way you want, but the camera does not have just the one problem. In fact, my statement is not false, it is neither false nor true, it is evaluation of a feature. You can manufacture a weird lens with an F stop of 0.8, put a focal reducer on it and gain a stop, and then put it on a weird camera and get a weird imagine. You can then say that it has great DOF, and, in addition, you can say things like "great in low light".

    Rather than claim that the cam has great depth of field, why not shoot some really great video with the camera, and shoot the same video with another camera, and then we can all see whether it measures up. After all, that's the point, isn't it? When subjective becomes reality. I look forward to seeing your videos, and if it works for you, even better.

    Re super 16 film making: I use to shoot 16 and 8mm film, and personally I don't see the connection. If you do, that's great. If other people do, that's great. I don't.

    I stand by my statement that the camera is Funkomatic, and that funkomatic is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, if one does not actually use the camera, it might even be better. Such is the reverse-Zen nature of funkomatics, where beauty is in the eye of the non-owner. In fact, I may now start thinking about selling some of my older lenses, so I can imagine not using them.

  • I have some prospec zoom lenses that I imagine myself not using every time I see them sitting on my shelf.

    They are funky and with the push pull zoom they are great for that old school power zoom look.

  • @jpturbo yes, every time I think of selling the JC Penney 135mm I remember how much fun it is not to use it...

  • So according to @DrDave cinematic isn't possible with 16mm. Mmmkay.

  • Not saying that, but you are welcome to say it. I would seriously consider a Bolex if it could do 1600 ISO and take a m4/3 lens, and fit a metabones on it. The samples I have seen don't look cinematic, but like I said, cinematic is subjective.

    Of course, if such a cam came out, and maybe it will, I probably would have to go for the Panasonic 4K first and see what a good 12mm lens would look like on that--cinematic can also be hyperfocal, like the deep focus in Lawrence of Arabia, Citizen Kane. I'm still looking for a split-focus diopter.

    To me, the Bolex samples mostly have a sort of digital rain, and they don't look like an Arri, which is what I think of when I think of cinematic. In addition to film, of course. The noise to me doesn't look filmic, or cinematic, it looks like, well, noise. It's a subjective thing--and nothing to do with 16mm. Look forward to your samples~!

  • It seems like DrDave considers a bigger sensor to be more cinematic? Bmpcc will look almost exactly like a s35 sensor camera with the bmpcc speedbooster. The same would apply to the bolex, largely (slightly smaller sensor).

    Obviously this gives the possibility for a wider range of looks that can be created, but hey: we already have a fantastic range of looks in the mFT sensor format...

    Digital Bolex is what is is. A CCD chip camera. It can create a certain kind of look and the texture is different to a cmos sensor camera. This talk about cinematic/filmic or not is all subjective and a waste of perfectly good letters. (mostly, this kind of discussion produces a whole lot of nonsense).

  • Bmpcc will look almost exactly like a s35 sensor camera with the bmpcc speedbooster. The same would apply to the bolex, largely (slightly smaller sensor).

    All that lens turbo adapters are doing is allow to use more light available because of lens made for larger sensors. They do not increase DR or do anything else.

  • No, but the optical image produced by such adapters makes it look, optically, like a bigger sensor. Not just increasing light transmission and affecting DOF - it would make the lens look almost exactly like it does on a bigger sensor (with a similar amount of crop from the circle of confusion). It doesn't change sensor properties in any way.

    For example: if I'd have a canon c100 and a gh3 with a speedbooster, if using the same lens on each cameras, color correcting the images to match, there would be almost no discernible difference between them. (the noise levels might be different, there may be resolution differences depending on the resolution produced by the camera or differences in artifacts, but they would look very, very close to optically identical).

    Obviously, the adapters are not COMPLETELY neutral in terms of this, but at least metabones does a pretty good job with coming close.

    Similarly, on an aps-c sensor like many e-mount cams have (coupled with a speedbooster to a full frame lens), you really get a "full frame" look.

    EDIT: I could write an article with graphics/examples on this if you want - VK. There seems to be much confusion on the issue.

  • you really get a "full frame" look.

    Such thing as FF look does not exist, FF sensor properties difference clearly exist, but such thing as abstract "FF look" does not. Just to be correct, FF lens properties used with adapter can be in some ways better than native lenses (and in other ways worse).

  • Well, what I'm talking about is how optics look and behave on different sensor formats. It may be that the term "full frame" look is bad but there are few alternatives. I use it to describe how a specific full frame lens looks on a full frame camera and how it can be made to look the same with a focal reducer (with an ideal reduction capacity) on a smaller sensor. Talking about it in a more general sense is nonsensical, like you say.

    Instead of discussing the matter further here, I'll write an extensive article about it with two different kind of examples when I have the time.

  • Instead of discussing the matter further here, I'll write an extensive article about it with two different kind of examples when I have the time.

    It'll be perfect.

  • Not saying that, but you are welcome to say it....

    No you've said mutually exclusive things and then shifted the subject rather than address your actual comments for what they are. You have to, because you can't actually defend what you said. Go on, try. I dare you.

    You made contradictory statements regarding bokeh and DOF, which have sweet fuck all to do with anything the sensor is doing. Conflating this with the look of the sensor then is defensive posturing and has nothing to do with your original comments as they're optical phenomena and would be exactly the same if photographing with 16mm film. You want to conflate a number of image related issues rather than address what you actually said, because you likely weren't really thinking when you said it you were just auto-pilot trolling the thread of a camera you obviously want to piss on.

    @RRRR he's just saying a bunch of shit is what he's saying. With the proper lenses (read not SLR) you don't need a Speedbooster to raise the effective size of a 16mm sensor in order to get depth falloff. Larger aperture on the lens compensates for smaller aperture sensor as it does for smaller gauge film. His denying it's possible on the D16 is a denial that it's possible with 16mm film which is absolute rubbish. Now he's talking hyperfocal. He has no point other than he doesn't like it and blah-blah-blah. Someone who didn't like the camera and wasn't a troll would have fucked off by now and put energy into things that actually interested them...unless the thing that actually interests them here is being a troll.

  • @DrDave you should probably just stop because you are really clasping at straws now.

    You say the d16 needs ISO1600, and then cite 'cinematic' films that were likely shot at iso 100, you realize dynamic range drops as you increase ISO right? if you want cinematic, put some light on it. The gh4 will be a great camera and a workhorse but the last thing it will be is cinematic, it's a compressed, 4k, consumer dslr not a cinema camera. As Burnet said, you are literally contradicting yourself within one sentence and babbling utter rubbish as folks tend to do when they are lacking a leg to stand on.

    You keep asking for samples, why not get the ball rolling and show us some 'cinematic' samples you've shot with your dslr?

  • New footage:

  • Interesting footage. This camera has potential. Mostly the factory shots were cluttered (understandable because it's a factory), but the shot at :06 of the light and the close-up of the "smoking in shed prohibited" sign looked pretty damn nice. Hopefully we'll soon see a short done to highlight the camera's capabilities.

  • @luekio--if you have a made a video with this camera that you think exemplifies the essential ideals of cinematic, I would be interested in seeing it. In fact, I would be interested in seeing any samples of your work that you consider representative. If you don't make videos, then I'm not sure why you need a camera.

    @BurnetRhoades if you have have a problem understanding what I'm saying, I can't help you with that, but I suggest you post a sample of your work that exemplifies your ideal cinematic aesthetic, then we can learn from it. If your usage of the term cinematic is different from established directors who make movies, your work product will sharpen our awareness of what you think is good cinematic technique. As far as the insults go, they are irrelevant to the process of making video for me. If they help you, fine. Let's see a video you made that is as positive as your words are negative, I look forward to seeing it.

    @RRRR I didn't say that, but you are welcome to say it.

    It seems to me that from a practical point of view, an actual example is what is needed. When I see a great, cinematic image from this camera--that is better than what one could do with say a GH2--I will be the first to applaud it.

    In order to do this, just for the record, do the following: 1. Show that you own the camera 2. Shoot a video 3. Post it, and explain why it is not only cinematic, but does things other cams do not do.

    Look forward to your examples of cinematic with your new Bolex cameras.

    PS In the unlikely event that you own this camera and really do not want to make a video with it, just send it to me and I will make a video with it. Shipping is on me.