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View Full Version : Concerns about a Bolex Tripod



cherdlu
27-Jan-2017, 10:30
Hello, I was offered a Bolex tripod similar to the one pictured at a good price. The thing is, it is missing its top plate (the part that sits in the circular depression in the third picture).

The seller tells me that this plate is easily found online. I have looked cursorily but haven't found anything yet.

Is this a foolish purchase? Will I spend time and money looking/machining this top plate?

The tripod is in excellent condition otherwise.

Bob Salomon
27-Jan-2017, 10:44
Yes, you will not find it. In fact, that plate might be on the bottom of a Bolex movie camera.

cherdlu
27-Jan-2017, 10:46
So do you suggest I give up on this tripod?

Bob Salomon
27-Jan-2017, 10:53
So do you suggest I give up on this tripod?

Does the head come off? If so just replace the head. Your head now is a movie head anyway with only pan and tilt.

Will Whitaker
27-Jan-2017, 10:55
It's unlikely that you will find an odd bit for a long obsolete and defunct tripod, so to purchase it would not be recommended. Vintage equipment has its charm, but be wary of the many rabbit holes waiting to swallow you up. Besides, if for large format, you might want to find something a bit more substantial.

Good luck!

cherdlu
27-Jan-2017, 10:57
Isn't this tripod enough for a 4x5/5x7 Arca Swiss setup?

goamules
27-Jan-2017, 11:11
If you replace the head, it's not really a Bolex tripod anymore. It's legs. If you can't get a plate on it, it's not enough for your Arca Swiss. Unless the guy wants like $35, why mess with it. In it's current configuration, it won't work for you. If complete, I like movie camera tripods for 4x5 and 5x7, I use a lot of them.

Eric Woodbury
27-Jan-2017, 11:58
This is a Paillard / Bolex tripod. I love these except they suck all the heat from your hands on a cold day and they don't collapse into luggage. I use mine now for an 8x10 and 5x7 Deardorff in the past. Good solid tripod. Easy. Fast. I took off the head and tossed that. I doubt you'll find the bowl adapter. (Actually, not sure this one has a bowl.) You could make one from wood or abandon that mess and just attach a nice head of your choice. The rubber tips on legs dry up and get hard. They don't seem to crack off, at least not yet. Only matters on marble and wood floors.

A fully operational, very clean model is worth about $75 IMO. (I bought my first one at a photo swap for $50. Good shape but dusty.) Originally there was a chain that went between the eyelets in the legs to contain them. You can add a string. Or go without, no biggie. Oh, make sure that the little stop blocks that keep the legs to a standard angle are in place. (Looks as though they are there in your pic.) You'll not find another set of those either. Use this info to keep the price down. The new head for it will cost much more than the legs.

Contact me by email and I'll send you pix of mine, if you like. I'm a big fan. Best bang/buck in tripods.

Mark Sawyer
27-Jan-2017, 12:28
If you don't mind modifying it, just drill a hole through the plate and add a threaded whatcha-macallit to screw into the camera and use it as a conventionally-attaching tripod. I never trusted those quick-release plates anyways...

Eric Woodbury
27-Jan-2017, 12:53
I agree Mark S. I have a Miller cine tripod. The wooden type. Bought it from Morley Baer. It has a concave bowl, but no mating convex bowl-thingy. I put a couple of big wooden washers on either side and added a 3/8" bolt with a big Gitzo head. Fabulous. Easy. Same way Morley ran it. Paillard is like a metal version of the Miller.

LabRat
27-Jan-2017, 13:05
The quick release semi-circular plate with the hold-down screw is missing, which could be made, or the top release plate might come off, and another flat plate (drilled) could be installed...

Looks like it was outside for awhile (rust) so screws might be frozen or might break if rust is severe...

But a fun DIY project to rebuild, if it cost you $15- $25... But without leveling, you will be looking for another in the future...

Steve K

cherdlu
27-Jan-2017, 13:07
drill a hole in what plate exactly? and attach what? pictures would help :=D

LabRat
27-Jan-2017, 13:15
Somewhere drill where a screw with a knob (to release/screw) with space for your fingers to turn it underneath, and through to the flat part on top where the camera would be mounted to the tripod... Looks like there might be room on the top behind where it mounted before, closer to the handle side...

Steve K

Eric Woodbury
27-Jan-2017, 13:24
There is a bolt underneath the head. Unscrew this and the head and any leveling mechanism comes off. At this point, there is only a big hole where the head was. Put a couple of big washers (wood is fine) on either side and run a 3/8" screw up through there and attach a head that you like. I'll PM some pix this weekend.

--ew--

Jim Andrada
27-Jan-2017, 13:37
I agree Mark S. I have a Miller cine tripod. The wooden type. Bought it from Morley Baer. It has a concave bowl, but no mating convex bowl-thingy. I put a couple of big wooden washers on either side and added a 3/8" bolt with a big Gitzo head. Fabulous. Easy. Same way Morley ran it. Paillard is like a metal version of the Miller.

I think the "mating convex bowl-thingy" is of a pretty standardized size and available from Manfrotto etc etc. (unless possibly it is REALLY old) I have a video tripod with the same setup that I use for - well, for video. It also uses the bowl type leveling clamp. Wonderful to have the leveling going on below the pan instead of above. Obviously a necessity for filming while panning, but I also really like it for stills so I don't have to re-level if I want to shift the camera a few degrees.

cherdlu
27-Jan-2017, 14:11
Anyone have a tripod to sell me? EU preferably :-D

ic-racer
27-Jan-2017, 16:25
The main advantage of that tripod, in addition to the fluid head, is the locking plate. That same plate, when on the bottom of the camera, allows one to easily change between the pistol grip and the tripod. The ability to bring the shutter release button through the pan-handle, so one can operate it with the thumb, is a nice touch. I don't recall ever having trouble finding a plate for all my cameras. Where have you looked? http://www.chamblesscineequip.com/catalog/tripods.htm

Bob Salomon
27-Jan-2017, 16:58
See this link, it describes your tripod and that disk fits into the hole on your tripod head. If you look at the picture of the 16mm Bolex Rex on this site you will see that disk on the bottom of the camera.

http://www.bolexcollector.com/accessories/support50.html

cherdlu
27-Jan-2017, 17:11
The main advantage of that tripod, in addition to the fluid head, is the locking plate. That same plate, when on the bottom of the camera, allows one to easily change between the pistol grip and the tripod. The ability to bring the shutter release button through the pan-handle, so one can operate it with the thumb, is a nice touch. I don't recall ever having trouble finding a plate for all my cameras. Where have you looked? http://www.chamblesscineequip.com/catalog/tripods.htm

ah, excellent, which of these would fit mine?
thanks ic, how did you find this website btw?

PeteSpencer
14-Feb-2017, 16:35
I only just spotted this thread.I actually got one of these tripods as part of a deal for a Toyo 45G camera, effectively it was free. But mine isn't configured for a cine camera as it has a levelling head. Also there is a chain half way down the legs which can be used to limit the spread of the legs. I didn't know it was made by Bolex though. It is quite light but sturdy and I have used it out of doors with my Brand 5x4, which is a lightweight, aluminium camera. The only bugbear is that it doesn't collapse down small.

Leszek Vogt
14-Feb-2017, 21:12
Apparently it's not as difficult as it might appear to adapt conventional tripod head (or geared type). Take a looksy. https://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/pho/6003992098.html

Les

DrTang
15-Feb-2017, 07:53
I have a couple - they are really under rated

I also have an adapter part to convert it to accept regular tripod heads.. I would not use the bolex head with lg format cameras - even though a fully outfitted bolex movie camera is dang heavy - it just doesn't work well for still photography.... maybe for dslr's shooting sports or something though