Saturday, January 28, 2012

My 16mm obsession returns!

I used to be an avid 16mm film guy. I worked extensively with time lapse and frame-by-frame animation via a Tobin TTL intervalometer. The Bolex was perfect and my favorite version was a toss up between the EL (Electronic) and the SBM. If you want a tight and easy to use MOS 16mm camera, the EL with a nice Switar lens and onboard battery is so hard to beat. An auto aperture Vario Switar POE 100 zoom lens is perfect for consistency with the use of an intervalometer motor as well as the slick EL. Well, for financial reasons, I sold my EL long ago and kept the SBM. The SBM had some kind of shutter issue and served as an attractive paper weight until I started painting cameras. Now it has paid for itself as a handy reference.

SBM, oil on panel, 18" x 24", 2008

Here's the latest gouache of the guy, soon to appear at Parallax in London in mid February:

SBM 2.5D , gouache on paper, 36" x 28", 2011

Soon after painting this camera at about 200% normal size, I proceeded to dismantle it to figure out what the deal was. Needless to say, it was abandoned for reasons of time constraints and a steep learning curve on the ins and outs of the Bolex shutter mechanism. Luckily, I replaced this uselessly outdated camera with a newer dated (1980's) but older version 3 turret model Rex-5. Here it is with a rare and expensive Angenieux 25mm f/.95 lens. That's a super fast piece of glass but it gets a little soft opened wide so I calibrated it to my Olympus Pen EP-3 digital where it seems to perform better and looks hip.

The Bolex EL, EBM and late SBM have the same dark grey hammertone (as opposed to chrome/wrinkle paint) finish as this Rex-5 TV model. This is very much of a late mid-century era, modish/scientific finish. It looks really seamless with Moroccan leather inserts. I obsess over this finish and own a Leica Focomat IIc enlarger in the same paint. It looks absolutely dope with white painting or a red accent like a signature Leitz logo:

Over the past few years, Leica has been introducing this magnetic grey hammertone finish to its hopelessly expensive special edition MP analog and M9-P digital cameras:

It's pretty durable but will chip occasionally. I suspect it takes a lot of patience to be able to replicate it in oil painting. I haven't made a very serious effort yet.

Now comes the vector line drawing. I drew this in Illustrator to use as plans for a possible painting or to borrow components for a future composite creation of my own. I just LOVE the geometry and dial controls on the standard mechanical Bolex:

Here's the inside of the Bolex reflex, the SBM. Notice the speed dial differs slightly for unknown reasons. I'm planning a painting which involves use of all this source material.
Now to take this motor apart and do something fiendish like an exploded painting like this one of the inside of an Nikon S (in progress:)

S Inside, oil on panel, 2011-?

part of my vector drawing plan for S Inside (currently in progress)

Until later, adieu!