Bolex B8-VS


8mm Camera


  • OVERALL DIMENSIONS: 5" x 3 1/2" x 2"
  • WEIGHT: Approximately 28 oz.
  • OUTER CASE: Highly polished duraluminium body, covered in genuine Morocco leather. Metal parts are chrome-plated.
  • FILM CAPACITY: 25ft daylight loading spools of double run 8mm film. When a roll runs through the camera, only half the width of film is exposed. The spool is then reversed and run through again, exposing the other half. When processed, film is split and spliced together giving 50' for projection. Projection time at 16 fps for 25' roll is 4 minutes.
  • THREADING: manual, with no loop forming; with the pressure pad opened the film is simply placed over a guide roller, threaded behind the gate, over the bottom guide roller and onto the takeup spool.
  • MOTOR: Constant speed, spring motor mechanism; governor controlled. Generous winding key, attached to the camera, folds back against its side when not in use. Spring cannot be over-wound.
  • TURRET: Accommodates two standard D mount lenses.
  • VIEWFINDER: optical type; adjustable dial shows the scene as viewed by focal lengths of 12.5mm, 25mm and 36mm. Accessory prism attachments allow for filming with 5.5mm lenses, and for parallax correction while filming at close distances.
  • VARIABLE SPEED: 8, 12, 16, 24, 32, 48 and 64 frames per second.
  • RELEASE BUTTON: continuous exposures can be made by a sliding release lever or cable release. The lever can be locked to prevent accidental exposures, or set for continuous hands-free filming.
  • VARIABLE SHUTTER: Adjustable dial changes the shutter opening from 0-165 degrees to allow for shortened exposure times and fades. Shutter gives an exposure time of 1/35th second at 16fps when fully open (165 degrees).
  • FOOTAGE COUNTER: Precise reading of exposed film footage. Audible end-of-film signal. Resets to zero upon reloading.
  • SINGLE FRAME: A cable release socket allows the user to expose single frames for filming animation, titles, etc.
  • TRIPOD SOCKET: 1/4" thread

Notes and Comments

The Bolex B8 was improved in 1957, with the addition of a variable shutter. The control dials for the zoom viewfinder and speed selection were also improved; the new design featured easily adjustable plexiglass control knobs. However, the construction of the variable shutter dial was identical to the small metal control dials used on later model B-8 and C-8 cameras. Fortunately, the lack of resistance when adjusting the variable shutter makes the dial easy to move, despite its small size.

Bolex twin-lens turret cameras:

B-8, B-8VS, B-8L, B-8SL and B-8LA.

Serial Numbers and Dates of Manufacture

The serial number on this model can be found on the base of the camera body, inscribed around the tripod mount.

Bolex B8VS :: Serial Numbers
  #   Year
610000 670000 1957
670000 745000 1958
745000 822000 1959