Bolex H16 REX 5

H-16 REX-5

16mm Camera


  • OVERALL DIMENSIONS: 9" x 6" x 3"
  • WEIGHT: 6 lbs. 12 oz.; Approximately 8 1/2 lbs with magazine.
  • OUTER CASE: Highly polished duraluminium body, covered in genuine Morocco leather. Metal parts are chrome-plated.
  • FILM CAPACITY: 100ft (30m) daylight loading spools of 16mm film. Saddle accepts 400ft (120m) magazine.
  • THREADING: Automatic threading and loop forming. The end of the film is simply placed in a channel leading to the feed sprocket. The release is pressed and the film is then automatically threaded throughout the entire mechanism.
  • MOTOR: Constant speed, spring motor mechanism; governor controlled. Large winding handle folds downward and attaches to camera when not in use. Spring cannot be over-wound. 8:1 and 1:1 external drive shaft permits the attachment of an electric motor.
  • TURRET: Rotating turret with folding lever; Accommodates three interchangeable RX type C mount lenses; Built-in turret lock lever.
  • VIEWFINDER: 10x magnification; Reflex viewing with semi-reflecting prism system; Groundglass focusing; Adjustable to eyesight. The camera comes equipped with an Octometer viewfinder.
  • FILTER SLOT: Built-in slot holds a gelatin filter behind the taking lens and in front of the shutter.
  • VARIABLE SPEED: 12, 16, 18, 24, 32, 48 and 64 frames per second
  • Bolex 400ft Magazine RELEASE BUTTON: provides for the making of continuous exposures by a finger-tip release on the front of the camera. A side release allows for locked, hands-free running or single frame exposures.
  • VARIABLE SHUTTER: 133 degree variable shutter; Operated manually to decrease exposure time, or with accessory Rexofader to accomplish fade-ins and fade-outs.
  • FOOTAGE COUNTER: adds and subtracts accurately in forward or reverse motion and automatically returns to zero when film is reloaded into the camera.
  • AUDIBLE FOOTAGE INDICATOR: A distinct click announces the passing of each 10 inches of film through the gate. This mechanism may be disengaged, if desired, by simply moving a lever.
  • FRAME COUNTER: Twin dial counts frames individually and in total; Adds frames in forward motion and subtracts when film is wound backwards. Dial may be reset manually at any time.
  • SINGLE FRAME: Time lapse and animation is possible by using the side release button or an accessory cable release and adapter; I-T lever allows for timed or instantaneous single exposures.
  • MANUAL REWIND: Clutch disengages spring motor and permits forward movement and backwind without running down the spring; allows for dissolves and superimposition.
  • FLAT BASE: Contains three tripod sockets: Two 3/8" thread and one 1/4" thread. Front of the base is removable for easy mounting of the Bolex Matte Box.
Man with a Bolex H16 REX5

Notes and Comments

A built-in saddle to allow the attachment of 400' magazines appeared on the H-16 REX in 1967. In addition, the H-16 REX-5 incorporated the latest improvements of previous cameras H model cameras, such as the flat base, both 8:1 and 1:1 drive shafts and time control knob (as opposed to the older lever-style). The trailing number "5" was used to identify H model camera bodies with the built-in 400' magazine saddle.

The 400' capacity magazine could be quickly attached and removed from the saddle mount by a locking hinge. A plate covered the channel opening on the saddle and allowed the Rex-5 to be used as a 100' capacity camera without the magazine. The magazine was driven by small DC motor attached to the takeup on the outside of the magazine and connected to either the MST motor or a voltage regulator (used in conjunction with the Unimotor B).

Although the REX-5 was not introduced until 1967, a 400' magazine modification to H-16 cameras (with flat base and 1:1 shaft) was promised to be available by Fall of 1965. Descriptions of this early design suggested it would be possible to operate the magazine with either electric or spring driven motor. [1] However, the REX-5 was ultimately designed to transport film in the 400' magazine with a motor only.

Bolex Cameras in the H16 Reflex Series:

H16 Reflex, H16 REX, H16 REX-2, H16 REX-3, H16 REX-4 and H16 REX-5.

Serial Numbers and Dates of Manufacture

The serial number on this model is inscribed on the flat base of the camera body; it can be used to determine the year in which your camera was manufactured. The H16 REX-5 began production in 1966 but was not introduced until 1967.

Bolex H16 REX-5 :: Serial Numbers
  #   Year
226001 232000 1966
232000 238600 1967
238600 242110 1968
242111 250185 1969
250186 253018 1970
253019 253673 1971
253674 256057 1972
256058 260757 1973
260758 261735 1974
261736 262438 1975
262439 264230 1976

1 "Bolex Product Review," Bolex Reporter, Vol. 15, No. 1, 1965, 32.