Bolex H8S

H-8 S

8mm Camera


  • OVERALL DIMENSIONS: 8 1/2" x 6" x 3"
  • WEIGHT: Approximately 6 lbs
  • OUTER CASE: Highly polished duraluminium body, covered in genuine Morocco leather. Metal parts are chrome-plated.
  • FILM CAPACITY: 100ft (30m), 50ft (15m) and 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 twice the amount for projection.
  • 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 external drive shaft permits the attachment of an electric motor. Later models include a 1:1 drive shaft.
  • TURRET: Rotating turret with folding lever; Accommodates three interchangeable D mount lenses. The top position allows for critical focusing through a magnified groundglass screen.
  • VIEWFINDER: A cupped eyepiece or eye-level focuser allows for critical focusing through a groundglass screen. Parallax correcting 'PC-12' preview finder or Octameter gives an exact viewing field for lenses of various focal lengths.
  • VARIABLE SPEED: 12, 16, 18, 24, 32, 48 and 64 frames per second
  • 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.
  • SHUTTER: 144 degree aperture shutter
  • 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.
  • TRIPOD SOCKET: Early round base model features a 3/8" thread. Later flat base model contained three tripod sockets: Two 3/8" thread and one 1/4" thread; the front of the flat base is removeable for easy mounting of the Bolex Matte Box.

Notes and Comments

Bolex H8S Plate

Like the Bolex H16S, the H8S incorporated all the changes previously made to the body of non-reflex model H cameras when it was first manufactured in 1963. The H8S adopted future changes, as well -- gaining a flat base by 1964, and a 1:1 drive shaft in 1965. The camera seems to have been sold predominately in the UK and Europe, and does not appear to have ever been marketed in the United States.

Bolex type 3 Bolex type 4
Left: I-T lever; Right: I-T knob.

The easiest method of identifying the camera is by looking at the logo plate, which reads "H8S". The original has a round base, while the 1964 version has a flat base. Both of these versions have an "I-T" time lever; the final version has an I-T knob rather than a lever control, as well as a 1:1 drive shaft for electric motors. All H8 S cameras were non-reflex.

Bolex cameras in the H8 non-reflex series:

H-8, H-8 Leader, H-8 Standard, H-8 Deluxe, H-8 T and H-8 S.

Serial Numbers and Dates of Manufacture

The serial number on this model is inscribed on the flat base of the camera body (and next to the threaded tripod mount on round base models.) The flat base was introduced by approximately 202500, while the 1:1 drive shaft appears on H8S models with a serial number higher than approximately 212400.

Bolex H8S :: Serial Numbers
  #   Year
200000 208000 1963
208000 214000 1964
214000 224000 1965
224000 232000 1966
232000 238600 1967
238600 242110 1968
242111 250185 1969