Bolex B-8LA


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. Built-in prism swings into position to provide a field of view for 5.5mm lenses. Accessory prism attachments provide parallax correction while filming at close distances.
  • VARIABLE SPEED: 12, 16, 18, 24, 32, 48 and 64 frames per second.
  • RELEASE BUTTON: continuous exposures can be made by a finger tip release button or cable release. Running operation 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.
  • 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.
  • MANUAL REWIND: A small hand crank allows for rewinding film up to 60 frames.
  • EXPOSURE METER: A photoelectric cell measures light through the lens. Two needle indicators in the viewfinder are then aligned by adjusting the diaphragm on your lens, resulting in proper exposure.
  • TRIPOD SOCKET: 1/4" thread

Notes and Comments

This improved version of the B-8L was introduced in 1961. It featured the addition of a film rewind slot, a more sensitive meter and a built in prism for focal length lenses of 5.5mm.

Other cosmetic changes: A logo plate with the camera name "B8L" appears on the bottom front of the camera; "Bolex" is inscribed on the top-front of the light meter housing; and a film index calculator dial was added to the film door.

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. The B8LA, C8LA and D8LA all began production in 1961, starting with S/N 887501.

Bolex B8LA :: Serial Numbers
  #   Year
887501 910000 1961
910000 973000 1962
973000 984500 1963