Bolex B8SL


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; engraved markings show field of view for wide, standard and telephoto lenses. Accessory prism attachments allow for filming with 5.5mm lenses, and for parallax correction while filming at close distances.
  • SINGLE SPEED: Standard 18 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.
  • SHUTTER: 165 degree disc shutter gives an exposure time of 1/43rd second at 18fps.
  • 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.
  • 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

The B-8SL was a simplified, twin lens camera in the "Compumatic" series. The cable release socket, which had been positioned toward the top on previous pocket size cameras, was relocated toward the bottom of the front plate.

On later versions, the logo plate release button was removed and replaced with a side located release button, similar to the Bolex D-8L. This change allowed the Declic D grip to be used.

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 B8SL began production at S/N 749776 in 1959, and was introduced the same year.

Bolex B8SL :: Serial Numbers
  #   Year
749776 822000 1959
822000 885000 1960
885000 910000 1961
910000 973000 1962
973000 984500 1963