Bolex C8S


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.
  • LENS MOUNT: Accommodates one standard D mount lens.
  • VIEWFINDER: optical type; shows the scene as viewed by a standard focal length lens. Accessory prism attachments adapt the viewfinder field to 5.5mm and 36mm, as well as parallax correction for close distance filming.
  • SINGLE SPEED: 16 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 1/35th second at 16fps.
  • 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 C-8S was introduced as a simplified, low cost pocket-size camera, featuring a single operating speed of 16fps. The fixed field optical viewfinder was only suitable for lenses of standard focal length. However, viewfinder prisms could be fitted over the front of the viewing window for lenses of different focal lengths. [1]

This model was originally sold at a price of $69.50 US in 1958, and included a Lytar 12.5mm f/2.5 fixed focus lens. The declic handle, shown attached on this page, was available for an additional $16, tax included.

Bolex single lens cameras in this series:

C-8, C-8S, C-8SL and C-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 C8S began production at S/N 713501 in 1958, and was introduced the same year.

Bolex C8S :: Serial Numbers
  #   Year
713501 745000 1958
745000 822000 1959
822000 885000 1960
885000 910000 1961
910000 973000 1962
973000 984500 1963

1 "A Bolex Guide to Holiday Gifts," Bolex Reporter, Winter 1958, 15.