Bolex D8L


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 three standard D mount lenses.
  • VIEWFINDER: optical type; adjustable dial shows the scene as viewed by focal lengths of 12.5mm, 25mm and 36mm. Accessory prism attachments allow for filming with 5.5mm lenses, and for 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.
  • 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

In 1959, the three lens turret D-8L was introduced. Because of the space accomodated by this larger turret, the release button was modified and relocated to the side of the camera; it also served as a cable release socket.

Bolex cameras in this series:

The D-8L and D-8LA were the only pocket size cameras made with a three lens turret; however, a conversion could be performed that installed a turret on B and C cameras.

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 D8L began production in 1959, starting with S/N 752802, and was introduced the same year. It was superseded by the D8LA in 1961.

Bolex D8L :: Serial Numbers
  #   Year
752802 822000 1959
822000 885000 1960
885000 887500 1961