Bolex H16M

H-16 M

16mm Camera


  • OVERALL DIMENSIONS: 8 1/2" x 6" x 3"
  • WEIGHT: Approximately 5 1/2 lbs
  • OUTER CASE: Highly polished duraluminium body, covered in genuine Morocco leather. Metal parts are chrome-plated.
  • FILM CAPACITY: 100ft (30m) and 50ft (15m) daylight loading spools of 16mm film.
  • 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.
  • LENS MOUNT: Accommodates a single interchangeable C mount lens.
  • VIEWFINDER: Parallax correcting 'PC-12' preview finder gives an exact viewing field for lenses of four focal lengths: 16mm, 25mm, 50mm and 75mm. The PC-12 viewfinder was originally considered an option at purchase.
  • VARIABLE SPEED: 8, 16, 24, 32 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: 3/8" thread

Notes and Comments

The Bolex H-16 M was introduced in 1958 as a direct response to requests from current and potential owners of Bolex cameras who wished to own a quality camera, but who had no desire for a turret feature. [1]

The camera was ideal for heavy zoom lenses, such as the Pan Cinor, since the fixed mount provided sturdy support. The H-16 M lacked critical focusing and was not included with a built-in filter slot. These features allowed the camera to be sold at a lower cost of approximately $200 US; $50 less than turret model H cameras.

The H-16 M was supplied with the parallax correcting PC-12 Preview Finder. Price lists for the camera show that it could also be purchased without the viewfinder for a slightly lower cost.

Cameras in the H16 M Series:

H16 M, H16 M-3, H16 M-4 and H16 M-5.

Serial Numbers and Dates of Manufacture

The serial number on this model is located on the round base of the camera body, inscribed next to the threaded tripod mount. The H16M began production in 1958, starting with S/N 151401, and was introduced the same year. It was superseded by the flat based H16 M-3 approximately in 1963.

Bolex H16M :: Serial Numbers
  #   Year
151401 158000 1958
158000 175000 1959
175000 186000 1960
186000 192000 1961
192000 200000 1962
200000 203000 1963

1 "Three New H-Cameras," Bolex Reporter, Fall 1958, 8.