Bolex H16 M5

H-16 M-5

16mm Camera


  • OVERALL DIMENSIONS: 9" x 6" x 3"
  • WEIGHT: Approximately 6 lbs
  • OUTER CASE: Highly polished duraluminium body, covered in genuine Morocco leather. Metal parts are chrome-plated.
  • FILM CAPACITY: 100ft (30m) daylight loading spools of 16mm film. Saddle accepts 400ft magazine.
  • 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 and 1:1 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.
  • VARIABLE SPEED: 12, 16, 18, 24, 32, 48 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.
  • FLAT BASE: Contains three tripod sockets: Two 3/8" thread and one 1/4" thread. Front of the base is removable for easy mounting of the Bolex Matte Box.

Notes and Comments

A built-in saddle to allow the attachment of 400' magazines appeared on the single lens mount H-16 M in 1967. In addition, the camera incorporated the latest improvements of previous cameras H model cameras, such as the flat base, both 8:1 and 1:1 drive shafts and time control knob (as opposed to the older lever-style). Although it was only the fourth version of the H-16 M, it was termed the M-5; the trailing number "5" was used to identify H model camera bodies with the built-in 400' magazine saddle.

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 inscribed on the flat base of the camera body; it can be used to determine the year in which your camera was manufactured. The H16 M-5 began production in 1967 at S/N 234407.

Bolex H16 M-5 :: Serial Numbers
  #   Year
234407 238600 1967
238600 242110 1968
242111 250185 1969
250186 253018 1970
253019 253673 1971