3D Bolex 16mm Movie Camera
It's the big day! Home Movie Day! All across the world, people are watching home movies together and having fun. It also marks the end of our week long look at some of the lesser-known aspects of the home movie experience. I thought we'd conclude with one of the most extraordinary ideas in home movie filmmaking - 3D.
The Bolex 16mm camera has had a long life, and in that time countless accessories have come along to add some a new dimension to the filmmaking experience - in the 1950's Bolex sought literally to add a new dimension with this 3D lens set. While the rest of the world was slumming it with 2D films, Bolex created this special camera lens and projector lens set to bring depth to amateur films.
The special fixed focus lens only fits on non-reflex Bolexes. It shoots two images side by side onto 16mm film, so the aspect ratio of your imagery is suddenly half the normal width. Once shot, you secure a special split lens onto you Bolex projector, aim at a lenticular screen, and watch the action pop out at you via polarized glasses.
The 1950's were full of 3D movies, so I guess that it's no surprise that Bolex tried to bring the same sort of technology home. What makes it especially weird is that the magazines of the period discuss the Bolex lens as the vanguard of 3D filmmaking. There was a feeling that 2D movies were just a stopgap until 3D filmmaking was feasible. It may seem easy to scoff at such a notion now, but remember that there are a number of 3D Hollywood movies in production right now. Perhaps 3D camcorders aren't far behind?
We hope that you enjoyed our little series on home movie Retro Things. Feel free to post in the comments section if you'd like to see similar series in the future. Oh, and let us know if you went to your local Home Movie Day, and what you thought of it! Thanks!