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Paillard-Bolex H-series Critical Focuser Instructions

Paillard Bolex Eye Level Focuser


This accessory is intended for use with the ground-glass focusing prism (or Critical Visual Focuser) fitted to H16 Standard and H8 cameras. Whereas when used alone this prism provides a horizontal image in the front of the camera, the Eye-Level Focus enables focusing with the ground-glass to be undetaken from the back of the camera, in the same plane as the viewfinder and with a vertical image. A brilliantly clear, distortion-free image is provided, at a magnification of 10x. When the one inch lens (H16) or half-inch lens (H8) are in use, a ratio of 1 between the image and the subject as seen by the naked eye is obtaned; thus the image in the Eye-Level Focus can be superimposed on the retinic image seem by the other eye, with a consequent increase in the instrument's brilliance and convenience in use.

The Eye-Level Focus is particularly recommended for focusing high-speed lenses and telephoto lenses with the diaphragm wide open, for close-ups - which always require very accurate focusing- and for keeping an accurate check on depth of field.

The Eye-Level Focus [was] made in two models: "REFSE" for H16 Standard and "REFTU" for H8 cameras.

Instructions For Use

If your Eye-Level Focus has been purchased separately, carry out operations A to H below.

If your camera was supplied with Eye-Level Focus already fitted, only operations E to H need to be undertaken.

  1. Remove the tri-focal viewfinder from the clamps at the top of the camera, and place it in the lateral position (on lid of camera).
  2. Unscrew the eyepiece lens of the critical visual focuser, which contains the magnifier, and which is situated in the upper front part of the camera, and replace it by the special magnifier lens supplied with the Eye-Level Focus.
  3. Unscrew the clamps which held the trifocal viewfinder in the upper position, and replace them by the special mountings supplied with the Eye-Level Focus.
  4. Slide the Eye-Level Focus well home onto the new mountings, so that the window in the front part of the instrument covers the special magnifier lens.
  5. Unscrew the flat-headed screw which protects the focusing prism on the camera, as done for normal use of the critical visual focuser.
  6. Without placing an objective in front of the prism, adjust the Eye-Level Focus to suit individual eyesight by turing the small milled knob forwards or backwards until the grain of the ground-glass surface of the prism is seen in sharp focus when the camera is pointed toward the light. This adjustment remains valid whatever the lens in use. It need only be altered if the operator's eyesight changes.
  7. The instrument is now ready for use. Place the taking lens in front of the prism, and bring the subject into sharp focus by rotating the focusing ring on the lens. Take care to open the diaphragm fully, so that the brightest possible image of the subject is obtained.
  8. Before filming do not forget to return the taking lens in front of the opening in the gate, and to set the diaphragm according to the amount of light available and the filming speed in frames per second.
Paillard Bolex Eye level Focuser adjustments
If the image observed through the Eye-Level Focus appears off centre or incomplete, proceed as follows:-
  1. remove the metal cap A, which is retained by two small screws;
  2. adjustments can now be effected in the vertical sense by slightly turning the small screw B, and in the horizontal sense by turning the two screws C, in the directions shown in the sketch above.

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