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Macro with a BeaulieuR16


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#1 Mirko Horstmann

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 10:52 AM

Hi there,

I have recently purchased a Beaulieu R16 to do some stop-motion animation (I'm currently using a digital camera but wanted to use a 16mm at least once in my life). The films I do usually consist of close-up work in the range of a few centimeters from the lens away as I'm working with a rather small scale (LEGO figures, to be exact). Now I have some questions regarding my camera. I bought it on Ebay "untested", which was a bit naive for a total 16mm newby like me, I admit, and the condition is not as good as I anticipated when I was looking at the auction photos (yeah, I know...). I'll want to send this to a service to check, clean, lubricate it. But first I'd like to check if I have bought the right camera...

What options do I have for macro? My model is an Automatic with power zoom and came with an Angenieux 12-120 lens. This lens has a rather long minimum focus distance and also quite a large front lens, which makes it difficult and expensive to use achromatic close-up lenses.

I was thinking about buying other c-mount lenses - e.g. wide angle primes - where I can easily add my existing (small) close-up lenses. But do they really fit on the camera? If I add a short 12mm c-mount to it, won't the camera's rather long aperture and zoom motors obscure part of the image?

Are c-mount distance rings between the camera and the 12-120 an alternative? And what kind of minimum distance will a 5mm ring give me with the Angenieux?

Mirko
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#2 Ian Marks

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 11:57 AM

Using extension tubes with a zoom is not a good idea. C-mount primes will focus closer, generally, and can be used with extension tubes without a problem. With longer tubes you may need to calculate an exposure increase. I'm not sure why you mention a 12mm wide angle, unless you specifically need a wide angle perspective in your shot. It can be hard to light your subject when your camera is right up against it (more likely with a wide lens), so most people use a normal or slightly longer than normal lens for macro work. A "normal" (for 16mm) 25mm prime with a short extension tube will probably suit you well, or if you'd like a little more working room, a 50mm (although depth of field will get really thin as your focal lengths increase). Because your camera has a C-mount and does not require specially-corrected lenses like the Bolex reflex cameras, you can use a C-mount adapter to use a 50mm macro lens from a 35mm still camera like a Canon, Nikon, Pentax, or Minolta. These lenses are generally optically excellent, will give you super-close focusing (larger than life-size), and are available on the used market at very attractive prices. Of course, you'll want to get a manual focusing lens - not one of the auto-focus types.
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#3 Mirko Horstmann

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Posted 14 June 2007 - 03:27 AM

Thanks for the quick answer, Ian.

Using extension tubes with a zoom is not a good idea.

I have experienced this with my DSLR already but thought it was just a peculiarity of my gear. So I'll have to use a different lens than the Angenieux.

I'm not sure why you mention a 12mm wide angle, unless you specifically need a wide angle perspective in your shot. It can be hard to light your subject when your camera is right up against it (more likely with a wide lens), so most people use a normal or slightly longer than normal lens for macro work.

I mentioned 12mm as an example for probably the widest lens I'm ever going to need. My concern is mainly that the motors of the Beaulieu might appear in the image if a wide angle lens is too short (I don't necessarily mean focal length here, but the physical length of the lens). Maybe someone with an R16 Automatic can confirm that this is not a problem. My problem with longer lenses is that I like the camera to be as close as possible to the action, usually not more than 10cm away, to achieve a view that resembles that of a cameraman living in the world I am showing. If the lens is too long and too far away from the set, I fear it could sometimes look as if one is observing the scene through a telescope. At least with the digital cameras I have used until now, I more often was in the wide angle range of the zoom lens.

Because your camera has a C-mount and does not require specially-corrected lenses like the Bolex reflex cameras, you can use a C-mount adapter to use a 50mm macro lens from a 35mm still camera like a Canon, Nikon, Pentax, or Minolta. These lenses are generally optically excellent, will give you super-close focusing (larger than life-size), and are available on the used market at very attractive prices. Of course, you'll want to get a manual focusing lens - not one of the auto-focus types.

Again, my camera might not be right for that because the motors don't allow lenses with a diameter more than 50mm. But thanks for your suggestions, I'll have to look for alternative lenses and see what can be done with the camera.

Mirko
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#4 Ian Marks

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Posted 14 June 2007 - 12:07 PM

Ah... from your comments I gather you have an R16 with an Angenieux zoom equipped with the auto-exposure module, or power zoom module, or (probably) both. These run alongside the zoom and are probably what you are referring to when you mention "motors."

If you were to use a different lens, whether C-mount or otherwise, you would be removing these along with the zoom, leaving the front of the camera essentially flat, with a single lens port. The auto-exposure and power zoom modules won't function with lenses other than the Angenieux (which has special cut-outs which expose gears for the adjustment of the aperture and focal length), so they wouldn't have any function without the zoom. As I remember from the R16 I owned many years ago, the zoom and modules came off (unscrewed from) the camera as a single unit. However, I think Beaulieu's intention was for them to remain on the camera, more or less permanently.

The simplest (and cheapest) solution would be to purchase some close up diopters and use them on the front of your present lens. This isn't the best solution optically, and you'll have to focus by eye, but it might be good enough for your purposes.
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#5 Mirko Horstmann

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 04:10 AM

Ah... from your comments I gather you have an R16 with an Angenieux zoom equipped with the auto-exposure module, or power zoom module, or (probably) both. These run alongside the zoom and are probably what you are referring to when you mention "motors."

Yes, sorry if I wasn't clear enough about that. The model shown in this picture is what I have: http://www.cameraspr...beaulieu16.html .

If you were to use a different lens, whether C-mount or otherwise, you would be removing these along with the zoom, leaving the front of the camera essentially flat, with a single lens port. The auto-exposure and power zoom modules won't function with lenses other than the Angenieux (which has special cut-outs which expose gears for the adjustment of the aperture and focal length), so they wouldn't have any function without the zoom. As I remember from the R16 I owned many years ago, the zoom and modules came off (unscrewed from) the camera as a single unit. However, I think Beaulieu's intention was for them to remain on the camera, more or less permanently.

Is it possible that that was a different model? I can only unscrew the lens and I think the other tubes are not to be removed without disassembling the camera. I tried mild force but they don't seem to be just threaded.

Mirko
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#6 Ian Marks

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 10:20 AM

You may be right... my memory is fuzzy on this, and I might be confusing the 16mm units with the Super 8 ones. I should probably leave this to someone who currently owns and uses an R16 like yours. I'll just reiterate that using the close-up lenses in front of your lens is probably the easiest way for you to go. It's a pity that Beaulieu didn't offer an R16 with some kind of macro option.
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#7 Mike Rizos

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 04:19 PM

Yeah, the motors stay on the camera unlike in super 8 where they are attached to the lens. They are not removable, except by a technician who may want to tackle it as the the R16 is a nightmare to work on. You probably bought the wrong camera for your purposes, the camera excels handheld, but is poor for tripod or macro work. Again, you best choice might be c mount lenses with extension tubes. Fortunetly, although I can't confirm this, I am fairly certain that even a 10mm lens, like the Switar or Angenieux, will not be a problem as far as the motors protruding in to the frame.
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