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few Q's from new Beaulieu owner


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#1 john deaver

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 07:52 AM

hello gentle-beings

I've been lurking for a bit and i have appreciated your collective knowledge.


I did a fair amount of searching but still had a few unanswered questions

I recently purchased a Beaulieu 4008 zm

sweet camera but it does appear to need service, i know that there are several reputable service men around (bjorn) but how crazy is it for me to do a simple clean out of the loose dust and put a few drops of oil in the moving parts myself?

if i open it up will it go back together (I am very mechanically inclined... rebuilt cars and building/working on gadgets since i was 5)

secondly, the auto exposure, when i grip the handle and activate the control systems the meter automatically closes the iris? As the camera starts to run the iris opens back up and the needle goes to the center. Is this normal? is the light sensor behind the mirror/guilloten shutter or on the path to the viewfinder?


Also can someone give me a tip on focusing this thing. should i set the diopter to see A) far away objects, lens set to infinity B) the grain on the ground glass c) a sharp outline of the meter needle.
and is it just me or is it hard to get accurate focus (with our without the ground glass) at a wide lens setting?
Its a piece of cake at a telephoto setting.

last one
if i integrate my super 8 footage with video from my canon xh-a1 (108024p) i need it to be 24 FPS is there a good way to accurately set this on the 4008 zm (detent for 18fps only)

Thanks in advance
John Deaver
Birmingham, Alabama
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#2 andy oliver

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 07:11 PM

Hi, i see no reason why you cannot self service your camera, though can you service the inbuilt 85 filter?, which may require replacing, check the back focus, clean the optics in the viewfinder tube, fix that possible iris/electric fault you may have, possibly re-calibrate the light meter, hhmmm, imho, leave it to someone who is an expert in this field.
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#3 john deaver

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 07:36 AM

would it be accurate to compare the f stop numbers the camera is dialing in on auto to the f-stop numbers my 35mm SLR (a 1967 Minolta) is recommending. I know the shutter speed of both cameras and i also know that the meter in the minolta is spot on.

this might tell me if the meter on the super 8 is accurate or not. however it still seams weird to me that it only seams to work while the camera is running. seams like you would waste a lot of film trying to get the exposure right, unless this is a fault in my camera?

I would like to shoot some footage before sending the thing off to get serviced and don't want to do that until i know my exposure is close enough. what would you guys say would be an approximate f-stop for Ektahcrome 64T on a bright day here in the South at 24 fps.


thanks
john
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#4 andy oliver

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 10:10 AM

using your minota as a light meter will be more accurate than the dire 4008 auto exposure, even serviced beaulieus 4008-7008 the slighlest hint of sky and backlit subjects thows the auto iris. As a roughish guess 64t (40 daylight ) 24fps ( 1/87th shutter speed on a 4008 ) full 3/4 sun on a person, mcu, F8 ish. On the old k40, between 5.6 and f8, depending on amount of reflection.
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#5 Gordon Nelson

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 12:15 PM

hello gentle-beings

I've been lurking for a bit and i have appreciated your collective knowledge.


I did a fair amount of searching but still had a few unanswered questions

I recently purchased a Beaulieu 4008 zm

sweet camera but it does appear to need service, i know that there are several reputable service men around (bjorn) but how crazy is it for me to do a simple clean out of the loose dust and put a few drops of oil in the moving parts myself?

if i open it up will it go back together (I am very mechanically inclined... rebuilt cars and building/working on gadgets since i was 5)

secondly, the auto exposure, when i grip the handle and activate the control systems the meter automatically closes the iris? As the camera starts to run the iris opens back up and the needle goes to the center. Is this normal? is the light sensor behind the mirror/guilloten shutter or on the path to the viewfinder?


Also can someone give me a tip on focusing this thing. should i set the diopter to see A) far away objects, lens set to infinity B) the grain on the ground glass c) a sharp outline of the meter needle.
and is it just me or is it hard to get accurate focus (with our without the ground glass) at a wide lens setting?
Its a piece of cake at a telephoto setting.

last one
if i integrate my super 8 footage with video from my canon xh-a1 (108024p) i need it to be 24 FPS is there a good way to accurately set this on the 4008 zm (detent for 18fps only)

Thanks in advance
John Deaver
Birmingham, Alabama


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#6 Will Montgomery

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 02:54 PM

Bjorn Anderson will make that camera better than new.

Problem is by the time you're done it will cost you more than the camera itself did. But then you'll have a great camera in perfect shape. We're lucky that there is someone left on the planet that can service these to such a level. It is truely worth it.

Focus: Even though those cameras have great lenses, there are difficult to focus. The only tip I have is to zoom in all the way on your subject, focus, then zoom out. You might consider picking up an inexpensive wide prime C-mount lens where focus is less of an issue and handling the camera is easier but only for non critical shots. Something like this Pentax can do the trick. Plus it's very fast. Not the best glass in the world but easy to use and fun for family shots. Makes the camera much lighter and easier to use.

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Lens Link

Speed: A ZM 4008 should have a mark for 24fps just above the 18. It doesn't have to be perfectly on there unless you're trying to sync sound and then you probably have the wrong camera if that's what you need.
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#7 Gordon Nelson

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 03:09 PM

RE: Opening the body: Opening the side with the controls is easy, but the side with the door is a big challenge- I'd get a pro to do that. When I opened mine from the control side, I used a squeeze blower to remove dust & De-Oxit (applied with a Q-tip- DON'T SPRAY INSIDE THE CAMERA GUTS- it will end up in the VF elements) to clean & lube the fps dial and put a few drops in some of the gears, to remove some squeaking.

RE: the auto exposure problem- I removed my zoom/iris motor and suggest the same for anyone wanting to get the most control. It just gets in the way most of the time. This would eliminate that odd stopping down issue, which is likely a contact problem. Contrary to many others, I find the internal meter useful & fairly accurate when in manual mode.

RE: focus- make sure your lens isn't set in macro when trying to focus. Remove the lens and set the diopter to focus on the ground glass. If your image looks soft at wide angle, you may have a back-focus problem (another pro-job requiring a tool for collimating). I've heard that Beaulieu bodies were matched to their lenses at the factory, so you may have a mis-match.

RE: the 24 fps detent- I sent my 4008zm to Bernie O'Dougherty for a more serious servicing and he offered to change mine from 18 to 24 fps (I declined), so he can do that. So again, another pro job because a way to measure 24fps precisely is needed.


What kind of battery are you using?
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#8 john deaver

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 09:30 AM

RE: Opening the body: Opening the side with the controls is easy, but the side with the door is a big challenge- I'd get a pro to do that. When I opened mine from the control side, I used a squeeze blower to remove dust & De-Oxit (applied with a Q-tip- DON'T SPRAY INSIDE THE CAMERA GUTS- it will end up in the VF elements) to clean & lube the fps dial and put a few drops in some of the gears, to remove some squeaking.

RE: the auto exposure problem- I removed my zoom/iris motor and suggest the same for anyone wanting to get the most control. It just gets in the way most of the time. This would eliminate that odd stopping down issue, which is likely a contact problem. Contrary to many others, I find the internal meter useful & fairly accurate when in manual mode.

RE: focus- make sure your lens isn't set in macro when trying to focus. Remove the lens and set the diopter to focus on the ground glass. If your image looks soft at wide angle, you may have a back-focus problem (another pro-job requiring a tool for collimating). I've heard that Beaulieu bodies were matched to their lenses at the factory, so you may have a mis-match.

RE: the 24 fps detent- I sent my 4008zm to Bernie O'Dougherty for a more serious servicing and he offered to change mine from 18 to 24 fps (I declined), so he can do that. So again, another pro job because a way to measure 24fps precisely is needed.


What kind of battery are you using?


wow Gordon, very helpful

I think in the end i am going to have the camera serviced. The focusing screen has some junk on it and since I'm not going to get at that i might as well leave the whole job to a pro.

I'm also very interested in having it modified to shoot 24-fps ( i will indeed be syncing it with sound) is this the gentlemen at "super 16 inc."?

To remove the zoom/iris motors is it just taking out the four screws at the base of the lens? I assume i could put it back any time.

As for a battery i hollowed out one of the old batteries and built a battery pack for it. Man was that a task. And to be honest its still not 100%
It's a real mother getting the concentric circle contacts separate from each other and siting down in the case far enough to make good contact with the camera. For batteries i used Ni-mh energizer rechargeables (they are the correct 1.2 volts) but AA size so could use a cheap battery holder from Radio Shack.

I will probably build a more robust version out of the other original battery i have. this time i'll probably use copper for the contacts as the original material is next to impossible to solder too. I cant tell if the original material is aluminum or stainless steel, i know its not a ferrous metal but beyond that i can't tell.

By the way a good trick for getting a stuck cap off the original battery is to drill the holes in the top bigger, so you can get a real tool in there to spin it off. Also a monkey wrench is good for holding onto the battery so you can turn your real tool with anger.

Thanks again
John
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#9 john deaver

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 10:12 AM

Bjorn Anderson will make that camera better than new.

Problem is by the time you're done it will cost you more than the camera itself did. But then you'll have a great camera in perfect shape. We're lucky that there is someone left on the planet that can service these to such a level. It is truely worth it.

Focus: Even though those cameras have great lenses, there are difficult to focus. The only tip I have is to zoom in all the way on your subject, focus, then zoom out. You might consider picking up an inexpensive wide prime C-mount lens where focus is less of an issue and handling the camera is easier but only for non critical shots. Something like this Pentax can do the trick. Plus it's very fast. Not the best glass in the world but easy to use and fun for family shots. Makes the camera much lighter and easier to use.

Posted Image

Lens Link

Speed: A ZM 4008 should have a mark for 24fps just above the 18. It doesn't have to be perfectly on there unless you're trying to sync sound and then you probably have the wrong camera if that's what you need.



Thanks for the tip

that is pretty inexpensive for a lens

I've been shooting video with a flip out LCD for so long that the whole viewfinder thing is weird, but i like it, very organic, very real.

thanks
john
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#10 Gordon Nelson

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 02:28 PM

wow Gordon, very helpful

I think in the end i am going to have the camera serviced. The focusing screen has some junk on it and since I'm not going to get at that i might as well leave the whole job to a pro.

I'm also very interested in having it modified to shoot 24-fps ( i will indeed be syncing it with sound) is this the gentlemen at "super 16 inc."?

To remove the zoom/iris motors is it just taking out the four screws at the base of the lens? I assume i could put it back any time.

As for a battery i hollowed out one of the old batteries and built a battery pack for it. Man was that a task. And to be honest its still not 100%
It's a real mother getting the concentric circle contacts separate from each other and siting down in the case far enough to make good contact with the camera. For batteries i used Ni-mh energizer rechargeables (they are the correct 1.2 volts) but AA size so could use a cheap battery holder from Radio Shack.

I will probably build a more robust version out of the other original battery i have. this time i'll probably use copper for the contacts as the original material is next to impossible to solder too. I cant tell if the original material is aluminum or stainless steel, i know its not a ferrous metal but beyond that i can't tell.

By the way a good trick for getting a stuck cap off the original battery is to drill the holes in the top bigger, so you can get a real tool in there to spin it off. Also a monkey wrench is good for holding onto the battery so you can turn your real tool with anger.

Thanks again
John


The focusing screen ALWAYS gets junk on it. There's no way to avoid it in a world that has dust. Fortunately it is not in the film path. If you really need to clean it, you can get enough access to squirt some canned air from the front of the camera if you remove the C-mount- the screws are under the thin black plastic ring.

Indeed, Bernie is Super 16, Inc. He did fantastic work on the fleet of troublesome Eclair NPRs which were part of our fleet at the film school I worked at. My 4008 servicing cost $200 and took only a week.

Yes, the 4 screws will remove the zoom-iris device. The lens is fully manual without it. The only drawback for me is that the iris turns very easily. It's easy to replace, just note the position of the macro lever.

For the battery I'm using a 7.2v NiMH race car battery connected via a cable. I stick it in my pocket when shooting. I made a camera body connector using parts from Radio Shack and an M-42 threaded camera body cap, which is the same thread size as the 4008's battery compartment. I first tried rechargeable AA's and they didn't have enough juice for my 4008, tho they worked on a 5008. I have had NO luck getting any old Beaulieu batteries open, including the 16mm ones.
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#11 john deaver

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 04:02 PM

For the battery I'm using a 7.2v NiMH race car battery connected via a cable. I stick it in my pocket when shooting. I made a camera body connector using parts from Radio Shack and an M-42 threaded camera body cap, which is the same thread size as the 4008's battery compartment. I first tried rechargeable AA's and they didn't have enough juice for my 4008, tho they worked on a 5008. I have had NO luck getting any old Beaulieu batteries open, including the 16mm ones.



Did you solder directly onto the contacts in the camera for this procedure or some kind of slip on connector?

and as far as having enough juice goes the original battery was like 250mah and i think the ones i am using are 2500mah. i think they will do it but i haven't run a lot of film through it yet.

m-42 body cap huh. good idea.

the tool i used for getting the battery cap off was designed to take off snap rings about 5 inch in radius (i use them fro doing a rear bearing job on an old VW beetle) but first i had to drill out the holes on top to about 1/4 inch in order to get enough meat to grab holt of.
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#12 Gordon Nelson

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 09:56 AM

Did you solder directly onto the contacts in the camera for this procedure or some kind of slip on connector?

and as far as having enough juice goes the original battery was like 250mah and i think the ones i am using are 2500mah. i think they will do it but i haven't run a lot of film through it yet.

m-42 body cap huh. good idea.

the tool i used for getting the battery cap off was designed to take off snap rings about 5 inch in radius (i use them fro doing a rear bearing job on an old VW beetle) but first i had to drill out the holes on top to about 1/4 inch in order to get enough meat to grab holt of.



I used some slip on crimp connectors that are fully shielded, again from radio shack. Not the best fit, but they work. They remain in place in the battery compartment once the battery cap is screwed in place. I used a radio shack 4 pin microphone screw-on connector so I can easily remove the cable without upsetting the contacts with the camera.

I'm satisfied with the race car battery, because it also works with my Beaulieu R-16 (my favorite camera) and keeps going and going...

If I can find the time, I'll post some pics of the set-up.
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

FJS International, LLC

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