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Why in the World Did I get this Beaulieu 4008 ZM so cheap?!


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#1 Richard Key

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 01:58 AM

http://cgi.ebay.com/...IT#ht_500wt_949

How come I got this camera so cheap? Is there something wrong with it? I haven't received it yet, but I'm getting this gnawing feeling like I just spent a small fortune (a fortune for a low wage earner like myself)on a camera that's going to screw me in the end. I've read so many positive things about the 4008 zm, and bought the camera on impulse. Do any owners of this camera have any advice for a Super 8 newbie like myself on how to take full advantage of it and avoid the pitfalls(and perhaps find a video on how to construct a battery pack for it).
Once I receive the camera I'd like to be able to test it without having to spend another small fortune on buying a pre-made battery pack. Recently, the Super 8 bug bit me and won't let go! I've been doing video for so long; I can't wait to try out film.
P.S. Once I get the camera I'll post whatever blessings or shortcomings came with the camera.
P.S.P.S. This is my first post here on cinematography.com; please be gentle :)
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#2 Andries Molenaar

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 02:44 AM

http://cgi.ebay.com/...IT#ht_500wt_949

How come I got this camera so cheap? Is there something wrong with it? I haven't received it yet, but I'm getting this gnawing feeling like I just spent a small fortune (a fortune for a low wage earner like myself)on a camera that's going to screw me in the end. I've read so many positive things about the 4008 zm, and bought the camera on impulse. Do any owners of this camera have any advice for a Super 8 newbie like myself on how to take full advantage of it and avoid the pitfalls(and perhaps find a video on how to construct a battery pack for it).
Once I receive the camera I'd like to be able to test it without having to spend another small fortune on buying a pre-made battery pack. Recently, the Super 8 bug bit me and won't let go! I've been doing video for so long; I can't wait to try out film.
P.S. Once I get the camera I'll post whatever blessings or shortcomings came with the camera.
P.S.P.S. This is my first post here on cinematography.com; please be gentle :)


Seller is quite firm with his statement. So it likely is as described.

There is only photo. That is a bit lame. I notice there is no eyecup.
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#3 christophernigel

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 09:49 AM

Beaulieu zm is a great camera , like any thing thats made over thirty years and older, it has issues !

the main thing being the battery and charger ? it you can sort out this , one of the best supereight camera ever made !

not a cheap thing to find ,

I hope this helps
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#4 Geoff Howell

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 06:46 AM

nah, you'll be fine, $299.00 isn't such a low price; I paid less than half of that for an R16 a couple of years back!

As far a battery's are concerned; Beaulieu cameras can be easily rigged to run from 7.2v radio controlled car battery packs!
Just grab a 3(or was it 4 :unsure:)pin Din plug from Radio Shack and bingo!
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#5 Richard Key

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 11:01 AM

nah, you'll be fine, $299.00 isn't such a low price; I paid less than half of that for an R16 a couple of years back!

As far a battery's are concerned; Beaulieu cameras can be easily rigged to run from 7.2v radio controlled car battery packs!
Just grab a 3(or was it 4 :unsure:)pin Din plug from Radio Shack and bingo!


Thanks for the advice guys. Do you know if there is a video online to show how to do that? Or a step by step pictorial guide. I'm a very visual person, and I need to be shown and not to told so I can learn. I suppose that's a very good reason why I'm a filmmaker; I gotta see it! :)

Edited by Richard Key, 22 May 2011 - 11:01 AM.

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#6 Geoff Howell

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 01:32 PM

hmmmm, I didn't realize the 4008 doesn't have a DIN socket to connect the battery :rolleyes:
so I think this is the best way forward
It looks pretty straight forward!
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#7 Richard Key

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 07:35 PM

hmmmm, I didn't realize the 4008 doesn't have a DIN socket to connect the battery :rolleyes:
so I think this is the best way forward
It looks pretty straight forward!

Thanks! That's going to help a lot! I have a buddy who I'm sure can wire that up for me. It does look fairly straight forward.
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#8 Will Montgomery

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 08:41 PM

Find someone who re-cells the old batteries, it's worth it to have the original battery for easier portability. They last forever when re-celled. They come up on eBay every now and again. Charger can be gotten from Radio Shack then modify the connection to a mono 1/8" mini-jack.

You can order one from Björn in Sweden if you like. Not the cheapest route but the best quality for sure.

Björn Andersson
info@beaulieu-service.com

He's working on two of my cameras now and they will be better than new when he's done with them.
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#9 Andries Molenaar

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 10:35 AM

First take receipt of the thing and check it out. $299 isn't that cheap. It is a good price if it is all OK.

If the battery holds power just check other functions and if all seems OK run a film through it.

Possibly check it with a out-dated cartridge to see if it can run 50ft through. There should be plenty Kodachromes in S8 at a few dollars :(

Check the found aperture against an handheld exposure meter.
Be sure to shoot plenty from a tripod and have a few shots at infinity like antennas or electricity pole etc.

Check the groundglass for correct focus. Against the distance on the ring.


Keep notes on all shots, log exposure, correction, focus, subject, contrast in scene and what more.


Then wait for the film to be get back from processing :)

If it is OK then use it more.


I would not spend $300-400 on lube and adjust jobs if there's nothing wrong.

If the battery gets/is lame you could have it recelled or build an external pocket/belt fixed battery-pack with connecting-kit

like in the pictures. You could buy these too but everythings seems to cost an arm and a leg.

The bondy site is very instructive. :) and not mine
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#10 Richard Key

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 12:46 AM

So I got the 4008 today in the mail. After doing a little more fact checking and taking some advice from you guys, I've decided to re-cell the battery that came with the camera. It won't be terribly expensive and it should fit my needs nicely. When the camera arrived it had this red dust all over it :( So after an hour of cleaning it and making sure it was dust free, I tried looking through the viewfinder. I couldn't see anything. It was well lit environment too. I took the lens off and inspected it and it seems fine. So I'm thinking it's the viewfinder. When I pointed the camera to a light, I could see (barely) a very faint outline of the lamp. The image kind of looks like it's covered in a thick somewhat translucent grease. Does anybody know what's going on with it and if it can be fixed?
Once I get it going, I'll take your advice Andries and do a proper test with it.
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#11 Todd Pinder

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 11:44 AM

So I got the 4008 today in the mail. After doing a little more fact checking and taking some advice from you guys, I've decided to re-cell the battery that came with the camera. It won't be terribly expensive and it should fit my needs nicely. When the camera arrived it had this red dust all over it :( So after an hour of cleaning it and making sure it was dust free, I tried looking through the viewfinder. I couldn't see anything. It was well lit environment too. I took the lens off and inspected it and it seems fine. So I'm thinking it's the viewfinder. When I pointed the camera to a light, I could see (barely) a very faint outline of the lamp. The image kind of looks like it's covered in a thick somewhat translucent grease. Does anybody know what's going on with it and if it can be fixed?
Once I get it going, I'll take your advice Andries and do a proper test with it.


Sometimes when the battery dies while shooting the mirror ends up not lined up so you can only see part of the image. When you have a full battery and you let go of the trigger the camera returns the mirror automatically.
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#12 Andries Molenaar

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 02:48 PM

So I got the 4008 today in the mail. After doing a little more fact checking and taking some advice from you guys, I've decided to re-cell the battery that came with the camera. It won't be terribly expensive and it should fit my needs nicely. When the camera arrived it had this red dust all over it :( So after an hour of cleaning it and making sure it was dust free, I tried looking through the viewfinder. I couldn't see anything. It was well lit environment too. I took the lens off and inspected it and it seems fine. So I'm thinking it's the viewfinder. When I pointed the camera to a light, I could see (barely) a very faint outline of the lamp. The image kind of looks like it's covered in a thick somewhat translucent grease. Does anybody know what's going on with it and if it can be fixed?
Once I get it going, I'll take your advice Andries and do a proper test with it.



Make sure the aperture is fully opened. Check if the mirror in neutral position, i.e. the camera stopped at a position in between frames. The mirror is then behind the lens and you cannot see through the camera and lens with the door open...
Sometime the groundglass is dirty and it darkens the view. Swing it out using the highrise knob on the left side just near the lens.
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#13 Richard Key

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 03:13 PM

Make sure the aperture is fully opened. Check if the mirror in neutral position, i.e. the camera stopped at a position in between frames. The mirror is then behind the lens and you cannot see through the camera and lens with the door open...
Sometime the groundglass is dirty and it darkens the view. Swing it out using the highrise knob on the left side just near the lens.

You guys were right! The mirror wasn't in the neutral position. I charged the battery for a couple hours and was able to get it running for about 30 seconds (definitely needs to be re-celled). The mirror corrected itself. You guys have been great! Thanks for all the help! I have one more question though: I tried using the electric zoom control contact and it didn't work. Is this due to the battery having such a low charge?
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#14 Andries Molenaar

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 04:51 PM

You guys were right! The mirror wasn't in the neutral position. I charged the battery for a couple hours and was able to get it running for about 30 seconds (definitely needs to be re-celled). The mirror corrected itself. You guys have been great! Thanks for all the help! I have one more question though: I tried using the electric zoom control contact and it didn't work. Is this due to the battery having such a low charge?



A few hours isn't enough. Not even on a new battery. Try to charge, run-till-empty for a few cycles. That would revive the battery a bit so you will have a longer run-tim.


The zoom should work when the lens is proper screwed onto the camera i.e. the contacts are lined up with the body. Sometimes these lenses are a bit off.
The battery need to deliver 0, 3.6 and 7.2 volt. (hull, mid-ring, centre-pad) Is the 3.6 is too much off the zoom control will not function.
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#15 Matt Stevens

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 05:31 PM

Super 8 cameras will only get harder and harder to sell. Many will go for far less than they should simply because if the right buyer isn't looking at the right time, it won't sell for what you want.

My Nikon R10 rocks the house, but I am afraid that when I go to sell it, I won't get what it is worth. I may have to just wait it out.

Congrats on your purchase. It's sweet.
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