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Moving on from the 814 to the Beaulieu 4008


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#1 Steve Williams

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 08:51 PM

Hey Guys,

 

I decided to move on from the 814 and onto the Beaulieu 4008.  Even though I've had my 814 for about 5 years now and have ran numerous rolls of film through it - I still consider myself a beginner in the S8 world.  

 

I picked up the rebuilt camera from pro8mm and I'm excited to run some rolls through it.  Does anyone have any advice, or big differences from the 814 that I should be aware of?  

 

Proper exposure has always been one of my biggest worries while shooting super8.  I felt that I could never trust my internal light meter on my 814 - so I would use a combination of a light meter and my DSLR to come up with the correct aperture setting.  

I've read that the correct shutter speed at 24fps is 1/86th.  This seems a bit different from my 814, which is 1/58 (i think).

 

Any insight into this camera would be greatly appreciated.  It arrives next week and I plan on running a roll of 50D and 200T. 

 

Steve

 


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#2 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 10 February 2017 - 07:27 AM

First of all, congratulations to the purchase.

 

There are of course very significant differences in the construction of these two cameras (mirror reflex vs prism). The way of operating them is different, too, as it would be between a production camera like a Beaulieu, and a high-end camera such as a Canon. But frankly, if you are familiar with cine-film cameras in general, you should be able to understand how it works pretty much out of the box.

 

The regular Beaulieu 4008-series models use the TTL exposure control paradigm just like the Canon. You are likely to continue using external lightmeters for ambitious productions, even though the internal lightmeter of the regular Beaulieu 4008-series is very reliable and precise (and combined with a zoom lens can replace a spotmeter if needed). The Super 8 aesthetic combined with the latitude of current negative film stock should keep you from overly worrying about correct exposure, though. It really depends how exact you want to be, and what subject/object you are shooting.

 

Yes, you are correct: due to the required timing of the alternating phases of the guillotine shutter, the maximum exposure time at 24 fps is 1/86 sec (1/87 sec for 25 fps). You can further shorten that by closing the variable shutter, normally at a 100° opening angle. It is operated by the topside lever.

 

You won't be able to get the smoother motions and XL-focused exposure times of ~1/58 sec that you know from Canon or other XL cameras like Bauer or Nizo. So be prepared for a different visual experience once you get the first reels, rushes or scans back.

 

There are a few differences between the proper Beaulieu 4008-series models, and those models modified by Pro8mm. Pro8mm will have included a manual. If it's any help, you can also check out my overview/review of the Beaulieu 4008 in this forum's FAQ here (click me). Just click on and download the two attached documents in that post.


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#3 Will Montgomery

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Posted 10 February 2017 - 09:58 AM

Do those Pro8mm rebuilt ones have the light meter removed? I think they basically strip the camera down to the bare essentials. Everything goes manual, right?

 

In my experience the best route on a 4008 is to send it to Bjorn in Sweden for an overhaul. He did mine about 5 years ago and they are still flawless. He has all original parts and the skill to keep it purring like new. It's just convenient to have that light meter. I usually allow it to set the aperture then lock it into manual mode so it doesn't breathe until I have another lighting condition.

 

What I like about Super 8 is the complete simplicity and auto settings of the format. Good to be able to go full manual when you want, but full automatic has it's advantages too.


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#4 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 10 February 2017 - 10:13 AM

Do those Pro8mm rebuilt ones have the light meter removed? I think they basically strip the camera down to the bare essentials. Everything goes manual, right?

 

 

It's not that clear cut, to my knowledge.

 

A few "Super 8 Sound 4008" branded cameras retained the internal lightmeters but removed the Wratten filter system. Then the "Pro8mm 4008" branded cameras that came without handgrip and in vivid body colours had everything removed. The current model, "The Classic Professional", is supposed to have the internal exposure indicator, which is powered by new external battery supply they developed.

 

+1 for recommending Björn, if he does Pro8mm-branded Beaulieu gear as well. I actually don't know.

But my two 4008 bodies he did around a decade ago are still fully functional.


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#5 Steve Williams

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Posted 10 February 2017 - 04:56 PM

Hey Guys,

 

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply to my thread...  I've been starring at the internet add of the 4008 on pro8mm for a few days now.  They advertise that the camera has an internal light meter - so I hope that this is the case.  I'm so glad that this forum exist to help me through some of the learning process.. 

 

 

Steve


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#6 Will Montgomery

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Posted 13 February 2017 - 09:45 AM

+1 for recommending Björn, if he does Pro8mm-branded Beaulieu gear as well. I actually don't know.

But my two 4008 bodies he did around a decade ago are still fully functional.

 

The mechanics of the camera are the same so I'm sure he could clean and lube it just fine.


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