Beaulieu MR8 Questions

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BAC
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Beaulieu MR8 Questions

Post by BAC » Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:24 pm

I recently purchased this Beaulieu MR8 on Ebay and have a few questions about it. In the photo below there is an odd looking hole to the right of the trigger button in the front of the camera. I can't figure out what it's for. It's not for a cable release, it almost looks like a PC connector you would have on a still camera for a flash. I downloaded a copy of the manual but it's for a slightly different version that did not have this.

Image

Another question I have is regarding the light meter. There is a small button on the right side of the meter housing on the back of the camera. You can see it in the picture, it's the black dot below the screw just under the eyepiece. I believe this is the battery check button but I'm not sure if you have to have the meter set to a certain DIN setting to test the battery properly.

The camera runs a little slow, probably due to a weak spring or the need for some lubrication. I ran a few speed tests on it last night and found that it needs to be set close to the 24fps mark to get an actual 18fps. I have two questions regarding this:

Can the spring be over wound or does it have a stop similar to the Bolex pocket cameras? I can feel the spring getting tight and don't want to wind it any further if it can cause damage.

Is there a relatively easy way to lubricate this camera? I've taken apart and lubricated several Bolex cameras but I don't want to dig into this camera without some instructions.

I appreciate any replies.

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cameratech
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Re: Beaulieu MR8 Questions

Post by cameratech » Thu Sep 05, 2013 4:50 am

I've got 3 of these cameras but none of them have the socket to the right of the run button like yours. The position would seem to place it leading straight in to the mirror and claw drive gear in the film chamber side, maybe its a modification to give a synch pulse to an external sound recorder? It's easy enough to remove the plates covering this area (one covers the gate, one holds the pressure plate and one is a film guide) and have a look.

I've got one partly dismantled that I'm in the middle of documenting, this is the area where your socket would lead into:
Image

From memory the meter button is a battery check, I don't think you need to set the ASA to anything in particular.

The spring winder (rather than the spring itself) is a weak point, I'd be careful not to apply too much force as the spring approaches being fully wound - it comes to a slightly spongy stop and I've bought a couple (one was an MAR8) that had the slip clutch inside the winder broken.

They're trickier than most standard 8 cameras to disassemble and lubricate, but well worth it. One of the best ever made, like its Super 8 cousin the 4008. I should have some disassembly documentation online soon.
Dom Jaeger
Camera/lens technician
Cameraquip, Melbourne

Oilman930
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Re: Beaulieu MR8 Questions

Post by Oilman930 » Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:25 am

The 'hole' on the right side of the camera just below the variable-aperture arm is the single-frame release socket.

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BAC
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Re: Beaulieu MR8 Questions

Post by BAC » Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:27 am

Thanks for the responses Dom and Oilman930. Dom, I look forward to your documentation of the breakdown. I answered a few questions for myself tonight. I hooked a flash up to what I thought was a PC socket and I was surprised to find that's what it is! I think it's for doing animation with the single frame function. It triggered the flash with both the button and using a cable release in the single-frame release socket. I don't know whether it's timed for a bulb or electronic flash. That would use a lot of flash bulbs if it's not electronic.

I tested the battery check button with the DIN set at both extremes and it gave the same reading. My camera does not have the on-off-test switch on the battery cover like they describe in the manual. It makes checking the battery easy but the down side is there's no way to turn the meter off other than removing the batteries. That's going to kill a lot of batteries.

I wound it up to where the spring feels tight and it ran for 29 seconds. It slows down a little when it gets near the end. I think that's a safe stopping point for the winder. The manual says the running time is 30 seconds when fully wound.

I did put a drop of oil on that brass bushing at the end of the arrow in your photo and it did take the oil in. I can see the shaft turn in the middle of it. It may have helped a little. I'll wait for your breakdown before I go much further. I think the camera is useable the way it is since I can adjust it to 18fps.

I did come up with one more question. The reflex control section of the manual says to use a shutter speed of 1/65 at 18fps, that seems fast. Is this due to light loss with the reflex viewfinder? Unless I'm misunderstanding how the reflex system works I wouldn't think there would be any light loss. It uses a mirror to divert the image to the viewfinder when the shutter is closed but when it's open there is nothing between the lens and the film. This gives the viewfinder a flicker when it's running.

This is a link to the manual I'm referring to:

http://mypdfmanuals.com/user-manual,BEA ... 713795.pdf

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cameratech
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Re: Beaulieu MR8 Questions

Post by cameratech » Thu Sep 05, 2013 10:39 am

BAC wrote:I did come up with one more question. The reflex control section of the manual says to use a shutter speed of 1/65 at 18fps, that seems fast. Is this due to light loss with the reflex viewfinder? Unless I'm misunderstanding how the reflex system works I wouldn't think there would be any light loss. It uses a mirror to divert the image to the viewfinder when the shutter is closed but when it's open there is nothing between the lens and the film. This gives the viewfinder a flicker when it's running.
The mirror is exactly like the one used in the R16 and later Beaulieu S8 cameras like the 4008, only smaller. It moves up and down over the gate aperture (hence the nick-name "guillotine") but to prevent one side of the frame getting more exposure than the other a shutter also shuttles up and down offset from the mirror timing, creating a moving slit that exposes the frame only in in one direction. So the exposure period is a smaller fraction of the full pull-down cycle than most other cameras that simply use rotating half-moon shutters.
Dom Jaeger
Camera/lens technician
Cameraquip, Melbourne

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BAC
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Re: Beaulieu MR8 Questions

Post by BAC » Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:55 pm

cameratech wrote:
BAC wrote:I did come up with one more question. The reflex control section of the manual says to use a shutter speed of 1/65 at 18fps, that seems fast. Is this due to light loss with the reflex viewfinder? Unless I'm misunderstanding how the reflex system works I wouldn't think there would be any light loss. It uses a mirror to divert the image to the viewfinder when the shutter is closed but when it's open there is nothing between the lens and the film. This gives the viewfinder a flicker when it's running.
The mirror is exactly like the one used in the R16 and later Beaulieu S8 cameras like the 4008, only smaller. It moves up and down over the gate aperture (hence the nick-name "guillotine") but to prevent one side of the frame getting more exposure than the other a shutter also shuttles up and down offset from the mirror timing, creating a moving slit that exposes the frame only in in one direction. So the exposure period is a smaller fraction of the full pull-down cycle than most other cameras that simply use rotating half-moon shutters.
Thanks Dom. I'll use 1/65 to make sure the meter is accurate.

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