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Super 8 - Beaulieu 4008 ZM4 help

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Hello I recently just purchased a 4008 ZM4 with the Optivaron 1.4 6-70mm lense.

I bought the camera for its manual frame rate, ASA controls, and because it’s one of the gods (the god imo because i prefer older optics). 

Anyways I have some questions i can’t find anywhere maybe someone will be able to help:


1: i’ve read in two places rather briefly that if you were to turn frame nob while shooting it would frame ramp and auto expose - this seems rather difficult and maybe not true but would be amazing if true

2: My cameras 85 filter has been disabled. While talking with the seller he was explaining to me how this lense also has a filter built into it with a switch but i can’t find anything on the internet about this 

3: There is a lot of confusing information about which C-Mount lenses can be attached as is. i know that there was mention of not being to use ones that go to cctv and ones that pertrude past the mount so i understand but does anyone have a list of lenses that will work? looking for more experimental lenses

4: I know my camera has a varying shutter degree angle but i don’t know how to actually vary it. Does anyone have any idea?

5 Looking for any suggestions anyone might have about how i should use this camera and advice with shooting manual

Those are my questions for now hope someone has some ideas 🙂


I have been shooting on super 8 for about three years and it is a great medium for my music videos. i have been shooting on Bauer C series and they have been good to me but i have had two give out on me so i decided to upgrade

heres a link to a video i shot recently to get the vibe 


 i just directed a feature called “Heal Us” shot on 16mm on the Arri Sr3 w Angenieux zoom lense and am looking to shoot my next short film on the ZM4 so all of your input will go to some great film making

thank you



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Finding an Instruction manual for the ZM4 would be my first priority.  That would answer your most basic questions.

However, finding one is easier said than done.  Several Z and ZM II manuals are currently on ebay, but not ZM4... so far.

With three years experience with Super8, you've probably heard of Pro8mm in Burbank, Ca.  Contact them for input.

The Optivaron 6-70 lens is a very fine lens, but with the filter disabled the back focus will be thrown off just enough to be less 

sharp. (A series 9  85 or 85B filter  as well as 85n3, 85n6, n9 etc.-- [or series 8 fitted to the front --maybe-- I can't remember], might prove to be a superior color correction solution,  and allows for adding filtration for black and white film).  

Pro8mm, in Burbank, can probably refurbish/update your camera if you have the money to spend.  (Adjust back focus, film transport,  battery power, etc).

There are adaptors for attaching some 35mm still photo lenses (I had Nikon) to C mount that can drive your experimental impulses in several directions. (If you have still camera lenses).

Back in the early 80's I had the 5008, and while I have handled the 4008, I don't know the variations to be more specific in helping you.

Hope this was of some help.



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Here’s a good scan of the ZM4 manual:


If the auto exposure is working I think you should be able to do a speed ramp and have the iris compensate, though there is always a bit of a delay.

There is no switchable filter built into the 6-70 Optivaron zooms that I have seen (including one I’m working on at the moment). You can colour correct footage in post these days rather than use an 85 filter. Or use front filters.

If the camera filters have been removed the flange depth will be slightly out, which will result in soft shots at the wide end, particularly if the aperture is wide open. The inbuilt filters cause light rays to extend further back a bit, so the camera flange depth was factory set to be slightly longer than the C mount standard in order to compensate. The mount can be reduced in thickness by two to three hundredths of a mm to set the flange depth back to the C mount standard by a good camera tech if it is a problem (or the lens back focus can be adjusted) but maybe shoot a test first. 

The C mounts you need to avoid are the ones that have long mount threads, since they will screw in too far and damage the mount baffle or even bend it into the mirror area. Or they will not screw all the way home and only focus at macro distances. You don’t want any lens that has a thread that protrudes more than about 4 mm past the lens mount flange. Most C mounts are ok, but some CCTV lenses or older C mounts can be a problem. Older AR Switar 25mm lenses for instance.

The variable shutter is controlled by the lever on top, see the manual.

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  • 2 months later...

If the zoom has the motor attached it will feel a bit stiff to move manually because you have to turn the motor gears too. If you want to use it manually you can remove the motors from the zoom. If it still feels stiff without the motor, it needs an overhaul, and may even be damaged, since the zoom mechanism is not typically very stiff. 

Björn is definitely the best Beaulieu tech.

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