Topic: Dutch test report for Beaulieu 708 El Projectors
Expert Film Handler
From: West-Vlaanderen, Belgium
Registered: Jan 2014
posted March 27, 2015 05:22 PM
Hello all! I have at home some boxes with dutch and german magazines about super 8 films, with in each magazine reports, tips and tricks about projectors and filming and reports of super 8 prints, written in the '70 - '80 and '90. For those who know the magazines, they are called "Smalfilmen als hobby" (Dutch) and "Schmallfilm" (German). I saw some time ago an interesting test report of the Beaulieu projectors and after the advice of Andrew, who had the kind idea that it would be interesting for some of you to have a look at these reports, I put the translated reports here. Hope you can do something with it and enjoy!
NOTE: if you are interested in the original Dutch report, please email to firstname.lastname@example.org or send a pm and I send you the original one with the pictures, to which the author refers in the below articles.
*** Beaulieu 708 EL Stereo ***
By Piet Joosten, october 1980, magazine Smalfilmen als hobby
It was predestinated that the Beaulieu-manufacturer in France would come, at a certain moment, with a projection machine that also had the possibility of stereo sound. With the introduction of the duoplay-version some time ago, they pointed in fact already in this direction. Now, we speak about a top of the range machine, not only for the many possibilities, but one has to keep the price from about f 5500 (about 2750 euros) in mind - notice some differences in prices at one place or another. For the test, Piet Joosten had one of the very first machines in his disposition. For that reason, we could react with the test this soon.
Next to the very well known 708 EL Duoplay, Beaulieu has now also manufactured a complete stereo projector. Because of the fact that they had to place an extra amplifier and some other things that had to be changed, one has used the occasion to perfect the projector even more. It has not become a projector for everyone, because the price is in a high level. But those who can pay this amount, buy a projector with everything in it. With the most pleasure, we frolicked with this projector to see what all the possibilities were.
In our test from the duoplay projector (in january 1979), we treated all the technical novelties from this projector. Especially the gate and the directly driven capstan. Both were now present unchanged. The system had apparently shown its worth. The case is in its total from moulded metal. The back cover is made from fiber. The spool arms are good for 700 meters of super 8 film. On the back, all the in- and outputs are situated for the input signals and extra loudspeakers. On the front, the lens fitting with the focusing and level-control by screw threat, strikes. By mean of this screw guide, focusing precisely has become very easy. Nevertheless, the picture moved a little bit upside when focusing during the projection with this projector. No big deal, but anyway...?
Inserting the film is very easy by pushing the threading button. Then, the film runs through the whole mechanical part, but not till the reel. That last part, you have to do yourself. This running in of the film makes some more noise. The duo-play machine had this also. No complains came in, that the film was damaged somewhere here. We also had no problems during the test with this.
The further projection-steps are controlled with de massive mono-knob. This one goes very heavy and because of the lamphouse, which is situated right above it, you have to take time to learn how to handle it. All further function by buttons, slides and switches were working excellent. Everything is provided with clear superscriptions and/or lighting led's. The sound of the running projector, is just very low. Only at the stand 'sound' of the mono knob, the film is pushed against the heads. In all other stands, the film is running free. So, no extra wear of the heads. The film can be taken out from the projector quite easy half-way the projection. And... even again in the projector, nevertheless this last one will need some exercise. The loop former will prove you good services with that.
A build-in counter with 0-stand shows where you are: 1 number is 4.8 pictures. In my opinion, this counter is a complete mistake. After all, there are counters who count one frame as one number? And why, at such a future-focused machine, not an electronic counter with programming? But it is praiseworthy that at the back of the machine, there is an extra output for one contact a frame for the connection with synchronization machinery.
Light system and lens
The projector is equipped with a 15 Volt 150 Watt halogen lamp with dichroid mirror. Directly at the powering of the projector, the bulb starts burning at 2 Volt glow light. With help of the excellent one-image-axe in front of the projector, you can now just turn the wanted image in front of the lens. There is a separate switch for CFL and full light. The CFL burns at 13 Volt and full light at precisely 15 Volt. De respectively light output can be found in pictures 1 and 2 (page 41, above). This lamp can be centered with ease. The standard lens is a Schneider MC Xenovaron 1.1/11-30mm zoom. This lens pleased us well. It gives a good sharp image with only little blur at the edges. Also the mask satisfies precisely the SMPTE-norms, so that you have the full image when projecting.
The projector has two fixed speeds: 18 and 24 frames per second. When showing films from others, it can happen that a small difference in speeds happens. Therefore, the sound pitch changes. To help this, the projector is equipped with a switch and a adjustment dial to make small speed changes possible more or less. Our measurement results look like this:
• At 18 frames fixed, we measured 18.3 frames/sec.;
• with the button in minus-position, 16.6 frames and in plus-position 20.7 frames;
• At 24 frames/sec.: 24.2 frames;
• with the button in minus-position, 21.3 frames and in plus-position, 26.8 frames.
The most important factor is obviously how the synchronization is at all this speeds. These is excellent, in accordance with our measurement. The speed variations are very small.
The rotating shutter is, when delivered, at the three-blades position. However, there is a adjustment possible. After losing two adjusting screws, the blades can be moved in such a way that a two-blade shutter is made. This gives 16% more light and is the best position to transfer your film to video yourself.
Then, the rotating speed can be increased till 25 frames for the best results. This marking is not mentioned. You will have to determine experimentally. Because this is something kind of new, the projector is marked with "video transfer capability". Good to transfer to video.
To record the stereo sound and reproduce this, the projector has two separate amplifiers. At each amplifier, you have to fix a loudspeaker as result. In the projector, two loudspeakers with a power of 6 Watt each are located. At the back, two extra outputs for loudspeakers are situated. Here, two external loudspeakers of 4 Ohm 25 Watt can be connected. The loudspeakers of the projector are then switched off.
You now have the choice between three possibilities for reproduction: stereo, duoplay and mono. All this happens over the two loudspeakers. The difference between duoplay and mono is here, that you can change, at the duoplay-mode, the ratio between track 1 and 2 a bit with the balance controller. This is not possible in the mono-mode. But there is also another trick incorporated. At stereo-mode, you can let track 1 influence track 2, or vice versa. Suppose: you have recorded music at full hight at track 1 and a text on track 2. By simply turning over the switch, the text will influence the music. This means that the music will lower as soon as a text appears. That begins two seconds before the text and three seconds after it. This is a soft fading, then. But it can also faster. The quantity of music that must be kept under the text, can be fixed with the trick-controller, you can do this itself. Just speak in the text here fluently. Hitches in that text give the music the chance to appear again and that isn't always that nice.
We have measured the amplifier for you. The output powers from track 1 and track 2 are precisely even: 17.3 Watt (sinus 1000 Hz 0 dB +- 4 dB). So, large enough for a small room. There is also a PA (Public Address)-switch, in a way you can also use the projector amplifier for speeches or pausing music. The frequency reach from the amplifier is high more than what you will ever manage to get from the stripe. Thus it is now to get the maximum out of the stripe. This means a recording height to the edge of the red of the VU-meters. Our testing reel gave a frequency reach at 18 frames from 50 - 12 000 Hz. This measured at track 1. The balance track wasn't that good as this. Of course, this was expected to happen at a track wide of 0.4 mm. Especially the high tones are here worse. So, record at this track as much text as possible. Because of the projector which has three heads (one for deleting, one for record, one for post-listening), you can, as already understood, post-listen the things you recorded on the tape. You do that here always; keep this in mind when recording synchronic. It may vary some frames. I would like to have had another choice possibility of pre- of post-listening. This choice is here in the choice of track. You can post-listen. track 1 or track 2. Also, when you are recording on 1, you can listen to track 2 and vice versa.
The number of variations in the techniques of recording is very big with this projector. You can record on track 1 or 2 or on both tracks on the same time (stereo). But you can also transfer from track 1 to 2 or the other way. One does only have to turn a single button. Also fading in, fading out and fading over is simple and good. Dubbing of texts at the correct time in an existing sound on one of the tracks is easy with the delivered trick-switch. This one must be connected on the back of the projector. The recording happens when you turn over the switch: with a hard or soft input. Without clicking. Whatever you want, it is possible with this projector. We ourselves have made the most impossible composings, after some exercise, we managed it all.
Volume, tone and balance
There are two sound regulating sliders. One for the high tones and one for the low tones. With these, you can make the sound colours you desire. It's a pity that they regulate both tracks. For the balance track, I would have liked a separate one, to make it possible to influence the track which is a bit weaker, a bit more. Besides, they both work excellent, and it is probably my too high perfectionism that would like to have two sliders. You could say the same for the volume control, but this is not necessary in fact. There is rather a perfectly functioning balance regulator on it. Just adjust these ones and you can bring the force from both tracks then perfectly on height. All sliders work flexible and without hard points.
Also this projector has a automatism that is possible to be powered on or off. The best method is also here to record manually. Although for me, especially with spoken texts, I have thankfully used the automatism position. The text is then on a bit more single loudness. Notice that in the pauses between the text, there is nothing to hear. If you work manually, adjust the incoming sound with the clear VU-meters. Please not in the red. As soon as the projector runs, you have to fix this a little bit.
There are two microphones with the projector: directional microphones. They both work fine. A bit weak in the high tones, but as long as you use them for texts, they are satisfying well. We recorded no projector noise anymore at just 50 centimeters distance from the projector. At the position "manual" of course. You can even go just to 3 meters from the projector, the cord is that long.
The whole film path, including the sound heads, is very well to clean. The lens holder can be turn aside, so that the complete film path is open in front of you. Especially the masks are free to be cleaned now. The bridge above the heads is lifted at the maximum with the lens holder opened. All the heads are now very good accessible. Clean at the same time the sprockets and the transport rollers. By opening the lamp house, the lamp can be changed very easily. Pay attention, with a new lamp, that the lighting is even on the projection screen. Adjust the lamp if necessary.
Yes, it is solid price, those 5450 gulden. Comparable with a 16 mm projector, were it not as a fact that this last will never have the possibilities from this 708 Stereo. This projector has a number of possibilities that are definitely very good. But you will have to learn it. Do this with help of the somewhat compact, but clear user's instructions. Then you will be able to take the maximum from this projector. The somewhat less interesting aspects, like the difficult turning of the mono knob, one pair of sound regulators and the counter, have no big influence on your creative expressions. A comparison price - quality is always difficult to make. We have worked with it for a long time. We opened the thing and studied the technique. Also, we had eye for some technical solutions. The thing that was to notice was that not always the cheapest solution was chosen. In my opinion, this projector is worth those 5450 guldens.
In the grey frame:
Projector type: Beaulieu 708 EL Stereo
Format: super 8 and single 8
Lens: Schneid MC Xenovaron 1.1 11-30 mm
Reel capacity: max 700 meters super 8
Light: 15 Volt 150 Watt
Speeds: 18 and 24 frames/second fixed, variable +/- 2 frames
Sound system: Stereo
Power amplifier: 2 X 18 Watt (fabrication note)
Loudspeakers: incorporated 2 x 6 Watt
Inputs for: line, aux and 2 x microphone
Outputs: aux, 2 x loudspeaker 4 Ohm, 25 Watt synch. contact
Weight: 13 kilos
Accessories: 1 wire, 1 reel 240 meters, 1 diode cable, 1 trick cable with switch, 2 microphones, one dust cover
Price: f 5450 (about 2725 euros)
Constructor: Beaulieu - France
Importer: Kinotechiek - Badhoevedorp
*** Beaulieu 708 EL Super 8 Sound ***
Written by Piet Joosten, january 1979, translated report from the Dutch magazine "Smalfilmen als hobby", n° 1, 1979.
Beaulieu: a famous name in the world of smallfilm. That's for sure. For that reason, for a lot of filmers, the possession of a Beaulieu camera or projector is a wish or dreams. A wish, that for many will not be turned in reality, just because the machinery is very costly. The three cameras that they bring, have a very spicy price: 1008 XL Sound : f 1895, 4008 ZM 4 : f 4100 and the top model 5008 Multi Speed Sound : f 5200. In the projector line, they bring it restrained. For the moment, importer Kinotechniek brings just one model, the Beaulieu 708 El Super 8 Sound. A nice machine with let's say all what you want. But also a machine that needs to be paid with a hefty price. The f 4150 as bruto price doesn't lie about that. But for that price, you get a machine that lacks not much. It is a very complete machine. In the beginning of 1979 (in February we expect), there will be a second model, namely the same 708, but then equipped with a very bright Xenon-lamp, for projection in big rooms. Though, the version with the Xenon lamp will need the kind investing from about f 10 000.
After years of research, the 708 EL appeared. It has become a duoplay projector with a capacity up to 700 meters of film. So, two hours of continuous projection. At the construction of this projector, the manufacturer has taken some possibilities that only bigger 16 mm projectors have. To give the heavier execution of the mechanical and electronic components a better protection, and to give a more stable construction of the unit, one has chosen a heavy metal construction. The weight of the projector will then be about 12.6 kilos. But normally, you don't have to transport this projector that much, so the weight is not a big problem for me. The control unit has been built out. Everything need at a custom projection, you find here. Except the mono knob. All the other buttons are at the front from the superstructure. Too much buttons lead to chaos, they thought at Beaulieu. Though, this is not that easy anymore with the contemporary projectors to reduce the number of buttons. On the contrary, more and more buttons appear. For that, the manufacturer has marked the buttons that you need for normal projector with an orange square. Fixing all those buttons and you can project immediately.
First, the lens construction. The standard lens is a Schneider MC Xenovaron of 1.1 / 11-30 mm (zoom lens). This one is in a construction that you can turn open in one single hand movement, in a way that the frame, the film path and the lens can be cleaned properly. De framing and focusing work by the turning of a screw. These have a extreme fine worm, so a perfect adjustment becomes very easy. A second very important point is the path through the projector. You know it, one side is of the film is dull (this is the emulsion side), so in fact your recorded images. The other side is smooth (the bearer). With all projectors, the film is pushed against the frame by a gate pressure plate. This happens at the emulsion side. If your film is scratched at the emulsion side, this will give blue scratches. Beaulieu saw the occasion here to turn the facts and by doing this, decrease this complaint (see picture 1). In this projectors, you then find a gate pressure plate at the smooth side of the film. The film is transported now by a two sprocket claw.
Unfortunately, this doesn't work without noise. There is some rattling to hear. Something could be done to this to improve.
The inserting of the film is very easy. Above the lens, you find a special pushing plateau. Simply pushing that button and your film runs (after cutting it with the built-in cutter) smoothly through the projector. Not just up to the reel. That would give, especially with the 700 meters spools, quite a long slide. No, you just have to put the film yourself at the reel. A small effort, we thought. At the running-in at this manner, we heard a soft rattling sound. By hearing this, we were quite anxious, but (no worries), nothing happens with your precious film. We have let in and out a piece of film some 100 times and the images kept being perfect.
The projector has a 150 Watt, 15 Volts lamp. Cold light dichroic mirror. Together with the 1.1 Lens, this results in an enormous luminosity. In comparison with other projectors with a 150 Watt lamp, even 20% more. There is a economize position, with this you have 15% less light. But is saves your lamp. Immediately when turning on the projector, the lamp goes burning, on heater voltage. This avoids a big load when turning it on, so it saves your lamp again. Next to this, this heater voltage allows to find the correct image with ease. You simple focus on a piece of paper in front of your lens. With help of the single-frame-axe, you can turn the correct frame. When turning this single-frame-axe, the loop formation stays the same, so no dislocation image/sound is possible. Besides, on the back, you find a synchrocontact for connection on synchronization machinery like Erlson and Bröker.
Also at the domain of sound, the manufacturer meant to bring some improvement. In the first place, this is a improved loop over the sound heads. Because, what is here the problem? Suppose, your film runs through the projector. Every picture that now comes in front of the frame, must stand still here a fraction of a second, after this it will be pulled away. Originates here the following movement: standing still - away (on this moment, the shutter is in front of it) - standing still again - away - and so on. This movement, you cannot have over the sound heads. Your music would be split in a bunch of parts of music and this doesn't seem enjoyable to hear. So, through those heads, the film must have a sliding movement as smooth as possible. And this must be realized within 18 pictures, because that is the image/sound distance. So, not such an easy task (picture 2).
The sprockets take care of the smooth movement. Beaulieu has now built a special turning axe (a capstan) in between. This is been driven directly at turning on the projector, by a second electronically regulated motor. At the back of the capstan, there is a big flywheel. This whole construction is turned on at the moment that you switch the mono knob on sound position. At the same time, the pressure plate is pushed against the sound heads. If you are showing without sound, this whole part is out of service. In this way, no extra wear of the sound heads is possible. With this construction of the heads, we had a good tightly tone with hardly any floating. You can let spring up that pressure plate on the heads, with dropped down lens. The heads can then be cleaned reasonable.
If you look well, you'll see three sound heads. The one most at the left, is the deleting head. Next to this one, is the recording/reproducing head, and the last one is the post listening head. With help from a headphone, you can now hear if the recorded signal is good and if you have mixed well. Pay attention with the real synchronization works. You are now with a few images behind with your sound. It's nice to create an echo-effect with this. Of let your family talk, while they hear themselves some time later. Almost impossible.
There are just a few cameras, that run exactly 18 or 24 frames under every circumstances. The difference you can only hear during the projection. A sound or a voice is then just a little bit too high or too low. There is a button for two fixed speeds, but both speeds are next to this, possible to be regulated some percent faster or lower. The switching from 18 to 24 frames is electronically. The rewinding of such a 700 meters reels needs some force. Above the lens, there is a guidance roll. If you pull this one out when rewinding, you make the force at the rewinding spool remarkable bigger.
The Beaulieu is a duoplay projector. This means that both main- and balance track can be used. There is an output, in a way that both tracks can serve for mixings. For this reason, these are very easy to make. Replaying from track 1 to 2 or vice versa and then keeping to be synchronic, is not more work than the fixing of a button.
The amplifier has an output power of 25 Watt. The means, you can fill quite a big room with it. Not about the built-in loudspeaker. This one will just give 6 Watt. Just pay attention for the adjustment of 4 Ohm. This amplifier can also be used if you want to speech for your audience by a microphone, or if you want to make some music with a tape or cassette recorder. This is called Public Address, with a nice word. There is a special button for this. The frequency ranges that we tested, are even a bit better than the numbers of the manufacturer towards the high tones side. Somewhat lower towards the low tones. But these come with after all.
There are enough reasons to come to a good assembly of your sound film. But not just without nothing. It is nevertheless important to follow the whole process, with the help of the clear instructions and to master this by exercising. You'll have to find each button as if you were blind. To help you, a counter is fitted. It is a mechanical one and it counts 6 frames per number.
The microphone is sensible directionally. This means that you have to take place as much behind the projector as possible and as far as possible. Then, you will not record the noise of the projector. Nevertheless, the microphone is hand sensitive. So, place it on a table during recordings and don't touch it. Besides, there is with the projector a remote control cable.
When we received this projector for a test, I was very skeptic. It has to give something good to justify this price. During the tests, our prejudices disappeared en we became more and more enthusiastic. There are some negative points like: the rattling from the film and the running of the claws which is not totally without noise. However, these points are technically alright. It are more beauty imperfections. The thing that disappointed a lot, was the delivered microphone. A cheap and bad thing that is not worth this projector at all. In my opinion, the manufacturer should definitely deliver a good microphone for this price. If the manufacturer doesn't do this, there is a nice task for the importer, which delivers also Sennheiser. Just deliver this one, if need be for a little additional charge, because only then, it is possible to take the maximum form this excellent projector.
TECHNICAL DATA (last page, at the right)
Type: Beaulieu 708 EL Super 8 Sound
Lens: Schneider MC Xenovaron 1.1/11-30mm
Lamp: 15V / 150W with dicroic mirror
Reel capacity: up to 700 meters (2 hours)
Inserting: automatically, automatic loop formation
Proj.speeds: 18 and 24 frames/second, with correction + and -
Sound: built-in amplifier 24W, built in loudspeakers 6W, two track control, control by VU-meter, slide pot. meters for low and high tones, trick, volume, line input and microphone, 3 heads, frequency range at 18 frames/sec 50 - 10.000 Hz, at 24 frames/sec: 50 - 12.000 Hz, for synchronization there is a single frame axe.
Peculiarities: economic position for the lamp, preheating for the lamp, digital counter, pulse system (1 pulse per image), built-in film cutter
Inputs: microphone, line input for extern machinery
Outputs: Headphone, extra amplifier, extra loudspeaker
Accessories: microphone, wire, two connection wires for hi-fi system, remote control, brush, rubber belt, 240 meter reel, dust cape
Weight: 12.6 kilos
Price; f 4150
Importer: Kinotechniek B.V. Badhoevedorp
Manufacturer: Beaulieu - France
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