Beaulieu 4008ZMII

Allow me to start with a quote about the Beaulieu 4008ZMII:

No other Super 8 raises stronger passions among the faithful. You either love it or you love to hate it. For a great many Super 8 shooters a ZM2 stocked with a Schneider Kreuznach Optivaron 6-6mm macro zoom represents nothing less than the Holy Grail of Super 8 cameras.

Wow. Powerful shit there. I have to agree with this fine gent, that this camera is … different. Not like Winona Ryder’s acting in Stranger Things different … more like that weird one night stand you had in Frankfurt where you weren’t expecting her to have a bag of “toys” but she did, different.

What I’m trying to say about this slick beast of a camera, is that it’s hard to say you like it, but you definitely are interested, but won’t tell anyone about it just the same, but you do think about it from time to time. About the camera.

One thing about this lady is that she’s not a cheap date. Just under 1k these days, she debuted in 1971 at 299.00 USD (about $3,581.07 USD today) and was an instant fuck boi. Looks like a ray gun, and awkward to hold like a hedgehog on her period, this camera should have never left the page it was scribbled on. But it did, and good God are we glad.

This dull hatchet has internal filters to allow you to film daylight on tungsten based film (don’t worry if this means nothing to you, don’t ask questions, the water comes out when you turn on the faucet, go back to sleep) and, get this, a rechargeable battery that charges IN THE CAMERA.

This tech apparently fell from space and they built the camera around it. It’s got a power zoom, and fast lens, and a sexy line that makes you want to wear tight pants and some sort of striped shirt smoking unfiltered cigs rolled too tightly. Hell Yes.

Unfortunately it’s about as reliable as an 89 Yugo that was a rent-a-car in Calcutta. What is fantastic is that there is actually a company that advertises the 4008 “restoration”. That’s a fun word, isn’t it? Like when I take my bricked iPhone into the Genius Bar and I tell the young chap, “Sir, if you wouldn’t mind taking a look at my iPhone, I would like to have it restored”. Nay I say, nay. Do take a look at their video, apparently shot on film, and having about 2 minutes of black nothing at the end which I’m supposing is meant to allow you to feel the loneliness your bank account feels upon paying for this service.

Screen Shot 2017-06-04 at 4.39.22 PM

Bottom line though is that when she does work she takes a pretty picture, as I found online from some poor soul that went through the trouble of putting film though her. Thank you for your service friend, you will not be forgotten.



The Vintage Camera Quest is an adventure through vintage cameras by director Roberto Serrini who records his adventures in word, photography and film. . Check him out on instagram @vintagecameraquest or subscribe to his blog – thanks for reading!

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