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Steve Ricoh

BEOON advice please - functional checks prior to purchase

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I'm on the look-out for a BEOON. Condition-wise what should I be looking for / checking prior to making a purchase, or asking the seller if I can't find one locally? I have no experience other than reading about the device.

Many thanks.

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It should come as a complete boxed unit. Make sure all masks (3) and M39 to M mount adapters (2) are included. Also there are 3 extensions tubes included . Other than that, it's built like a tank and little can go wrong.

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It should come as a complete boxed unit. Make sure all masks (3) and M39 to M mount adapters (2) are included. Also there are 3 extensions tubes included . Other than that, it's built like a tank and little can go wrong.

Thanks Reeray. Are there any alignment problems to be concerned about? I think I read somewhere (not sure where though) about play either in the post-to-base, or at the top end, resulting in erratic performance.

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I've bought two units in the last few months (one for a friend) and no alignment etc problems. It's just such a simple well built unit I can't imagine anything being faulty. There's a base and a screw in tower. Period. These things are 50 years old and an engineering marvel. You could drive nails with it and digitise later!

 

Buy with confidence.

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I've bought two units in the last few months (one for a friend) and no alignment etc problems. It's just such a simple well built unit I can't imagine anything being faulty. There's a base and a screw in tower. Period. These things are 50 years old and an engineering marvel. You could drive nails with it and digitise later!

Buy with confidence.

Wow, 2 in the last few months, where are you finding these gems?

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Good idea to put all this information together. On results of using the BEOON with the M10 and the Focotar 2, and on digitalizing transparency film, see this thread

 

Owing to increasing demand, BEOONs are increasingly difficult to find, but you could still be happy with units that are not complete — and, while the BEOON is sturdy and little can go wrong, there are still some things that you need to watch for when you buy.

 

1.   There is no need for the box or the manual (available online).

 

2.   If your camera has Live View, you don't need the loupe, which some units are missing. Focussing is easier with Live View, but the loupe works well if you're using, say, an M9 or MM on the BEOON.

 

3.   As the BEOON is practical only for 35 mm film you only need the 1:1 mask — no problem if the other masks are missing. However, you need to make sure that the 1:1 mask is not twisted or bent and that it fits onto the base without movement or looseness in any direction; otherwise you won't have good alignment with the camera sensor and the digitalizations will be skewed.

 

4.    The hole in the base into which the pin of the mask fits should not be enlarged. Last year I picked up a BEOON from a dealer in which the hole was enlarged and had to return the unit because it was impossible to make a scan that wasn't skewed because the position of the mask was never in proper alignment with the camera's sensor.

 

5.   On the other hand, if the M-mount on top of the BEOON is skewed it can be aligned properly by unscrewing three tiny screws and rotating the mount until the camera bottom is parallel to the white spots on the top part of the BEOON; the manual describes how to do this, but, confusingly, it's in the section on LTM cameras. I had this issue with my second BEOON but, amazingly, managed to get the correct position on the first try.

 

As for the lens to use, the manual states that any 50 mm lens will work. Originally, last year I started using the DR Summicron-50. Then, on someone's recommendation, I bought a Focotar 2 enlarging lens; but, not having done any rigorous testing, couldn't see a difference in the rough type of Tri-X shots I was making, in which softness in the corners did not matter. Last week, when I started digitalizing E100S and Kodachrome transparencies, I tried one image with these two lenses and could see immediately that the corners were much sharper with the Focotar — a big improvement. It's simply because enlarging lenses are designed for a flat field, while macro lenses are not. While I used the DR Summicron at f/11, as specified in the manual, I set the Focotar 2 at f/5.6.

_________________

Edited by Nowhereman

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Hidden in M8 "copies", english manual of BEOON is visible and dowloaded (for how long, I don't know):

 

https://www.l-camera-forum.com/topic/230886-m8-and-beoon/page-2

 

 

Extract from the page

 

Edited by a.noctilux

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I queried the condition of a BEOON from a seller based in Germany. This is the reply I received: "...the knob on the extension-ring A i missing" (Sic).

 

I'm not sure what the knob on the extension ring is, but it sounds like the main control for focus adjustment. What you think?

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No, the extension ring "A" is the ring with the M-bayonet. If the knob is missing, you won't be able to fix the lens on the BEOON. Same as the knob for lens release on your camera would be missing. So stay off.

 

You see the knob just at the position of the red dot:

 

Edited by UliWer

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Ring "A" is the ring with M mount at one end and M39 LTM at the other end.

I don't know if there is a knob, maybe the blocking/releasing button on M side.

I've just try to unscrew the metal button, it came off quite easily.

 

If that's the case, you may not able to use M mount lens.

 

But if you plan to use M39 or enlarging lens, only for 135 or 120 negatives/slides, that ring A is not needed, on  the ring marked only for 1:3 reduction use.

 

Error, the "A" ring is used for all.

 

My thinking not using A ring is that I use two types of Focotar 50mm lenses of different periods: one without A ring to copy 135 slides.

Edited by a.noctilux

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If you use an 50 mm M-lens, you need the A + D rings for the 1:1 mask. But if you use a 50 mm enlarger lens like the Focotar 2 that I use, these have an M39 thread, in which case you use the B + C + D rings for the 1:1 mask and won't need the A ring at all. From my experience, once you use the Focotar 2 you won't want to use a normal M-mount lens on the BEOON, because the corners will be so much better. (Incidentally the manual does not refer to the use of the B + C + D rings with the 50 mm Focotar).

 

Have a look at the BEOON manual and you'll see pictures of the A, B, C and D rings. An English version is easy to find by googling — and I believe there's also a copy on the LUF wiki.

 

If the unit is otherwise good, except for the A ring, I would buy it.

_________________

Edited by Nowhereman

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Thanks guys, so if everything else is sound on the BEOON from Germany I mentioned, and if I can source a Focotar 2 enlarger lens, then it could be worth thinking about, especially if I can secure a reasonable price reduction. Obviously I would like a complete unit with all parts present and correct, but sometimes one needs to be pragmatic.

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If the price is reasonable and the condition of the BEOON and the masks are good there is no reason not to buy it, considering that you'll never use the A ring if you have a Focotar 2, which I think is easily available. By good condition I mean what I said in post #7: that the 1:1 mask is not twisted or bent and that the hole in the base into which the mask pin goes is not enlarged.

_________________

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To go further to help Steve choosing one lens:

- dimensions of rings:

"A" is 8.47mm long

"B" is 8.60mm long,

"C" is 17.14mm,

"D" is 34.40mm

 

- have a note for my guiding " with Elmar 3.5/50 screw mount set to infinity, not collapsed : use B+D rings for 1:1 "

- for me some flat field 50/55/60mm macro lenses can be used with adapter (the 50mm Summicron DR is NOT a macro/flat field lens, nice for distant subjects)

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Ring "A" is the ring with M mount at one end and M39 LTM at the other end.

I don't know if there is a knob, maybe the blocking/releasing button on M side.

I've just try to unscrew the metal button, it came off quite easily.

 

If that's the case, you may not able to use M mount lens.

 

But if you plan to use M39 or enlarging lens, only for 135 or 120 negatives/slides, that ring A is not needed, on  the ring marked only for 1:3 reduction use.

 

Error, the "A" ring is used for all.

 

My thinking not using A ring is that I use two types of Focotar 50mm lenses of different periods: one without A ring to copy 135 slides.

Given the knob on extension ring 'A' is missing, and that you were able to unscrew yours quite easily, it sounds as though it could be replaced if a suitable 'knob' with the correct thread-form could be found.

 

Alternatively, could the 'A' ring be replaced by the 'LTM to M lens to camera adapter' that is readily available?

 

It would be nice to have a BEOON 'all present and correct', or modified as above, to cover all eventualities.

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To go further to help Steve choosing one lens:

- dimensions of rings:

"A" is 8.47mm long

"B" is 8.60mm long,

"C" is 17.14mm,

"D" is 34.40mm

 

- have a note for my guiding " with Elmar 3.5/50 screw mount set to infinity, not collapsed : use B+D rings for 1:1 "

- for me some flat field 50/55/60mm macro lenses can be used with adapter (the 50mm Summicron DR is NOT a macro/flat field lens, nice for distant subjects)

Thank you!

 

Re-reading Nowhereman's post (#14) in his thread about using a BEOON with an M10, he says the following with regard to using an enlarger lens: "The BEOON 1:1 mask needs a 50mm lens to match a 35mm film frame. With regular M-mount lenses you use the A+D extension tubes; with a 50mm enlarger lenses, which have an M39 thread mount, you use the B+C+D tubes, which is not mentioned in the manual. Some people say that a Rodagon enlarger lens is better than the Focotar, but I don't know."

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...It would be nice to have a BEOON 'all present and correct', or modified as above, to cover all eventualities.

 

You know the expression "the best is the enemy of the good"? Though, in this case, it's really "the best is the enemy of the truly excellent" — because an enlarger lens on the BEOON is so mush better than another type of 50 mm lens.

 

EDIT: I should really have said "a Focotar 2" rather than "an enlarger lens", since the Focotar 2 is the only one I've tried.

_________________

Edited by Nowhereman

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You know the expression "the best is the enemy of the good"? Though, in this case, it's really "the best is the enemy of the truly excellent" — because an enlarger lens on the BEOON is so mush better than another type of 50 mm lens.

 

EDIT: I should really have said "a Focotar 2" rather than "an enlarger lens", since the Focotar 2 is the only one I've tried.

_________________

Alone in Bangkok essay on BURN Magazine

I think you've managed to drive the prices upwards, have you checked the going rate of Focotar II's recently? They're changing hands for serious money!

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