It takes about 20 minutes for the head speed to synch with the tape, but once the lube gets warmed, all is golden.
My wife has a whole trove of Miss America contest tapes indexed as to who was from which region of the country for about 15 years of the pageant.
She is an actor, and uses these segments as coaching aides when she needs to fine tune a regional US dialect.
I know she is going to audition for such a play when she asks me to get the beta deck out and hooked up again.
The Beta I speed images are great. Since a lot of the old pageants were live broadcasts, the image quality is really good.