What in your opinion is the most overrated and hyped-up film projectors in any gauge ?
Its the ELMO's for me.
Totally disagree. Elmo 16-CL is the best 16mm in my opinion. I have Bauer and Eiki too, but the Elmo is much better for my use
The GS-1200 I can agree with, too picky. My old ST-600 was stable and great the years I had that. Eumig I have more problems with.
There is one questioned I have asked in different forums and never gets an answer : why do we never hear of Noris projectors. When I bought my Eumig it was in a local photo shop window; I knew from reading Movie Maker that it was a respected brand, so bought it. One of the cine mags later conducted an experiment, running a loop of film continuously through a projector to see how many times you could project it before it started to disintegrate. The Noris came top of the list, with Eumig 2nd.
I can't say this one is overrated at all, but the GAF (not including my 3000 S) machines are horrible. I've seen them in person in antique malls and they are the epitome of cheap. The years have not been kind to them as they are mostly lightweight plastic in construction. I once picked one up in an antique mall and attempted to remove the cover to look at it. A piece of it broke off, and I discreetly placed it back on the shelf and walked away (now don't judge me, it already had a missing spindle).
Personally my first good projector many years ago was a Eumig and it ran well with minimal issues.I donated it six years after I sold off my collection of Super-8 movies. (This was in 2001.) Having no experience with Elmo machines,I cannot comment on their plus or minuses.
Vidar I have the reverse experiences with Elmo's.
I have a 16mm Elmo slot loader up in my attic somewhere. It caused me nothing but problems in use.
When the cheap amplifier decided to "fry" itself up it was sent to the loft area. I stripped out the lamp house
holder as it fitted nicely inside a 16mm Elf projector which was in need of one.
My Elmo 8mm projectors have caused more scratching to my prints than any other make I use. As you say they are very "picky"
of film stocks on projection.
However my Eumigs have never done so. Even though I still hate those blinking auto-thread systems they have.
The only downside is when the motor disc pads wear out you have speed problems.
Thanks David, I had heard nothing of them (Noris). I have heard of Elmo's scratching prints, that's the last thing you want. From what I have read slot loaders from any company seem to be a problem; what's the difference between a slot threader and auto threader?
Why would that be a problem? Never had any difficulties with my slot load 16-CL ... Just amazingly easy to handle. If there's sprocket damage, most of the times, it fixes it by itself, which I for sure not the case on the Bauers. They tend to jump a lot and was often not easy to fix without making a splice (which is something I don't like to do)
If I had three thumbs, they all would be up for the Elmo 16-CL
This comes from Paul Ivester's Projector Page:
Projectors typically use one of three threading systems: Manual Threading, Self-Threading and Slot-Loading. Older projectors are virtually all manual threading. Self threading became available in the 1960s, and became dominant in the 1970s. Slot loading became available in the late 1970s, and became popular in the 1980s. Manual threading projectors, when operated carefully can be the safest on film. Unfortunately many of them do not have automatic shut-off or automatic loop restorers, so a lost loop can result in additional torn perforations and/or scratched film. Inching knobs on some of these allow you to verify that the threading is correct before turning on the motor. Self threaders are very fussy about the condition of the leader. It is important not to use leader that is shrunken, warped, splicy or has adhesive residue on it. If the leader is not perfect, it will bunch up in the projector and get pleated like an accordion bellows. Self threaders usually have automatic loop restorers, and can be tolerant of damaged film, once you get past the leader. The biggest drawback is that it is difficult to unload a film in the middle. They are easier to clean than slot loaders. Self threaders are often maligned, but I have been using them for many years, running thousands of films, and have never damaged a film as a result of the projector. I have crumpled quite a few leaders that should have been replaced before starting the film. They have the advantage of being plentiful, and therefore, cheap. Slot loaders have become very popular. They are quick and easy to thread, and are tolerant of imperfect leaders. They are much easier than self threaders, if you want to remove a film partway through. I will usually grab a slot loader if I am previewing a film that I may not want to watch all the way through. Film can be damaged by a slot loader if the film is inserted incorrectly, but operator carelessness is the cause of most film damage. Because they are more popular and newer, they usually sell for more than self threaders do.
Robert ...Slot Loaders are just that. They are projectors designed for folk that cant even cope with auto threading.
I am sure they were designed for use in Schools and Offices , Prisons , Hospitals and other institutes.
Basically the whole film path is open and by following the lines printed on the projector you merely slot the film in there.
You set a lever to the "close" position and the gate shuts and the sprocket wheels engage.
16mm Projectors for "dummies" if you like. hahaha.
Here are a couple of pics. " Thread by Numbers "
We seemed to have changed topic here guys.
However I am surprised to read Vidar has had problems with his Bauer 16mm . What model is it Vidar ?
Do you check and repair your prints before projection ? Prints should always be checked on rewind arms
before projection regardless of gauge used. Any torn or broken perforations should be repaired or removed altogether.
If you don't do this you are just asking for trouble in the long term.
I have a P6, P7 Synchron and a P8 ... All with problems, though I think the P6 might be working now (someone checked it out and fixed something and sold it to me for 25 GBP)
The P7 has also started to rip film. If I stop the film, then starts it, it just janks it so hard it rips.
Also with the slot load, it's so easy to stop mid film and rewind if you haven't enough time. Or wind forward and load it anywhere. For me, absolutely great. Also why I like the Elmo Super 8's, they are easier to remove film from, mid film
And I try to take the splices when they make a clunky noise. I have no patience for winding through films to check, unless the print is very bad (I am doing this on Panic in Needle Park, been chopped and has cuts which is fixable with a CIR)
Vidar if I were you I would get that P8 repaired. It has a four claw pull-down and should not be damaging prints.
I am surprised to read that you cant be bothered performing one of the most basic of operations such as checking and repairing your prints on
manual rewind arms. This task is one of the most basic principles of film projection and film preservation. It should be done at all times. No print is ever threaded on my projectors without first being inspected "on the bench" so to speak.
You would never last a day in a Cinema as a Projectionist if you don't want to do this. hahaha !
This is only ever going to be peoples personal opinions.
I think the GS1200 was overly rated because it is way over engineered, I've always admired the Elmo range, especially the ST1200HD's. They are sturdy, they are built to last and ONLY IF hey are looked after, (like anything mechanical), they will serve you for years. And as a top Projector repair specialist recently told me, you will always be able to repair them. We have 3 1200HD's and i have also had a 180, a 160 and an ST800. They are all very good machines. I will also add that we have, like many people noticed a couple of the famous "elmo black scratches" on the far right of a few of our films. Now to put this in perspective, i probably use a projector at leaset 3-5 times a week and have done for over 30 years, i wouldn't like to hazard a guess at how many hours and feet of film have gone through these projectors but with over 350 titles only a few of these have had the black line. We have always serviced them ourselves as well as recently having them professionally serviced, changed the green guides and belts on a reasonably regular basis. So with prices for a good ST1200HD being around £200-350 i think they are one of the best you can buy, especially if you have a 1.1 lens.
I recently bought the Bauer T610 stereo. I will say it is a lovely machine but the Elmo wins hands down on the sound. There is no hum at all on the Elmo and it belts out quality and volume, even films with only a reasonable soundtrack will sound great on the 1200, i have to say even with the amp we use on the Bauer there is Hum & that's something i have never heard on any of our Elmos.
So back to the question, i do believe the GS is a little over rated, unless you are an electrical engineer I'd steer clear.
I cannot comment on the big Beaulie but perhaps someone on here could tell me if they are worth there asking price? They look like top notch projectors.
This is one of those topics you could write a book discussing I find.
It really is all a case of what you want and expect from a projector.
Many machines have advantages over other and often, more expensive models.
Take the Agfa LS for example, it is the only Super 8mm Sound Projector I've ever come across where you can fast rewind a film through the gate. This can be done at any point of the film with absolutely no detriment to the film whatsoever!
This is a feature that would be really handy on all of the long play machines, yet none have ever managed to incorporate it in their designs.
The GS1200, while littered with potential unreliability, is an incredibly sophisticated machine when it all works as it should.
Had the film path been designed as good as many other machines from the era it was manufactured and hadn't copied their original 1960s design concept, then it surely would have been the machine for all others to attempt to beat.
Trouble is, it didn't...and as such it fails miserably in my book on the first rule of any projector.." thou must not scratch film" no matter how much it's been used!
The Eumig S938/40 as our collecting friend Paul Adsett enthuses, has just about the best sound facilities and quality sound stage of any machine.
Problem is, they compromised on the drive system of the machine and therefore all of these wonderful recording facilities are rendered useless aside from adding non synced sound to home movies.
The ST1200 is an extremely robust solid machine that if only had a better film path and a direct dc drive system like the Fujicascope SH30 has, would have been a superb machine in the HD variant. The Sound is superb on these ignoring the wow from the capstan and dancer.
So we continue to hunt for what we feel is the most compatible all rounder that money can buy.
The Fumeo, the Bauer Studio line, the Beaulieu??
Well without ever owning a Fumeo, what I can say is they are built like tanks!
Fantastic 200w brightness, excellent lens options even manual thread for the purists but no Stereo option, often no recording option and some say a little "clunky" in use though very kind to film from all accounts.
The only model outside of a professional Fumeo model (9145) that can take a full feature,show it in Stereo, with the brightness of an GS1200 and gives you full stereo recording facilities while still offering us all a complete set of spare parts as and when needed is the Beaulieu 708 el CD Stereo.
Is it the best or my favourite?
Arguably yes, but another "must have" for it to completely satisfy my requirements is an ability to project both acetate (even shrunken) and polyester prints identically and on this front, the Bauer wins hands down.
The hum Tom speaks of, can usually be all but eliminated by using extra grounding when connecting to an external amp and for using in the home, especially with a long play system, in my book...there is no better. So very quiet and so very trustworthy with the handling of any type of film thrown at it. .even warped film.
So then, which is the most over rated and on the contrary, which is the best?
It can be all of them in both cases, it simply depends on what you want from a projector, how you intend to use it and what features you value the most.
Hi Andrew, the Fumeo does take a stereo head, I have one in mine at present. From what I gather, they would build them to your specifications as they were hand built. One of the things I like about them is the very solid gate that is far heavier than anything Elmo produced, it shuts with a reassuring click.
Thats brilliant Hugh! None were produced that way as standard I gather, even though they were hand built like the Beaulieu ? (excluding 9145)
Is yours the recording 9120 model Hugh?
Does your machine have a built in stereo amplifier Hugh? If not what output sockets do you have and how do you use it pre amp / power amp wise?
Thanks for the mixed responses guys. Most interesting.
Tom I sold on my Elmo ST 1200 HD in order to buy the GS 1200. Looking back I made a big mistake there.
As you stated the GS 1200 is very over- engineered and for me as a Professional Projectionist a Nightmare.