Our first ever projectors.

#1 by Andrew Woodcock , Tue Dec 15, 2015 1:14 am

I love this time of the year more than any other where cine is concerned. It represents all of my firsts for me personally where this hobby of ours is concerned.
I wind the clock back now all the way to 1973.
My Uncle Fred (ex cinema projectionist) was visiting our house as was often the case in the 70's (families were closer and bigger back then) and while pacing up and down the living room waiting desperately for the local pub to open for his daily fix of Chester's mild, he caught sight of me looking through the bay window using a 35mm pop up slide viewer. (the slides were given to me of myself and my sister very kindly by a neighbour who took the photo's).

He took an interest in what I was looking at and told me to get my mums Kays catalogue out from "under the stairs".
He showed me all of the photographic equipment within the "grown up" photographic pages and then proceeded to the toy section of the catalogue.

"This is what you want r Andrew", he said. He was pointing excitedly to a Casdon Standard 8mm Silent Toy Projector including all of the 50ft colour and B/W shorts within the catalogue.
I was totally mesmerized. To think that I could be sitting with my pals in my Mum & Dads kitchen aged 7 watching all these great little films as a moving film show instead of a boring old slide show that I had presented previously to them, just totally and utterly captured my complete imagination!
That was it. It went on my Christmas list and I was totally smitten with the idea from September right through till December of that year.
(a very long time when you're only aged7!)

From that moment to this very day, just like my love of vinyl records and Manchester City, it simply has never ever left me.
Yes we go off the idea as soon as we meet girls or drive our first cars. But just like any first love in life.... it simply never ever completely leaves us for good.
We are all governed for life, I feel, by our early childhood poignant memories and this is just one of many, that simply never ever will leave me.

The first screening ever for 6 of my mates and myself on Dec 25th 7pm, showing "Woodpecker From Mars" B/W silent will equally never ever leave me either, even if it was at a throw of about 18 inches onto a 15inch screen all huddled around a round kitchen table drinking Vimto! Ha ha

Pure magic!

From this story, I am hoping others like Tom etc have a similar vintage story of their earliest memories of the hobby and their first equipment they ever called their own.

Here is the said 200ft silent Standard 8mm 6v bulb Casdon Toy Projector, no shutter required BTW

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RE: Our first ever projectors.

#2 by Mats Abelli , Tue Dec 15, 2015 1:54 pm

Thank you Andrew, for sharing your dear memories. There have always been a projector in my family, as far as I can remember. My parents filmed my childhood from the beginning. ( I was born 1954 ). They had a standard 8 Revere camera and a Eumig P8 projektor. About 1960 I was told that there where Disney film in the local Photo store. As beeing a great Disney fan, I had to buy one. I bought a 50ft, bl/w, silent ( of course ) Goofy film. It was How to play Golf. It´s still in my collection together with the Revere and the P8. That is how it all begun for me.
I started collecting these small treasures for some years. In Sweden they where distributed by Master Film AB, who where sole agents for Disney films, produced by Film Office, Paris. In every film box they put a miniature catalog. In 1964 they started selling sound films. In the beginning a cartoon was sold as 3 x 50ft. The parts could be bought separately. A complete colour/sound film was about 3 x 4£. A lot of money for a 10 year old child. I had to get these films, but first I needed a projector. Eumig introdused The Mark S that year. It was about £ 100. I started collecting money. Finally in 1969 I bought my first sound projector. It was the new Mark S 709, that was dual gauge, so I could start collecting the new Super 8mm format too. I still use that machine for standard 8 screenings. Unfortunately the colour films are now faded, but I still keep them.
I never left this great hobby, but I had problems to buy films from appx. 1985, as most distributors had dicontinued ther services. I didn´t now that Derann and other british companies, where still in business.
Thanks to internet and Ebay, i started buying films again 2000- 2001. Now there are more than 2000 reels ( 8mm, super 8mm, 16mm and 35mm )in My collection as well as 50+ projectors. I just love this hobby


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RE: Our first ever projectors.

#3 by Vidar Olavesen , Tue Dec 15, 2015 2:48 pm

For me, it started when I was about 11. Got a paper route and fell in love with the Elmo ST-600 and had tons of fun with it. Sadly, stupidity made me sell it to get VHS and full features. Regret this now, but learn as you go on.

Photo stolen from the net, as I don't have the projector anymore (I want to find one, just for the nostalgia)
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RE: Our first ever projectors.

#4 by Andrew Woodcock , Tue Dec 15, 2015 5:44 pm

Vidar, I do hope you find one these soon to 're live those great memories.
Mats you are a true legend of film my friend! 2000titles. And 50plus projectors tells me this is NO flash in the pan hobby for you!!



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RE: Our first ever projectors.

#5 by David Ollerearnshaw , Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:47 pm

My first was a standard 8 hand cranked viewer from Portland/Mountain films. The only problem the films hat were bought were super 8 and 200ft reels. The viewer took 50ft, I did wear out the film though. It was water skiing.


I still love the smell of film in the morning


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RE: Our first ever projectors.

#6 by Bill Parsons , Thu Dec 17, 2015 8:56 pm

My first projector given to me as a Christmas present was a specto 500 9.5mm (and I still have it) I think I was about 9 years old at the time and I will never forget the excitement of running the Popeye and Betty Boop films that were with it, I was very lucky as a child, my father had a Bell & Howell 636 projector and as a mobile projectionist would give film shows at children’s parties etc, I would travel around with him and loved every minute of it, he also got involved in showing documentaries for Batchelors foods at various functions, I would consider these boring at the time but would love to see some of them now.
Over the years I have tried to find copies of all the 16mm sound films he had to make up the composite reels for the parties which consisted of Movie paks, laurel and Hardy, Taxi Boys etc one cartoon that has eluded me is 400ft cartoon called “Little Black S****” this is not now a politically correct title and was most likely banned, but it was pretty inoffensive, there must be some copies around, if anyone has one I would be interested.


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RE: Our first ever projectors.

#7 by Andrew Woodcock , Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:32 pm

A Wonderful tale there Bill and you had an idyllic childhood by the sounds of things!

Your later story reminded me of the now totally politically incorrect Coal Black and .....Dwarfs. A rare title to find now and not something that would ever make public broadcasting now.


 
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RE: Our first ever projectors.

#8 by Vidar Olavesen , Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:45 pm

I have that Coal Black :-) Was a great item from one of our auctions in the club. I think it went for 4 GBP or so


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RE: Our first ever projectors.

#9 by David Hardy ( deleted ) , Thu Dec 17, 2015 10:10 pm

I have a Super 8mm print of "Coal Black and ...." Also a 16mm sound/colour Castle Films of " Little Black S**** ".


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RE: Our first ever projectors.

#10 by Andrew Woodcock , Fri Dec 18, 2015 6:27 am

Show off!! Ha ha ha. ( only kidding my friend )


 
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RE: Our first ever projectors.

#11 by Bill Parsons , Fri Dec 18, 2015 9:20 am

David, If ever you want to dispose of your 16mm print of LBS please give me first option, it was released in colour and black and white, back then of course black & white film was a lot cheaper to buy, so I imagine there are more B&W prints around somewhere! I did once buy a colour print from a dealer but it had about 40 splices in it so I returned it, I think it was advertised as “a few splices”


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RE: Our first ever projectors.

#12 by Tom Photiou , Fri Dec 18, 2015 1:41 pm

My Brothers first was a Eumig P8 and he came home with that and a 50ft b/s silent version of the Defiant Virginian, this was in 1974 as it was to do with the American civil war, (an extract from Shenandoah), thats all it took to get him into projectors, i was around 12 at that time. I myself from the age of about 6/7 always loved watching with fascination the schools 16mm projector reels going around and working out how it all worked.
When i was 16 and got my first wage packet i borrowed the rest from my Grandad and bought the Iver 4 x 400 footer of Texas Chainsaw, (by this time my Brother has a Eumig 810D), i paid it all back very soon and saved mega hard for my very own first projector My Elmo ST1200HD M&O, and i still have it today in full use. Its had it shutter mod and a Bill Parsons special, i love this machine. I still have many spares for it and a workshop service manual complete thanks to the lovely Candy when she worked at Hanimax.
We have now grown this to 3 Elmo ST1200HD's, (only my original has optical but i dont use this side of it), a Eumig 822 sonomatic, and 807, and 802 an 810D LUX an elmo ST180, but my first is still my best.

Given a chance i would still like to get a Bauer T610, (thats surprised you all hasn't it) in full working order but i would only ever get one if i could get it at a bargain price, namely 300 or under, only a very very slim chance i know, also fancy the Sankyo 800 , just missed one recently or a nice Fumeo but i think the Fumeo 9110 will always be out of my price range.
There you have it, i shall get them all together in the new year and take a nice picture!!



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RE: Our first ever projectors.

#13 by Andrew Woodcock , Fri Dec 18, 2015 9:37 pm

Great story there Tom, and thank goodness for Brothers, Grandads and even Uncle Fred's .

If you are prepared to get a privately owned used one and spend some time renovating it, you can easily get a T610 for much less than £300. Then of course you can take your time spending as much or as little as you fancy bringing it totally up to scratch.

My first one was £150 from Germany and fully working with a 1.1 lens.
The heads were not like new but worked fine on both tracks. The same for the cam and follower.
Anyhow still works fine now and is still my main and prefered choice as a recording machine. Yes I've spent money on it,but very staggered and only what I feel comfortable with.

There are far many other machines that are money thirsty to keep them running A1 all of the time.

You already own one of the kindest machines on your pocket.
The ST1200 runs very reliably I find, and is a highly durable machine.
It is a difficult act to follow for many other machines where durability is concerned.
The ST has hard wearing heads, an ac motor (brushless) and is very much a quality manufactured all metal machine for the most part.
The amplifier section is very reliable also.

We know what some of the negatives are so we won't labour on those, but one which isn't often considered is the drive chain

If you want to record, if you want good stability in a soundtrack as well as an ability to slave out in stereo, then it's the other various dc electronic drive machines that facilitate this. They are newer and therefore very often use more modern day techniques to deliver these results and use the more modern but less durable alternative, plastic, for much more of the parts including the housing in many cases.
Only The big 3 offer metal bodied machines with sophisticated drive chains and even then, the Fumeo uses an ac motor drive so won't be easy to sync if you like to record until you own the very best they made.



 
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RE: Our first ever projectors.

#14 by Hugh Thompson Scott ( deleted ) , Sat Dec 19, 2015 1:27 am

Those tales are lovely, how idiots like us, yes, idiots, film lovers, the "old hat brigade", keep our interest alive.
Andrew and others sum it up, the Mail order catalogue of the time, my Mother had a roaring trade on the estate
where I lived, where folk placed their orders for various stuff, pre ebay, the projectors were Kodaks and bloody
Hanimex, of which I fell foul, ( hate Jap projectors ), I have yet to know of one that has never damaged film.
Anyway, days long gone, when you could come away from the farmers tractor with a bag of veg for less than a
Quid, ( a pound nowadays )



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RE: Our first ever projectors.

#15 by Hugh Thompson Scott ( deleted ) , Sat Dec 19, 2015 2:24 am

It does make me smile how folk dodge titles that display terminology to colour "Sambo" "Sebben Dwarves", it is part of history,
I bear no animosity to the Italian folk that ruled our country , Gt Btitain, they gave us much, so let it be with this colour slavery
shit, if it wasn't for intervention, they wouldn't be in our civilisation, history is history, it happened, no apologies from our generation, the past is the past, so pack it in with the missing letters, In Ray Harryhausen's books on his past films, he worked on some of Geo. Pal's
animated Sambo films. It is a fact, nothing to be ashamed of, it is HISTORY, any problems, send them to Scott. I grow weary of this fuckin' slavery routine that is turned out, the buggers would not have been in the countries to complain otherwise, a bit of a situation
here when thought of. Don't worry lad's ,on film titles, they are well published elsewhere. No one has maintained slavery better than
the Africans, by their own lot, even in the UK, not to mention the Indian gang, I am outspoken, yes, but speak true. So don't think you
offend in speech, they like that, we should feel guilt, like hell, we gave them civilisation,no one keeps slavery alive better than them. today. Anyone dispute this?



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Last edited Sat Dec 19, 2015 2:42 am | Top

RE: Our first ever projectors.

#16 by Hugh Thompson Scott ( deleted ) , Sat Dec 19, 2015 2:47 am

Back to topic, that bloody Horipet, and the later Hanimex ruined my films, I kept away from the "Jap Crap"
and found EUMIG, a saviour, great machines, not the later plastic stuff.



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RE: Our first ever projectors.

#17 by Andrew Woodcock , Sat Dec 19, 2015 6:35 am

The last one, I found to be very good Hugh. In fact the best soundstage of any Super 8 projector and lovely design aside from the awful friction drive from those tapered discs to create variable speed.


 
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RE: Our first ever projectors.

#18 by Hugh Thompson Scott ( deleted ) , Mon Dec 21, 2015 2:26 am

Correction to "Sambo", it was the "Jasper" films Ray animated, much the same subject, but it is a part of History,
like the "Cabbage Patch Kids" toys, all white ugly buggers, no one white took offence, it's time to forget the past, and
move on.



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RE: Our first ever projectors.

#19 by Hugh Thompson Scott ( deleted ) , Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:31 am

Incidentaly, my rant above, doesn't include, "Casper", the friendly ghost, a ghost of a dead baby, which was
thought offensive, but a WHITE child, so it proves, a remake of "Casper" was done for cinema, "Sambo & "Jasper" are
still "awaiting approval?", if that doesn't say something, well, I despair., one way street on offence.



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RE: Our first ever projectors.

#20 by Hugh Thompson Scott ( deleted ) , Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:39 am

Back to topic, the "Paul Plus" machines, another Jap outlet, lasted a whole week before giving up the ghost, and people
wonder why I hold the Jap product in low regard. The Eumig machines are second to none, no belts, just the rubber wheel, to which a "roughing up"" is required, no scratches, they made me stick with this hobby, I was tired of prints being scratched.



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RE: Our first ever projectors.

#21 by John Guthrie , Sun Dec 27, 2015 9:00 am

I can't remember what the first projector we had was, I know that for a short time we had a 9.5 camera and I think a Specto projector, trouble was it scratched the film. A friend of my father loaned us a Eumig 8mm camera which got me hooked. the first projector I bought was a Canon Cinestar 400 (I think) it was purchased at a camera store in Sunderland almost certainly long gone.

This Canon projector was an auto thread evil piece of crap, the bottom film guide inside the casing was made of clear plastic held against the film by a spring, needless to say the plastic didn't last long and then the spring scratched the film!

Then the next machine was a Silma 240S, after I got a super 8 camera I had for a long time a Bolex Multimatic a great piece of ingenuity but occasionally had mishaps with the film rewind, I think there was a Hanimex in there somewhere. I also had a Bolex SM80 quite a nice machine.

I used to buy from our local camera shop (Latters) in Wallingford and also from Reynold & Johnson in the town. In Abingdon it was Ivor Field's, in Oxford, Dixons & Morris Photographic, Reading also had a good selection of camera shops.

Regards
John

Current projectors: Beaulieu 708EL, Braun Visacustic 2000, Eumig 820 Sonomatic, Bell & Howell Filmosonic DCT. Silma 240S



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RE: Our first ever projectors.

#22 by Andrew Woodcock , Sun Dec 27, 2015 12:16 pm

How do you rate your Visacoustic 2000 John, in comparison to other top models you have owned, John?



 
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RE: Our first ever projectors.

#23 by John Guthrie , Sun Dec 27, 2015 4:24 pm

I like the Visacustic for its size compared to the Beaulieu, light output is pretty much the same (both 15v 150 watt) same lens f1.1 MC Xenovaron. Don't get me wrong the Visacustic is no lightweight but it doesn't have the same footprint as the Beaulieu also it is full stereo whereas the 708 is twin track, but then I don't have that many films that are full stereo.

One of the problems with 708 is the rewinding large reels it needs a helping hand now and again otherwise it slows to a stop. I did have adjustments made to the tension but to be honest it hasn't been used for a long time. Now that the temperatures here are hitting nearly 40 C I really don't need the extra heat from a projector!

I guess that if push came to shove I'd put the Visacustic above the Beaulieu just for the convenience of the smaller size.

I haven't decided yet whether or not to buy the Bauer 715XLS (for sale locally). I did see a Nizo 801s full outfit on eBay but at a rather high price before adding the shipping costs! The other tempting item is a Bolex 521 projector but it is on the opposite side of the country to me. There is also a Eumig 940 for sale at AU$ 299 UK £150 (local pick-up only) but it is about 3500 km away!

John
PS One day I'll try a do a side by side test of the projectors



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RE: Our first ever projectors.

#24 by David Ollerearnshaw , Sun Dec 27, 2015 6:14 pm

Just had to check where you are 40` WOW that's hot. Mid summer for you.


I still love the smell of film in the morning


 
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RE: Our first ever projectors.

#25 by Andrew Woodcock , Sun Dec 27, 2015 8:07 pm

Thanks John, I'd guess your Beaulieu must be the mono or duo track model then?

If it is, it still uses the 3 bladed shutter so the brightness and sharpness between it and your Visacoustic will be comparable, given that they share the same lamp and lens configuration.
Had it had been the Stereo model Beaulieu with the adjustable shutter, you would see a big difference in brightness between the two I'm certain as they are at least as bright as a standard GS1200 with a standard f1 1 lens fitted to it. Also much whiter projected frame to begin with due to the Xenon gas filled lamp capsule.

I know I do between the Bauer and Beaulieu and they both share the exact same specification of lamp and lens, but without modification, the Bauer also only has a standard three bladed shutter.

I was also wondering if you have ever taken advantage of the built in pulse sync facilities that come with you're Braun Visacoustic 2000 model John?

I'd like to try one out one day just for this facility alone!

Your Beaulieu sounds like it requires new reel friction linings to regain the correct rewind torque. Once new linings are fitted and correct spring tension applied, it should rewind a full 2200ft reel of film with ease with the rewind knob pulled out fully.
The linings would very quickly wear though if used to clean films with a cloth containing film cleaner on rewinding.



 
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