Since when are Chinon-made GAFS top-of-the-line and best-of-the-best?

#1 by Thomas Peters , Sun Nov 19, 2023 6:18 am

Since when are Chinon-made GAFS top-of-the-line and best-of-the-best?

I've never had a Chinon nor a GAF, but all I've heard is that if they don't eat your films, they will scratch them. Then there are always one or two people who say they've had no trouble with them.

I bring it up because there is a seller on fleabay in the U.S. selling these and other low-end brands and calling them top-of-the-line and best-of-the-best. He gets top-dollar for them, too, because he replaces the belts, lubes them, and cleans the film path. He even sells those cheapie plastic Bell & Howell dual-8 machines made when they moved on from their built-like-tank machines. He does sell some Sankyos, though, which are the only real high-end ones he has.

It makes me want to buy some GAF 3000S's and 3100S's, replace the belts and lube them, and pocket $100 or so in profit by reselling them.

Oh yea, he also claims that most people couldn't afford these "high-end" GAFs. What I've heard is, that way back when, they were priced comparitively low to target the low-end market so that most people COULD afford them.

What is also strange is that he doesn't seem to sell the actual Chinons that these are rebadges of, or any other Chinons, for that matter.



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RE: Since when are Chinon-made GAFS top-of-the-line and best-of-the-best?

#2 by Graham Sinden , Sun Nov 19, 2023 1:18 pm

Nothing wrong with saying these are the top of the line and best of the best. It's called **SELLING**, ever heard of that word. In a similar way if you had a fruit and veg stall you could say "These are the best apples I've ever tasted". It would be down to the buyers to make their own mind up and do their research, but no one is forced into buying them.

A bit unscrupulous possibly for those without knowledge, but this goes on all the time on ebay and other online selling and nothing can be done about it. Buyer beware. But without owning one, I don't know if they are as bad as you say, particularly as the seller changes the belts, lubes and cleans them.

Graham S



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RE: Since when are Chinon-made GAFS top-of-the-line and best-of-the-best?

#3 by Tom Photiou , Sun Nov 19, 2023 7:41 pm

I dont think there's anything special about GAFs, a lot of plastic parts to wear out. I've never owned one so I cant really comment but wasn't Chinnon a cheapie brand sold exclusively through Dixons? Please correct me if I'm wrong.
Unfortunatly, the seller is aiming for the market of those who no nothing or very little about super 8 projectors.


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RE: Since when are Chinon-made GAFS top-of-the-line and best-of-the-best?

#4 by Thomas Peters , Sun Nov 19, 2023 10:57 pm

Yes, Tom, that's what I've heard -- cheapie brand. They made at least one projector for Sears here in the U.S., too. Blackhawk sold them in their catalogs, too, which is surprising since I would have thought Blackhawk wouldn't sell junk. But then again, they also sold those Eumig 900-926 series which were a big step down from the prior Eumigs in quality.

The other channel has loads of info on Chinons and GAFs.

I agree that fully servicing them before selling is a good thing, but from what I've read, these things weren't very good even as new -- mainly because of damaging films. Some have said that some of their models were better than others, but any time someone writes that they had model X with no issues, someone else invariable says "I had a model X, and it scratched my favorite print."

Yes, "selling" is allowed, but that doesn't mean you can say Hyundai cars are "top-of-the-line" and "best-of-the-best." They just aren't. And neither are Chinons/GAFs. And even if you say it is your opinion, you can't say that "most people could not afford them." That's simply not true.

If your using eBay, then you are already using the internet. Therefore, you can google and find out all the problems with these machines. That's how I found out, lol.



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RE: Since when are Chinon-made GAFS top-of-the-line and best-of-the-best?

#5 by Mark Mander , Mon Nov 20, 2023 8:10 am

I have a Chinon SS1200 and have never had a problem with it nor has it ever scratched a film, as you said Thomas others haven't been so lucky with the same model, look at high end Elmo's, they have a terrible reputation for scratching films, I also have these models, as all of us have also said though, a lot of plastic parts, if you keep an eye on them and replace when needed you shouldn't have any problems, isn't that the same for any machine? Mark


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RE: Since when are Chinon-made GAFS top-of-the-line and best-of-the-best?

#6 by Tom Photiou , Mon Nov 20, 2023 8:14 am

Unfortunatly, people try it on and will over play anything to make money, we see it all the time, as you said, it is up to buyers to do some research.
The biggest problem with just about every brand now is that they have all reached an age where damage to films is a risk, not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to get them serviced and repaired or have some spares.
Something I and others have often said is, you can have all the most expensive top titles in the world, but as time goes on and the projectors become much harder to find (we are a long way off from that at the moment) then collections could be useless with little or nothing to project them on, sellers of projectors like this with these descriptions, are cashing in now.



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RE: Since when are Chinon-made GAFS top-of-the-line and best-of-the-best?

#7 by Thomas Peters , Mon Nov 20, 2023 4:29 pm

Quote: Mark Mander wrote in post #5
I have a Chinon SS1200 and have never had a problem with it nor has it ever scratched a film, as you said Thomas others haven't been so lucky with the same model, look at high end Elmo's, they have a terrible reputation for scratching films, I also have these models, as all of us have also said though, a lot of plastic parts, if you keep an eye on them and replace when needed you shouldn't have any problems, isn't that the same for any machine? Mark


Yes, I still cringe when I view one of my precious prints that are covered in lines caused by the first Elmo ST-1200HD that I bought almost 30 years ago. It was a well-used machine when I got it -- this was just a few years before the web became popular and eBay was available. I got it through a classified ad in a printed list I was sent periodically from "Media Arts Associates" run by Roger Williams. It took forever to ship, even though it was within the U.S. The seller was a decent guy -- he actually called me a few times with updates, not always just to return my calls. He said he was having his technician service it -- but I can tell you that within a few weeks, it started to run slow, and then I had to get new belts -- I actually got them from Elmo in Canada. The price back then was roughly the same price you would pay today on eBay for the same machine. Yet about 10 years later I picked up a barely used ST-1200HD for less money, and (knock on wood) has not scratched any of my prints.

For machines like Chinons, I'm not sure if replacement guides are being made by Van Eck as for the Elmos.


Quote: Tom Photiou wrote in post #6
Unfortunatly, people try it on and will over play anything to make money, we see it all the time, as you said, it is up to buyers to do some research.
The biggest problem with just about every brand now is that they have all reached an age where damage to films is a risk, not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to get them serviced and repaired or have some spares.
Something I and others have often said is, you can have all the most expensive top titles in the world, but as time goes on and the projectors become much harder to find (we are a long way off from that at the moment) then collections could be useless with little or nothing to project them on, sellers of projectors like this with these descriptions, are cashing in now.



I do hope we are a long way off, but it still seems as though projectors are plentiful, even the most popular ones like Elmos, Sankyos and Eumigs. My biggest fear is when the lamps are unavailable -- as we talked about earlier this year, the exciter lamps used by many Elmo and Eiki 16mm projectors have been discontinued, so I stocked up on 3 of them just on case. I doubt the EFP and EFR are going away anytime soon (used in medical industry), but then again, you never know, and all things are eventually discontinued and replaced by the latest and greatest. I have attempted upgrading old projectors that use the $100 plus incandescent bulbs, but I haven't been entirely sucessful.

Back to the Chinons, I see that Lee Mannering (also a member here) wrote on the other channel a year ago about restoring a Chinon 7500. He used silicon spray to coat the plastic parts to reduce the potential for scratching, something that I might try on my projectors like the Elmos. I do often wonder how many projector owners maintained their Chinons or any of their other projectors -- particularly in keeping the entire film path clean. I often assume that people know what they are doing -- but that often isn't a valid assumption. That being said, I was meticulous in keeping my first Elmo's path clean, cleaning it with alcohol on a foam swab before every use -- plus a quick clean of the gate between reels (something I still do today on all my machines.) Yet I could not keep away the scratches until years later when I read on web forums about the lower green guide getting worn -- which was exactly what was causing my issue. I solved it by applying a piece of slicing tape over the worn area. Believe it or not, it worked like a charm.

I'm almost tempted to get a Chinon just for giggles -- they are relatively inexpensive compared to Elmos, Sankyos, and Eumigs, but the ones that appear to be almost as new (in original packaging, etc.) do go for $200+, which still isn't cheap, especially when just for giggles. Because of potential wear to the plastic gate, only a lightly used machine would be worthwhile. Most take the DNE lamp, which is desirable since it is 150 Watts, but undesirable for its 15 hour expected life. Some take the EFR lamp, but that is for only outside North America, and in that case I assume the mains supply would need to be 220 volts. I have seen some for North America that take the EFP. The only thing that a Chinon could add value to, for me, would be a brighter lamp than most of my EFP machines. My only 150 watt sound machine is my ST-1200HD, though frankly I don't notice a much brighter picture than my EFP 100 watt machines.

Regarding the plastic gate on Chinons, I have read that some had metal gates, depending upon the model, but I haven't been able to work out which models. Then some people have said only the pressure pad was plastic, not the gate. Very confusing.

I don't need yet another projector, but now I have become intrigued by the polarizing effect of the Chinon.



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RE: Since when are Chinon-made GAFS top-of-the-line and best-of-the-best?

#8 by Thomas Peters , Mon Nov 20, 2023 6:29 pm

This story has been circulating for years and probably has very much been responsible for the reputation of Chinons being film scratchers, although the 330 model was supposedly the worst culprit: Other Projector Makes

Zitat
The only other thing I can tell you concerns Chinon projectors, which were sold by Dixons. Derek Simmonds put a notice in Movie Maker that if you owned a Chinon projector, he would no longer hire films to you, as he pointed out, that he could sell a feature for about £40 or £45 in those days, and he was hiring a film out once to owners of Chinon projectors and they were coming back with damaged sprockets, so he was losing money. Maybe they improved over time, but I always remember that story every time I see someone mention they have just purchased a Chinon projector. Their cameras had a good reputation.



Here someone says that his Chinon SS1200 never scratched a film:
Other Projector Makes

Zitat
I have a Chinon SS1200 and it's never marked a film so maybe not all models are bad.


Servicing your projectors?

Zitat
This is my Chinon SS1200 stereo machine, it's not a service but just some routine cleaning, I've owned it for quite a few years, has the original belts and bulb and I've never taken the back off it, it's never marked a film as I always clean it well and double check everything, its had constant use but hasn't been over used, Not the easiest machine to remove a film in mid projection but can be done carefully, also like the auto stop which is a nice function.




From what I've seen, all Chinons have similar film paths.

Here they talk about the Chinons, and in particular, the SS1200: https://mimundoensuper-8.blogspot.com/20...o-buy-good.html

Zitat
In Japan, Chinon barely sold any product, quite the contrary than in United States or Europe, where it was marketed not only with its brand, but with many others. In England, exclusive sales were then made by almighty Dixons, the largest chain of photographic stores, until, at the end of the 1990s, Perry's Movies bought all the inventory that remained in Spain to offer to British filmmakers.

MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE CHINON SS1200.
I used the Chinon SS1200, in late 1980s, to record the sound in some family movies, until I discovered that it produced slight scratches on the film!
Thanks to its variable fine speed adjustment, I also used it to record the sound in Spanish in two Red Fox feature films from a VHS-dubbed video as a source, until I discovered with horror that the sound recorded with the SS1200, as it has narrower than usual magnetic heads, if the films are projected with another machine, you can listen to the original sound recording in the background!

It is, the Chinon SS1200, a projector that looks good on paper, but, in practice, what they have done in Chinon is to dress their well-known small very cheap models in a large way. The Chinon SS1200 reminds me of those fake Ferrari, with cheap plastic Ferrari bodies on VW Beetle chassis.
Something as simple as disassembling the lens for periodic cleaning requires watchmaker skill, including the rear on the built in screen! Given how hidden the lens is, the SS1200 cannot project anamorphic movies.
This projector is interesting only as a good example of a device that tried to popularize the Super-8 at a low price, but I could no use it with expensive and irreplaceable films.



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RE: Since when are Chinon-made GAFS top-of-the-line and best-of-the-best?

#9 by Mark Mander , Mon Nov 20, 2023 8:24 pm

I think most of those quotes about the SS1200 came from me Thomas , I do like the machine and has some nice features on it,turns itself off when the film is finished, that I do like, Mark


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RE: Since when are Chinon-made GAFS top-of-the-line and best-of-the-best?

#10 by Tom Photiou , Mon Nov 20, 2023 8:43 pm

It's also worth looking at the super 8 database to see more of the projectors that Chinon did, here,

https://super8database.com/?q=chinon&page=1

I have never owned or seen a chinon in the flesh so I cant really make a comment, Mark, am i right to assume the one you have is there top of the range?
Until I purchased my Sankyo OMS 880 I never knew much about those either, I knew the Sankyo was a decent machine having had much approval from UK 800 owners as well as Bill Parsons. As you know, Bill did fix mine up and it really is a great little machine, the only thing Sankyo never did was a 1200ft capacity version but what this machine does do, is give my 1200HD machines a break.
I will try and find out more about the GAF's and let you know my feedback, if anyone on here owns one and wouldn't mind letting us know more about them that would be appreciated.


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RE: Since when are Chinon-made GAFS top-of-the-line and best-of-the-best?

#11 by Mark Mander , Mon Nov 20, 2023 9:22 pm

Yes Tom the SS1200 is one of the top of the line stereo machines from Chinon, as I've said I've owned it for a long time and have a bit of a soft spot for it, in no way am I saying it's the best machine I've got or the best super 8 projector but it's been a very reliable machine and given great service.

I have Sankyos too, as I've had a few I can say as a rule they are good machines but do suffer from dry joints and sound loss, I've never used or owned GAF,Mark


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RE: Since when are Chinon-made GAFS top-of-the-line and best-of-the-best?

#12 by Thomas Peters , Mon Nov 20, 2023 10:53 pm

Quote: Mark Mander wrote in post #9
I think most of those quotes about the SS1200 came from me Thomas , I do like the machine and has some nice features on it,turns itself off when the film is finished, that I do like, Mark


Yes, they were your quotes Mark. It says you were "deleted" though so I thought you were no longer a member here.
Edit: Oh, I see you responded several posts up, too. Sorry, my mistake.

When various people have conflicting objective statements about projectors, in this case scratching film, I tend to think it is because of a) tolerances, b) having been a well (ab)used machine, or both. As Lee pointed out on the other channel regarding the Chinon 7500, it is possible to inspect and treat the plastic parts that can wear out, which should go a long way with helping to prevent scratches.

I think it is well near impossible with any projector to keep a film completely in mint condition after it is run 10 to 20 times or more. It's just the nature of the beast, though I've heard that if you meticulously use FilmGuard, you can get pretty close to achieving it. But to me, there is a difference between some wear after many runs through a projector vs. the deep black line that appears after a single run on something like my first Elmo ST-1200HD. 99% of my collection is B&W, and mostly pre-1940. Take into account the fact that some of those prints are a bit dark, comparitively to bright color films, and the fact that many have wear from the pre-print, a little wear never bothered me enough to lube my films before each showing. But wow, that Elmo ST-1200HD put lines that were visible on my darkest B&W prints.


Quote: Tom Photiou wrote in post #10
It's also worth looking at the super 8 database to see more of the projectors that Chinon did, here,

https://super8database.com/?q=chinon&page=1



I usually go to Van Eck's site, since there are usually more pictures that show the insides both back and front. This is a good site, too: https://www.filmkorn.org/super8data/

I wonder who collected this data first, since they all seem to repeat the same info, mistakes and all.

Quote: Mark Mander wrote in post #11
Yes Tom the SS1200 is one of the top of the line stereo machines from Chinon, as I've said I've owned it for a long time and have a bit of a soft spot for it, in no way am I saying it's the best machine I've got or the best super 8 projector but it's been a very reliable machine and given great service.

I have Sankyos too, as I've had a few I can say as a rule they are good machines but do suffer from dry joints and sound loss, I've never used or owned GAF,Mark


The 9000 and 9500 were also near the top for Chinon. These played optical sound, too, which I don't think the 1200 did -- correct me if I'm wrong.

The GAF 3000S = Chinon 8000
The GAF 3100S = Chinon 8500
The GAF 2000s = same as Gaf 3000 S, but without sound recording capability

As usual with project manufacturers, don't try to make sense out of their numbering scheme. For example, the Chinons in the 8000 range came out before the ones in the 7000 range.

I'm also wondering if for GAF any improvements were made. Maybe quality control was better, too?



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RE: Since when are Chinon-made GAFS top-of-the-line and best-of-the-best?

#13 by Thomas Peters , Fri Dec 01, 2023 3:25 am

Another thing about that seller's listings -- for his sprocketless projectors like the Sanyo Dualuxes, he says how projectors with sprockets often damage film, so these projectors are the best -- yet he also sells projectors with sprockets like those GAFs and calls them top-of-the-line.


I could go on and on about annoying eBay listings I see for both projector's and films. I saw one today -- an Elmo ST-180 with an HD camcorder -- for scanning of course, and the seller says he bought it a few years ago, only used it for a few films, so it is practically "new". WRONG. The Ellmo was probably well used before the original seller modified it for telecine and bundled it with an HD camcorder.

Reminds me of the used-car salesmen -- "It was owned by an old lady who only drove it to church on Sundays."



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