Autothread or Manual?

#1 by Robert Crewdson ( deleted ) , Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:56 pm

What's the general feeling among members here on auto - threading projectors?. There seems to be quite a lot of opposition to them in other forums, with someone describing them as 'autoshredders'. I suppose different manufacturers had their own systems. I find manual lacing a bit tricky sometimes, and waited two years after buying some films until I got an auto-threader before I would show them. I never had any problems with my Eumig 810D, and likewise with my Bell and Howell 655.

In Super 8, Chinon use to have a bad reputation for perforation damage, and in 16mm Singer-Graflex appears to be the same.



Robert Crewdson

RE: Autothread or Manual?

#2 by Vidar Olavesen , Fri Aug 28, 2015 3:08 pm

Have no problem with using auto threading myself either, but would love a manual Fumeo, 1200' capacity, stereo (which is probably something I'll never own)


 
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RE: Autothread or Manual?

#3 by Timothy Duncan ( deleted ) , Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:18 pm

Auto thread is great when it functions properly. I HAD a Bell & Howell Filmosonic machine that was unpredictable and did do some damage upon initial threading, no matter how cautious I was. It was also impossible to remove the film without major damage to the reel when this happened. By this, I mean that the film had to be cut out, and/or pieces of crumpled up/broken film had to be removed with tweezers (bit by bit). Now my GAF 3000 S (made by Chinon) is a different story. It can be finicky to get the film started in the feed slot but it has never damaged any film. Once it jumped out of the film path and didn't even put a crease in the film. However, I do prefer manual thread as the film is very easy to remove if the need arises. My two standard 8 machines from the 50's are manual threading. I also have a Bell & Howell machine from the 60's with auto thread that I feel confident in as it has never given me any grief. But again, my preference is manual threading. It is really a necessity to have leader on each reel (3 to 4 feet I'd say) as I've said before. With auto thread, it will prevent film damage in the case of a mishap. With manual thread, it enables you to start the reel at the very beginning of the film (not midways into or after the opening titles/credits). Sorry my answer was so lengthy guys.


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Timothy Duncan

RE: Autothread or Manual?

#4 by Vidar Olavesen , Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:25 pm

We want stuff to read, so keep writing like you feel natural with


 
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RE: Autothread or Manual?

#5 by Timothy Duncan ( deleted ) , Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:29 pm

Great question Robert! I'm trying to think of a topic to start but I'm at a loss now.


Timothy Duncan

RE: Autothread or Manual?

#6 by Robert Crewdson ( deleted ) , Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:57 pm

I don't know why, but Bell & Howell 8mm projectors don't have the same standing as their 16mm brothers. I have read of others who have had film damaged with their machines. I used to find that sometimes I needed to add extra film to the tails. When I was shooting film I never threw any waste away, but would use it for leaders or tails. Love all your posts Duncan.



Robert Crewdson

RE: Autothread or Manual?

#7 by Andrew Woodcock ( deleted ) , Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:03 pm

The later Bell & Howell super 8 machines were simply rebadged Sankyo models which weren't bad machines but were at the end of the day Japanese and not like the best Super 8 models which were all created in Europe IMHO.

The Beaulieu and Bauer auto threading arrangement though very different in design. Both work flawlessly I find as indeed does the Eumig S938/ 40 system.



Andrew Woodcock
Last edited Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:05 pm | Top

RE: Autothread or Manual?

#8 by Hugh Thompson Scott ( deleted ) , Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:26 pm

Tim, don't put yourself down, we all love to read of each others mishaps and ways around 'em, the whole point of forums, Very sad that
you had to cut your film to pieces, just hope it wasn't something like a private home movie, the commercial films are precious, but personal film is irreplaceable. Personally, I don't much care for auto thread, don't trust it, never will. To my way of thinking, it is too
unpredictable, will it go through or will it do what Tim suffered, I wasn't too keen on the semi auto of the Eumig Mark "S" projectors, including the "S" 709. Even my trusty B&Hs have this mechanism, which at times fails, no, I'm old fashioned in that manual was tedious, but reliable. Auto was probably devised by some boffin to sell the idea to Joe Public that loading a film is simple, the only things "simple" was us buying 'em.



Hugh Thompson Scott

RE: Autothread or Manual?

#9 by Timothy Duncan ( deleted ) , Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:44 pm

Hugh,
THANK YOU for two things. For making me feel that I'm not overwriting on my posts...and for calling me TIM, which is my preferred way of being addressed. Timothy is too formal and I've never cared much for it.
The 'cut' film was a Charlie Chaplin 400' reel, which I still haven't repaired or seen all the way through. Any home movies our family had were in an unmentionable format (a black cassette containing magnetic tape). We was po' (in plain English, we were poor). Not really, but super 8 home movies were not on my parent's agenda of must haves back in the 70's. They seemed expensive for the time (the equipment that is). I have two old Sears catalogs which contain pages of equipment That was available for order. In 1970's money, that stuff wasn't cheap.


Timothy Duncan

RE: Autothread or Manual?

#10 by Andrew Woodcock ( deleted ) , Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:03 pm

None of the three machines mentioned above will ever damage your films in thread or in run if everything is working and maintained as it should be.

All 3 are extremely kind to film throughout its transportation through the machine.

I cannot speak for Sankyo, Bell & Howell or earlier Eumig models as although I've seen them all in action, I've never had these machines for any length of time to judge them fairly.

I believe the Fumeo and Braun Visacoustic 2000 models are also extremely kind to film when all is A1.

I seriously recommend anyone wanting or owning a valuable collection chooses wisely each time they project a valuable film. Not all machines are so forgiving as the ones mentioned.
I've learned the hard way over the years of what I can and cannot trust where projectors are concerned!



Andrew Woodcock
Last edited Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:05 pm | Top

RE: Autothread or Manual?

#11 by Hugh Thompson Scott ( deleted ) , Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:23 pm

Wise words from Andrew, I can't help but compare the majority of cine projectors in their later models, to the "built to last forever"
earlier incarnations. I bought some years ago a later Eumig, a little fat plastic black box of a thing that had nothing going for it at all, not
in the same class as the earlier Eumig sound projectors that the wily old scribe the late Ivan Watson from "Movie Maker" christened Eumig
"the Wizards of Vienna", built like tanks, weighed 22lbs and just a joy to use, is it just me, but I really love the smell of the Eumigs
when running. Bolex are another reliable projector, again their early silent machines are little gems. I used to admire the Braun Visacoustic, a very expensive machine in the day, but you pay for top quality.
Tim, I'm glad that it was something that can be replaced, I share your annoyance when buying a film from someone on ebay and the
titles are missing, or well into the film, just for the sake of a piece of leader film.



Hugh Thompson Scott
Last edited Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:28 pm | Top

RE: Autothread or Manual?

#12 by Andrew Woodcock ( deleted ) , Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:29 pm

The 2000 is certainly one I am looking forward to owning one day soon Hugh.

I prefer Bauer only because I know them inside and out and I have or can get nigh on any spare I'd ever need for them. I also love the fact that they are simply the quietest running machine ever made, even with the long play unit alongside them.

I doubt I'd have stuck with the hobby this time around if I hadn't discovered just how good the studio line models are, especially the T610 in the home environment.



Andrew Woodcock
Last edited Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:38 pm | Top

RE: Autothread or Manual?

#13 by Robert Crewdson ( deleted ) , Sat Aug 29, 2015 12:37 am

The only problem I ever had was with the cheap reels supplied by Mountain films, they were so tight they used to squeak, I used to exert a bit of pressure on them to try and widen them slightly; often I would buy a quality reel to replace it. One day I had a brand new feature from Mountain and rewinding the film, the reel was so tight, it jerked the film and snapped it. I was able to join it with tape and the repair can't be seen, so afterwards I used to replace any tight reels to avoid a repetition. Another worry I had with films on my dual guage Eumig was those from Collectors Club, the reels were more like those from reel to reel tape recorders, and were loose fitting. I had to wrap tape around the spindle to make a tight fit, otherwise the reel could come off during projection.



Robert Crewdson

RE: Autothread or Manual?

#14 by Andrew Woodcock ( deleted ) , Sat Aug 29, 2015 12:47 am

Quite a few reels like that sadly Robert.

Always stick with quality reels. Elmo, Schneider, Posso, Bonum, Gepe or Sankyo. .. Anything else is a compromise on Super 8mm .
Beaulieu also, but they are made by Posso then termed Beaulieu spools by their owners.



Andrew Woodcock
Last edited Sat Aug 29, 2015 12:55 am | Top

RE: Autothread or Manual?

#15 by David Hardy ( deleted ) , Sat Aug 29, 2015 10:22 am

As a Professional Projectionist I will always have a dislike and aversion to any auto-threading system on a projector.


David Hardy

RE: Autothread or Manual?

#16 by Robert Crewdson ( deleted ) , Sat Aug 29, 2015 1:35 pm

Hi Andrew, I have a Gepe 600ft reel, which I can use as a take up, as I only have 2 or 3 films in that length. I think the films and cans I bought were Photopia.



Robert Crewdson

RE: Autothread or Manual?

#17 by Jacob Delaney , Sun Nov 15, 2015 6:47 pm

I'm a bit late to this one. Am I the only one who thinks manually threading the projector is part of the fun? I'm also worried about not seeing all the film in the projector or having to cut out a film if something goes wrong (I had to do that once with a family film in Super 8 ). I also had my Kodak Pageant as my first projector as a gift from my brother so when I bought my first film and learned to thread it by myself I really loved it. I think I was 15 or 16 at the time I finally got a film after waiting a year or two to finally test and use it.

My first experience with an auto thread was a Super 8 Bell & Howell Filmosound and some vinegar films that the projector kept wanting to eat so I thought I was confirming the whole auto-threads are auto-shreds until I bought some more in-shape films. It's OK for Super 8 I guess.


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RE: Autothread or Manual?

#18 by Vidar Olavesen , Sun Nov 15, 2015 7:05 pm

I thought most people on here liked manual threading. I have no problem with either, but as you say, part of the fun threading it. My Philips FP23 is not autothread and it's nice to get the hang of threading it manually


 
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RE: Autothread or Manual?

#19 by Jacob Delaney , Sun Nov 15, 2015 7:20 pm

I wish I had a Kinoton/Philips. I'm not doing too good with my two Devrys and a Wenzel... I still love them though. Someone should have made an auto thread 35mm projector for those multiplexes who didn't have real projectionists. Might have reduced bad film handling (yeah right ).


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RE: Autothread or Manual?

#20 by Paul Barker , Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:38 pm

i favour manual thread machines. i have always prefered them to anything auto. i only have elf machines. mainly for the ease of sorting any problems out. i do however also have a elf slotload projector. and i must admit to really likeing the design of it. never a problem with it. it also automatically turns of if the loop is lost, saving any damage to film. i do though fully understand those who prefer bell & howell projectors. its just my personal preference with the elf range of machines.



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RE: Autothread or Manual?

#21 by Andrew Woodcock ( deleted ) , Wed Dec 02, 2015 8:00 pm

Yes I think most people who have been professional protectionists would rather use manual thread machines.
16mm seem to favour manual or slot load while 8mm favour autothread.
For the machines that got it spot on, on Super 8mm, auto thread is both reliable, simple and quick and for me personally. I would gain nothing at all from having a manual thread machine.

For the remainder of the machines out there that did not get it quite so right, it is the number one root cause to all of the scratched prints so often seen on Super 8mm.

The design team of these machines really ought to hang their heads in shame for some of these mechanisms.
When you see how it should be done, the other methods appear completely ridiculous.



Andrew Woodcock
Last edited Fri Dec 04, 2015 4:59 pm | Top

   

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