Single or dual purpose projector, which is more gentle?

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Split8mm
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Single or dual purpose projector, which is more gentle?

Post by Split8mm » Tue May 14, 2002 4:59 pm

I need to buy a projector. All the film I have and all the film I'm shooting is regular 8. I'm trying to decide whether I should buy a newer "dual" projector or an older single purpose "regular 8" projector. My main concern is to have a gentle film path for my old films. Does anyone have experience with both the older single purpose machines and the newer dual machines? Could you shed some light on the subject of film handling in the older machines versus the newer machines?

Thanks!

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Post by supa_ate_sixteen » Thu May 16, 2002 8:34 am

In my "opinion" your better off with a newer projector like an Elmo or Eumig. I don't have much experience with Regular 8mm projectors or the format in general but I can tell you older projectors tend to be made out of full metal bodies and have a much more chance of having gears and a film path that hasn't been treated in quite some time. Next thing you know your buying some old projector with a rusted film gate, gunk covered sprokets, and a claw that acts like 40 grit sandpaper on your film. Since only a few projectors are made today ( I don't know specifics ), I would think that the newer projectors (from the 70's and 80's) were made to be much more gentle on your film. Good Luck! I own a Elmo ST-1200 D and its quite nice on my film.

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Re: Single or dual purpose projector, which is more gentle?

Post by MovieStuff » Thu May 16, 2002 2:26 pm

Split8mm wrote:I need to buy a projector. All the film I have and all the film I'm shooting is regular 8. I'm trying to decide whether I should buy a newer "dual" projector or an older single purpose "regular 8" projector.
Hi, Marc!

What speed are you shoot at? 16fps? 18fps? 24? That can also make a difference on your selection, depending on how accurate you want the playback to be.

Roger

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Post by reg8mm » Thu May 16, 2002 4:05 pm

Problem with 'newer' projectors is that they most often have auto load. Dirty auto load sill eat your film before it gets to the gate. It'll look like an accordion.
I like the older manual load projectors. They have a swing out lens that exposes the film path. The gate and entire path may be cleaned and waxed for safely showing films.

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Post by Pedro » Thu May 16, 2002 4:28 pm

metal made projector need not neccessaryly scratch the film. Elmo machines have all film path related parts made of polished inox. The problem with that vintage projectors made for reg 8 up to the 1960ies is the weak lighting system, looking light candle light. And for that dimm lamps, you pay a few times more than for a modern halogen bulb.
So, my main criteria would be a modern lamp equipment, at least 12V/100 W halogen, better 15V/150 W. The other point is, that some low cost dual gauge projectors don´t have sprockets, as they would be different for each gauge. This kind of toy machines I would avoid in any case, sprockets drives are neccessary, to avoid any force of the claw to the perforation and to garantee a stable registration.
Tricky auto load mechanisms you can easyly fool using long, long leaders.
Once I had an Eumig 710 D, that came with a interchangeable gate and set of sprocket drives. It even allowed to playback and record magnetic sound for reg 8, considering the differnet frame-sound shift (64 frames, S8 only 18 frames). It runs at 18 and 24 fps and has a 12 V/100 W bulb.

Pedro

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Re: Single or dual purpose projector, which is more gentle?

Post by Split8mm » Thu May 16, 2002 9:27 pm

MovieStuff wrote:
What speed are you shoot at? 16fps? 18fps? 24? That can also make a difference on your selection, depending on how accurate you want the playback to be.
Roger,
I'm shooting at 18fps. I'm using a Bolex P1 and P2. But I'm also going to use the projector to play back the old family films. I'm most concerned about not having the projector eat those films! And also, I'm not real sure what speed my dad was shooting at? I assumed (incorrectly?) that 18fps was the standard speed. My Bolex cameras have a red dot next to 18fps which would seem to indicate the "normal" setting.

Pedro wrote:
.....The problem with that vintage projectors made for reg 8 up to the 1960ies is the weak lighting system, looking light candle light. And for that dimm lamps, you pay a few times more than for a modern halogen bulb.
So, my main criteria would be a modern lamp equipment....
Thanks for the information Pedro! I have looked at some Elmo projectors. They seem more expensive than others, but perhaps this is a case of you get what you pay for.
Last edited by Split8mm on Thu May 16, 2002 10:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Split8mm » Thu May 16, 2002 9:40 pm

Pedro wrote:....This kind of toy machines I would avoid in any case, sprockets drives are neccessary, to avoid any force of the claw to the perforation and to garantee a stable registration. Pedro
Interesting. I thought that having no sprockets would actually be more gentle on the film. It seems that you are saying the claw has to work harder to move the film if there are no sprockets? I guess I may need to cross off the "sprocketless" projectors from my list. Thanks!

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Elmo SP-F

Post by cameraguy » Thu May 16, 2002 10:32 pm

The Elmo SP-F may be the model for you. It has 2 sprockets guides and 2 frame claw. It is dual guage and it achieves this since there are 2 sets of "teeth" on each sprocket (one for S8 and one for R8) The guage selector moves the sprockets to line up the correct teeth to the guage. The lens swings out for easy cleaning unlike the earlier FP-C model. The lamp is a more modern EJM 150 watt which is just as bright as the ST-1200 series. Has the same Elmo 1.3 12.5-25mm lens as the ST models. It also has a variable speed dial with a range of 14-24 fps. The only thing I did not like on it was that it was very loud, like a vacuum cleaner.

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Post by Guest » Fri May 17, 2002 2:02 am

Split8mm wrote:
Pedro wrote:....This kind of toy machines I would avoid in any case, sprockets drives are neccessary, to avoid any force of the claw to the perforation and to garantee a stable registration. Pedro
Interesting. I thought that having no sprockets would actually be more gentle on the film. It seems that you are saying the claw has to work harder to move the film if there are no sprockets? I guess I may need to cross off the "sprocketless" projectors from my list. Thanks!
Hi, Marc!

Well, this is where Pedro and I disagree. You are 100% correct that a sprocketless projector is less likely to eat your film than a projector with sprockets. When a film gets damaged in a projector due to a jam at the gate, it is the mindless sprockets that keep ripping and folding your film; oblivious to the fact that there is trouble "down stream". A one frame jam at the gate of a projector with sprockets can ruin several feet of film. A projector without sprockets limits any damage to just a single frame; the original frame that caused the problem in the first place.

Now, it is essential that a sprocketless projector be completely in tip top shape for the best registration, as it has no formal isolation loops to act as buffers between the tugging of the take up reel and the gate of the projector. But the GAF units I use for the Video WorkPrinter and CineMate series work flawlessly and have never, to my knowledge, scratched any customer's film as they are designed to handle the film by the edges totally. Now, I do go in and completely refurbish the units to better-than-factory specs, including a complete redesign of the take up mechanism but a sprocketless projector should always be less of a risk on film than one with sprockets since it is the sprockets that do the majority of the damage when a film jam occurs.

Roger

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Post by MovieStuff » Fri May 17, 2002 2:06 am

Oops!

I keep forgetting to log in. Anyway, that was me.

Roger

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Post by Pedro » Fri May 17, 2002 9:47 am

Well, it´s also a matter of taste.
8mm is possible without sprocket drives and upper/lower loop, larger gauges need them to allow the claw or other advance mechanism work forcelessly.
But nevertheless, it´s simply a physical fact, that when pulling the complet film down only at one tiny sprocket hole with a even more tiny claw and all this only at one edge of the film, causing add. diagonal friction, plus pulling the 400 or 600 ft roll, will stress claw mechanism and perforation more. Even with a dual or quad claw, only ONE of the claws comes in action, the others only are there to substitute the first in case of damaged perforation. So it´s only one claw advancing the complete system! This is only a neutral mechanical analysis of the present conditions.

As a boy, I had a all-plastic projector without sprockets (even plastic claw) and used it very intensively with kid films. The projector took only 200 ft reels and even with that, the claw got broken and I and my grandy substituted it with an aluminum part, exactly idetical to the original plastic part. Nowadays, when I looking at that films of those days, the perforation shows that typical wear, with sprocket holes widened in downwards direction.

When you help the claw, pulling the film off the reel with a sprocket drive and forming a kind of "filter" loop, from where the claw only takes away the amout of film neccessary for advancing one frame, the only force to claw and perforation is the friction of pressure plate and the diagonal friction, because there is only one claw at one edge of the film. The registration can become better, as there is no force applyed to the claw mechanism. Same thing with the lower sprocket drive. It´s task is to take the take up tension away from gate and claw, forming a lower filter loop.

Obviously, when the filter loops are not formed correctly (damaged leader, mechanical defect), and you don´t react quickly, the damage of the film may be significant. But this accidentes normally happens only short after/during threading. So a long leader will help to avoid the major part of these problems. I never had any film damage during projection, only leader damage during threading.

So, why not use the same system like other gauges, providing the best possible registration and mechanical conservarion of the film? Using the claw to advance the whole system instead of only controlling registration, is mixing up the control and the power part of the system.

Pedro

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Post by MovieStuff » Fri May 17, 2002 12:20 pm

Pedro wrote: pulling the 400 or 600 ft roll, will stress claw mechanism and perforation more.
Hi, Pedro!

No offense, but this is something that is simply wrong and it is something that you have repeated several times in different forums. It's a simple matter of mechanics: The LARGER a reel of film is, the EASIER it is for the film to be pulled off the reel since there is more leverage. Therefore, a projector without sprockets does not put MORE tension on the advance claw with larger reels but LESS. The hardest that a sprocketless projector has to work is at the very end of a roll since that is when the diameter of the feed reel is the smallest.

I know that the 200 foot carts have a sprocket in them but I have looked at their design and the reason for the sprocket isn't because the camera claw would not have enough power. The sprocket is there to keep the film from reeling off uncontrolled when the camera is being bumped about during shooting. Indeed, any camera that can continue to pull film smoothly during the last few seconds of a 50 foot cart will have an easy time puliing the film off the beginning of a 200 foot roll, since there is more leverage present due to the 200 foot roll's larger diameter. Again, the hardest that a sprocketless camera or projector has to work is during the last few feet of a reel; not the beginning where leverage is in surplus due to the feed reel's larger diameter.
Pedro wrote: It´s [the sprocket's] task is to take the take up tension away from gate and claw, forming a lower filter loop.
Yes, I understand that. I also understand that if a sprocketless projector is defective, it can possibly cause wear on the sprocket holes and can even affect registration. However, if a sprocketed projector is defective, it can completely destroy several feet of film in seconds. Comparing a defective sprocketless projector to a sprocketed projector that is working properly and using that as evidence that a sprocketed projector is, therefore, better makes no sense. Therefore, it seems to me that the issue here is one of risk. If both projectors are working fine, then there is no issue. But if a jam occured, which projector would you want YOUR precious and irreplacable film to be in? ;)

Roger

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Post by Split8mm » Fri May 17, 2002 5:00 pm

[quote="MovieStuffBut if a jam occured, which projector would you want YOUR precious and irreplacable film to be in? ;)
[/quote]

I've enjoyed and learned from the debate between Pedro and Roger. I originally asked this question because I'm just getting into film and wanted to be armed with some information before I buy a projector. But there comes a time when you just have to jump in! I bought a Chinon Whisper Dual projector. I'll play around with it using some disposable film. If I don't like it, guess I'll just sell it on eBay and buy another. :-)

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Best projector to protect precious R-8mm film

Post by Guest » Sat May 18, 2002 4:30 pm

Lots of good discussion. Nothing like an equipment discussion to bring out lots of ideas. I can throw my two cents in. Now lots of quality projectors can project film without damaging them if they are kept absolutely clean. I use Lemon Pledge on all surfaces that contact the film to clean, lube and polish in one application. It works great. Now, I have to say that for me the all time greatest projector series for quality images and which will never damage your R-8mm films is the Bell and Howell Filmo Master series. I own many of these 50+ years old models just to collect them due to their beauty of design and craftsmanship. The machining of the metal components is unbelievable! The only places that the film touches is the two chrome polished sprockets and the chrome polished film gate. If you laid the surfaces end to end it would hardly be two inches of length that the film glides over. It is a variable speed projector that goes from a crawl to over 24 fps speed. I took a piece of freshly processed B+W reveresal film and formed a loop about two feet long and threaded it up in my B+H projector. I then ran the projector for three hours with the little loop of film going around and around through the projector probably at least 1,000 times. Now B+W reversal film emulsion is much softer than Kodachrome for example. However, there was not the slightest mark on the film! Not even where the sprockets pull on the sprocket holes. I routinely use these projectors to project original film I receive back from the labs. Projected on a big screen I can easily see how the filming turned out and spot any defects. For a combined R-8mm and S-8mm sound projector, I favor the Eumig line. They have turned out to be easier on film than my Elmo and are very maintainable. I love the idea of interchangeable sprockets and film gates. It really gives you two different projectors in one.

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Post by Old Uncle Barry » Sat May 18, 2002 5:12 pm

:)
There is,in my humble opinion,only ONE good sprocketless projector and it is a DLP costing about $100,000 and does not use film!
Until they are common as Super8 /16mm/35mm is,I for one will stick to the tried and tested mechanical method of film transport of sprockets,claws and intermittent movements!
Sprocketless film transport projectors? Bin 'em!

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