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Author Topic: Starting out with 16mm
Robert Pitman
Junior
Posts: 24
From: Wales, UK
Registered: Mar 2007


 - posted March 29, 2007 07:31 AM      Profile for Robert Pitman   Email Robert Pitman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hello to everyone here.
Before I was swayed to the dark side with video, I had a brief spell of using super 8 back in the 70's.
Well, several weeks ago I watched these super 8mm films for the first time in about 28 years.
The event of setting up the screen, organising the seating, the sound of the clanking projector, the almost completely unedited film and the colour has got me hooked on real film once again.

However, this time around I am thinking of going the 16mm route. So looking for advice on brands of projectors, what to look out for and which to buy. I’m looking at getting a projector first.
Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated.
Anyone have a 16mm projector for sale here within the UK?

Thanks in advance,
Rob

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Why do transformers hum?
Because they don't know the words.....

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Lars Pettersson
Master Film Handler

Posts: 282
From: Stockholm, Sweden
Registered: Jan 2007


 - posted March 29, 2007 09:47 AM      Profile for Lars Pettersson   Email Lars Pettersson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hello Rob!

I´m not in the UK, but I thought I´d offer what I know on 16mm projectors (easily affordable ones). I´d suggest EIKI, ELMO or BAUER machines. I´ll explain why, but bear in mind everyone has their favourites. You can find good units of these for €100 - 400: Bauer P6 or P8, EIKI NT (I have a NT-2) or SL. My service technician speaks very warmly about ELMOs also, but I haven´t as yet gotten my grubby little hands on one of those. I guess it´s the CL you´d want there.
Any of these will run forever in my experience, my current favourite is the Bauer P8: It´s built like a tank, you can interchange lenses between it and Eikis, and it has a 4-claw pulldown, so it´ll even run very badly damadged film + it stops immediately should the film break/run out. I find the latter particularly good, as I can leave the room and let a film run out if I´ve seen what I needed to see. Not so with the Eiki, when it runs out you need to be there.

If you plan to shoot your own 16mm material and have a camera with reasonably good lens, prepare for a nice experience! [Smile] Raw stocks have improved no end over the past twenty years, and provided camera + lens + exposure + projection is correctly handled, we´re talking HD resolution, with contrast and colour depth better than any video system now offers.

Also beware of VERY STRONG addictional side-effects [Wink] If done right, you will want more... [Wink]

Best Wishes
Lars

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Jean-Marc Toussaint
Film God

Posts: 2389
From: France
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted March 29, 2007 10:28 AM      Profile for Jean-Marc Toussaint   Author's Homepage   Email Jean-Marc Toussaint   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hello Robert, welcome to the forum.
Lars has pretty much said everything you need to know. I've had an Eiki NT2 for years and was very happy with it. In the UK, they are also sold under the brand "Elf".
I now use a pair of Elmo CL (main machine is the Magnetic and optical "Deluxe" version with touch buttons, the other is a back-up - both used with a long play unit), they are very kind to films and easy to handle.

--------------------
The Grindcave Cinema Website

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Chris Quinn
Master Film Handler

Posts: 372
From: England, Bedfordshire.
Registered: Nov 2003


 - posted March 29, 2007 12:31 PM      Profile for Chris Quinn   Email Chris Quinn   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Robert,

I am also starting in 16mm after some years in super 8. I just bought an Eiki Elf RT1. Cost me £25 plus another £25 in postage on ebay.
The great thing about 16mm is that good projectors are cheap compared to super 8. Prints are more expensive though and so i am just going to build up a small collection of quality prints.

Welcome to the forum and enjoy.

Chris.

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The other half thinks i'm up to something. Shes right of course.

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Robert Pitman
Junior
Posts: 24
From: Wales, UK
Registered: Mar 2007


 - posted March 29, 2007 04:02 PM      Profile for Robert Pitman   Email Robert Pitman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks Lars, Jean-Marc and Chris for your advice.
I have heard some talk of the ELF/EIKI machines. However, they don't appear to come up for sale very often.

Plenty of Bell and Howell projectors though, especially the Filmosound. Anyone have experience of these?

Rob

--------------------
Why do transformers hum?
Because they don't know the words.....

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Lars Pettersson
Master Film Handler

Posts: 282
From: Stockholm, Sweden
Registered: Jan 2007


 - posted March 29, 2007 04:07 PM      Profile for Lars Pettersson   Email Lars Pettersson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I´ve been warned about those worm-gears in BH:s...

Lars

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Jean-Marc Toussaint
Film God

Posts: 2389
From: France
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted March 30, 2007 10:19 AM      Profile for Jean-Marc Toussaint   Author's Homepage   Email Jean-Marc Toussaint   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Robert: B&H are fine but their drive gear wears out and cracks easily. I think Classic Home Cinema had a substitue made out of nylon but it's a real bitch to replace.
B&H are legion and inexpensive, it's easier and cheaper to buy another projector than trying to have one fixed.

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The Grindcave Cinema Website

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Chris Quinn
Master Film Handler

Posts: 372
From: England, Bedfordshire.
Registered: Nov 2003


 - posted March 30, 2007 10:29 AM      Profile for Chris Quinn   Email Chris Quinn   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Robert,

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/16mm-Sound-Cine-Projector-EIKI-ELF-NT1-Mint_W0QQitemZ120102345846QQcategoryZ1477QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Chris.

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The other half thinks i'm up to something. Shes right of course.

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Robert Pitman
Junior
Posts: 24
From: Wales, UK
Registered: Mar 2007


 - posted March 30, 2007 10:51 AM      Profile for Robert Pitman   Email Robert Pitman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for B&H advice and link.
Silly question - whats a realistic price for a NT1?
Postage on ebay is a joke sometimes.
Rob

--------------------
Why do transformers hum?
Because they don't know the words.....

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Lars Pettersson
Master Film Handler

Posts: 282
From: Stockholm, Sweden
Registered: Jan 2007


 - posted March 30, 2007 12:05 PM      Profile for Lars Pettersson   Email Lars Pettersson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Robert,

I paid the equivalent of $430 / €320 for a mint EIKI NT2 ten years ago, and considered myself lucky.

I´ve hung a few hundred hours running time on it and it has given me zero trouble. The Bauer P8 is quieter, though.

Cheers,
Lars

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Rob Koeling
Master Film Handler

Posts: 396
From: Brighton, UK
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted March 30, 2007 03:42 PM      Profile for Rob Koeling   Email Rob Koeling   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Robert,

I don't know how much in a hurry you are and if you live within traveling distance of London, but I would suggest to go to the next BFCC (somewhere mid May; see www.bfcc.biz) in Ealing and pick up a machine there. There are always one or two handfuls of good 16mm machines available there. Last autumn I had a table at the BFCC and sold a machine very similar to the NT1 that Chris pointed out on Ebay. It went for £75 (which I think was a bargain); a stall opposite us sold the same machine for something like £95 (but that was a professional dealer; so I think very reasonable as well). I think a price just below £100 is realistic for an Eiki projector from the NT series(a later model). For a slot-load, you're probably looking at something like £150.

The problem with Ebay is that it is often the case that there is a problem with the projector: either the belts are gone, the focus assembly is crumbling or whatever. If you're familiar with these machines, it's (mostly) simple enough to fix it, but always at a cost (and if you're new to the game, prepare yourself for a step (but fun) learning curve). At a cine fair, you can have a test ride and make sure there are no surprises. The Eiki that I sold last autumn, was also bought at Ealing some 8 years earlier. I came by train that year and by the time I came home my arms were about 5 cms longer than when I left. 16mm projectors are beautiful equipment, but heavy! You're right about the postage prices, they often are quite silly. Bargains can be had on Ebay, but I would suggest to buy a back-up machine on Ebay later. Nice to play with and to get some experience with solving problems.

Your first machine should be reliable and scratch free.
There are still plenty of machines out there and you can never have enough.... (I'm lucky enough to have a big cellar where I can store projectors that only need a bit of work sometime in the near future...hmmm, near future?)

Anyway, enjoy! Let us know what you're getting and in case you do decide to go to the BFCC, let it know too, there are always several people from this forum attending.

- Rob

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Robert Pitman
Junior
Posts: 24
From: Wales, UK
Registered: Mar 2007


 - posted March 31, 2007 05:42 PM      Profile for Robert Pitman   Email Robert Pitman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks Rob for the advice.
The BFCC has a great site. I will indeed try to get up there for the show.
Not in any huge hurry. I'm hoping to hold out for an EIKI/ELF and just want the right one really.
Is there a website around that shows the full range and when they were made/spec etc.
I'm confused by all the model numbers:
RT1, RT2, NT1, NT2, RM-2
Is there such a big difference between them and what is their approx date of manufacture (if this is important)?

Rob

--------------------
Why do transformers hum?
Because they don't know the words.....

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Jean-Marc Toussaint
Film God

Posts: 2389
From: France
Registered: Oct 2004


 - posted April 01, 2007 02:19 AM      Profile for Jean-Marc Toussaint   Author's Homepage   Email Jean-Marc Toussaint   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The NTs are basically newer versions of the RTs
Get hold of an NT1. "1s" are opical sound machines, "2s" are magnetic and optical. Unless you really want to screen soundies and scopitones with mag sound, there's no need to invest into the NT2, if there's a major price difference.

--------------------
The Grindcave Cinema Website

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Robert Pitman
Junior
Posts: 24
From: Wales, UK
Registered: Mar 2007


 - posted April 01, 2007 06:17 AM      Profile for Robert Pitman   Email Robert Pitman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks Jean-Marc for clearing that up. It makes sense now.
1's optical only
2's optical and magnetic

How many magnetic sound reels are there around?
When was magnetic taken out of production?

Rob

--------------------
Why do transformers hum?
Because they don't know the words.....

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Rob Koeling
Master Film Handler

Posts: 396
From: Brighton, UK
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted April 01, 2007 09:19 AM      Profile for Rob Koeling   Email Rob Koeling   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Robert,

The short answer is:

ST/M Series 1970-73
RST/RT/RM Series 1974-78
NT/NST Series 1978-80
SL First Slot Load (Based on NT Chasis, New Amp Design/Front Design) 1979/SL II 1980-82
SNT Slim Line Series (Based on New Slim Chasis, But Retained Basic AutoLoad Threading and Loop Restorer System from Earlier Models) Late 1982
SSL/ESL Series Super SlotLoad Slim Line 1983-87, SlotLoad Ported over to New Slim Line Chasis, Loop Restorer System Changed out & Redesigned.

There was overlap in selling many of these machines because of Production runs. These are ALL approximate time frames. I cannot confirm when Eiki stopped manufacturing, but sales of many of these machines continued into the mid 1990's based on old production runs and stock available.

I copied this info from a threat on this topic from a 16mm forum: Eiki history threat on 16mmtalk.com

I used to be involved with running a film society. We used Eiki SL-0 projectors for our film shows. The projectors proved to be incredibly reliable. I still have a soft spot for these machines. My main machine now is an Elmo 16-CL. Just as easy to run as the Eiki slotloads, but quieter, which is nice if the machine is in the same room. As back-ups I have another CL-16 (needs a bit of work though...) and an Eiki SSL (newer model of the SL). A good reason to go for an Eiki/Elf is the fact that lenses are easier (read cheaper) to obtain than for the Elmo.

Don't worry about magnetic sound to begin with. The only magnetic sound print I've ever encountered was a film made by a film academy student. I'm not sure if striped 16mm stock was ever sold, I think it's more likely that a silent prints were striped afterwards. It's mostly for one-of prints

- Rob

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Robert Pitman
Junior
Posts: 24
From: Wales, UK
Registered: Mar 2007


 - posted April 02, 2007 07:56 AM      Profile for Robert Pitman   Email Robert Pitman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks Rob very helpful.
Recon I'm armed with enough information now to start looking around for a decent projector.

Will post here when I get one.
Glad I found this forum.
Rob

--------------------
Why do transformers hum?
Because they don't know the words.....

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Robert Pitman
Junior
Posts: 24
From: Wales, UK
Registered: Mar 2007


 - posted April 02, 2007 03:21 PM      Profile for Robert Pitman   Email Robert Pitman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
NT-1 just finished on ebay:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=002&sspagename=STRK%3AMEDW%3AIT&viewitem=&item=120102345846&rd=1&rd=1

Glad I sat this one out.
I'm sure there is something dodgy with this seller.

Rob

--------------------
Why do transformers hum?
Because they don't know the words.....

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Robert Pitman
Junior
Posts: 24
From: Wales, UK
Registered: Mar 2007


 - posted April 14, 2007 04:24 AM      Profile for Robert Pitman   Email Robert Pitman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well finally got an ELF RT1 16mm projector. I was lucky enough to get one for a small donation to my old school who had one sitting around in a locked up cupboard.
Stripped it down and gave it a deep clean (very enjoyable afternoon), put new belts on it and its working.
Ran some film through it that I was given a long time ago, John Cleese in a 70's staff training film before his Fawlty Towers days, everything look to be fine.

Minor Problems:
The lamp only works on full and not on half strength.
Some wobble/play in the take up reel bearings?

Well I feel like I'm in the club now and god help my bank balance once I start looking for films....

Rob

--------------------
Why do transformers hum?
Because they don't know the words.....

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Lee Mannering
Film God

Posts: 3201
From: The Projection Box
Registered: Nov 2006


 - posted April 14, 2007 06:48 AM      Profile for Lee Mannering     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If anyone is still after an Elf here is a Magnetic / Optical sound NT/2 on auntie ebay.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ELF-NT2-16mm-Sound-Projector-Optical-and-Magnetic_W0QQitemZ230117102131QQcategoryZ11722QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

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Robert Pitman
Junior
Posts: 24
From: Wales, UK
Registered: Mar 2007


 - posted April 15, 2007 07:03 AM      Profile for Robert Pitman   Email Robert Pitman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Is this the same one as here:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170067236336

--------------------
Why do transformers hum?
Because they don't know the words.....

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