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Author Topic: Starter 16mm Projector Recommendation
Robert Crook
Junior
Posts: 8
From: Cumbria, UK
Registered: Oct 2018


 - posted February 24, 2019 03:26 PM      Profile for Robert Crook   Email Robert Crook   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I started collecting 8mm movies in the early 80’s. I got distracted for many years, Video,LaserDisc,DVD, BluRay etc, and have come full circle, more time on my hands etc. I want to make the move into 16mm and I am looking for some advice as to the best starter projector. What model would you recommend and what features should I be looking for in the projector.
Appreciate any advice you can offer.

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Paul Barker
Master Film Handler

Posts: 395
From: Lancashire, England
Registered: Jun 2014


 - posted February 24, 2019 04:19 PM      Profile for Paul Barker   Email Paul Barker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
hi Robert. i would say an ELF NT1 or similar. easy to maintain plenty of spares available. cheap lamps belts etc. as your in cumbria.try and attend the blackpool film fair in november. always plenty to buy there inc 16mm film.

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Janice Glesser
Film Goddess

Posts: 3468
From: Sunnyvale, CA USA
Registered: Sep 2011


 - posted February 25, 2019 12:14 AM      Profile for Janice Glesser   Email Janice Glesser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Robert...I'm partial to my Elmo 16CL...in fact I have 4 of them [Smile] You can't beat a slot load projector for ease of threading and gentle on film. There are a lot of these machines out there so spare parts are not hard to come by. The only thing to watch for are "gummy feed rollers." The original rubber rollers over time tend to decompose into a sticky black goo. However this shouldn't be a show-stopper. If you find a nice running projector at a good price... a new set of rollers will only cost $100-$125 and are easy to install. I've installed 2 sets myself and the new rollers will last a lifetime.

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Janice

"I'm having a very good day!"
Richard Dreyfuss - Let It Ride (1989).

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Robert Crook
Junior
Posts: 8
From: Cumbria, UK
Registered: Oct 2018


 - posted February 25, 2019 05:40 AM      Profile for Robert Crook   Email Robert Crook   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Paul & Janice, thanks for your kind responses. I will explore both options in more detail, and your references to spare part availability is key. I like my Elmo 800 but certainly have noticed the Elf NT 1 to be readily available when looking on line at 16mm. Will have a look. Thanks again.

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Maurice Leakey
Film God

Posts: 5895
From: Bristol. United Kingdom
Registered: Oct 2007


 - posted February 25, 2019 05:58 AM      Profile for Maurice Leakey   Email Maurice Leakey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The Bell & Howell is the best make to buy as spare parts are still relatively available. Of course, unfortunately the worm does fall to pieces in time and needs replacing. However, once replaced with a modern one-piece worm it will give years of faithful service.

Elf/Eiki projectors are well made and do not suffer much with problems, but they are not to Bell & Howell quality.

Elmo projectors should not be touched. A well-known service man in the UK no longer will accept these for repair. Be warned.

[ February 25, 2019, 02:50 PM: Message edited by: Maurice Leakey ]

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Maurice

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Robert Crook
Junior
Posts: 8
From: Cumbria, UK
Registered: Oct 2018


 - posted February 25, 2019 11:25 AM      Profile for Robert Crook   Email Robert Crook   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks Maurice, appreciate that very much.

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Luis Caramelo
Master Film Handler

Posts: 494
From: Funchal
Registered: Feb 2011


 - posted February 25, 2019 03:39 PM      Profile for Luis Caramelo   Email Luis Caramelo   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
hello! Robert,i,m exacly in the same position of you,i,m been wit super 8 about 40years,i jump to 16mm about amonth ago,i decide to for an elmo cl-16.a great projector in deed,easy to work work,and like Janice says,very easy to find the rolers in case you need to replace them,
i,m very happy with this choise,

best;
luis caramelo

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Nantawat Kittiwarakul
Master Film Handler

Posts: 280
From: Rajburana, Bangkok, Thailand
Registered: Aug 2017


 - posted February 25, 2019 08:35 PM      Profile for Nantawat Kittiwarakul   Email Nantawat Kittiwarakul   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
On the scale of serviceability and nothing else...

Eiki is the easiest ones,give me a set of screwdrivers & basic tools and I'll make a complete teardown&reassembly in minutes. [Cool]

Elmo comes as a close second,minus for its rubber-coated rollers issue. Its pretty densely-design internals make it somewhat difficult for major teardown.

Bell&Howell - without proper tools&jigs&fixtures it is totally impossible to do full service. [Eek!] (and will take you several hours even with all tools needed)

And I'll have to stress again that since I'm living in rural area of the world where it's near impossible to find service for this kind of machines,so this is quite a major issue for me. Your mileage may vary,of course. [Roll Eyes]

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Just a lone collector from a faraway land...

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Maurice Leakey
Film God

Posts: 5895
From: Bristol. United Kingdom
Registered: Oct 2007


 - posted February 26, 2019 03:14 AM      Profile for Maurice Leakey   Email Maurice Leakey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I live in the UK and am very fortunate that I have an excellent repair specialist within a two-hour drive who keeps my projectors in full running order. He has plenty of Bell & Howell worms and can do an excellent job. Agreed it's not for an amateur to do a worm change.

Elf/Eiki are quite easy to work on but spares are not so readily obtainable. If you are technically minded it's possible that you could do a simple service on one of these models. When buying one of them it's best to avoid the early blue models, most of which only have a 200 watt lamp and no inside loud speaker. Their only speaker is in the side cover, so they are not so quick to use.

As regards an Elmo. The 16-CL is a much loved projector but did have early problems with its take up and the rubber rollers turning to goo. As I said above, my engineer no longer will accept the repair of any 16mm Elmo.

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Maurice

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Simon McConway
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1085
From: Doncaster, UK
Registered: Jun 2004


 - posted February 26, 2019 03:45 AM      Profile for Simon McConway   Email Simon McConway   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I agree with you Maurice, when you say "it's not a job for an amateur". I am often very concerned when I hear the call of "has anyone got the service manual for..." There was a very good reason that, years ago, these manuals were not made available to Joe Bloggs...the manufacturers knew what damage he was capable of inflicting on their products!

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Jonathan Wood
Junior
Posts: 17
From: Oxfordshire, UK
Registered: Oct 2018


 - posted February 26, 2019 02:59 PM      Profile for Jonathan Wood   Email Jonathan Wood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Robert ,

Everyone has made valid points re their personal preferences . I have owned many 16 mm machines from different manufacturers over the years and at the end of the day for sheer picture and sound quality, I think it’s difficult to beat an Elmo . I have 2 AL machines , one of which I keep as a donor machine for parts etc. I’ve had the rollers replaced and the machine is noticbly quieter running than any Eiki or B&H . It also produces a very bright and stable picture with crystal clear sound. True parts aren’t as widely available as B&H or Eiki which is the reason I have a donor machine and a stockpile of spare belts.

One thing I will say in favour of B&H though is the far greater availability of wide angle lenses. Anything wider than 38mm is quite hard to find for Elmo or Eiki but there still seem to be quite a few 25mm lenses around for B&H , something you will probably need if your used to the range of a Super 8 zoom lens.

Eiki’s are extremely easy to work on due to there modular design and are well made . B&H TQ1’s are built like tanks and are lovely machines but beware the worm gear !

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Robert Crook
Junior
Posts: 8
From: Cumbria, UK
Registered: Oct 2018


 - posted February 27, 2019 05:31 PM      Profile for Robert Crook   Email Robert Crook   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks to everyone here, some invaluable advice, some Elmo, Elf and B&H lovers out there. I feel in a good place, and will keep researching whilst looking for the right one for me. I’m sure the right choice will talk to me, when the opportunity is in front of me.

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David Michael Leugers
Master Film Handler

Posts: 264
From: Fairfield, OH, USA
Registered: Feb 2004


 - posted March 06, 2019 01:07 PM      Profile for David Michael Leugers   Email David Michael Leugers   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
For a first machine, I would not overlook any 16mm projector that is in great shape operationally and to a lesser extent, cosmetically if the price is right. I have owned most of the major makes of 16mm projectors and they all can deliver the goods. Later versions are typically quieter, brighter and with solid state amplifiers. I would look for such a machine. My first 16mm projector was the overlooked, and lowly Singer Grayflex. Image and sound were great and I used the heck out of it for almost 10 years. Just saying, a 16mm projector in good working order will probably serve you well for a long time, or at least long enough until you settle on your favorite projector. That quest is part of the fun of showing real films.

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Live Free or Die

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Adrian Winchester
Film God

Posts: 2941
From: Croydon, London, UK
Registered: Aug 2004


 - posted March 06, 2019 08:02 PM      Profile for Adrian Winchester   Email Adrian Winchester   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm glad if Robert found the responses useful, as they illustrate how subjective projector ownership is, with some of us having far better experiences with certain makes than others.

That clearly also extends to finding spares, and I'm surprised that Maurice has found Eiki/Elf spares less readily available as that's something I've always considered a plus point! They sold new projectors as recently as 2003, and one or two agents are still able to get certain spares from the factory in Japan.

But having said that, I've personally had exasperating problems with Eiki NT and SL series projectors, so I'd only now buy the 'last generation' Eikis, which are the harder to find SNT, ENT, SSL and ESL.

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Adrian Winchester

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Lee Mannering
Film God

Posts: 3216
From: The Projection Box
Registered: Nov 2006


 - posted March 07, 2019 01:31 PM      Profile for Lee Mannering     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My dad swore by Bell & Howell and for my money I would buy a TQ3 have a new worm gear fitted it'll last you. Have elf eiki as well but the have such a rapid claw pull down by design.

Come to Blackpool in Nov you can try before you buy 😎

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Brian Stearns
Master Film Handler

Posts: 487
From: Lexington
Registered: Jun 2013


 - posted March 08, 2019 01:43 AM      Profile for Brian Stearns         Edit/Delete Post 
I live by Bell&Howell they are great if they are fully serviced. Built like tanks .I have 1585 and 1574. The three claw pull down is helpful on perf pulls and warped films. beware of ones that are not serviced, they will become bell and shredders. Auto loads can act up and loose the loop if theres bad or awkward splice you dont see. Elmo Eiki Singer,Kodak whatever you feel comfortable with

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James Wilson
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 230
From: Norwich, UK
Registered: Jan 2015


 - posted March 08, 2019 05:19 AM      Profile for James Wilson   Author's Homepage   Email James Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi,
As nobody has mentioned this one,
I feel i must give a plug here for the Rank Aldis 16mm projector.
I have two of these they have never let me down, you can pick them
up on ebay for around £200.
James.

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James Wilson

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