This is topic What's Your Favourite Projector? in forum 8mm Forum at 8mm Forum.

To visit this topic, use this URL:;f=1;t=003674

Posted by Maurice Leakey (Member # 916) on May 07, 2008, 03:25 AM:
It would be interesting to ask members for their favourite Super 8 projector. And why?

I own Sankyos, Yelcos. Elmos, Chinons, Bell & Howells, and an Agfa.

But my favourite is the Bauer T510 Stereo. It gives an excellent picture, superb sound, and very importantly for using in a small room, it runs so quietly.
Posted by David Pannell (Member # 300) on May 07, 2008, 05:26 AM:
Hi Maurice,

Good question. I only have one Super 8 projector, the Elmo ST1200-HD M. Seems there's no real reason to acquire any more.

I do have several Standard 8 Elmo E-80 silent machines, an F-80 and an Ampro Futurist 8; plus a Eumig Mark S Standard 8 sound machine. Some of these have been modified to take 800' reels.

For 16mm, I have 3 Ampros: Standard Stylist, Educational Stylist, Stylist Major Mk 2, and an Elmo 16-CL.

The thing is, in answer to your original question, I like them all equally, but for very different reasons. This is not a "get-out". I would find it really hard to choose between any of them.
Posted by Graham Sinden (Member # 431) on May 07, 2008, 07:19 AM:
GS1200. Enough said [Big Grin]
Posted by Simon McConway (Member # 219) on May 07, 2008, 07:19 AM:
Bell & Howell DCR, DCM & DCT range are pretty good; very steady picture. I also use an Elmo ST1200; again, pretty good all-round performance.
Posted by Mal Brake (Member # 14) on May 07, 2008, 08:03 AM:
For all-round performance, the GS1200. For reliability, the ST1200HD. The Eumig 938 is a good performer, as is a Bell&Howell sound m/c I was GIVEN, still in its original box with price tag and all accessories still in little plastic bags.
I agree with the last point David made.
Posted by Jan Bister (Member # 332) on May 07, 2008, 08:27 AM:
My ST-1200HD M and my Sankyo Stereo-800.

And I loved my Bauer T-450 until a stupid accident (which I caused) screwed up the control logic and the playback circuitry. Now it's beyond repair [Frown]

Oh, and I have a Bell & Howell SoundStar XJ (I suspect it was actually built by Chinon) which is a rather cool little thing. Very simple and elegant in its design...and rather reliable at that. Only the 8V/50W lamp sucks. [Roll Eyes]
Posted by Gary Crawford (Member # 67) on May 07, 2008, 08:31 AM:
Since I started messing around with films when I was 9 ( 1958), I've had Kodaks, Sears "Tower"s , Bell and Howells, Eumigs of all types and Elmo st1200's of various models. I think the best favorite was the Standard 8 only Eumig Mark S. Heavy metal construction....wonderful threading lights that go off when you run the film....easiest threading in the world..quiet mechanically...super white bright halogen bulb..with an ultra sharp lens. I ran that thing until the rubber on the drive wheels was gone. It's only fault was a 60htz hum on the sound ...which almost all of them had back then.'s the St1200Hd's for super 8. strong , reliable machines without the finicky nature of the GS.
Posted by Alan Rik (Member # 73) on May 07, 2008, 08:34 AM:
For sound quality hooked up to speakers it would have to be the GS1200. For sound quality from the main speakers alone it would have to be the Eumig S940. For ease of use and quietness it would have to be the Bauer T610. And for picture quality it would have to be the Beaulieu 708EL Stereo with either the 1.1 Schneider or the 1.0 Ektar. Stunning!!
Posted by Andrew Wilson (Member # 538) on May 07, 2008, 08:50 AM:
For me its the Sankyo stereo 800.When it died i sold all my super8 stuff.The best super8 machine ever made.Andy.
Posted by Maurice Leakey (Member # 916) on May 07, 2008, 08:54 AM:

Please pick one only.
Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on May 07, 2008, 08:55 AM:
For me, it's my very reliable Eumig 926 Stereo! It's incredibly gentle on my films, (except for that jerk from the back, and I aint talking about me, it's the back reels set up, the only slight downside to this model.).

The streo sound is just excellent, especially put through my nice Dloby stereo unit (STAR WARS, re-recorded, for instance)!

I would have loved to have a ELMO Mag/optic unit, but SOMEBODY who probably has ELMO's coming out his butt, bought yet another good unit!! (hah!)

You ever notice that people, who own Elmo's just can't get enough of em?
Posted by Kevin Faulkner (Member # 6) on May 07, 2008, 09:05 AM:
Now, now, Osi, I only have 2 super 8 machines. The GS1200Xenon and the newly acquired ST600D M-O. I have tried quite a few machines over the years and I always go back to the GS1200 as an all round good machine.

Posted by David Pannell (Member # 300) on May 07, 2008, 10:22 AM:
OK Maurice.

As it's Super 8 you're talking about, in my case it has to be the Elmo ST-1200HD M, as it's the only Super 8 machine I've got!!

If I were to go for a second Super 8 projector, though, it would be another of the same; so my answer would always be the same!! [Big Grin]
Posted by Douglas Meltzer (Member # 28) on May 07, 2008, 10:52 AM:

Since you're forcing me to decide, it would have to be the GS-1200. Please don't make me choose between the tungsten and the Xenon!


P.S. If you would be so kind, I'd greatly appreciate if word did not get back to any of my other projectors.
Posted by peter booth (Member # 242) on May 07, 2008, 11:16 AM:
My ELMO ST600 twin track,I have two and love them equally.
Posted by Alan Rik (Member # 73) on May 07, 2008, 11:23 AM:
Stranded on a desert island it would have to be my GS1200. I have loved that machine since I was a lad. Sigh. (Tear rolls down cheek as a Naked Indian walks by..)
Posted by Douglas Meltzer (Member # 28) on May 07, 2008, 12:03 PM:
....who promptly trips over the power cord on the desert island....

Posted by David Pannell (Member # 300) on May 07, 2008, 12:06 PM:
So, - is this naked Indian male or female????????????
Posted by Alan Rik (Member # 73) on May 07, 2008, 02:08 PM:
I will leave that up to your imaginations!! [Smile]
Posted by Graham Ritchie (Member # 559) on May 07, 2008, 03:41 PM:
The Elmo ST1200M bought back in 1979 second hand it has done a million miles and never changed the belt, 100% reliable, its easy to get to the film path gate etc to clean, a 1200ft capacity and a 150watt lamp and with a 1.1 lens fitted looks great what more can one ask for [Big Grin]

Graham. [Smile]
Posted by Chip Gelmini (Member # 44) on May 07, 2008, 04:50 PM:
You know, once in awhile we have great surveys. This is one of them!

Super 8 sound: Elmo ST 1200 HD w/ Optical (Osi do you feel better now)

16MM: Bell & Howell slot load 2580 X 4
16MM: Bell & Howell autoload 2592 X 2

I also have a pair of Elmo ST 1200 D /w optical X 2 and a pair of Elmo ST 1200 HD Magnetic only.

I also have one Bell & Howell 600Z super 8 sound machine. Runs OK but I do not like the bulb (DJL 15 hour @ $35.00 each)

As to why I have so many machines, I am both a projector collector, but I also run with changeover. I'm so addicted to quality film projection, I do not run unless I can continue the show without a break to change reels. When I run for a guest and it is a complete feature program, either I run with changeover or I do NOT run.

Now that's just how I do things at my location. Intermissions are fine when I go to other home cinemas that use film projection.

I've seen the Armchair Odeon films recently, and I think you lads over there in the UK have done really well with some of your cinemas that I have seen.

So no matter how we choose to run, it's all good, and just soooooo much fun [Big Grin]
Posted by Trevor Adams (Member # 42) on May 07, 2008, 05:47 PM:
Nicest projector I've owned was a Bauer T610-don't have it now though. [Frown] Trev
Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on May 07, 2008, 05:52 PM:
Chip ...

No I don't dammit!!

Oh well, in the words of that great intellectual of the feminine side, Snow White ...

" Someday my GS will come ..."
Posted by Paul Adsett (Member # 25) on May 07, 2008, 06:05 PM:
My two favourites are the Elmo GS1200 Stereo and the Eumig 938 Stereo. Both projectors are superb in their own way, with each having particular strong points.
The GS1200, fitted with a 2-blade shutter and an Elmo f1.0 lens, gives the brightest picture and a 1 hour run time. (Unlike Chip, I do not run a changeover, but I admire him for his insistance on running his own home theater to professional presentation standards using his 'Tower' reeling system.)
The Eumig 938 only has 800ft capacity, but it gives the best stereo sound quality and, when fitted with the Kodak f1.0 fixed focal length (non-zoom) lens, the sharpest picture and the best contrast picture compared to the GS. It also, in my opinion, has by far the best recording control arrangement, with that superb outboard mixing console. It's also utterly reliable and hassle free, extremely quiet and smooth running, with rock steady projection, and very very kind to film.
Now if only Elmo and Eumig had got together and created the Elmig! [Big Grin]

Posted by Jean-Marc Toussaint (Member # 270) on May 08, 2008, 01:05 AM:
GS1200, no doubt. I have a version 1 for regular use and retracking plus a P-Xenon (no recording capacities) for shows.
I'm getting a Dolby processor for my 35mm installation, and I'm kind of eager of trying to plug the Elmo to check how it sounds...
Posted by John Clancy (Member # 49) on May 08, 2008, 02:27 AM:
It has to be the new projector from Gakken. Just wish we could buy them over here!!!

Anyone speak Japanese?
Posted by Maurice Leakey (Member # 916) on May 08, 2008, 04:46 AM:
Perforate your own film?

Sorry, John. It doesn't count.
Posted by John Clancy (Member # 49) on May 09, 2008, 03:10 AM:
Where does it say that Maurice? My Japanese can't be as good as yours.

In 'smallformat' however, there is are photos of the machine running a Super 8 film. The cost is 50Euros or $77. I want one!

Of course, the best projectors are Elmo GS1200's and the top of the range Fumeo's. The Bauer's are nice machines and as you say quiet but they're a bit of a compromise compared to the best produced by Elmo and Fumeo. The Beaulieu is excellent but not quite in the same league.
Posted by Maurice Leakey (Member # 916) on May 09, 2008, 03:51 AM:
Look at item number 3 at the bottom of the Gakken page It seems to show clearly that the film is being perforated by a hand-held punch, making the film look like 9.5mm. Perhaps this is not what you saw in "Small Format."

I have two GS-1200 and consider them very over-rated. They cost me a lot of money and will require more money spent to bring them up to full working order. They must have been worked to death, and then left to stagnate in storage and not used.

Perhaps I'll change my mind when they have both been returned from service.
Posted by John Clancy (Member # 49) on May 10, 2008, 05:40 AM:
Definitely Super 8 in 'smallformat'. Perhaps there is more than one version. Makes you wonder where we'd be without that magazine nowadays as it's such a good source of information for all things cine.

The GS1200 can be a real pig once it starts playing up. But, and it's a big but, just about everything is still available or being remanufactured to keep them going. Once they're in good working order they are an absolute pleasure to use. My HTI machine underwent a major 'Bill Parsons' restoration during the HTI conversion and just goes to show that even the most cream crackered GS can be saved.
Posted by Kevin Faulkner (Member # 6) on May 10, 2008, 05:47 AM:
I agree with John. I have resurrected the most knackered of GS's and bought them right up to scratch. No pun intended [Big Grin]

Posted by Alan Rik (Member # 73) on May 10, 2008, 10:55 AM:
I think there are some machines that may have a better picture, some have better sound, and some are quieter. But when you get one that is running the way that its supposed to..they are the best machines available. Great light, Sync recording, great picture, awesome sound when hooked up to an AV system, its the only machine that does it all. I will never sell mine...maybe I'll get a spare!
Posted by Claus Harding (Member # 702) on May 10, 2008, 12:21 PM:
My ST1200D. High-end enough without the headaches I hear about with its big brother, and now equipped with the 1.1 Elmo lens, that's the one I am staying with (until a GS1200 suddenly beckons from EBay....nonono [Big Grin] )

The other one I enjoy is the Bolex M8. Despite the amazing noise level from the blower and the enormous old-fashioned bulbs, the picture quality and the variable speed makes showing silents very nice. With my long-play tower, I am not constrained by the relatively small reel capacity of the M8, so with that shortcoming out of the way, it makes for fun viewing.

Posted by Jan Bister (Member # 332) on May 10, 2008, 09:23 PM:
To go slightly off-topic... I think my absolute dream machine (which I don't have) is the Braun Visacustic 2000 digital.

Killer picture and sound, lamp-side pressure plate, decent 800ft reel capacity... God, I'd toss my Sankyo 800 in the trash to get me one of those. [Roll Eyes]
Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on May 10, 2008, 11:51 PM:
Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on May 10, 2008, 11:52 PM:

Posted by Jim Carlile (Member # 812) on May 11, 2008, 04:04 AM:
Don't laugh-- a Revere 85. Pure form and function.
Posted by Jan Bister (Member # 332) on May 11, 2008, 11:02 AM:
Osi, I take it that double post was meant to be an edit. [Wink] And hey, the "digital" is just in the name... it was the 80s when it was a brandnew buzzword and manufacturers slapped it on every product that was even remotely electronic in nature. [Smile]

BTW, a Revere 85? Interesting choice. I like it...
Posted by Mike Peckham (Member # 16) on May 14, 2008, 09:15 AM:
As I mentioned in another post, I have rationalised my projector collection to just four; 2 x GS1200s and 2 x Sankyo Stereo 800s. There are several reasons I have ended up with these two models, not least is that I can’t choose between them.

The three real advantages (for me) of the Elmo over the Sankyo are that it has 1200ft reel capacity, synch pulse facility and optical sound capability, otherwise the Sankyo would win out in terms of portability, simplicity and reliability.

Both machines are capable of adequately filling a big screen with a bright stable picture and both can provide booming sound over a wide frequency range.

I have often read, not least on this forum, that the GS 1200 can be a temperamental beast and its advanced but now dated electronics can be a minefield of problems when they start to go wrong. I have been lucky with mine in that other than the dirty recording switch problem and the Faulkener Capacitor replacement upgrade, neither has given me any trouble despite many Saturday evening film shows in the nineties at a local resource centre, countless home shows for family and friends and literally miles of film going through them.

The GS has also been used for a lot of stop start recording using the pulse synch facility, for both re-recording commercial releases using Pedros box and adding synch sound to home movies filmed with my Elmo 110R camera. Touching wood, it still fires up every time it’s plugged in and purrs away beautifully making me very proud in my ownership, particularly when it is surrounded by a cluster of small boys looking on in fascination with their equally awe struck Dads looking over their shoulders (neither paying any interest in what’s on the screen but fascinated by the mechanics of the process).

The Sankyos on the other hand have a whole other appeal to them; firstly they are great to look at, kind of sleek and sexy looking and surprisingly modern in appearance. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, I have never had a Sankyo scratch or otherwise damage a film. The film path is accessible, the mechanics are rugged and well designed and the controls are adequate without unnecessary complications. Both my Sankyos run with the Hi-Pro F1:1.0 lens which is super sharp and bright, and for the most part, unless I’m doing a big screen presentation, the economy lamp setting is more than adequate. They are rugged and compact and fit nicely into their carry cases, which make them very portable.

Hmmm… so if I had to choose just one, which would it be?

I guess it would have to be the Elmo, purely because I have so many films with optical sound tracks and I do make use of the pulse synch facility. If it weren’t for those two points and the fact that mine have never let me down or become problematic, I would go for the Sankyos.

Mike [Cool]
Posted by Dan Lail (Member # 18) on May 14, 2008, 11:04 AM:
Paul! Love the Elmig thing. [Eek!] Remember the Upig post years ago.

Alan! Maybe the naked Indian has popcorn. [Big Grin]

I'm sure there are other projectors I would like, but I have only had experience with Elmos , Chinons, Bell & Howells, and Eumigs. Eumigs are great, but the GS-1200 wins. [Smile]
Posted by Gary Crawford (Member # 67) on May 14, 2008, 11:37 AM:
I have to agree with Claus....I prefer the St1200hd's as the most useful, trouble free and high performance machines. I don't have a GS1200 and if I did, I might be singing a different song, but I've heard so many sad sad ballads by folks who own GS1200's...that developed problem after problem after problem....and were in the shop more than on the projector stand.
Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on May 14, 2008, 08:38 PM:
What projector is my favorite?

ONE THAT WORKS!! ($@#*&!!!!)
Posted by Graham Ritchie (Member # 559) on May 15, 2008, 12:16 AM:
Osi,..does that mean you have just bought an..."Elmo" [Cool] ...... [Smile]
Posted by Jan Bister (Member # 332) on May 15, 2008, 10:03 AM:
I think if all the GS1200 units out there each came with their own Mr. Elmo included, their reputation would be flawless. [Big Grin]

Time they get human cloning sorted out before Kevin is getting too old [Wink] (no offense, not saying you ARE old) [Smile]
Posted by Kevin Faulkner (Member # 6) on May 15, 2008, 11:07 AM:
Lol [Big Grin]

Posted by James N. Savage 3 (Member # 83) on May 15, 2008, 12:42 PM:
I have always liked my Sankyo ST-800's, with the 1.0 lens.

But my favorite now is the Bauer T-610. I've never had such a smooth running projector. And that sharp focus and stereo sound is top of the line.

Note: I've never owned or operated an Elmo 1200GS, so, my opinion could change once I have.

Posted by John Clancy (Member # 49) on May 16, 2008, 02:43 AM:
I think I'm going to get a Sankyo!
Posted by Simon McConway (Member # 219) on May 16, 2008, 03:56 AM:
Mine is the Tower projector for Super 6 film. It has a car headlamp bulb for the lamp and is entirely made from plastic. It has only one switch...on/off, taking 200' spools and no bigger. I paid £900 for this from a dealer (well, it was in it's original box) plus £25 for post (though the stamps only came to £5). A good deal I feel? I got this from the same dealer who sells projector lamps at £49. An absolute disgrace. But, this kind of thing happens.
Posted by David Pannell (Member # 300) on May 16, 2008, 03:59 AM:
You should have kept quiet, Simon.

Now we'll all want one!!
Posted by Maurice Leakey (Member # 916) on May 16, 2008, 05:03 AM:

Sankyos are excellent projectors, I've got the Stereo 800, 702 and the 700 and am pleased with them all.

I've just added a 600 bought on eBay for £53. It is in pristine condition other than the drive belt being perished. The seller has reimbursed my cost for a new belt and I am a happy bunny.

Prices do seem to vary, Phil Johnson of Texas City was recently offering a Sankyo 600 for $699, with no discount available. It was complete with all accessories and instruction book in the box, and described as near mint condition.

That was on the 5th May, but I've just checked the web-site and it is no longer being advertised. Did it really sell for $699?

A question for our American friends. Are projectors so much more expensive in your country than here in the UK?
Posted by James N. Savage 3 (Member # 83) on May 16, 2008, 07:19 AM:
Yes, Phil Johnson charges top dollar for his merchandise.

The thing about him is, he only sells stuff thats in MINT condition. So you are basically paying for worry-free merchandise. I have bought several films from him. He's fast and efficiant, and quality is always like-new.

And his merchandise does sell. I remember that he had a couple of ELMO GS-1200's for sale last year. He was selling them together, only as a pair [Confused] , and was charging something like $5,000 dollars for the two of them [Eek!] !

But, they are gone now, so, I guess they sold.

Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on May 16, 2008, 09:19 AM:
I think it's more of a "pop phase" over here, as Super 8 is having a slight revival with either young people making experimental film, or people trying to recapture thier youth, (that last comment is striking WAY to close to home.)

That, and one lucky son of a B getting a heck of a lot for his projector, and then many other ebay sellers getting on the bandwagon, trying to sell thier pece O junk for the same amount, and failing miserably, but in the meantime, there is a sudden spike in prices that goes away after a little bit.
Posted by Ricky Daniels (Member # 95) on October 10, 2009, 11:32 AM:

Finally your dream may have come true as you can buy the GAKKEN Reflective Projector from the USA and literally 'make' your own films!

And there's also a 3D STEREOSCOPIC Pinhole Camera for Paul Tivy!

...and also the 8mm Hand Cranked Gakken Projector direct from Japan!


Rick [Smile]
Posted by Thomas Murin, Jr. (Member # 1745) on October 10, 2009, 10:22 PM:
About 2 weeks ago, I bought a Bell & Howell DCM from Phil Johnson. I cost me $1,100. It has been worth every. single. penny.

It runs beautifully, projects a big, bright, clear, rock steady image and is pretty much the best re-introduction to Super 8 I could've had.

Compare that to the GAF projector I got from ebay about a week before I went to Phil. The "bridge" connecting the back feet was broken, as was the control knob which I fixed with tape. It would not thread every movie, would only project a small, jittery image and the motor was clearly on it's last legs. That's what I got for $75.

After that, I was more than willing to pay for quality. I still feel burned by the GAF but the B&H is helping ease the pain. [Smile]
Posted by Gian Luca Mario Loncrini (Member # 1417) on October 11, 2009, 02:19 AM:
Ugo's GS 1200 Xenon 'Blue Series' will be soon my favorite [Big Grin] !
Posted by Damien Taylor (Member # 1337) on October 11, 2009, 05:18 AM:
Wrong thread sorry...
Posted by Bill Phelps (Member # 1431) on October 11, 2009, 06:38 PM:
I have many projectors and most of them would be considered mid to low end. I have never owned a Sankyo, Bauer or Eumig. I do have two ELMO's. An ST-1200D and a ST-1200HD M/O.

The HD has a few little hang-ups and I haven't had it to long so I have not used it to it's full potential. However, my D I have had for about 2 years and I love it. It throws a beautiful picture, built like a tank, large reel capacity plus I really like having easy access to the film path. The speaker inside does not work but I run the sound through an amp and it sounds great! (depending on what I'm showing)

So for me it is the ELMO ST-1200D...until I get the HD running....


Visit for free equipment manual downloads. Copyright 2003-2019 Film-Tech Cinema Systems LLC

Powered by Infopop Corporation