This is topic 16mm Projector in forum 16mm Forum at 8mm Forum.

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Posted by Clive Casey (Member # 6202) on July 01, 2018, 10:11 AM:
Hi everyone, I am looking for recommendations for a good reliable 16mm projector. I used to be a projectionist so know a fair bit about film and projectors, and I had a B&H 631 about 45 years ago. I expect things have changed a fair bit since then so any recommendations would be gratefully received. I am looking to spend in the region of £300 give or take a bit.
Regards, Clive Casey
Posted by Chris Bird (Member # 3839) on July 01, 2018, 12:34 PM:
Hi Clive, just to alert you to the fact that I’m selling a B+H 655 at the moment with a new worm gear, all serviced and with various upgrades, for half your budget. It’s in the 16mm equipment for sale forum.

Obviously see what suggestions other people make, but personally I’m a big fan of Bell and Howells.
Posted by Maurice Leakey (Member # 916) on July 01, 2018, 01:55 PM:
A good bargain from a trusted Forum member.

This was sold by Kevin Brown of Nottingham, an excellent engineer who has looked after the servicing of my many projectors for over ten years.

My favourite 16mm projectors are Bell & Howell, but, as most people know, do have trouble in later years with defective worm gears. This projector has had a new one fitted by Kevin and should last now for many years.

I would recommend this purchase.
Posted by Clive Casey (Member # 6202) on July 01, 2018, 02:14 PM:
Hi Chris, Thanks for the reply, I had seen your post and like the look of the projector, especially the fact that it has had a new worm gear. The down side is, it is collection only, but all food for thought. Many thanks,
Posted by Chris Bird (Member # 3839) on July 01, 2018, 02:23 PM:
Quite understand, Clive. If you do decide to make the journey, I have a few 16mm sound films I can throw in for free. Good luck with the search!
Posted by Clive Casey (Member # 6202) on July 01, 2018, 02:54 PM:
Thanks for the input Maurice, and thanks for the kind offer Chris. I am in France at the moment, back in the UK in just over a week, but thought I would test the water. Once I get an idea in my head, it’s hard to get rid of it. Even though I think digital is amazing, there is nothing like film. I still remember my school days, 50 years ago, when the science teacher used to show 16mm films at lunch times. They were made by BP and Essie and the likes of Ford Motors. But I think it was the whir of the projector that I loved. The one day the geography teacher snapped a film and didn’t know what to do.Another pupil said to the teacher, oh, Clive will fix it for you. So I was sent for, and he said, please can you fix it? So I took it home, spliced it, and took it back to school the next day, the look of relief on the teachers face, was a picture. Oh how I miss those days, but then I must just be a silly old fool. Regards to all silly old fools like me.
Posted by David Guest (Member # 2791) on July 01, 2018, 06:18 PM:
hi clive give me a ring I have plenty in stock all fully serviced and in very good condition and I carry spares if you should ever need any bell and howells and all models of elf I can post tel 07931 926550
Posted by Clive Casey (Member # 6202) on July 02, 2018, 04:03 AM:
Hi David, I am looking for ideas as to which projector to buy and which people think are good and reliable.
Posted by Maurice Leakey (Member # 916) on July 02, 2018, 04:46 AM:
It's not just a question of good and reliable. The Bell & Howells, Eiki/Elf, Elmos and Rank Aldis (Bauer) fit the description.
But, really it is now at this time in the late years of their lives is the availability of spare parts to keep them going.
Probably a Bell & Howell fits this bill best of all, but it must have a new worm fairly recently fitted.
Some projector lamps are now becoming rare and expensive, therefore a projector which uses the readily available 250 watt ELC lamp is to be preferred.
This is why Chris' projector is a good buy at his asking price.
Posted by Clive Casey (Member # 6202) on July 02, 2018, 05:22 AM:
Hi Maurice, Thanks for the advise. I do like the look of Chris’s machine, and the fact that it has a new worm gear fitted and other mods. The biggest stumbling point, I live near the Lake District and it is quite a trek down to London. But like I said to Chris, it’s food for thought, and who knows, London could be blessed with my presence in the near future.
Posted by Chris Bird (Member # 3839) on July 02, 2018, 11:48 AM:
My TQ1 is now on hold for Kevin Brown himself. Provided we can work out collection, it’s his.
Posted by David Guest (Member # 2791) on July 02, 2018, 01:34 PM:
bell and howells are the best but worm gear can be a problem and if they have new ones fitted its usually a non animation gear .when bell and seized trading my father bought all there spares he had over 200 genuine worm gears but as years have passed on I only have a few left now .re elf these are easily repaired and seldom go wrong and can be easily sorted I have all the models from auto and manual thread .rt 1 nt range snt slot loaders and the last ones made snt if you ring me I can talk you through the difference I am also not to far away about 50 miles or maybe less where I can give you a demo before money changes hands
Posted by Clive Casey (Member # 6202) on July 02, 2018, 03:19 PM:
Ok Chris, many thanks
Posted by Rob Koeling (Member # 35) on July 03, 2018, 04:50 AM:
Hi Clive,

I've always been partial to Eiki/Elf machines myself. My main machine is an Eiki SSL (slotloader) and use an Elmo Xenon slotloader when I need the extra light (I like SlotLoad machines). My spare Eiki has been gathering dust for the last 2 years or so, so I would be happy to move it on to a good home. It is an SNT-1 (so the latest series of very compact machines; auto-loader). I paid £225 for it, and would like to get something near that for it. It is a great machine and is fully guaranteed. I'm happy to double-box it and send it.
Let me know!

- Rob
Posted by Maurice Leakey (Member # 916) on July 03, 2018, 07:52 AM:
I have an Eiki SNT-1 and can thoroughly recommend it. It's a modern projector and there's no problem with worms on these projectors, also it uses the modern ELC lamp.
Posted by Winbert Hutahaean (Member # 58) on July 03, 2018, 12:59 PM:
Although I am not into 16mm, but for me (I own 2) Elmo 16CL is simple and reliable.

Posted by Tom Photiou (Member # 130) on July 03, 2018, 04:20 PM:
Reading this post has now made me decide i would like to get myself an Eiki SNT, thanks lads, [Wink]
Posted by Maurice Leakey (Member # 916) on July 04, 2018, 02:23 AM:
The Elmo 16-CL is a useful slot-loading projector, but there could be a problem with the availability of spare parts, moreover, early models had problems with their take-up and a new belt system was introduced.
To check if this is in place, remove the side cover of the take -up arm and look at the belt. The modern belt should be toothed. If not, reject any purchase.
Another thing is the main control knob. This performs many actions with various linkages, if only one of these is out of adjustment the simple treading system will fail.
Posted by Graham Ritchie (Member # 559) on July 04, 2018, 03:10 AM:
Although I have a couple of nice Eiki projectors I never use them "only as a back up" I bought this B/H slot loader second hand back in 1996 and use it all the time, never in the 22 years has it given me any problems.

The big let down with the Eiki is its two claw pull down. The B/H has three and as such is much more forgiving with older films in less than good condition. It has to be real bad to loose the loop, compared with the Eiki and other two claw projectors. [Smile] as you might tell I am.. and still is a bit one eyed towards B/H [Smile]
Posted by Maurice Leakey (Member # 916) on July 04, 2018, 04:55 AM:
When Bell & Howells get older so do their worm gears. You have been lucky, so far. [Smile]
Whilst I agree that the Eiki/Elf have a twin claw they do have a very efficient loop former which has never given me any trouble.
When I buy new films I always spend time with them on the rewind bench to ensure they are in perfect running condition, if not, they are repaired as necessary.

[ July 04, 2018, 11:05 AM: Message edited by: Maurice Leakey ]
Posted by Phil Murat (Member # 5148) on July 04, 2018, 01:53 PM:
Hi Clive,

If you are still in France, take the oppornity to check "adverts", there are some 16mm machines for a very reasonnable price and pretty good condition (few hours accumulated), many Elmos often and Eikis too....

Best Regards

Posted by Barry Fritz (Member # 1865) on July 04, 2018, 07:32 PM:
The Elmo 16-CL is known to have rubber rollers that turn to goo. Replacements are available but cost about $100.00.
Posted by Terry Sills (Member # 3309) on July 05, 2018, 02:13 AM:
Graham's experience of 22yrs of trouble free use of his Bell&Howell has to be more than luck. I am of the opinion that poor storage conditions are the most likely cause of the worm gear failure. Hot and cold - expansion and contraction - not good for a nylon sleeve fitted on a steel base. They have different coefficients of expansion.
I have a 1698 and like Graham, I have had it for over 20 years, with no problem whatsoever, so I don't see that it can be luck.
Likewise I favour the TQ3 over its competitors and even if the worm gear failed, I would certainly get Kevin to do the repair. It would be money well spent.
Posted by Rob Koeling (Member # 35) on July 05, 2018, 04:43 AM:
I would say that any of these late, high-end model machines are good and they all have their own little plusses and minuses.

Barry, you mention the rollers. It is true, you have to change them before they go to goo, otherwise you have a problem. But, it only happens ones in every 30 years or so and you can easily do it yourself.
The Eiki's have this rubber in the lens assembly that deteriorates and needs to be replaced at some point. Again, a minor repair. We are lucky that there are still relatively large numbers of these machines around and there is a wealth of knowledge to share to do most of these simple repairs ourselves. I am worried about the more complicated repairs, like the worm gear replacement and things like adjustment of claw and/or shutter timing. The number of people who are comfortable doing that is getting smaller.

I suppose preference is partly based on what you came across first. My first contact with 16mm projectors was in a film society where we used Eiki SL's. Those machines ran for at least 15 years, at least 5 hours a week, without any issues. They became (mostly) obsolete when we acquired a 35mm machine 25 years ago, but I am sure that we can pull the Eiki's out of the cupboard and (after a bit of a clean) threat a film and go.
I've mostly had Eiki's for myself since. I have had a Bauer, a B&H, and several Elmo CL's, but always an Eiki as my main machine.

- Rob
Posted by James Wilson (Member # 4620) on July 05, 2018, 05:56 AM:

I have two Rank Aldis 16mm projectors
which have served me well, these would be my recommendations.
Posted by Maurice Leakey (Member # 916) on July 05, 2018, 09:52 AM:
Only the later model of the Rank Aldis uses the ELC lamp, the earlier model uses the small A1/223 lamp. It is true that this lamp is available at a reasonable price but often needs adjustment when changed, and it also relies on the separate mirror of the projector.
Posted by Neil Massey (Member # 5081) on July 05, 2018, 01:53 PM:
I've had an Eiki NT2 which has given sterling service for 30 years. I like their excellent light output, the ability to thread it manually as well as unthreading part way through a reel, very easily and quickly. Parts are still plentiful and to my ears, I think they have the edge sound quality wise compared to the B & H TQ3s I've owned. That said, the Bell and Howell triple claw is an advantage in dealing with damaged prints. I am awaiting a TQ1 655 from Kevin Brown this week to try out. I like the really solid feel of them (worm gear issues aside) - and I remember them from school in the 70s!
Posted by Tom Photiou (Member # 130) on July 05, 2018, 02:58 PM:
Where are all these elf spares i keep hearing about? I dont seem to be able to find any. I've asked two or three times for items but dont get a reply or its a no [Confused]
Posted by Chris Bird (Member # 3839) on July 05, 2018, 03:31 PM:
I used TQ1s and TQ3s at the two film societies I ran as a student, and owned an Elf myself. I did prefer the B+Hs, worm issue aside. B+Hs are certainly more forgiving with damaged and shrunk prints. Some of my prints are 90 years old, so for me personally it's a concern, though wouldn't' be for most other collectors.

A repair man friend of mine pointed out a couple of defects with Elfs which many seem unaware of: the claw goes in to the perforations at an angle, not completely straight (one cam instead of two or something like that - I'm outside my sphere of knowledge here). Also, the sound roller rubs on the emulsion side of prints, not the base side as with B+Hs. For these reasons, my friend won't go near Elfs.

That said, I've always thought the late model, gold, slimline models look gorgeous, though never owned one.

Out of interest, I never owned a green B+H - I know they are older and use the older lamps, but are there other plusses and minuses?
Posted by David Guest (Member # 2791) on July 05, 2018, 05:33 PM:
the best projector in my opinion is the tq1 644 optical and magnetic playback and record manual thread and a 25 watt amp I have 4 of these and never had any isuues with the gears and ran them loads of times I also like the 655 to I have absome of them as well my father use to say if you take of the back of a bell and howell you can see a well engineered machine .take the back of an elf and it looks like it been made at chris comments re green bell and howells not a bad machine I have a few of these for sale cheep and working and plenty of lamps to
Posted by Adrian Winchester (Member # 248) on July 06, 2018, 09:43 PM:
Tom - I'm afraid the bad news, particularly for you, is that at least until 2006, an official Eiki spares and service agent used to be in Plymouth! This was Projex, who I obtained a number of spares and belts from, and most were already in stock. They also had spares for B&H, etc. Unfortunately, Bob Halls who ran it, had some health issues, which seemed to cause the company to shut down, but I never heard of anyone obtaining the stock, so I've always wondered if it might still be there. I believe the address was 39 Abney Crescent, Roborough PL6 6LH, so if you're passing sometime, you might like to see if anyone is there and knows what happened to all the projector spares!

As for current sources, I believe CHC and David Guest have some. If you're willing to order from the USA, the one agent I'm aware of who can still order certain items from Japan is forum member Richard Patchett, who provides a very good service. You can see what he has in stock via his website:
Posted by Tom Photiou (Member # 130) on July 07, 2018, 02:26 AM:
Thank Adrian, very useful info, i remember Bob Halls very well, i think i may pop a letter in the door and enclose my phone number and and stamped envelope to see what i can find out. thanks for that. [Wink]
Posted by Clive Casey (Member # 6202) on July 07, 2018, 09:29 AM:
Hi everyone,So it looks as if you pay your money and take your chance. I guess when you get electronics that are decades old, something has to go pop. Thanks to everyone for their input, I still have to make a decision, watch this space.
Regards,. Clive
Posted by Adrian Winchester (Member # 248) on July 07, 2018, 06:16 PM:
Clive - I think this is very subjective because we all differ in terms of what makes we have found to be impressive and reliable. I personally like and use 'last generation' Eikis (which include the ENT/SNT/ESL/SSL models) but I'd have to acknowledge that Eikis can be 'hit and miss' in terms of how well put together they are, and even a like new, hardly used one may need one or two minor issues fixed. However, one advantage they can have over most projectors is that if you're lucky, you may find a relatively 'young' one, as the above models were available new until at least 2003. In fact one problem I've never had with an Eiki is anything 'going pop'!
Posted by Maurice Leakey (Member # 916) on July 08, 2018, 02:48 AM:
Adrian makes a good point.
I have an Elf price list dated Nov 1992 - Apl 1993 and the SSL-1 and the SNT-1 were priced at £1353.80 and £1387.70 respectively.
The former is the slot loader, and the latter is the auto-thread.
When Bell & Howell packed up their very last models (in the 3000 range) were made by Eiki (Elf in UK) and badged as Bell & Howell.

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