posted February 20, 2019 03:50 PM
One of the problems with the 8mm gauges is the huge amount of magnification needed to fill a screen at a short distance, plus to preserve enough light to see it well. Any lens with a low f-stop value will preserve the light but usually at the expense of a bit of sharpness. And any lens with a short focal length (or a zoom lens at maximum magnification) will push more sharpness out the window. Worse, any misalignment at the film gate, or film curling, will be grossly magnified on screen.
The solution is to get the best lens you can find that fits your projector, and to back away from the screen so you can use a longer focal length.
I was astonished several weeks ago to run an old standard 8mm film in a friend's home and see how sharp it was, which was not how I'd remembered that reel. The difference? The throw was so long that I had to twirl the zoom lens on an Eumig 810D down to the minimum.
posted February 20, 2019 04:09 PM
In 40 years of collecting i dont think ive ever had a problem with soft corners when projecting. I agree you need to be back far enough from the screen, i also never use a zoom lens on its largest setting as,(in my opinion),you lose a lot of contrast. You obviously need a good lens but you also need a good projector of which there are many. and lots of them well documented on here and other places.
Bill, standard 8 has always produced excellent sharp images. some of our sharpest Laural and Hardys have been on standard 8. Many years ago we a full feature called Great day in the Morning with Robert Stack and Raymond Burr, the image was out of this world, as good as anything Derann put out over the years
posted February 21, 2019 10:56 AM
Projectors with rear sprung pressure plates produce very sharp corners: Beaulieu 708, Braun Visacustic 1000 and 2000 for example. I'm very pleased with the picture of my Elmo ST 1200 (with a Schneider 1.1 lens), but the corners of films projected with the Braun Visacustic are much sharper.
From: Elkins Park, PA, USA
Registered: Jun 2012
posted February 21, 2019 11:04 AM
Don't forget you can adjust your corners for sharpness on the Elmo's ! I think the Elmo's have excellent edge to edge sharpness! It all depends on the lens and the lens adjustment!
posted February 21, 2019 12:14 PM
@Leon Norris: Yes, I adjusted the lens with the little screw and I'm very happy with the sharpness of my Elmo (and I'm using a black masking because I don't like round corners). I may be wrong, but I still think that the sharpess of Beaulieu and Visacustic machines is unique due to the pressure plates. The picture is cropped on all sides by very sharp lines. On most projectors I know you can either focus on the film or the film gate (if the film is sharp, the black lines around the picture get a little soft). With Beaulieu and Visacustic machines, film and film gate seem to be in the same "level". Maybe I'm wrong, but I always thought this has something to do with the rear pressure plates.
From: Williamsport, PA, USA
Registered: Oct 2016
posted February 21, 2019 07:29 PM
My Elmo FP8-C projector came with a terrible zoom lens that had fogging issues. Once I fitted that machine with a Bolex "hifi" 1.3 prime lens the difference was night and day. Sharp from edge to edge with great contrast and color. I also fitted my Sankyo 2000H with a Bolex "hifi" 1.3 zoom and that improved the sharpness. The Elmo is still my go to machine because of the 150 watt bulb. 100 watt versus 150 watt is also night and day. That extra light makes all the difference, as does the Bolex prime lens.