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Author Topic: Lens Question - Bell & Howell
Brannon Carty
Film Handler

Posts: 29
From: North Carolina
Registered: May 2011

 - posted May 21, 2012 07:10 PM      Profile for Brannon Carty   Email Brannon Carty   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have a Bell & Howell Filmosound 500 16mm projector. I've read different lenses project bigger images, which is what I need. My current one produces rather small images.

Here is my current lens:
76mm (3in) f/1.6

What do you all recommend to get a bigger image?

The Young Film Nerd.

Model Owned: B&H Filmosound 550

"You're gonna need a bigger boat." - JAWS (1975)

Films Owned: Killer Fish

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Thor Andre Karlsen
Film Handler

Posts: 50
From: Fredrikstad, Norway
Registered: Apr 2012

 - posted May 22, 2012 03:39 PM      Profile for Thor Andre Karlsen   Email Thor Andre Karlsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A 3" lens like that one will give a 15" wide picture at 10 feet, while a 2" lens would give a 23" picture, and a 1,5" lens will give a 30" picture.

The most common lens is usually the 2", the 3" and 1,5" is also quite common, 1" and 0,635" is a bit more unusual.

The "f/1.6" tells you how much light passes the lens, lower numbers are better, an f/1.2 lens is much better for example than a f/1.6, something to think about when buying a lens.

There are also zoom lenses!

Here are a chart for calculating the picture size for each lens size: http://paulivester.com/films/projector/throw.htm

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Wayne Tuell
Master Film Handler

Posts: 488
From: Minden, NV
Registered: Jul 2009

 - posted May 23, 2012 08:40 PM      Profile for Wayne Tuell   Author's Homepage   Email Wayne Tuell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Paul Ivester's chart is pretty good tool for getting in the ball park with a lens or lenses.

I may have a couple spare 2" lenses if that size fits your needs. Also, a 1.6 lens is good to have on hand if you have a dupe that is a bit washed out or tad bright in scenes. Less light = better image on screen for the rare occasion of a not so good print.


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Bill Brandenstein
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1632
From: California
Registered: Aug 2007

 - posted May 24, 2012 12:15 AM      Profile for Bill Brandenstein   Email Bill Brandenstein   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
76mm = tiny image! I definitely have some 50mm spares if you don't, Wayne.

Of course, for an even bigger image, go with 32mm or any other shorter focal lenth. But those lenses are harder to find and have held their value better.

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Pasquale DAlessio
Film God

Posts: 3523
From: Bristol,RI, USA
Registered: May 2010

 - posted May 24, 2012 07:40 AM      Profile for Pasquale DAlessio     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 

Great chart. Thanks for the link!


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