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Super 8mm Projector suggestions / comparisons

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  • Super 8mm Projector suggestions / comparisons

    I am wanting to upgrade to a Super 8mm SOUND projector and collect some sound films to go along with my SILENT films. I don't need a lot of flashiness - the simpler the build the better - I don't need stereo - most of what I am interested in will be MONO. I would like decent sound though and a projector that runs a bit quite than others. I also would like it to be easy on the film and not produce more wear than necessary. USA compatible.

    I have looked on the forum and - although leaning towards an ELMO - I see a thread that talks about the drawbacks of the different ELMO models, gate and claw issues, wear on film, etc. This after thinking the Elmo ST 180 2 track (although I don't need 2 track - I don't think...).

    I am interested in any good entry or mid level projector. I don't want the dual gauge as that sounds like more parts to keep up with. So looking at some of the brands I see listed on eBay - can anyone make suggestions and perhaps what to avoid when it comes to these brands -- which brands are most reliable etc. etc.


    I know there are more but these are one is see with model numbers all over the place. I don't think I will need more than 600' capacity - mostly will be 200' or 400' digests i suspect.


  • #2
    Those are all good makes. Drive belts would certainly need replacing. Seeing as now everything is over 40 years old its more about the condition of the item. So many sellers on Ebay think that a projector thats been housed in a garden shed for 30 years in a pool of rusty water is worth more than a bar of gold!


    • #3

      Try looking for a Sankyo model , the 501 is a good reliable machine and would suit your needs, the Bauer range also is worth considering, nice quiet runners and 150w lamps, kind on film also.

      Eumig 900 series are good too, again quiet and perform well, the disc system that basically runs the machine can need some cleaning/maintenance on a machine that's been standing a while but not the end of the world, stay away from the twin coaxial machines.Check soundheads for wear.

      Ref Elmo machines, providing the film guides are all good then scratching will be avoided, it's like any well run machine things do wear, also ease of use on them, they probably are the easiest machines to remove a film half way through, swing out gate for cleaning and good access to other parts for cleaning.

      I have Sankyo,Chinon, Bauer and Elmo machines and see good and bad points with all of them, I've owned Eumigs but dont currently own one and found them good though.



      • #4
        Hi Philip, I`d alway`s chip in that a nice Elmo 600 is a good starting point and a machine you could enjoy and Keep for any years.

        ST180 ST600 ST600DM all twin track machines, or even the single track ST160 to get going.

        But any version would likely quite quickly need a £40 top up of of the first inlet shute from Edwin at Van Eck, but then superb.

        Very good light and picture for a 600 too, especially with a decent quilty 1.1 lens in, plus the larger picture close up with the 1.1 12.5mm.

        Also as Mark says unloading is a breeze on Elmo`s.

        Also they have The Zing Factor in Heaps.

        Best Mark.


        • #5
          I have an Elmo ST-180 and it’s great for basic Super 8 sound projection. Super easy to change the belts on too.


          • #6
            I don't know if Noris was ever sold in your area but they do have some solid super 8 sound projectors. an even if i am a big Eumig fan, if you want a superb sound projector, elmo, st600 (good and affordable) or 1200( good and expensive). great projectors


            • #7
              As you can see, everybody has their favourites.

              Certainly, my choice of projectors for normal presentations are the Sankyo 501 / 700 and 702 plus the Bell and Howell DCR range which is a Sankyo with another name. You certainly would not go wrong with any of those. However, check out the rest and draw your own conclusions, but, for goodness sake AVOID Cinerex / Imac and Royale. Plastic TOYS !


              • #8
                Thanks everyone! I notice no love for CHINON so far or B&H for that matter. Currently watching an ELMO ST 180 2 track New old Stock on eBay that might be a candidate.


                • #9
                  Great Machine Philip.

                  If you do, hope its a good un.

                  Best Mark.


                  • #10
                    I couldn't recommend a Chinon Philip that filled your requirements but I do own a Chinon SS1200 stereo machine that has been a great machine, the B&H DCR, DCT and DCM machines are good, made by Sankyo and perform well as Melvin mentioned.

                    The Elmo your watching sounds good, if it has been standing a while it probably needs a set of belts that are very easy to fit and cheap too, while you there some grease could revive the cogs etc as with most machines sitting around for years, hopefully you'll purchase it for a decent sum and will give years of service, Mark


                    • #11
                      I would also recommend the early Eumig 700 machines, especially the Eumig Mark S ( super 8 version), or the 701 sound machines. You get a solid hum-free tube amp, screw type focusing (no focus drift), very low cost 100w FCR halogen lamps, no risk of breaking off the pulldown claw because the rear section of the gate is not removable and also two automatic threading lamps.

                      But the biggest advantage of all is that they only autoload past the film gate. That means the lower loop must be set manually and can be made a frame or two longer to avoid film chatter in the sound when using an external speaker or sound system!

                      But of course you're not gonna find much love these days for the early 700 machines. But I stand by Phil Johnson's claim who has stated many times that the Eumig Mark S (standard 8 ) machine was the best machine ever built and the two above mentioned models are the same, only reconfigured as dedicated Super 8 machines instead of standard 8. And there are also some very fine lenses available for the early 700's too.

                      The drawback on the early 700 series tube type machines are that they are REALLY heavy to move around, more like a boat anchor!
                      Last edited by Joseph Banfield; March 05, 2021, 02:49 PM.


                      • #12
                        So I can pick up the Elmo ST 180 and I was looking at an Elmo ST 600M as well - can anyone tell me what the basic difference between these two projectors are? Advantages or disadvantages of one over the other? Thanks for all the feedback.


                        • #13
                          Hi Philip, well the first benifit of an Elmo is then getting a 12.5mm 1.1 lens to go in them.

                          My own favourite is the ST600M Black.

                          But the ST600DM silver is handy as you can take stereo out.

                          The 180 is a nice machine too.

                          The 600M is fixed twin track, the 180 and 600DM silver you can adjust either track.

                          The main thing is you want a good smooth runner, do ask etc.

                          You may need to factor in an inlet shute soonish as well and well worth it though there are fixes in the meantime.

                          The 600 spool Elmo Machine as very unfussy, and easy to use, and all have real Zing.

                          A later ST180 usually has better threading.

                          If you want you can email or message me or us any links etc.

                          Or if you want any of us to speak to the sellers and ask the right questions etc.

                          You can pick up a nice 600 feet elmo from $75 if you keep your eyes open, though may need to spend more to get set up now, then get a cheaper but nice one as back up.

                          I am biased as I love them, ( my favourite 8mm machine ) but a good one of these will last you years.

                          You also need to ask that each soundhead is giving out sound.

                          Does anyone here in the states have a real little used belter they can sell philip or know of one ? possibly.

                          Best wishes Mark.


                          • #14
                            I have an offer to buy NEW OLD STORE Stock Elmo ST 180 E 2 track. The Seller doesn't know anything about it - picked it up in an estate sell appears new and unused. I am inclined to pull the trigger on it. Looks nice but it is a bit of a pig in a poke - I don't know how it runs - although she tells me it does run and the bulb works etc. But she has not run any film through it.
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                            • #15
                              Well I suppoose you have PP if its a total clunker but looks very Nice Philip.

                              Whats the price ?

                              Bear in mind Elmo`s do keep thier looks.

                              If not run there will be no wear at all in the inlet shute.

                              Best wishes Mark.