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Kodak Instamatic M-95 problem

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  • Kodak Instamatic M-95 problem

    I’m a total newbie to this technology so please bear with me!

    I recently acquired several dozen super8 reels of home movies from a family member, but nothing to play them on, so I picked up a Kodak Instamatic M-95 from eBay, “tested and working”, it says!

    It looks pretty clean and in good shape, but the box took a beating in transit with poor packaging, so I had a few suspicious bits of broken black plastic in the bottom of the box.

    The projector powers on, the bulb works, the motor works, but the spindles turn in opposite directions. No matter if the unit is set to play forwards or backwards, or if the unit is set to rewind or not, it’s the same result. Clockwise on the left spindle, counter clockwise on the right. The take up reel doesn’t have the strength to pull the film through the projector because the other reel is trying to pull it back out again!

    So… is this a common problem with an easy fix (I doubt it!), it should I cut my losses and run?

    And if the latter, is there any brand of used projector that seems typically reliable and worth looking for?

    Many thanks,


  • #2
    The Kodak Instamatics weren’t the best machines. 100% claw driven with no sprocket wheels or film loops. I just bought a similar model and one of the plastic drive gears totally disintegrated. I now have a boat anchor (Although I may try to fix it just to say that I did it lol). Perhaps on your machine the rubber belts are aging and they just don’t have the grip they once did. I’ve heard some people swear by automobile fan belt anti-squeal dressing to rejuvenate projector belts. I haven’t tried it, so I can’t say if it works or not.

    Are you interested in casually watching the films just to see what you have, or do you want to view them more than once? For casual viewing, some of the GAF machines and their clones are real cheap, but they are on par with Kodak Instamatics. My “gold standard” is Bolex. Built like tanks, but they can be a bit pricey depending on demand and condition. In-between you might find a Bell & Howell, Chinon or Eumig reasonably priced. Figure out how much you’re willing to spend, and when you find something that fits your needs communicate with the seller to be sure you’re getting what you want and expect.