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Question - Best regular 8mm and super-8 projectors

Erren Franklin

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Hey there!

I'm working on a set of films shot on reversal film that I intend to project in medium sized concert halls averaging 500 person capacity.

I've done quite a bit of research about what projectors I need for this, but I thought I'd ask here as well.

My main needs are:

1. Projectors with the ability to project at distance.

2. Projectors that will not damage my films, which will be spliced carefully with film cement. A secondary question here hinges on whether or not color reversal and/or black and white reversal film can be spliced with film cement.

3. I do not think a dual-8 projector will satisfy what I am looking for. I would rather get the best super-8 projector available (or something close to it) and the best regular-8 projector, as I imagine a dual-8 would limit my ability to have the best of either. A secondary question here is about power- I've seen information that Elmo GS-1200 models are optimized for Japan's electric system and might not be compatible with American standards. Does anyone know anything about this?

4. Does anyone know of reputable sellers for projectors of the caliber I am looking for?

Thank you,

Erren Franklin





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In a big venue you will need a powerful lamp which rules out many of the domestic projectors, but the 1200 was the brightest of those and it's still well though of. There was a xenon-arc version which is even brighter. It's dual-voltage.

There are, or were, professional grade projectors for Super-8 (Fumeo comes to mind)- you can still rent one in the UK so they must still be around. If clean and well- maintained they should not scratch film seriously, but any repeated use is bound to cause a bit of damage, and it's much more noticeable with the small frame size.

The other consideration in a big venue is having a lens with a long enough focal length so that the projection doesn't have to be in the middle of the audience. There was never a very good choice of long lenses for Super-8- even the standard zoom on the 1200 only puts it about 6 screen widths from the screen

I think you can forget dual-8 - these were domestic projectors with quite low-wattage lamps. Unfortunately I think this may also apply to most standard-8 machines that are still around- Super-8 is nearly 60 years old

Acetate film can be cement spliced, which means basically all of it since the only polyester stock was the long-gone Fuji, but there is always the risk of breakage when not using tape. Presumably you know that cement splices effectively cut a frame in half and show over 2 frames in 8mm.

Edited by Mark Dunn
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Well,  the Elmo GS 1200 was offered in a xenon lamp version.  Even the incandescent version had one of the brightest lamps.  However, I have heard that Elmo projectors can have issues with scratching Film if not very carefully maintained.  There seems to be a scratching issue with the top feed sprocket and pad assembly, which can be modified with updated parts.  The very best projector would be a Fumeo xenon lamp model, but they are quite expensive and probably at least as rare as the Elmo GS 1200 Xenon.  
All Super8mm films can be cement spliced, except for Fuji polyester stock.  A dual8mm projector will never be bright enough for a large venue.



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