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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Film Handlers' Forum   » 16mm xenon projector recommendations (Page 1)

 
This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2 
 
Author Topic: 16mm xenon projector recommendations
Alain LeTourneau
Film Handler

Posts: 37
From: Portland, OR
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted 07-02-2004 11:18 PM      Profile for Alain LeTourneau   Author's Homepage   Email Alain LeTourneau   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There's a local college film society that is looking to replace their current 16mm projector.

Of the 1K and 2K xenon projectors listed below what can be found for less than $7000, and is easy to service and user friendly (for the novice).

Eiki 6100, 9100
Elmo LX-1100, LX-2200
Kinoton FP-16, FP-18

Are there anyother projectors in this price range that people would recommend?

Any and all assistance greatly appreciated.

Best,
Alain

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 6900
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 07-03-2004 06:14 AM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm not up either on prices or availability of support in your part of the world (though you'd struggle to find a good one for the equivalent of $7k here), but of that lot I wouldn't hesitate to get an FP. Because they have a proper intermittent mechanism rather than a claw pulldown, the picture stability is incredible, even when running an element with quite significant shrinkage and/or perf damage. They are also insanely gentle to the film (and fine with both acetate and poly) and it's very easy to keep the film path clean. 6k spool capacity is standard, and a spring-loaded absorber at the end of the film path provides a smooth take-up, whatever the length of reel. They can easily be adapted for variable speed and a super 16 gate kit is available if needed.

I've used FPs for ages and they would be my first choice for any 16mm installation full stop, unless portability was essential. We have one in the unversity cinema and with a top-end print (e.g. a nice IB print), the slightly dimmer picture is the only way you can tell the difrerence from an average 35mm print. All the FPs I've used have both an optical and a magnetic pickup - I don't know if this comes as standard, but I've never seen a machine without both.

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Peter Hall
Master Film Handler

Posts: 304
From: London, UK
Registered: Dec 2000


 - posted 07-03-2004 09:00 AM      Profile for Peter Hall   Author's Homepage   Email Peter Hall   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Have to add my 5c worth - I agree the FP is the nicest on film and the most flexible however most would agree that it is a pig to lace - you need tiny fingers ! BTW, I have a hell of a good EIKI 6100 in stock (!!!!!!!!)

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 6900
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 07-03-2004 09:42 AM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If it's the one I think it is, then yup, it's a nice one alright. The only problem would be the cost of shipping it from Herne Hill to Oregon...

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John Hawkinson
Film God

Posts: 2273
From: Cambridge, MA, USA
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 07-03-2004 02:56 PM      Profile for John Hawkinson   Author's Homepage   Email John Hawkinson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The 6120 and 9120 projectors are intermittant-based as well.

--jhawk

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7966
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-03-2004 03:51 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Don't forget to check into parts and service availability. I recently had an interesting conversation with Tim Plew, who was one of the last 16mm service technicians for Eiki. In the US, some Eiki parts are still available, but there is some question as to how much longer this will remain the case. The company no longer manufactures new units and the US parts warehouse guys don't seem to be too excited about dealing with the 16mm stuff (which is apparently just a bother for them).

I assume that the situation with Kinoton is better, as they are still in the 16mm business, but I'd suggest confirming that before buying one of their machines.

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Alain LeTourneau
Film Handler

Posts: 37
From: Portland, OR
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted 07-03-2004 04:31 PM      Profile for Alain LeTourneau   Author's Homepage   Email Alain LeTourneau   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Couple things....

I've heard good things about FPs as well, but judging by what I've seen projected locally on an FP-18 I'd say its hit or miss. It seemed very unsteady and I believe this projector sees regular service.

It may be an issue with the operator though, I don't know for certain.

And FPs aren't cheap. Can I find a FP-16 or FP-18 for less than $7000?

I've heard good things about the Elmo LX-1100 and LX-2200 models handling shrunken film well. There's also a noise reduction system on the projector.

The Eiki 6100 I've heard does not deal with shrunken film very well and is difficult to adapt to variable speed? I don't know about the 6120 (Geneva model).

Appreicate the suggestions,

Alain

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7966
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-03-2004 04:36 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm only really familiar with the Eikis. The EX-6100 is OK (not great) with damaged film. It's about equal to the portable Eiki machines (Elmo portables seem happier with damaged film, so I would assume that their larger machines are as well).

The EX-6100 is 24fps-only out of the box. I don't know what it takes to convert it to variable speed.

I should add that the Kinoton FP-38E 16/35 machine is absolutely beautiful if the budget is available.

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Brian Guckian
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 594
From: Dublin, Ireland
Registered: Apr 2003


 - posted 07-03-2004 05:55 PM      Profile for Brian Guckian   Email Brian Guckian   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Alain, I can assure you the FP18 delivers a rock-steady image second to none. The one you saw must have a problem; perhaps something simple like excessive wear on the skate or incorrect loop size.

Question : does the college have filmmaking equipment? The main rationale for buying a 16mm machine today must surely be to screen student work (there are now digital sound alternatives to the traditional optical track, which means 16mm isn't "dead" yet!).

AFAIK Kinoton will still supply parts for the FP18. I'm not so sure about the FP16, but they do have many similarities.

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 6900
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 07-03-2004 06:43 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
From people I've spoken to I gather that in the US, Boston Light & Sound provide full-scale Kinoton parts and service backup. Admittedly that's as far away from Oregon as York is from Boston, but at least you've got an active parts franchise in the same country. As a general rule, my experience with Kinoton has been that parts and availablity is very reliable, though not at all cheap.

Agreed entirely with Brian - any FP which is not delivering rock-steady picture stability either (i) has not been laced up correctly, (ii) has a fault, or (iii) is running a print which is knackered beyond redemption. Agreed also with Peter that lacing up is fiddly and needs a bit of practice. Any projectionist coming new to one should practice a fair bit with some scrap film to start with. There are some danger points in the film path to keep an eye out for, such as the film chafing the top of the exciter lamp housing as it exits the scanning drum. But, IMHO, that fiddliness is a tiny price to pay for the on-screen quality which these projectors are capable of.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12083
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 07-04-2004 12:30 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've worked with a lot of FP-16/18 or in their 26/28 varients. They certainly are not my favorite machine. They can certainly put out an outstanding picture. Properly tweeked, their sound is okay. The skates wear out way too fast. The aperture plates are a nightmare. There are two metal rollers in the sound dampening system that must be proerly damped with a "potion" to really get them to sound decent...presuming you have good preamps and they didn't have a preamp worth a flip until about 1993...towards the end of the FP-18's existance. The method of framing also changes the belt tension around the shutter...which is critical since at the motor pinion, there is only something like one or two teeth engauged of the gear belt. The FP-16/18 never really worked well with the american 6000' reel. The european reel was much lighter and worked much better with the tensioning systems.

On the upside, it is a professional unit and a left-hand thread. As such it can be butted up against the #2 35mm projector and take up less floor space. As for light sources...again like 35mm you have various lamphouses and lamp sizes to work with.

On the used market...remember, in addition to the projector, make sure you are getting a lamphouse and rectifier that will drive the lamp size you need.

As to parts supply...we haven't had any problems. Kinoton America does an excellent job of stocking parts for Kinoton products. For someone in Oregon...KA can do a much better job than coming directly from Germany...KA can have the part their the next morning. And, as far as ordering parts...one is no more than 3-hours difference (Continental US) from KA...much more likey to be able to talk to someone and get the part out.

Of the other units mentioned...we've had GREAT results from Elmo. The LX-2200 (2000-watts) and LX-1100 (1000-watts) are great performers. From an audience perspective, the only edge I'd give the Kinoton offerings are in the focus department. Elmo slides their lens in the lens mount via a grove in the lens barrel...kinda like how Century opens their gate in single lens versions). As such, the lens is always going to sag a bit. The potential there is for uneven focus top to bottom. Kionton clamps the lens in place and has a proper focus assmebly. Elmo wins hands down on sound though. They generally had the best preamps and have transformer isolated balanced outputs in addition to speaker level outputs. The Elmo is also a complete unit...the lamphouse and power supply are all part of it. Even for 2000-watts you only need 208 single-phase. The LX-1100 can even run on standard 120VAC (there are taps to set the unit to the voltage of your area).

In either case, budget in a good lens. If the focal length for your facitly is in the 20-60mm range, there is really only one lense to look at...it is the ISCO Vario-Kiptaron 20-60mm. This unit is around $1500US but worth every penny (or Euro). It is THAT good. We've put it up against the lenses by ISCO and Schneider (Super Cinelux and the like) for the 35mm format and this blessed lens beats them all. With 16mm lens quality counts more than ever. Beware, ISCO has two Vario-Kiptarons...one is in the $400 range...that is a coke bottle...better to stay with a factory lens than that. ISCO makes the good Vario-Kiptaron for the Eiki (same size as the Kinoton/Bauer but has ribs to work with the focus mechanism of the Eiki, Kinoton/Bauer, Elmo and possibly others.

BTW...I think we do have Kinoton FP-16s and an Elmo LX-1100 for sale...probably in your price range...email for further discussions on that if interested.

Steve

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Christian Appelt
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 502
From: Frankfurt, Germany
Registered: Dec 2001


 - posted 07-05-2004 12:52 PM      Profile for Christian Appelt   Email Christian Appelt   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Bauer Selecton is a fine older 16mm xenon too. It's easy to operate & clean and runs reliable for years - if you can get your hands on a well-maintained used one. I think Kinoton will still supply spare parts for Selectons. I always found this machine very gentle on old prints, and I could not agree more with Steve on the lens question: Don't save money on the lens - it does indeed make a huge difference!

In the question of picture steadiness, I disagree with Leo. Some 16mm claw mechanism projectors are as good as or better than maltese cross machines in that respect. 16mm maltese cross mechanics are not as straight forward as in 35mm machines, maybe that has something do do with it. The best 16mm steadiness I ever experienced (test grids from a pin-registered animation camera) step-contact printed, then shown on a 28 ft. screen) came to my surprise from a EIKI claw mechanism projector

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 6900
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 07-05-2004 05:18 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If the element you're projecting is in good condition (i.e. insignificant shrinkage and no perf damage) then agreed, a Maltese cross mechanism doesn't necessarily offer any advantage. Also agreed that Eiki claw pulldowns are very accurate. But, being realistic, no-one running 16mm in a arthouse or rep cinema situation today is likely to be handling new prints very often. In fact, quite the opposite. Old, worn, shrunk and damaged elements are likely to be the norm, hence my preference for an FP.

BTW, an Eiki would be my projector of choice if portability was essential.

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12083
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 07-05-2004 06:27 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Elmo uses a 2-perf claw so it handles shrunken film quit well too. I'd put the LX-1100/2200 up against an FP intermittent any day. The quality of the print is likely to have more influance over the steadiness than either of these machine's ability to register the picture.

I have been told by Kinoton that Bauer parts (16mm at least) are limited to those on hand...no new parts are going to be produced. The machines have been out of production long enough to continue support for such a small market.

Steve

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9442
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-05-2004 06:44 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I always had problems with the EL5000 EL5001 and the FP16 having issues with badly shrunken film on the large intermitent sprocket
My favorite 16mm was just that the Zeis/Prevost Favorite 16b it has an exceptional picture
The steadiest and gentlest 16mm I delt ith was a old hortson type G machine the newer normandie had a jumpy picture but that old one just had the picture glued to the screen

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