From: 40 Frames (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Feb 05 2007 - 11:36:51 PST
Jason Halprin wrote:
> For 16mm having the ability to show bright 18fps films is a must
> - I would also note that tungsten projection is probably a better
> longterm choice (other opinions here?), as not eveyone strikes xenon
> prints. Also, the ability to properly EQ the sound should be a
> priority - perhaps someone on this list can suggest some ideal
> projector-EQ-amp combinations for 16mm?
One might as well strike xenon prints if you cannot do both. xenon prints
do not look all that different on a 3200K projector (at least, not what
For classroom projectors, and I mean smaller classrooms where the throw is
30-35' or where the image projected is 9x6, I'd consider Hokushin SC-210
projectors. I say "consider" because you should first check with
Rangertone in NJ and determine if the are still working on these and if
you want to work with Rangertone.
Rangertone was the last place to service these machines, and the last
place to still have a parts inventory for these projectors. I have spoken
with Rangertone on the phone and can say they are not easy to deal with...
and have heard from a few others (on this list) that they've not been
thrilled with Rangertone's service work on Hokushin portable xenon and
tungsten models. I think the Hokushin's are the best small portable, but
the future is questionable for these little machines. Instead, you might
consider Eiki SSL (or even the earlier NT) and Pageant 126 and 250S models
which run at 18 and 24fps (the shutter compensates for the speed change to
minimize flicker). Both Eiki and Pageant service is easier to find, esp
around NYC, and parts for Eiki are still available.
With the Eiki SSL there are a few quirks that should be made clear to all
who operate this projector. One, the switches tend to fail with age, so
have a power kill switch nearby (projector running into a power strip that
you can cut the power on), I mean like 1-2 feet from the projector. Two,
make certain to manually advance the film after forming the loop to make
certain it is properly engaged. Eiki redesign the SSL to have a larger
upper sprocket wheel that was suppose to prevent the film from jumping off
its track (the theory being that a large diameter wheel spins slower and
thus would not act as erratic), but it can still happen if you do not
advance it manually. Once you load the SSL enough times you get use to
doing little checks and determining proper threading just by the size of
the upper loop. With the Pageant you don't have this problem, but the
Pageant also has some pretty crappy glass. It's tolerable, but not great,
and sometimes hard to focus.
For theater style projection (long throw, big image), consider an Eastman
25 and Mr. Bond. Or perhaps a Kinoton FP-38E (switchable 16/35) if you
department can afford one. Or the earlier FP18 which has some design
quirks but is still nice. The PFA, HFA, and Musuem of Fine Art Boston all
still use Hortson model G projectors in their booths! The movement is
sometimes referred to as a "drunken" cam. It has a longer dwell time
between pulldown, so the image is on the screen longer, and looks steady
on the screen. These machines have many quirks. I'm not suggesting one...I
just find it interesting that insitutions still use these projectors,
despite better options.
As for sound amps and equalization, get something that you can freely
adjust EQ. Even 3 band is better than nothing. The variation in optical
tracks can be enormous, esp if your optical sound head is slightly out of
alignment and cuts the high or low end. Get something that cut machine
noise out (by filtration) and just delivers the sound envelope of 16
optical (50-7000hz, though some say if the track is done right they can
get 16 up to around 8000). With 16 optical tracks I find that there's a
lot of finesing that can be done in the mid-range, and cutting the highs
and lows can help this.
I use a 31 band EQ and will sometimes cut the track around 80hz on the low
end, or trim with filtation. Theater gurus will generate pink noise in the
space to figure out the room's equalization, but having control over EQ is
still important, as I said these tracks vary a great deal due to all the
factors involved in making the tracks and the low fidelity (low speed)
reproduction of the track.
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