Re: [Frameworks] 16mm sound projector

From: 40 Frames (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Feb 08 2011 - 15:13:05 PST

On Mon, Feb 7, 2011 at 10:28 PM, David Tetzlaff <email suppressed> wrote:

> 2. Eiki SSL-O (B+H 3580)
> The most common late-model 16mm make. The SSL-OL (BH 3575) uses a 120AC
> lamp that is a noticeable step down in brightness from the 24V ELC in the
> standard SSL-O.
> PLUS: Lightest weight. Decent selection of lenses available. Wide lenses
> for Eiki are moderately easy to find and usually moderately priced. There
> are also zoom attachments that can be fit to the front of Eiki primes,
> (similar to the B+H Filmovara) providing both wider and longer focal lengths
> within a limited range.
> MINUS: Unreliable. I've had more problems with Eikis than any other make --
> in part perhaps because I've used them more as they were the 'best' units
> available. The slot load engage mechanism is fairly complicated, subject to
> getting worn out or gunked up, and not working quite right. Since it's built
> in to the same lever that turns the projector on, it's easy for the movement
> to start with the film not properly seated - which is a very, very bad
> thing. The focus knob engages the lens barrel with a kind of faux-rubber
> tip. This material is subject to deteriorating, turning to little bits of
> brown goop that can migrate into the film path. Also very, very bad. So,
> when the transmission to the reels starts slipping, you hardly even care...

David, great list/notes.

A few comments about the Eiki SSL...

Eiki redesigned the top sprocket from the SL to the SSL making it larger,
the idea being that it would rotate slower (being larger in diameter), hence
start up slower. I agree that the slot load mechanism on the SSL is finicky,
but one can avoid disaster by checking the threading with the manual
advance. It's allows one to check sprocket-perf engagement. Hokushin did a
better job with their manual advance but they basically operate the same

Regarding the disintegrating rubber compound that acts as a friction pad on
the focus knob shaft, the secret is to use O-rings as a replacement. It
works really well. Our repair guy here in Portland did this to a few of our
projectors and it works like charm.

We've mostly moved away from using portables, though we still have a Bell &
Howell 1574. Not the easiest to thread, but it has other virtues. Pam likes
using an Eiki SSL for projecting direct animation. I think super direct
animator Devon D uses and likes the SSL too.

As David notes, all portables have pluses and minuses... If one could
combine all the virtues of these machines into one it'd be perfect. I heard
that machine existed in the Philips/Norelco EL-5000, but I've never used one
(only seen pictures).

In the U.S., the Bauer P models were not common, but I've heard good things
about Bauer portables. I recently came across a few pictures from a looper
installation (forgot the artist's name, went to Cal Arts, shoots and
projects super 16) in Austria and the loopers all looked to be modified
Bauer P6 projectors.


Alain LeTourneau
Pam Minty
5232 N Williams Ave
Portland, Oregon 97217
+1 503 231 6548

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