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Dual Regular / Super 8mm Projector Speeds


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#1 Terry Mester

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 02:21 AM

Dual Regular / Super 8mm Projector Speeds

Does anyone know with certainty if these combined Regular & Super8 Projectors altered Speed between 16 & 18 Frames/Second? My Projector, which was sold as Kmart Store brand, has a Lever to switch between Regular and Super format, but the Instruction Manual doesn't mention Speed. Not having taken the Projector apart, I don't know if that Lever alternates between two Sprockets to change between 16 & 18 f/s. Does anyone have experience with the internal components of these Projectors?
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#2 Clive Tobin

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 12:49 PM

Does anyone know with certainty if these combined Regular & Super8 Projectors altered Speed between 16 & 18 Frames/Second? ...

I have taken apart hundreds of projectors to rob parts for our TVT video transfer machines, and have owned numerous ones of various makes, and I have never seen one that changed speeds with format change. All 8mm (and super-8) fixed speed projectors made since the late 1950s have run at only 18 FPS.

Dual-8 projectors are highly compromised, usually lacking film sprockets. The lack of feed and holdback sprockets requires high gate tension to minimize the effects of random pull from the film reels. This makes the film perforations wear out faster and the image be less steady.

The GAF dual-8 ones use the wrong edge of the film for edge guiding, so any unevenness in the lab slitting of 8mm film will result in worse weave on projection than with an 8mm only projector.

On all dual-8 projectors that I have examined, the pulldown claws are not in the standardized position either relative to the projection aperture, which will cause any error in perforation spacing to not cancel out in projection.

In summary, for the best results you should use separate projectors anyway.

To find out for sure if your projector changes speeds, take off the back and see if the belt shifts position to another pulley pair, or if there is any electrical switching, when you switch formats. You can determine the exact speed by making up some film into a continuous loop of known length and timing how long it takes for X number of perforations to pass through in Y seconds or minutes. 8mm has 80 perforations per foot and super-8 has 72. Then do the math.
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#3 Terry Mester

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 05:42 PM

Thanks Clive for all this expert info. I'll open up my Projector to see, and let you know. I'll also see if I can find which company made it for Kmart.
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#4 Terry Mester

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 01:12 AM

You are right Clive! These Dual Projectors only operate at one speed. The lever on my Projector to switch between Regular & Super 8 only changes between the two Aperture Plates. The Projector -- which was made by Argus -- uses rubber belts with the pulleys except for the Take-up Spindle which is turned by a coil belt to enable slippage. The Shutter is a flat fan with three blades (each opening bigger than the blade), and it turns once per Frame. Like you said, it has no Sprockets. It has one Claw on a lever to pull the Film down. Since the Projector is from the 70s or 80s, I assume the Claw is designed for Super8 and 72 perfs / foot. Do you know if this is the norm with Dual Projectors? How would this work with Regular8's 80 perfs / foot? It would seem to me that Regular8 Film could possibly get damaged -- although the 16mm perfs are further away from the edge.
You said that Projectors have run at 18 f/s since the late 50s. Does this mean that the Double 8 Cameras ran at 18 f/s as well? I have a D8 Film from my parent's wedding in 1959. Do you think the Camera could have been 18f/s?
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#5 Kirk Anderson

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 02:56 PM

on this same genre, but a little off topic, I have just bought a Chinon sp 330mv projector from an estate sale for $10. It was in the original box still wrapped in plastic, never even been turned on. the warranty card is still there with a wrapped microphone and wrapped cord, absolutely immaculate.
I put it together and tried to run an old monster movie through it and the damn thing is a bear to thread. auto load my ass. Are all projectors this finicky? escpecially a brand new one?
also I think it is magnetic sound, is that better than optical? I want to use it to show old monster movies what kind do i need to buy to have sound? most monster movies don't say optical or magnetic sound on the box.
thanks again,
a little off topic, but I figured you guys know it all.
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#6 Terry Mester

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 08:06 PM

I put it together and tried to run an old monster movie through it and the damn thing is a bear to thread. auto load my ass. Are all projectors this finicky? escpecially a brand new one?
also I think it is magnetic sound, is that better than optical? I want to use it to show old monster movies what kind do i need to buy to have sound? most monster movies don't say optical or magnetic sound on the box.


Hi Kirk, S8mm Sound Film was only Magnetic Strip -- which is better than Optical. Only a few single-sprocket 16mm Cameras recorded Sound optically. At the same time as S8 Sound Film in 1973, Kodak offered a 16mm version of Magnetic Strip Sound Film as well. 35mm Cameras have never recorded Sound -- it's put on the INeg in post. Before Digital Optical Sound was developed, 70mm Movies used Magnetic Strips for Sound, and I believe that 35mm A Movies used Magnetic Strips going back to the early 1950s.

When Clive next logs on he can give you more info on Chinon Projectors. I'm surprised you're having problems threading the Film. Are you certain that the Film is not in the Reel the wrong way? If the Sprocket Holes are on the wrong side, then it definitely won't work. The Claw should quickly catch it, and just keep pulling it through. Does your Pressure Plate have to be manually pulled back to initially insert the Film? On my Projector, the Plate pulls back when the Switch is in the "off" position. You may have to pull it manually on yours. What you can try is insert the "leader" in the Film Gate when the Projector is still off, and then turn it on. You should find this to be easier than trying to insert the Film after the Projector is on. Go try it, and let us know if that is easier.

I'm interested to know, is it equipped for Silent Film, and do the Instructions mention if it operates at 18f/s for Silent Film?
Also, check to make sure it's North American 120 Volts and not European 250 Volts!
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#7 Kirk Anderson

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 06:53 PM

Thanks for all the info, I think my heads and tails were all over, correcting the problem loading at first, but the projector is still bunching up and jamming two or three times before running smoothly, it's almost as if it goes through the loop OK, projects, but then misses the guide and ends up inside the projector, never coming out the take up side.
it does operate at 18fps and at 24fps, at the flip of a switch. I can't believe this brand new projector is giving me so much grief.....
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#8 Clive Tobin

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 07:05 PM

... I can't believe this brand new projector is giving me so much grief.....

It might be brand new, but being perhaps 30 years old the rubber parts may be stretched or rotted, the lubricants turned to stone, etc.
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#9 Clive Tobin

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 07:30 PM

You are right Clive! ... I assume the Claw is designed for Super8 and 72 perfs / foot. Do you know if this is the norm with Dual Projectors? How would this work with Regular8's 80 perfs / foot? ...You said that Projectors have run at 18 f/s since the late 50s. Does this mean that the Double 8 Cameras ran at 18 f/s as well? I have a D8 Film from my parent's wedding in 1959. Do you think the Camera could have been 18f/s?

The claw throw and spacing is optimized for super-8 perforations but will also work for 8mm, it is just moving a bit more up and down than it needs to but this doesn't hurt anything as the claw is not a tight fit in the holes. The centering from the edge is changed for running regular-8. This can be done by moving the claw, or by moving the edge guides.

What matters is when the camera was made, not when the film was shot with it, as far as running speed. I think the old design cameras sold in the late 50s may still have run 16 FPS, but any redesigned ones were probably 18. I am not aware of any definitive word on when the change happened for every possible camera brand and model ever made.

Shooting at 16 and projecting at 18 is actually a kindness to the audience, judging from the zillions of miles of home movies I have transferred... :-)
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#10 Clive Tobin

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 07:41 PM

[quote name='Terry Mester' date='Jun 1 2007, 06:06 PM' post='176274']
>...S8mm Sound Film was only Magnetic Strip

Not true. Some super-8 optical sound prints were made and this was heavily promoted at one time by Technicolor. Elmo and others made mag-optical projectors.

>At the same time as S8 Sound Film in 1973, Kodak offered a 16mm version of Magnetic Strip Sound Film as well.

Not true either. 16mm magnetic sound was used for TV news film in the USA at least starting back in the 1960s, I used to process it, or even the 1950s (before my time).

>35mm Cameras have never recorded Sound

Not true historically. Old 35mm newsreel cameras such as Wall were converted to record optical sound on film using the Aeolight or RCA, Modulite and other sound modulators. The sound advance was not standard so it was corrected in printing.

>-- it's put on the INeg in post.

Sorry, not true either. Digital sound and DTS time code are put on the sound negative, not the picture negative.
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#11 Terry Mester

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 12:45 AM

Thanks for all the info, I think my heads and tails were all over, correcting the problem loading at first, but the projector is still bunching up and jamming two or three times before running smoothly, it's almost as if it goes through the loop OK, projects, but then misses the guide and ends up inside the projector, never coming out the take up side.


Kirk, you have to stick the Leader into the Film Gate sideways (through the side) before you turn on the Projector. The Claw will catch it quickly. If you're going to try sticking it down through the top with the Projector running, you need to manually pull back the Pressure Plate. It's much easier to stick the Film in sideways all the way past the bottom of the Gate into the Take-up Track before you turn on the Projector.

The claw throw and spacing is optimized for super-8 perforations but will also work for 8mm, it is just moving a bit more up and down than it needs to but this doesn't hurt anything as the claw is not a tight fit in the holes. The centering from the edge is changed for running regular-8. This can be done by moving the claw, or by moving the edge guides.


The Lever on mine moves the edge guides. You can easily figure out if a Dual Projector is Regular or Super by holding back the Film above the Gate with your finger. The position of the Perforations relative to the top of the Gate will remain stationary if the correct Film is running. As you note, the Perfs with Regular8 Film move up and down relative to the Gate on a Super8 Projector.

>...S8mm Sound Film was only Magnetic Strip

Not true. Some super-8 optical sound prints were made and this was heavily promoted at one time by Technicolor. Elmo and others made mag-optical projectors.


I'm only referring to the S8 Cameras. Technicolor could of course develop its own equipment to optically print Sound onto a S8 filmstrip. Was there actually a S8 Camera that optically recorded Sound?

>At the same time as S8 Sound Film in 1973, Kodak offered a 16mm version of Magnetic Strip Sound Film as well.

Not true either. 16mm magnetic sound was used for TV news film in the USA at least starting back in the 1960s, I used to process it, or even the 1950s (before my time).


Very interesting. I wonder why it took Kodak so long to produce the S8 Sound version.

>35mm Cameras have never recorded Sound

Not true historically. Old 35mm newsreel cameras such as Wall were converted to record optical sound on film using the Aeolight or RCA, Modulite and other sound modulators. The sound advance was not standard so it was corrected in printing.


I was only thinking of original manufactured Movie Cameras. I thought news Cameras were only 16mm. I'm surprised that an optical sound device could be added to an existing Camera. Was the Wall Camera designed for this device?

>-- it's put on the INeg in post.

Sorry, not true either. Digital sound and DTS time code are put on the sound negative, not the picture negative.


What I was pointing out is that the Camera does not record Sound onto the original Negative. It is theoretically possible to have a combined Picture / Sound IN, but then you would have an additional generation of decay between the original Sound Negative and the final Positive. The Masking Dyes in IN Stock would also likely diminish clarity of the Sound Image -- most undesirable.
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#12 Terry Mester

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 04:40 PM

Kirk, have you tried loading the Film sideways? How did it work out for you?
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#13 Kirk Anderson

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 07:25 PM

thanks for all the help guys, the projector is working great and it even threads itself on the takeup reel automatically. I'm officially set for monster movie season! I watched "House of Frankenstein" last night and just received "Moon Zero Two" today!
THanks for all your help!
kirk
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#14 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 02:57 PM

I was only thinking of original manufactured Movie Cameras. I thought news Cameras were only 16mm. I'm surprised that an optical sound device could be added to an existing Camera. Was the Wall Camera designed for this device?


Yes, the Wall was designed for single system sound.

So was the audio Akeley and the Devry sound.

All 35mm single system optical sound cameras.

Though Wall movements were later used in the Cinerama cameras.
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#15 Terry Mester

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 05:22 PM

thanks for all the help guys, the projector is working great and it even threads itself on the takeup reel automatically.

If your Projector has an "output" Headphone Jack for Sound, it would be wise to "record" the Sound Track into your Computer as a Digital Recording. The strength of Magnetic Recordings weakens over time. If your Projector doesn't have a Jack, find a place that can make a Digital Recording for you.
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#16 Nicholas Chen

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Posted 07 June 2007 - 09:08 PM

Hello. I am new to 8mm/s8mm projectors. infact im new to projectors in general. Anyway I bought a Bell & Howell Autoload Dual format projector for $8 at a local thrift shop. I ran some super 8mm thru it and everything seems to be working. film advances, light turns on etc.

but im having the hardest time getting the image to show up.

here is a picture of the projector

Posted Image

Posted Image

here is how the film is running thru it.
Posted Image

I dont have a screen, does that matter? i 've been shining it against a white wall. I have tried pulling the lens to zoom in and out and turned the focus knob and yet the images just doesnt show up. I cant even see a hint of the image. its all just light shining on the wall. like a flashlight.

can some one help me out? I have pulled the lens out and cleaned it with a lens cloth. if i hold the lens up and look into it backwards. (front to back) it is like a magnifying glass. everything is upside down. but if i look thru it normally (like how the light enters and exits the lens) everything looks liek frosted glass.
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#17 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 03:23 AM

Nicholas, are you projecting in a sufficiently darkened room? This usually means projecting at night with all the house lights turned off. Another thing is that if you move the projector closer to the wall, you will get a brighter and sharper image but also a smaller image.
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#18 Nicholas Chen

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 07:32 AM

Nicholas, are you projecting in a sufficiently darkened room? This usually means projecting at night with all the house lights turned off. Another thing is that if you move the projector closer to the wall, you will get a brighter and sharper image but also a smaller image.



yep tried all of that. and still nothing. Im shooting a test strip of technicolor leader. once I could sort of see the words technicolor but I was using a piece of white paper. and held it a foot from the lens. no matter how close or far and dark it is, the image jsut looks like a spot light from a flashlight.
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#19 Mark Dunn

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 01:21 PM

Sounds like your image is badly out of focus, the lens is very dirty, or an element is dislodged
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#20 Terry Mester

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 07:11 PM

yep tried all of that. and still nothing. Im shooting a test strip of technicolor leader. once I could sort of see the words technicolor but I was using a piece of white paper. and held it a foot from the lens. no matter how close or far and dark it is, the image jsut looks like a spot light from a flashlight.


Are you saying that the image does not blow up? If so, then this likely means that a Lens is missing from the Scope. Is there a Lens at both ends of the Scope, and do you hear anything jingling inside? There could also be a Lens missing on the Projector behind the Scope.
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