Who makes the best 35mm slide projectors?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by jphendren, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. jphendren

    jphendren Member

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    I'm not sure if this is the correct forum, but here goes. I would like to be able to do slideshows with my family, like when I was a kid. Back then we had an all metal Kodak carousel that seemed pretty nice. Are Kodak slide projectors good? Any other brands you might recommend?

    Jared
     
  2. Richard Wasserman

    Richard Wasserman Member

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    Leica Pradovit with a Super Colorplan lens.
     
  3. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    For 35mm slides only and not medium format, the Kodak slide projectors range from OK to very good. The Carousel series are intended for the home and they're fine. The Ektagraphic series are more for professional and are very good. The Ektapro series, I think they were made in Germany, are very high quality and have many features. Some would say that the best 35mm projectors were the Leica, but I have never used one.
    All of the Kodak projectors have been discontinued. You can buy them used for sure.
     
  4. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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  5. jphendren

    jphendren Member

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  6. Richard Wasserman

    Richard Wasserman Member

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  7. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    The Carousel series came in numerous forms over the years at all levels from basic/home to fully professional. They were the mainstay of many commercial and business institutions. They were very long-lived and easily serviced, but when bits did wear out were easily and fairly cheaply replaced. When the university where I work upgraded the ageing fleet of Carousels to Ektapros, they were rather disappointed. I don't know the details but I believe the problems were mainly the electronics.
    My main projector has been a Carousel S-AV 2000 which I've had for 30 years, though in recent years I've been offered (and accepted) two others that were literally being given away. The main shortcoming of Carousels was to me was that the buyer paid a high premium for their mechanical construction and reliability but the lenses were often plastic and left a lot to be desired, especially the 70 - 120mm zoom that so many seem to have. It's convenient, but if you want to get the best from your slides, get one of the fixed focal length lenses, possibly from another manufacturer. Note that in the older Carousels there were 150W and 250W versions. I'd recommend the 250W model as you can fit it with a 150W bulb but not vice versa (transformer in the 150W can't handle the higher current drawn by a 250W bulb).

    Steve
     
  8. Francis in VT

    Francis in VT Member

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    The Leica RT-300 is the best and the reason why is it produces the Whitest [sp] light.
    The Kodak Carousels use as do most projectors a heat absorbing glass. This is either in the form of a condenser or a flat glass. The leica has no HA glass. The RT-300 bounces the light off a dichroic reflector and then through the necessary condensers and the slide onto the screen. The dichroic reflector absorbs the heat.
    I sold more Leica RT-300 projectors with a little demonstration. Line up two projectors with similar focal length lenses so you get the same size display on a WHITE not Silver screen. Insert a empty slide mount in each projector to open the shutter and check the screen. The Kodak or other projector because of the Heat Absorbing glass will have a Greenish hue where the Leica will be pure White. The RT-300 uses the same trays, stack loader and remote cable as the Carousels.
    The last feature, the RT-300 has an automatic power cord reel.
     
  9. Francis in VT

    Francis in VT Member

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    The Leica RT-300 is the best and the reason why is it produces the Whitest [sp] light.
    The Kodak Carousels use as do most projectors a heat absorbing glass. This is either in the form of a condenser or a flat glass. The leica has no HA glass. The RT-300 bounces the light off a dichroic reflector and then through the necessary condensers and the slide onto the screen. The dichroic reflector absorbs the heat.
    I sold more Leica RT-300 projectors with a little demonstration. Line up two projectors with similar focal length lenses so you get the same size display on a WHITE not Silver screen. Insert a empty slide mount in each projector to open the shutter and check the screen. The Kodak or other projector because of the Heat Absorbing glass will have a Greenish hue where the Leica will be pure White. The RT-300 uses the same trays, stack loader and remote cable as the Carousels.
    The last feature, the RT-300 has an automatic power cord reel.
     
  10. Donmck

    Donmck Member

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  11. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Who makes the best 35mm slide projectors?

    Leica. That's easy.
     
  12. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    There's always compromise involved. There are far more of the Kodak machines available in the US Than anything else. If you consider availability and price the Kodak will win out. If Quality, disregarding price is the only parameter it's Leitz.
    The hundreds of thousands, if not millions of the Kodak machines used in education, government and business bears witness to their value.
    The sales technique comparing the two brands side by side side is valid in a sales situation but in practical use your brain will correct for minor variations in color.
     
  13. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    I'd say the availability of millions of used Kodak slide projectors bears witness to their ready availablity at AV dealers, camera stores, and discount houses, very few of which carried Leitz projectors. This has little to do with value relative to other brands.

    IIRC, the Pradolux RT-300 mirror that bounces the light 90 degrees from the lamp through the slide actually passes IR and UV light rather than reflecting it, resulting in less damage to the projected slides over time.

    The Leitz projector lenses are much better than the Kodak lenses supplied as standard, even the fixed focal length Kodak lenses. The common Kodak zooms don't come anywhere near telling you what's on the film. Buhl, Schneider, and others made good projector lenses that decent AV setups used in preference to the standard Kodak lenses.

    The Kodak Carousels that I've used over the last 40 years also have a strong propensity to go forward the first time you hit the reverse button on the remote control. So you often have to reverse three times to go back one slide.

    People will almost pay you to take away their used Kodak Carousel projectors at this point. AV departments are throwing them away. (Power corrupts. Powerpoint corrupts absolutely.) Try walking off with someone's Pradolux/Pradovit and you'll find out about perceived value.

    Standard equipment Kodak Carousels aren't 'bad' per se, but Pradolux/Pradovits with a Leitz lens project a clearly superior image.

    There are two kinds of slide projector lenses, flat field and curved field. Flat field are for glass mounted slides. Curved field lenses are for glassless cardboard or plastic mount slides. Both Kodak and Leitz curved field lenses have a "CF" designation on the front bezel of the lens.

    My son has a Kodak Carousel and Kodak 102mm CF lens that I found at a garage sale for $5.00. He always asks to use my Pradolux and 90mm Colorplan CF.

    Lee
     
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  15. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    Hard to argue with the name Leica. But I always wanted a Zeiss slide projector. They were available in Europe but not here. I never did get one but when I used to research those things Zeiss always got great reviews.

    Of course, Kodak Ektagraphic projectors are just fine and readily available relative to either Zeiss or Leica. The projectors that accept interchangeable lenses are best and a fixed focal length lens will be brighter than a zoom lens.
     
  16. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    love that clip :smile:. don't watch the show by any means, but the last line "good luck at your next meeting" made me smile, cause you know they put something in deep with those EK guys. great writing for that show I have to be honest.

    -Dan
     
  17. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    One point to bear in mind about the Kodak Carousel projectors if you want to store your slides in the magazines, is that the circular magazines are expensive compared with the standard straight German ones that Leitz and the majority of projectors use that are just about universal, easier to obtain, and you can buy carrying boxes with handles on that hold ten 50 slide straight magazines that are easy to transport 500 slides to show you're friends and neighbours and bore them to tears.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2009
  18. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    There is a constant supply of Carousel trays on craigslist in my area in the US$0.50 to $2.00 price range. I got all I could store free from a local junior college when they transferred their instructional slides to digital. My biggest problems with the Carousel trays is the storage space inefficiency. The Leitz Pradolux RT300 being mentioned in this thread takes the 80 capacity Carousel trays and Kodak Stack Loader, but not the 120 capacity Carousel trays. In the US, where the OP lives, Carousel trays are far more readily available either new or used than Leica or other brand straight trays. The Pradolux RT300 was produced by European Singer for Leica so that they would have a projector compatible with the 99% market share that the Carousel trays occupied.

    The Kodak Stack Loader is a space efficient way way to go, with the drawbacks of a lack of reverse and no index to show which slide number you're on. I've been using one on an RT300 for 30+ years.

    Lee
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2009
  19. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I have a couple of Kodak Carousels that are not bad, but I suspect that Leica is better.

    Jeff
     
  20. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    I used Carousels (not sure which model, but would have been "top-end") in connection with my work about 20 years ago, very reliable and a quiet and gentle operation, even with Kodachrome card mounts.

    I now have 2 Pradovits with various lenses, one of which is about 40 years old from my late father. Built like tanks, you almost need two people to lift the 250w model! Leitz also produced a variety of accessories for these, including a sort of projection-microscope which fitted on the front, never managed to find one so far.

    I also have a Minox automatic projector, just like a small version of the Pradovit...perhaps made in the same factory?
     
  21. jphendren

    jphendren Member

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    "One point to bear in mind about the Kodak Carousel projectors if you want to store your slides in the magazines, is that the circular magazines are expensive compared with the standard straight German ones that Leitz and the majority of projectors use"

    Actually, I have several Kodak circular magazines in their original boxes up in my attic from our projector when I was a kid. I even think that they have some Kodachromes still in them.

    Jared
     
  22. Francis in VT

    Francis in VT Member

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    Lee L

    The Kodak Carousels that I've used over the last 40 years also have a strong propensity to go forward the first time you hit the reverse button on the remote control. So you often have to reverse three times to go back one slide.

    I remember playing with the Carousel remote and found I could go forward or reverse by using ONLY the reverse button. A quick press and release is forward and press long enough to say 'r e v e r s e' and it goes backward.

    * The Leitz Pradolux RT300 being mentioned in this thread takes the 80 capacity Carousel trays and Kodak Stack Loader, but not the 120 capacity Carousel trays.

    My experience is the RT 300 takes both 80 and 140
     
  23. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    The carousels are bulky but the Stack loader & slide clips save a lot of space. I haven't been seeing a lot of the Euro type trays in this area. You will need to have a compatible tray if you go Leitz The off brands Sawyer, Yankee, Airequipt won't work.
    I believe the Leitz projector lenses will fit the Kodaks and are just one of the better brands.
     
  24. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    I've never tried a 140 capacity carousel. They may work on the RT 300. The 120 capacity carousels don't work on my RT 300. I should keep an eye out for a 140 and try it.

    Lee
     
  25. macrorie

    macrorie Member

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    A working Kodak Ektagraphic projector with a Schneider 70-120mm lens is a nice combination. If you can find a Leitz projector with lens, by all means get it, but the Kodaks will be much more available in the US. However, as mentioned earlier, the lens makes a huge difference in image quality, and the generic Kodak, Apollo, Raynox, etc lenses are not great. Navitar, Buhl, and Schneider lenses for Kodak are usually very good.
     
  26. JohnArs

    JohnArs Subscriber

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    I have two Zeiss Ikon they got later together with Leica and mine had already a Leica Lens the Colorplan!
    Good working horses never had an issue with them, same mag as Leica!

    Cheers Armin