Who makes the best 35mm slide projectors?
Leica. That's easy.
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.
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.
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.
love that clip . 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.
Originally Posted by Donmck
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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 benjiboy; 11-14-2009 at 07:17 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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.
Last edited by Lee L; 11-14-2009 at 07:30 AM. Click to view previous post history.
I have a couple of Kodak Carousels that are not bad, but I suspect that Leica is better.
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?
"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.