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Slide Projectors: Which One Do I Need?

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by Edie, Mar 18, 2021.

  1. Edie

    Edie New Member

    I've just realised I put my question in the magazine help pages....I'm very sorry. (Moderator, please delete that if possible)

    I am a degree student with my exhibition in early May coming up (we've just found out it is going ahead). My plan all along has been to project the images and not create prints.

    The issue I'm having is .....I have zero experience with slide projectors and really need some advice from people who have, or do, regularly use them. If you need to point me in another direction, please do.

    I have 32 images. Ideally the 32 would display automatically then the machine would know there are no more and go back around to the beginning again. Is there a model that will do this please?

    It would make more sense to spend a few hundred pounds on a good projector which I can re-sell afterwards rather than get 80 slides made which will be useless to me after the exhibition so I don't mind spending what is necessary.

    Of course, none of these projectors are new. I am aware that there will be a risk having it running for long periods therefore, again, any suggestions as to more suitable models and perhaps models with replacement bulbs still available.

    Links or full model numbers would really help.

    Many thanks.
  2. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    What size are the slides?
    Probably 35 mm film (in mounts 2 inches square), or a larger format film in larger mounts?

    For 35 mm slides, you could buy projectors that took a straight 'magazine' that held (I think) 36 slides, or more expensive projectors that used circular 'carousel' magazines that held more slides. I believe that only some the latter type could be set up for a continuous show, and then only if all the 'slots' in the magazine were used.

    Start here:



    Some of the pictures here may help understand the different types of projector.


    Depending on what size you want the images to be when viewed, you might find it easier to get the slides scanned (to the highest quality JPG file possible) and use a PC to display then on a large flat screen TV. You could then control the sequence (by numbering the images) and have some adjustment over how long each one is displayed.

    Also, if an unattended slide projector jams when moving a slide from the magazine to where it needs to be (usually between the light source and the lens), or when returning it, there is a risk of the slide overheating and burning. Some projectors had safety devices to prevent this, but not all.

    Hopefully a forum member with more knowledge may have more information - mine's based upon memories of using projectors over 30 years ago. However, if your slides are 35 mm 64 ASA Kodachrome, and are of good technical quality, a decent projector in a dark room could produce wonderful images many feet across.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2021
  3. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Hi Edie, welcome. Sounds an exciting time given all the uncertainty. Do you have digital images or "real" slides ? By "real" I mean shot on reversal film.
  4. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    I missed that completely - references to 'slide projectors' may mean one thing to Edie and something else to me. If so, my reply must have bewildered him.
    I look forward to the response to your question.
  5. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I also am a bit confused by the 32 images and the 80 slides - typo probably. Even at 32 it’s quite a lot of pictures. I looked at Wex for digital projectors - they get expensive quite quickly - looks like there is a home cinema business. Due to Covid I haven’t been to my son’s new house but I think he has eschewed a big TV and just projects stuff streamed from the internet onto a wall a “bigger TV”.
  6. Edie

    Edie New Member


    I have considered digital projectors but if at all possible, I would like to maintain a 1970s aesthetic to the exhibit. Again, not completely ruled out digital yet...it would save a lot of worry and effort of course; just sticking a memory stick in a machine and turning it on.

    Yes, I was referring to actual physical slides. I can get them made from jpegs. I originally shot the photos on 35mm film so this is all scanned in and I used these to get a hand bound book made with giclee prints mounted on the pages rather than a shiny new white printed book. The project was a livestock market and so my exhibition needs to follow suit and not be all perfect and clean, so-to-speak.

    Thank you for the links I will take a look.

    When I say 80 slides, I believe that carousel slide projectors take 80 or 81 slides. I'm told some will automatically go back to the start if there are slides missing, other won't. So I was wondering if anyone knew the models that did have that feature.

    Hope that clarifies :)
  7. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    If your requirement is to project 35mm slides, the Kodak or Ektar projectors are the best bet. Production ended in 2004 so you'll need to look for secondhand equipment. There's a thread here that discusses many of the pitfalls: Difference Between Carousel and Ektagraphic Slide Projectors (google.com)

    If you are looking to project digital images then there are many current models available and the supplied software generally covers all the facilities you need.

    Your university's technical support department should be able to help you with either type.
  8. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Just a thought. What is happening at this exhibition? Is it a show case - in which case ignore the rest of this post - or do examiners have to look carefully at each image? Do they allow projection? I would have thought that anyone wanting to look hard at an image for assessment purposes that prints would be required.
  9. Edie

    Edie New Member

    It's just our group/course working together to produce a show. The images are already part of out major project which is an already submitted book:

    So the images themselves aren't really for 'marking' here. I think it's more about working as a team and submitting your ideas, plans and the end product. More of an artistic license allowance I think :)

    I have just had a thought though (brain is aching after all the last minute planning!); Although it won't give that lovely sound of clicking through the slides, for safety's sake (and uni H&S no doubt!) I could buy a broken projector and take out the insides and place a small digital projector in there. Yes, that would require ruining an old projector but I'm sure there are many that are no longer viable. That way it would eliminate the risk of needing to have an ancient projector on for 5 days and no worry about it burning through slides if it jammed.

    It will be huge compromise for me but I'd like to sleep during the 5 days as I won't be there to supervise it!
  10. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    Probably the best bet, they are robust machines on the whole.
    I would opine that making slides from a jpeg of a scanned image is not a great idea, you will have a third-generation image with any faults emphasised. Did you shoot your source material in colour transparency, colour negative or black & white film?
  11. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    That’s a very nice set of pictures!

    My inclination would be to stay digital, using university equipment if you can wrangle it, because they probably have heavy duty projectors able to run all day, having good resolution and a good projection distance. You could probably invent a sound track to go with the dissolve from one to another

    What I remember of the old slide projectors - and that is a long time ago - is they could be very fussy feeders and glassless slides could “pop”, going out of focus, when the projector got hot. Whether glass mounted slides are better I don’t know. They were also not very bright by modern projector standards, definitely a “lights out” viewing experience. I can’t remember how noisy they were.

    I never used reversal film myself , so I’m going back 50+ years memory wise and another generation. Maybe the later projectors of 20 years ago were better and more powerful.

    If you can get an old one to set up a set, trying to fit a working projector inside seems difficult - you’d need to stop it overheating even if everything would line up. Perhaps putting a LED torch inside or something similar would be easier to arrange.
  12. Edie

    Edie New Member

    It was basic HP5 35m. Clarity and perfection are never high on my list, quite the opposite really, especially with this project. I think the digital direction will be where I end up. Quite deflating but safer in terms of leaving it running all day unattended.
  13. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    HP5 is what I used to use. My wet printing from the neg. wasn’t anything like what can be done with a scanned image and post-processing, as I’m finding out now I started digitising all my negs.

    Let other people have their say - I’m a play safe character with no creative talent whatsoever.
  14. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    The grease in the Kodak Carousel hardens with use and age. A Kodak Carousel will almost certainly need a service. The rotary magazines also wear. A machine that has not previously been used for exhibition may still be found. Sorry mine is not available. The timer was an accessory. I don't have one. You need 81 slides for a continuous show. One loads the first slide into the projector and the other 80 into the magazine.
    HP5 images could be digitally processed but for authenticity should be copied onto film again to provide slides. You can expect a lot of waste learning to get this right.
    As far as I know, there was not a safety issue with Kodak Carousel projectors. They were very reliable, and on the odd occasion where they failed then they did so gracefully. (one slide might be damaged). Bulbs fail, but usually at switch on or if the running machine is moved. They also came with two plugin accessories. One allowed full power to the bulb, and one less power. For the best colour one uses the full power device. One of these units must be plugged in. The machine was designed for continuous operation.

    Several lenses were available. I have the Vario-Projar f3.5/70-120 which is convenient but not that bright, Retinar 150, and Retinar 85. The lens construction looks cheap but the they ycan all resolve the grain in Agfa CT-18.

    The 28 and 35mm lenses should come with dedicated condenser lenses and a tool that allows you to reach into the machine for focussing..

    If you go down this route you must find the interval timer. Most of the hundreds of thousands that were made will have been thrown away. Those which do survive will probably be boxed with projectors that are worn out.

    However you display your exhibition I hope that your photos find a secure long term home. They form a historical record of the Louth cattle mart in the first great plague of the century.
  15. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    That’s cheerful that is.
  16. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    Good idea about bastardising an old projector. You could always try to record/mimic/download from the internet somewhere, the sound of a real projector and play that as part of a soundtrack to the digital file of your photo's (as in making the display of the photos into a movie that can then play on a loop from the USB drive).

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