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How to Choose A 16mm Movie Projector

There was a time when people watched all films through a movie projector, and by and large, the 16 mm projector was a common size for home users. Eiki is a Japanese company that specializes in manufacturing projectors, and they've been doing so for over 60 years. The brand released a few variations of projectors, but their 16 mm model continues to be a common choice for those interested in film and traditional methods of viewing. The difference their projectors had was that they used fewer materials and moving parts to operate which made them more affordable and lighter than others, adding to their popularity.

What Features Are Important for a Projector?

When you're in the market for a 16 mm projector from Eiki, you need to find one with the features that suit your viewing needs. These are some standard features you might find and how they can impact the final product and film.

  • Lamp: There are different lamps available for projectors starting from around 150 watts and upwards. A 300-watt lamp is generally the standard for film viewing, with a replacement bulb on hand.
  • Sound: Some projectors are capable of both sound and video, sometimes using a separate sound track to achieve this.
  • Threading: Either manual or automatic threading is available for the reel, and some with dual gauge.
  • Projection: Most styles come with a zoom lens that allows you to get the right projection. Models that came after the late 80's feature LCD projection technology.

What Can You Do with a 16mm Projector?

Although there are more modern ways to view media these days, there are also many reasons why people would want to invest in an old projector. Here are just a few ways you could use a 16mm projector, either in used or good condition.  

  • Education and training: The original 16 mm film projector was often a tool for classroom instruction, generally without sound.
  • Media: The most common use today for projectors is to watch movies, provided you have a library of 16 mm film to choose from.
  • Parts: Some projectors you can find will sell just for their parts, helping others to fix their machines if possible and replace lamps, bulbs, and reels. This is important to remember if you can't find individual parts on their own.