There are few 35mm slide projectors made these days. Those that are made use the straight magazine or the vertical rotary magazine (and most often they take both). However, there are hundreds of second-hand slide projectors out there that are perfectly serviceable.
The Kodak Carousel range of projectors were made for many years and were built for long term service in commercial environments. This makes them ideal for extended use, even today.
The Carousel slide projector was introduced in the early 1960’s and the slide tray design is the key – not only was the slide tray spill-proof and held 80 slides but it fed slides into the projector by gravity, a great aid to reliability.
In 1979 the splendid German-made Kodak Carousel S-AV range of projectors were introduced. Built like tanks, they were specifically designed for multiple projector slide shows. When linked to tape recorders and dissolve units a fully automated multiple image, multiple screen audio-visual experience became possible.
Extending the range came Ektagraphic and Ektalite models but our focus is on the Ektapro range that was introduced in 1992 and were made until 2004. The Ektapro’s had much better lamp technology, lamp heat management and computer controllability and a 10 million slide change lifetime.
Which projector to choose?
The S-AV and Ektapro ranges are both built like tanks and will give good service with little to go wrong. The models within each range all sport features ranging from basic to comprehensive, so check out what the projector is capable of before purchase. Lamp availability is fine still for both ranges.
However, our recommendation is to go for the Kodak Ektapro models 30**, 40**, 50**, 70**, 90**. The model numbers changed over time and features were updated but all except to 30** series have:
- Auto-lamp switch on bulb failure
- Extra bright lamp control
- Random access via infrared remote control
- Compatible with spiral and gear rack mount lenses
- System check and tray zeroing on switch on
- No slide – no light feature
- Economy lamp setting
- Lamp failure indicators
- Zero positioning indicator
- Mains voltage: 120, 220, 230, 240 V, Frequency 50/60 Hz
- Dual-plane pressure system slide gate
The 5000 and 9000 series have autofocus and built in timer (1 to 60 second slide changes) for self-running presentations.