Are projector-viewers any good?

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by davidlong, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. I'm looking for some reasonable way to evaluate and also just to look at slides, but I don't have room to set up a projector and big screen. I see that B&H, Adorama, etc., sell some combined projector-viewers for ~$350. For example, this one. They seem to be a projectors but with the addition of a built-in flip-up screen. Are these things any good, or should I just buy a light table and a loupe? I have both Kodachrome and Velvia slides, if that makes any difference.
  2. I take almost only slides...I think that one of these projectors would work well for you if you do not want to have a projector and a screen. A projector and screen do not have to be a big set up. At home I have a projector screen that is about 4x4 and it does the for home use. You can get a good projector and screen on E-Bay cheep. If you go that route I would recommend just about any of Kodak's Ektagraphic Projectors. Kodak also made a projection unit called the AudioViewer. I was a projector with a built in viewer. It also had a tape recorder that was built in to do shows with tape recordings. I have had great luck with Kodak Projectors so far. If you are willing to go used look for a good Ektagraphic or in your case you may want an AudioViewer. Good Luck
  3. They are not bad. But a good light table and two loupes (for example, 3X and 8X) is better in the long run as
    examining critical sharpness is possible.

    Another simpler option is simply to project onto a small white flat surface using a conventional projector. My Leica
    projector has a dust cover with a flat white card interior expressly designed for this. There is no rule to say that you
    must project huge images. One issue with this solution is that assessing slide density can be difficult as, even with
    reduced lamp brightness, the image will be very bright - which looks great, but may not be so great for assessing
    scanning suitability, for example. A good light table will have a standard specified brightness. Also, unless you
    project large, or use a loupe at some stage, critical sharpness is difficult to determine.

    Another thing is that most of these projector viewers use a groundglass-type display that make sharpness
    determination very primitive. Their main function is (or rather was) to show slides in a marketing-type environment in
    average room lighting
  4. A projector (whether it has a built in viewing screen or not) and a light table serve two very different purposes. A light table lets you spread out a whole roll of slides and look at them all at once. You can sort out the obvious rejects (way under or way over exposed, way out of focus, etc.) and toss them immediately. You can put the loupe on them and judge focus very precisely. You can group together similar shots and decide which one you like best. You just group the frames from where you bracketed exposure and pick the best. You can arrange the order the slides might go in for a slide show. All of this can be done very quickly and easily, and without having to take slides in and out of a carousel. A projector is good for seeing pix blown up big. But you can't judge sharpness critically because you have the variables of the projector lens, whether it's focused properly, the screen, etc. And you can't do side by side comparisons and all of the sorting described above. I would say to work with slides you definitely need a light table but only need a projector if projecting slides is your end use.
  5. Thanks for the advice. I've decided to just get a light table and loupe for now, since evaluating sharpness and comparing bracketed exposures is one of the main things that I need to do.

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