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Leitz Prado Universal 6X6 medium format slide projector For Sale


Leitz Prado Universal 6X6 medium format slide projector



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Leitz Prado Universal 6X6 medium format slide projector:
$539

Leitz Prado Universal 6X6 medium format slide projector, based on the Prado Universal light source. In its medium format carrier fit the industry standard 70mm slides with openings for 6X6, 6X4.5 (or 645) and 24X56mm (panoramics, as shot with the Mamiya 6MF or the Horizon swing lens cameras.

The Prado Universal manual projector from Leitz is most often encountered as a 35mm projector but can still be found in labs and universities all over the world as a microscope projector.

In order to achieve full illumination of the 6X6 transparency (standard opening being actually 55X55mm out of the standard 56X56 frame you get from your Hasselblad, Rollei or Bronica cameras) all the internal optics have to be oversized vs. the 35mm or microscope projector versions, as well as the nose assembly being a totally different affair. Thus, converting a 35mm Prado Universal to Prado Universal 6X6 is almost impossible anymore (I called Leica a couple of years ago and the slide bar alone was $250 special order from Solms to replace). That is obviously for the daydreamers out there!

Back to this projector:

Specifications: 2 channel forced convection cooling (motor in the base drives, via a rubber belt, the dual fan with the first, axial fan component (angled blades as in a ceiling fan) blowing fresh air onto the slide stage, transformer and motor; the second channel, having a radial fan (similar to your furnace fan) on the other side of the fan hub, which expells the warm air from the lamp and optics cluster. In addition, the other end of the motor shaft is fitted with an additional radial fan which blows some of the fresh air from the bottom of the projector onto the slide stage (there is a special cooling channel for that, which mates with venting slots in the slide carrier.

This, being a late, improved version of the Universal, features a thermal cutoff relay (U shaped bimetal strip in the exhaust path trips the relay in case of obstruction or belt breakage. To restart the projector, wait for it to cool down (replace belt or clear obstruction) and push the connecting bar down. You ofter find the older version with cracked or broken fan (still available, but not cheap and the labor and skill required to replace it are considerable/

Metal construction (except for the plastic fan, insulators and glass); one by one slide feeding with the slide bar (which actually makes sense in medium format, where you don't mounts hundreds of slides for a show, as you will be selecting pictures a lot more carefully, and you tend to dwell on a slide for a lot longer than on a 35mm). Slide changing takes place this way: slide the slide bar so that the new slide is in the stage and you can change the slide in the other slot. That is a lot better than for example Mamiya Pro Cabin 6X7 slide projector in its basic configuration as "single shot" (drop or push the slide in from the top; then pull it up and put the other one in (in the meantime blinding everybody with a white screen). The slide bar is a $125 or so option on the Mamiya.

Anyway, back to the Leica: it uses a low voltage quartz halogen lamp, ANSI code EHJ, 24V 250W peanut bipin type which allows the condensing system to be designed more “focused” because of its small filament patch (as opposed to the larger filament of the older incandescent lamps, as used, for example in the older Prado 66 and Rollei P11.0). In addition, the quartz halogen lamp doesn’t darken with age, doesn’t develop blisters (which can touch and destroy the adjacent condenser) AND last twice as much at full illumination; 4 times as much at 80% output (half lamp symbol on the rotary switch). Modern aspherical condenser lens elliminates one extra condensor and thus increases light efficiency; very uniform illumination due to first class optics; precision slide carrier keeps your images in the same place on the screen. Modified 3 point leveling system (two knurled nuts move the two front feet up and down while the knob at the back (right) releases the back foot bar which is "hinged" at the center and then tighten it for 4 point support even if the surface is uneven)

This particular projector comes with a 150mm 1:2.8 Leitz Elmaron lens (matched to the field condenser) in excellent condition. Performance on the screen is exemplary and justifies Leitz' name. This lens would beat, from my experience, for example, the Rollei Heidosmat 150/2.8 (as found on the Rollei P11 projectors) Will Wetzlar 150/3 Or Liesegang Patrinast 150/3.5 (as found in Kindermann/Liesegang projectors), Rollei Heidosmat 150/3.5 (current), Isco 135mm (as found in Malinverno, Trumpf or Planet medium format). To beat this you would need to get a 5 element lens like Zeiss P-Planar or Schneider AV-Xenotar HFT. Either one of those lenses sold for about more than the starting offer on this projector by themselves (without the Hasselblad or Rollei or Goetschmann projectors).

The projector was offered in this particular configuration for $1249.00 in the early 1980’s (the projector was discontinued in 1985). If you adjust for inflation to see what Leica would charge you nowadays if they still made a medium format projector you would have sticker shock! In excellent+ condition as seen in the pictures; perfect working.

The projector is adaptable to most voltages out there and uses widely available IEC type power cords (one is included, of course) the same as used by your desktop computer, for example. Please do not copy my descriptions in whole or in part.


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