Top 5 Slide Projectors You Can Buy Today and Where to Get Them

Top 5 Slide Projectors You Can Buy Today and Where to Get Them

If you have dozens of slides containing old memories, then a slide projector can help you view them as originally intended. Plus, it allows you to share and reminisce over the slides with family and friends. 

Capture offers over 20 years of experience converting slides to digital and helping 12 million families view their memories. So, we put together this guide to help you get a reliable and quality slide projector so you too can view your slide memories. 

Keep reading to learn what to look for in the best slide projectors, 5 of the top options you can still find today, and some top tips to help you out through the buying process. 

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Criteria for Selecting the Best Slide Projectors

Slide film is designed to be viewed through a slide projector, but not all projectors are created equal. So, how can you determine which ones are the best? By following these 5 criteria. 

Image Quality

You will need to consider the image quality of different carousel slide projectors because the difference can be quite significant. That’s because the best slide projectors for home use offer better lenses and bulbs. That means higher resolution, better clarity, more accurate colors, and a brighter overall projection. 

Ease of Use

Some slide viewers and projectors are extremely annoying to use, especially for the modern consumer. Keep this in mind. Not only that, but some are only compatible with a specific photo slide size, while others are compatible with multiple formats. Consider convenient features like an easy-remove slide tray or remote control for easier use. 

Portability

Do you intend to take your slide projector with you to family gatherings, vacations, or anywhere else? Some are bulky, heavy, and hard to set up while others are more portable and lightweight. This might not be important for everyone, but it’s an essential factor for anyone who plans on moving their projector often. 

Additional Features

There are a variety of additional features that you can look for with a slide projector including remote control options, built-in speakers, auto-focus, included repair kit, and more. There are even some movie projectors with slideshow options for your photo slides.  

Price and Value

Last but not least is the price. You don’t want to overpay, but you should also consider that refurbished and better-conditioning options are generally more expensive. That being said, there are affordable slide projectors that are quite good if you know what to look for and where to look, so keep reading this guide to find out! 

Top Slide Projectors on the Market

While some may disagree, these are our slide projector recommendations that are exceptional for their features, price, availability, and other factors. 

1. Kodak Carousel 4200

Image Source: https://picturestoryteller.com/2015/04/06/the-kodak-carousel/

This Eastman Kodak carousel slide projector is very durable and offers sharp images with manual focus. It can accept 2x2 inch slides in 80 or 140 slide trays. With a remote control, you can scan forward and reverse, adjust projection levels, and ensure the best quality images. 

While not as portable as the Kodak Ektagraphic III because it doesn’t have a handle case, it’s still lightweight. Plus, this slide projector model uses a gravity feed so it’s easy on old slides. 

However, it’s a little more expensive than other options (around $200 to $250 refurbished), which is why it’s perfect for collectors or anyone who wants to view slides often. However, if you want a more affordable option that’s comparable with less top-notch features, you could consider the Kodak Ektapro Ektagraphic Slide Projector. 

Pros

  • Great remote control function
  • Very durable 
  • Easy on old slides
  • Forward and reverse features

Cons

  • More expensive than some options

 

2. Vivitar 3000AF

Image Source: https://www.amazon.com/Vivitar-5000-AF-Slide-Projector/dp/B00004RIJ6

This Vivitar slide film projector is a 1980s take on the simple Bell & Howell or Sawyer’s Rotomatic projectors from the 1960s but offers a little more than the most basic options. It works with 35 mm slides and is readily available and very affordable. 

With a lightweight and portable design as well as a remote control, auto focus, and easy-to-use design, it’s a go-to for any beginner who’s not looking for something fancy. Even though it’s not as durable as other brands like the Sawyer Rotomatic 700, it’s probably the best option on our list as far as value goes. 

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Remote-control
  • Auto-focus
  • Easy to Use

Cons

  • Not extremely durable
  • Might be hard to find replacement parts

 

3. GAF Anscomatic 660 Projector

Image Source: https://picclick.com/GAF-ANSCOMATIC-SLIDE-PROJECTOR-660-WORKING-box-manual-192098230956.html

This GAF photo scanner offers the old-school aesthetic of a Super 8 projector and compatibility with all 2x2 slides. First, it’s very durable in every way with a protected design, quality projection lamp, slide mounts, and high lumen bulb. 

It offers both manual and auto focus features as well as a wired remote. Even better, the auto focus is superb and easy to use even for beginners to slide projectors. Combined with the high-quality lens with heat-absorbing glass, it’s a recipe for top-quality images of your family memories. 

The main downside is that if it were to break down, the parts would be hard to find. Plus, the wired remote is kind of finicky, and many options available online have broken remotes altogether. 

Pros

  • Very durable
  • High-quality image
  • Easy to use auto focus

Cons

  • Hard to find parts
  • Remote isn’t great quality 

 

4. Reflecta Diamator AFM

Image Source: https://fk-secondhand.com/en/shop/reflecta-diamator-afm-tischprojektor-defekt/

This large AF slide viewer is really cool because it has a built-in projector screen and is very portable. That means you can easily view your slides from almost anywhere, but you can also switch to full projection onto a larger wall or screen. 

It works with 35mm slides and offers a remote control with an easy touch button for slideshows. Plus, you can change the lighting and focus for great image quality without complex controls. 

While it’s great for easy viewing, the image quality does decrease when you project on a separate, larger screen. Still, it’s an incredible option that’s available for around $150 to $200. 

Pros

  • Built-in projection screen
  • Great lighting and focus features
  • Lightweight and portable

Cons

  • Image quality isn’t as good on large screens
  • Cost more than some other options due to the unique built-in screen 

 

5. Leitz Pradovit 250 Projector

Image Source: https://van-eck.net/en/product/leitz_pradovit_color_250_belt_-fan_belt/

This Leitz (now Leica) slide projector model offers German engineering, a great lens, and high lumens projections as well as an easy-to-operate slide tray with a capacity of 50 slides. It was sold from the late '60s until the late '70s, but many of them are still in existence because of their great durability. Plus, it offers the charm of an older Argus Slide Projector, but with modern features. 

The bright lumens make it a great choice for large projections. It offers manual and auto focus abilities, allowing the user to create the perfect image of even your oldest photographs. 

The worst thing about this projector is that it can only hold 50 slides at once without a separate slide tray. Not only that, but it’s hard, though not impossible, to find a larger slide tray that fits this model. Some people have had success using stack loader trays from Rollei projectors, but that does mean more searching and effort.  

Pros

  • Very durable
  • Bright image quality
  • Easy to use 

Cons

  • Only holds 50 transparencies without additional accessories 
  • Light bulbs burn out faster than other models

Where to Buy Slide Projectors

So, where can you buy slide projectors? Here are a few options that you should consider and information about them to help you make the best decision. 

Online Marketplaces

Online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay are great options because they often have a wide variety of projectors to choose from. Plus, the pricing can be great because there is plenty of supply with less demand. Not only that, but people post their projectors who want to get rid of them anyway. 

However, if you choose to go this route, be careful because some options might be in poor condition. Others might not work at all. Usually, the terms and conditions of eBay or Amazon protect you from this, but it still wastes your time. 

Specialty Electronics Stores

Maybe our favorite place to buy projectors is from specialty electronics stores. Options like B&H Photo offer guidance, warranties, FAQs, and refurbished models in great condition. Others like Adorama and Porter Electronics offer tons of parts as well as full projectors in mint condition. 

Generally, these places will be a little more expensive, but are unlikely to sell you a poor-quality machine unless they specifically detail that it’s not in good condition. 

Manufacturer Websites

While most manufacturers have moved on to digital projectors and don’t even sell older models, there are some that offer slide scanners still. You’ll have to check and find out, but if you do find one that does, they might have brand new machines with complete manuals and warranties. 

Even if they don’t publicly sell them anymore, you might have luck contacting some smaller makers directly. Let us know if you find one, we’d love to hear about it! 

Second-Hand Markets

Places like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace allow you to meet up with people who are selling projectors locally. Of course, be careful meeting strangers, but this option allows you to inspect the machine up close. 

That’s a great benefit because you can check the quality and maybe even test out the projection. Plus, you can ask questions and possibly find out about the history of the specific projector! That being said, your options will likely be limited, especially if you don’t live near a large city. 

Collector and Hobbyist Shops

You might have local collector and hobbyist shops in your area that sell vintage electronics. Not only will they have slide projectors, but they will probably carry old film projectors, camcorders, 8mm film cameras, VCRs, CD players, record players, and so much more. 

Additionally, try checking local pawn shops, estate sales, and even local newspaper listings for potential projector options. 

Tips for Buying a Slide Projector

Now that you know where to look and some top slide projector features and models to look for, check out these tips. 

Determine Your Needs

Consider how you will be using your slide projector. Some offer a larger slide capacity, heavy-duty designs, and complex manual features more suited to professional use while others are portable, easy to use, and have remote control, auto focus, and easy-carry designs that most personal users would prefer. 

Check Compatibility

Make sure that the projector you choose will work for all the slides you have. Otherwise, you might have to end up buying another one! Additionally, consider the types of bulbs, lenses, and other features it has before purchasing. 

Read Reviews and Ratings

Reviews will tell you a lot about a specific projector model. Check multiple reviews as well as what people say in online communities like Reddit or other forums. This can help you determine the strengths and weaknesses of a model, which can help you decide if it fits your needs. 

Consider the Warranty and Support

While specialty shops might offer ongoing support, warranties, and repairs, others only include the as-is machine. While you will likely pay more for a machine from a shop that offers above-and-beyond services, it can be worth it in the long run. 

Inspect Before Purchasing 

If buying online, you can’t inspect thoroughly, but you can still investigate photos and ask plenty of questions before purchasing. In person, you should check everything thoroughly so you can make sure everything is included and in good condition. 

Conclusion

Hopefully, this buying guide for slide projectors gives you everything you need to find the perfect projector for your needs. You can’t go wrong with any of the models we suggested, but using our tips and criteria, you can probably find one yourself as well! 

Either way, we strongly recommend that you convert slides to digital before using them. That way, no matter what happens, the memories are preserved as high-quality digital images. Capture offers exceptional film slide scanning services with 30-day turnaround time, a satisfaction guarantee, and affordable pricing. Click here to learn more. 

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