What brands/features should I look for in a slide projector? Most of my slides are underwater photography...
John A. Lind
Most important to me is the lens. If you are in the U.S. the easiest to find trays and other accessories for are the Kodak Carousels. They are, by far, the most common. (In Europe and some other locations, the Leica is quite common with its straight trays.)
I don't mind manually focusing at the projector, but some find it a chore and it's a pain if you need to be near the screen. It's a consideration for having a remote focusing control. Autofocus is similar consideration. Some systems for this are very good, but they're not as exacting as manual focusing (the ones I've used are not).
I found the Kodak lenses provided with their projectors to be lacking some (typically a 4" f/2.8 lens). The best inexpensive lens I've seen is the Schneider-Kreuznach Vario-Prolux MC. It's an f/2.8 zoom and performs noticeably better than Kodak's typical 4" lens and Kodak's equivalent zoom lens. Just as precision camera lenses make an enormous difference in photographs, they make an enormous difference in slide projection. Think of projection as the reverse of capturing the image on film to begin with.
A white matte screen allows projecting the sharpest images although it's not as reflective as other surfaces and requires a darker room. Glass bead is the most reflective, but the rough surface degrades projected image sharpness. They're each a trade-off.
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