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  1. Anyone particularly knowledgeable on Bell & Howell Autoloader 456A Projector, please help. Recently got this from a relative who passed and it physically works great. However, even after removing the lens module, unscrewing it apart, cleaning the flat glass piece on the end and the larger (screen side) end concave glass with glass cleaner (don't have the tool to unscrew and get to the inside of the center glass piece - that looks as if it is full of bubbles when held up to a light) the picture is still blurred and dim, although the unit projects a lot of light on the screen and it is very hard to focus (95% is about the best I can get). Any thoughts?
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  2. I own that projector. My dad bought it around 1962. It ran great until about thirty years ago when one of the internal gears came loose. I've been meaning to attempt to fix it, but it will be a long, difficult operation.

    It sounds like someone may have monkeyed around with the condenser. I haven't had mine apart for a decade, so I don't remember the order of the glass elements. If you are missing a piece, or if one of them is backwards, you might get the results you describe with the light being dim.

    Lack of focus sounds like the lens isn't seated properly, or is not swinging into place correctly. Also, I assume that you know that this unit has a zoom lens. Try playing around with the zoom a little bit.

    Finally, you are a little unclear in your description, but if the lens itself looks like it is full of bubbles, then the lens is shot.

    eBay is your friend.
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  3. OK, I appreciate that and I will see if changing the position of the one piece of the lens that I can manipulate helps.

    Also, about the lens assembly, the small flat piece of glass (that is closest to the film) is crystal clear, then on the inside of the lens assembly, towards the center, there is glass piece that is fixed in position and with the "zooming" chrome barrel and concave lens end (which is crystal clear also, located at the opposite end of the lens assembly, closet to the screen) removed, when looking from the flat clear end and holding it up to a light, what you see is foggy, grey with randomly scattered bubbles.

    I do see some form of the picture and can almost focus clearly (95%) when words come up in the film. I saw a previous thread that someone mentioned the possibility of "fungus" in the lens and was just not sure if the bubbles were normal, or the fungus described. It would really help if whenever you, or anyone who may have this (or similar) projector, could hold your lens up to a light and tell me what you see?...

    Thanks
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  4. OK, my projector is in a closet thirty feet from me. I've attached three pics, including one looking down through the lens. I thought you were talking about the condenser, which is located back in the body of the projector. If you are talking about the lens itself (which I show in the pics), and it has "bubbles" or any other visual degradation, it is shot and cannot be repaired.

    I have never been able to figure out this site's lousy image uploading, so all I can do is attach them. Hopefully it will be enough to let you see what I have.
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  5. Thanks, that helps! Now when I hold my lens as you are in the picture, it looks the same. Could I ask if you would use it as a telescope and hold it up to a light (looking from the rear lens) and tell me if you still have a clear view of the light?
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  6. Originally Posted by 7611wpd View Post
    Thanks, that helps! Now when I hold my lens as you are in the picture, it looks the same. Could I ask if you would use it as a telescope and hold it up to a light (looking from the rear lens) and tell me if you still have a clear view of the light?
    It is like any lens I've ever looked through: totally and completely clear with no visible flaw in any of the glass elements inside the lens. That is the only way a lens can possibly be, if it is going to do its job.
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  7. Thanks, I appreciate all of your help!
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