ILFORD Elmo

From around mid-1964 to the end of 1969, Ilford acted as UK distributor for a range of equipment from the Elmo Company Ltd, Japan. Mostly this range consisted of cine cameras and projectors, but included at least one 35mm still slide projector.

Elmo produced a wide range of cine equipment, much of which was made and imported into the UK both prior to, and after termination of, Ilford's involvement.

During 1962, a firm called Rosley Ltd; of 31, Webley Hill Road, Wembley, Middlesex, advertised Elmo equipment regularly in Amateur Photographer (AP) magazine and so were presumably the UK distributors at that time. In the 18th September 1963 edition, Rosley are claiming to be 'Sole Importers and Trade Distributors' for the 'Argus Automatic 8' cine camera, which appears to be a rebadged version of the Yashica 8-ES cine camera.

Whether the move by Rosley away from Elmo and towards Argus signals that Ilford were, by 1963, getting involved as the new UK distributors for Elmo, is unknown, but in the 3rd June 1964 edition of Amateur Photographer, Ilford are advertising for a 'Cine Camera Repairer' "....to repair and service cine cameras, projectors and sound equipment, for a new Section, recently formed..". The Ilford Elmo slide projector appears in AP's 9th September 1964 'Enlarger and (still) Projector Guide'.

By AP's 7th April 1965 edition (which includes their annual Cine Guide), Ilford Ltd are named as distributors for a range of Elmo equipment, branded Ilford Elmo (the hyphenated Ilford-Elmo name sometimes appears, but mostly it is written without the hyphen). No Super 8mm cameras or film (or Fuji Single 8) are mentioned in the April 1965 Guide, so it must have been published prior to the 1965 launch by Kodak of their new amateur Super 8 (and Fuji Single 8) format.

Bill Smith tells me that although the majority of Elmo cine cameras were sold through the dealer network, they were also sold as prestige items in promotional markets, mainly as corporate gifts. An Ilford-Elmo 16mm projector (from 1967) was widely sold to industrial and scientific users, including the Jodrell Bank telescope site.

Clive Lunn e-mailed to say "Reading your Elmo page reminded me of winning a competition (as a dealer) and being taken to New York and Niagra for 7 days with Bunny Austin - the Ilford Elmo representative at the time. I was only in my early 20s so you can imagine the impression I have of that".

From 1st January 1970, Ilford announced that Elmo cine equipment would, in future, be distributed and serviced by C.Z.Scientific Instruments Ltd, 93/97 New Canvendish St, London, W1A 2AR (best known for being sole UK agents for the Pentacon - Praktica camera range, imported from VEB Pentacon, Dresden, GDR. In the period 1976-1984, Paul Godfrey recalls C.Z’s sales representative was Eddie Overy). Responsibility for servicing of previously sold Ilford Elmo equipment was also transferred to C.Z.Scientific. This decision coincided with Ilford's decision to also cease distributing the last of their still cameras, in particular the Ilfomatic 126 cartridge camera range.


Six Ilford Elmo cine cameras comprise the range illustrated within AP's 1965 Cine Guide. Five of them are illustrated left with the sixth being the 8-TL4, identical to the illustrated 8-TL6 apart from having a 4x zoom (7.5 to 30mm) instead of the 6x zoom of the 8-TL6 (7.5 to 45mm). All are described and priced in the text extract (below). The Ilford Elmo 8-TL6 wasn't available at the time of the Guide being published (7th April); Ilford had a full page advert for the camera (p89) saying "...only a few weeks away!".

There were also two 8mm silent projectors and one 8mm sound projector,
see above and description below.

 

Rosley Limited, the UK Elmo distributors prior to Ilford, advertised (in AP magazines during 1962) three of the items listed as being Ilford Elmo in 1965. Rosley distributed the Elmo 8SS and Elmo 8EE cameras (much the same apart from the SS being spring powered while the EE relied upon four 'penlight' batteries) and the FP 'silent film' 8mm projector. Between the 1962 Rosley adverts and the 1965 AP Guide showing the same equipment badged as Ilford Elmo, prices dropped significantly. The two cameras had been reduced by over 18% and the projector by over 25%.

The black & white pictures below are taken from the 1962 Rosley Ltd. adverts.

Two views (left and above) of an Ilford Elmo 8-SS.

Ilford Elmo 8-EE, much the same as the 8-SS (see above) but powered by 4 penlight (AA) batteries which fitted into the square grey plastic battery pack, seen to the left of the camera in the right hand picture. The door to the battery compartment is shown removed. The battery compartment occupies the space of the spring powered mechanism of the Ilford Elmo 8-SS.
The centre picture, with the film compartment door removed, shows that the inside of the door continued Ilford's silent salesman technique by extolling users to "Use Ilfochrome Double 8mm Cine Film". The take-up spool is labelled Ilford Elmo.

Ilford ran a series of Ilford Elmo adverts in 'Photography' magazine for 1967.

 
May & July 1967
Click the image for an enlarged view.
The Ilford Elmo C-200 offered a choice between using Kodak's Super 8 cartridge system and Fuji's Single 8.
To download the AP test of 9th August 1967, click here.


August 1967
Click the image for an enlarged view

The Ilford Elmo C-300 could use standard 8mm, Super 8, Single 8 and (by autumn 1967) Double Super 8.


An advertising brochure for the
Ilford Elmo C-300 and C-200 zoom cine cameras.


Above and left, Ilford Elmo C-300

Ilford Emo Pocket Auto standard 8mm, with eye cup, wrist strap and battery powered remote control connnector (see right)

 
Click the image for an enlarged view.


An X-Ray image of an 8TL4 provided by John Smailes
Click the image for an enlarged view
Interestingly, the Ilford Elmo 8-TL4 is significantly cheaper in June 1967 than when advertised in April 1965 (-12%) while the 8-TL6 model is slightly more expensive than in 1965 (+£1.84p). This is still a 'standard' 8mm camera, not a Super 8.


May & July 1967
Click the image for an enlarged view; also to see some additional images, seemingly of a post-1970 Elmo FP-C, provided
by ebay seller sawyer6969. Below them, are pictures showing the electrical plug socket of an FP-C, sent by Jenny Howell.

The Ilford Elmo FP-C could project standard 8mm and the new (1965) cartridge formats, Super 8 and Single 8.
"Just press the red button to decide"


Picture of an Ilford Elmo FP-C taken from the ebay auction site.
My acknowledgements to the original owner of this image.

The price of the Ilford Elmo FP-C was reduced from £55.10s
to £49.19s.6d (£49.98p) in August 1967

August 1967
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Ilford Elmo 8C-A.
A relatively simple battery driven standard 8mm camera with a fixed focus non-zoom lens.


The lens cap of the Ilford Elmo 8C-A reads ILFORD ELMO

AP magazine for June 1968 carried an Ilford advert for the Elmo Super 104, being a Super 8mm camera with f1.8 8.5mm to 34mm zoom lens. Battery powered zoom, camera drive motor and exposure control.

Click here, or the image for an enlarged view of the advert, plus pictures of an actual camera.


Ilford Elmo 8-CZ Std.8mm cine camera.
11-33mm f1.8 zoom lens, fully auto CdS exposure control,
battery powered motor drive.
Seen here with optional extra; power zoom grip.

December 1967
Click the image for an enlarged view plus also see pictures of actual Ilford Elmo CS projectors taken from the ebay auction site (with my acknowledgement.)

A simple and compact domestic colour slide projector. Claimed "for all 2"x2" slides", so presumably capable of optically 'covering' 4cmx4cm slides (as obtained from 12 on 127 roll film cameras) as well as 35mm.


Taken from the 'Projector Guide' in 'Photography' magazine
for December 1967.

This page last modified: 16th July 2014