Grahame N's Web Pages


from Grahame Newnham

A well known French cine equipment manufacturer, appearing in the French cine magazines after the second World War. Somewhat a low profile company, taking just quarter page adverts every few months or so from around 1950. We know they began with one simple cine camera (available in both 9.5mm and 8mm models), plus a small range of cine projectors, in 9.5mm, 8mm and 16mm, and soon with a dual-gauge 9.5mm/16mm machine.

Currently I have little background information on the company, but thanks to a lovely, individually numbered souvenir catalogue (see just below) we know that it was begun in 1930 in Le Mans, France by a Monsieur Henri Legeay.

The 1950s address is given as 29 Rue Armand-Saffray, Le Mans, France. By 1950 there were 160 employees at the Ciné-Gel premises. Later there was also a Paris contact address or maybe showroom.

It wasn't until the 1960s that Ciné-Gel equipment arrived in the UK. In 1960 a batch of 8mm Ciné-Gel Royal 300 projectors were marketed in the UK by Harringay Photographic (discount photographic dealers); I guess this must hasve been a bulk purchase of clearance stock. The late Larry Pearce, keen 9.5mm cine dealer (LGP Cine), soon imported some of the later Ciné-Gel dual 9.5mm / 16mm sound projectors, later once a modern plastic moulded cine projector had arrived in both 8mm and 9.5mm, an official UK importer distributor (A.I.C.O. - Apparatus and Instrument Company) came on the scene. The new 9.5mm projector became a big seller (far more popular than the 8mm model). A new zoom cine camera also arrived in the UK. By the 1970s, whilst there was a promise of a new model projector in 9.5mm, I think Ciné-Gel moved into Super 8mm, but I doubt if any more products arrived on the UK market (we were becoming flooded with Japanese equipment by then!).


Thanks to the French amateur cine magazine Ciné Amateur for May 1950, there is a complete directory of all the cine cameras currently available. We can see from the part below that Ciné-Gel produced a neat simple cine camera "The Reinette". The 9.5mm model used charger loading, but with a special black bakelite film charger made just for this camera that held from 9 to 15 metres of film.(that is 30 foot to 50 foot). I can't find adverts for these ready loaded with camera film, so maybe users had to load them themselves. The camera ran at a fixed speed of 16 frames / second and was supplied with an interchangeable fixed focus lens of f3.5 or later, f2.5 aperture.


My own 9.5mm Ciné-Gel Reinette (probably dating from 1953), has a 20mm f2.5 Rousell lens in a non-standard screw mount. (Typical serial numbers for these cine cameras are 330, 627). The 8mm model was similar, but used the standard 25 foot double-run spools.

This illustration, probably from the instruction booklet, shows "A" the footage counter reset knob; "B" the footage counter (well in metres); "C" the single frame release; "D" the start button; "E" the inching knob. Inside the camera we see "F" the film gate and "H" the presser plate assembly. The film path is clearly shown with film contained in the film charger "G".

My 9.5mm Reinette camera

CINÉ-GEL HL CAMERA (1955 - 195? )

By the mid. 1950s, another cine camera had been introduced - the Reinette HL - later the term 'Reinette' seems to have been dropped, using just the term 'HL' for this soon to become, range of cine cameras.

The HL was a larger higher specification model, with fancier upgrades soon to come. The HL was spool loading, taking either 15 metre (50 foot) or 30 metre (100 foot) spools. The lens was in a standard "C" mount, whilst filming speeds of 8 to 48 frames / second; single frame, backwind and a frame counter were offered. There was a direct vision viewfinder fitted to the top of the camera. (I think the pistol grip shown in the photo is a later addition). There should be a separate backwind handle which fits in the hole when the little cover on the side by the lens is unscrewed. The feed and take-up spools fitted on the same spindle with a single sprocket fitted with inner teeth for feed and outer teeth for take-up. Sounds complicated but seems to work fine.


9.5mm Ciné-Gel Super HL cine camera

By 1957 another model of the HL arrived - the 'Super HL' - this used the same body (and hence basic specifications), but had the added luxury of a triple lens turret - this was still suitable for the standard "C" mount lenses. Normally it seems to have come with Som Berthiot lenses - a 20mm f1.9 focusiing and a 75mm F2.5 focusiing; - not sure what, or if, a third lens was supplied; maybe someone can help?

"Centre-Sprocket" note in the Amateur Cine World magazine 2Nov1961

The direct vision viewfinder was now a zoom to suit various lens focal lengths. By now I think the pistol grip was supplied with the camera.

A decent size advert at last! - French 'Le Cinema Chez Soi' magazine April 1958
there is now a Paris address; looks like the restyling (photo above) and pistol grip was for UK models

Super HL showing film chamber - single feed/take-up sprocket
comcentric spools - inner feed; sleeve drives outer take-up spool
the double sprocket can just be seen.

Typical serial number: BB301


The final 9.5mm cine camera from Ciné-Gel used the HL body, but was now fitted with a Berthiot zoom lens. The 9.5mm Ciné-Gel Super HL Zoom cine camera arrived in the UK in 1965 (see UK review further below), but maybe had been in production and available in France somewhat earlier. Certainly a few were sold in the UK, by main dealers LGP Cine (Larry Pearce) and D.M. Bentley.

My 9.5mm Ciné-Gel Super HL Zoom cine camera, sadly no pistol-grip or backwind handle

This camera has the same HL body with single frame release, variable filming speeds 8 - 48 frames / second, backwind, (it says, but I can't see how!), and frame counter. The optical viewfinder along the top of the camera is replaced by the zoom lens viewfinder. The lens mount is still the standard 'C' mount, the Som-Berthiot lens is fairly compact giving a range of 17mm to 85mm with a maximum aperture of f3.5. I find mine difficult to handle, being quite bulky. The pistol-grip would improve things, but it has to be the original Jo-Ke (is it?) - it has a linkage to fit over the start button as the camera has no cable release.

Advert in the Group 9.5 magazine "The 9.5 Review" Aug/Sept1964


Again I can begin with a 1950 French cine magazine projector guide which gives a start for models and dates. Certainly Ciné-Gel produced quite a good range of cine projectors, in all the 8mm, 9.5mm and 16mm gauges plus a couple of dual gauge 9.5mm ./ 16mm models. I also have a 1948 Broussou French cata;ogue which yields dates of 1948 for the Royal 210 / Royal 220 and Royal 225 projecrors.

The early machines were all well made, mostly from alloy castings; later machines were assembled into a rexine covered wooden case using a pressed steel chassis. Final late 1960s and 1970s models were mostly from plastic mouldings. Another variation seems to be the colour finish. Very early (maybe 1940s) machines were finished in black, Later cast alloy machines are generally grey, but I have seen a few finished in a brown colour. I have tried to rely on magazine adverts to identify dates.

Finally one help with dating projectors is the mains voltage. France mostly had 110 volt AC mains up to the mid 1950s (few French people even know this today!). So much electrical equipmemt was originally 110 volt, later, nearing the changeover, most equipment was selectable 110 and 220 volt. Nowadays equipment in France is generally 230 volt 50 Hz working. So take care! Earlier French electrical equipment may not be marked, but generally will be for 110 volts AC. In the UK 110 volt step-down transformers are quite common - now used for industrial equipment (safety rules!), but can often be found from vintage American 16mm projectors for example. I have made up a decent 750 watt transformer fitted with French mains sockets. All my earlier French gear is fitted with French mains plugs, so hopefully I will be forced to plug it all into my 110 volt transformers! Naturally a few step-down transformers turn up in French car-boot sales 'brocante' and generally just need a decent three core (earthed!) mains lead fitted and a good clean up. I think many were supplied by the electricty distribution companies when the voltage change occured.

Part of the projector listing in the French Cine Amateur magazine dated July 1950


Not listed in the above 1950 projector list and with a switchable 110 / 220 volt input suggests perhaps a starting date of the mid. 1950s for this machine. I got my example in France at the giant Argenteuil Cine Fair in 1995 for about £40 - not a bad price for French cine equipment at that time.

My 9.5mm Ciné-Gel Royal 200

This model is built into a grey wooden case with a smilar design to other Ciné-Gel projectors. With a single sprocket, this machine takes up to 400 foot / 120 metre spools and has a 35mm f1.6 lens in a 25mm diameter mount. The model I have is fitted with a 200 watt mains voltage lamp with a B15/s base (the A1/26 lamp is ideal - if you can find one!), but the instruction booklet suggests lamps up to 300 watt rating are fine. The machine is fitted with a fixed thin plastic covered two-core mains cable. It may be sensible to change this for a three-core cable to provide a decent earth connection for the projector.

Ciné-Gel Royal 200 Instruction Book

The serial number on my example seems to be 0021, but another on the internet is quoted as 41680.

Ciné-Gel Royal 200 9.5mm cine projector - cam/claw (maybe needs some new grease!)
(The framing adjustment lever is just below the cam/claw box)

Mine seems to run fine, but don't forget to lubricate sometimes - the oil holes have a red dot - one for the cam/claw drive just behind the gate, the other for the rear sprocket drive. Motor brushes are 5mm square. (and probably on my sales lists; as are spare motor drive belts!).

Ciné-Gel 200 with lamp vent removed

Unscrew the two retaining screws for the top mounted cooling vent for access to the Ba/15s base (bayonet mount) projection lamp. With the machine unplugged from the mains. just press down and rotate the lamp anti-clockwise to remove. One needs a mains voltage lamp (A1/26 perhaps?) or the 240 volt 100 watt as used in the little Noris projector is fine. Illumination is indirect via a mirror.

Inside my 9.5mm Ciné-Gel 200 cine projector

The projector mechanism is removed from the wood case by unscrewing six woodscrews. Bottom lhs is the motor - 110 volt but runs through rhs front dropper resistance if the mains voltage switch is set to 220 volts The inside resistance is the motor speed control. The centre heavier resistance seems to be a lamp pre-heat dropper resistance. The lamp comes on at 'pre-heat' when the motor is switched on, but goes to full brightness when the lamp switch is on.. You can just see one blade of the three bladed shutter to the right of the lamp housing.


9.5mm Ciné-Gel Royal 500 cine projector

Rather similar to the model 200 above, in a blue coloured wooden box, but indirectly lit, taking up to a 500 watt mains voltage lamp. A little more modern, this has a detachable mains lead (European two-pin mains input socket), and a two-pin socket for a room lamp connection which goes off when the projection lamp is switched on. At the top rhs I spot a pilot lamp, again probably going off as the projection lamp goes on, like the room light connection.

Again, up to 400 foot / 120 metre spools; variable speed motor with power rewind. The 110 / 220 volt switch has a screwed cover to prevent accidentally switching to the 110 volt setting when plugged into 220 volt mains! (This became a feature on Ciné-Gel machines probably in the later 1950s).

Undated Ciné-Gel catalogue

An illustrated leaflet mentions that this machine was supplied in separate 8mm; 9.5mm and 16mm silent versions. Cinor f1.5 projection lenses were supplied. Quite a neat case, size 325 x 245 x 200 cms. The catalogue image shows the room light sockets adjacent to the switch panel, whilst the photo from French ebay has this socket further to the right.

CINÉ-GEL ROYAL 210 PROJECTOR (1948-1955 ?)

Possibly the first model projector from Ciné-Gel and maybe available in the 1940s - possibly originally finished in black or brown. (My example, serial number 9072 is black). A decent well made machine, sprocket feed and take-up, spool arms fold away for compactness taking 120 metre / 400 foot spools. the series wound motor has a variable speed control from 12 to 18 frames / second according to the specifications. Belts are swopped over for power rewind. The lamp is a 200 watt mains voltage (hence 110 / 115 volt), Ba15/s bayonet single contact base, an A1/26 lamp is fine. The lamp holder is black bakelite, perhaps not the best choice. The lens mount is 25mm diameter; the usual lens supplied in the 9.5mm machine is an f1.5 35mm focal length Roussell. Oddly the whole lens mount is of black bakelite which can be removed by undoing the knurled nut - this comes out with the front gate - easy for cleaning the gate runners. There is a framing control at the side of the rear gate.

My Royal 210 in nice carry case

A Royal 210 in brown (another earlier model perhaps?)


Front pages of instruction booklet - must be early 1950s I guess 110-115 volt only

Here is a later Royal 210 - with a cast lens carrier

My own Royal 210 is in black finish plus the lens mount and lamp holder in bakelite - must be an early model. The machine has a barrel shutter (see photo below), not the most efficient for maximum light output. By the way, when using 400 foot spools, the take-up spool really needs to just hang off the side of the table or shelf for a decent clearance unless the height adjusting screws at the front are fully unwound..

Royal 210

Royal 210 bakelite lamp holder

Royal 210 shutter and cam/claw

Royal 210 underneath view - motor on right; motor speed resistance centre, switches left; probably similar to the Royal 215
that sticky mess top right above the motor is a suppressor capacitor - should I change this I wonder?

I have just been running my example with a printed film - a bit fiddly to lace up, but easier to unlace! The picture is very good, rock steady (that is the perforations, not the Pathéscope print!). However the top sprocket has a plain roller that has no edge guides - just plain. Because of this, the film tends to ride off the side of the sprocket, maybe I need to find a suitable 9.5mm guide roller, certainly later machines seem to have proper 9.5mm guide rollers, not just plain straight rollers. (The thread for this roller is the same as Pathéscope rollers - 6BA I think).

Typical serial numbers for Ciné-Gel Royal 210 are 8587, 9072.

CINÉ-GEL ROYAL 215 PROJECTOR (1950 - 1955 ?)

From the above catalogue extract and the following photos, I would think that this, and the 210 model above are quite similar. However whilst the Royal 210 was supplied in two models for either 8mm or 9.5mm, it appears that the Royal 215 was supplied with interchangeable parts for 8mm, 9.5mm or 16mm, making it effectively a tri-gauge projector if one purchased all the conversion parts.

The Ciné-Gel Royal 215

From the 1950 projector guide extract we read that the Royal 215 was a motor driven silent projector, clearly from the photo, made from an alloy casting, taking 120 metre / 400 foot spools, with a series wound motor with speeds from 12 to 18 frames / second. Lenses were usually 25mm for 8mm, 35mm for 9.5mm and 50mm for 16mm, presumably a French made f1.5 Rousell. Mains voltage lamps of 250 or 300 watts were offered. I had assumed the lamp base would be the bayonet Ba15/s type; but the example I have has a standard pre-focus (P28) lamp base - so A1/5 etc lamps would be OK.

The Ciné-Gel Royal 215 ready for gauge change

To change film gauge on the Royal 215 required the swop of the whole mechanism section! Looking at the photo above, first the lamphouse cover is removed, then two thumb head nuts are undone - these hold the main mechanism assembly onto the lamphouse and motor base. The main mechanism slides into place on two lower sprung lugs. The change swopped sprockets, gate, spool arms and cam/claw - I'm sure these mechanisms must have been quite expensive!

Royal 215 non-operating side view

From the above photo we can see the two-pin (unearthed) mains input socket, although this later model has a small socket to the right of the mains input, presumably to connect an earth wire.

Clever mains input voltage change - just slide the plate across
(other models had an open toggle switch - no doubt burning out many motors!)

The rewind metal spring belt is missing on this example, it normally runs from the outer (larger top pulley to the outer smaller of the twin drive pulley). During rewind, the lower take-up spring belt is switched to the inner, smaller diameter take-up shaft pulley. After rewind the top metal spring belt is clippped on the little peg to the left of the main drive pulley and the top moved across onto the top spindle casting I guess.

Ciné-Gel Royal 215 with cam/claw cover off - just a two bladed barrel shutter

The machine shown, (I pinched one of these Royal 215 photos from the internet), is an 8mm model. Maybe I will spot a 9.5mm model when I am next in France.....

Typical serial number for a Ciné-Gel Royal 215 (8mm model) : 16632,


A Ciné-Gel Royal 220 still eludes me, but looking at the magazine listing above, (and my Broussou 1948 catalogue), we can see it was certainly available from 1948. Models were single gauge and available in 8mm, 9.5mm and 16mm silent versions. Variable speed (12 to 18 frames / second) motor driven models were supplied for 400 foot (120 metre) or 1000 foot (300 metre) spools and fitted with 400 or 500 watt lamps. Lenses were Kylux F f1.6 and 35mm / 50mm or 65mm focal length. As with French machines of that age, mains input was 110 volts.

Broussou 1948 cine catalogue


Neither have I come across a Ciné-Gel Royal 225, but it appears rather similar to the 220, but dual gauge 9.5mm / 16mm silent. One only extra feature seems to be a still frame facility. Power rewind is also mentioned.

Broussou 1948 cine catalogue

CINÉ-GEL ROYAL 230 DUAL-GAUGE 9.5MM / 16MM PROJECTOR (1949 - 1955 ?)

Advert in the Cine Amateur magazine dated September 1949
The buy-line says "The smallest and cheapest of talkie projectors"

As we can see from the advertisement above, the Royal 230 was a 9.5mm / 16mm dual-gauge optical sound talkie projector. Operating on the standard mains voltage of 110 - 115 volts AC it used 400 or 500 watt mains voltage lamps, these were the standard pre-focus type (P28 is it?) so lamps are easier to find - A1/5, A1/7 etc. The Royal 230 just had a pre-amp inside the projector - to keep the cost down I guess. There was a connection to use with a radio set or separate amplifier. Quite a bigger machine, but still quite compact, it weighed in at around 12 Kgs. The asychronous motor ran the machine at a fixed 16 or 24 frames / second. With folding spool arms it could take up to 600 metre / 2000 foot spools. Lenses were f1.6 H. Roussel 'Kylux' available in focal lengths of 35mm / 40mm / 65mm. It is likely that the lens mount was 25mm diameter like the other earlier Ciné-Gel machines (the later Royal 235 talkie has the 'standard' lens barrel diameter of 32.5mm)

Another advert from a later Cine Amateur magazine

An interesting thing, that seems to miss the brief reviews, is that the gauge change was very effective - spool spindles, sprockets, gate parts all stored in a useful case. The film was threaded in much the same way, but 9.5mm sound films were given a half-twist between the film gate and the sound head (the optical track on 9.5mm is the opposite side to that on 16mm). Once one gets used to this little trick, all seems to work fine.

CINÉ-GEL ROYAL 205 PROJECTOR (1951 - 1960 ?)

Royal 205 advert in Ciné Amateur magazine March 1951

No, I don't possess one of these either! But this was the start of a different design for Ciné-Gel. These machines were built on a pressed steel chassis which fitted into a rexine covered wooden case with a detachable lid held on with clips making quite a compact, neat machine. The drawback was that to accomodate this design they could no longer use an in-line lighting arrangement. The lamp was fitted at right-angles to the film path with a mirror to reflect this onto the film gate. The initial Royal 205 design accepted 120 metre / 400 foot spools and was probably fitted with a mains voltage (110 volts at that time) 300 watt lamp with the bayonet Ba15/s base. The Royal 205 was supplied in separate 8mm, 9,5mm and 16mm versions.

Royal 205

Inside the Royal 205 - room to store spools and the lens. The indirect lighting set-up can also be seen.


Slightly modified - the Royal 205 with magnetic sound record/playback

After just a couple of years, the Royal 205 was upgraded to include magnetic record/playback. With a separate folding down top spool arm, larger spools up to 300 metres / 1000 foot could be accomodated. The running speed was now fixed, with an asychronous motor switchable from 16 to 24 frames / second. The mains voltage 350 watt lamp had pre-heating. The high quality amplifier had separate inputs for microphone and gramophone. The complete outfit came in two cases - one the projector; the other the amplifier with detachable 21cm / 8 inch loudspeaker in the lid. Again this model was supplied in separate models for 8mm, 9,5mm and 16mm.


Royal 235 9.5mm / 16mm talkie

Unless I can find adverts in the French cine magazines it makes things difficult to really get accurate production dates for cine equipment.

But we do know that this model was imported by LGP Cine in the UK and continued to be listed in UK 9.5mm projector guides up to at least 1968.

'The 9.5 Review' Oct 1968 Projector Guide

Anyhow the Royal 235 was really just a Royal 230 9.5mm / 16mm dual-gauge optical sound projector, but with a decent built-in amplifier. Running from 110 - 130 volts AC only, the Royal 235 featured mains voltage pre-focus lamps of either 500 or 750 watts with pre-heat switching. The folding spool arms would accept up to 600 metre / 2000 foot spools. Power rewind was possible by changing belts. As we see from the projector guide entry above, the amplifier had mic. and gram. inputs; with volume and tone controls it had an output of 5 or 6 watts. A separate case housed the 9.5 inch loudspeaker, cables and take-up spool.

Undated Cinegel catalogue

Incidentally there was a choice of f1.5 Berthiot projection lenses of 35mm, 50mm or 65mm - these were in a larger 32.5mm diameter mount. (Incidentally my example has an H. Roussel 'Kylux' 35mm f1.5 lens). A Ciné-Gel catalogue mentions it was also offered in a version with a 12 watt amplifier and 27 cm speaker. The valve line-up on my 5 watt 'standard' Royal 235 9.5mm / 16mm dual-gauge model is EZ80 rectifier, EF40 1st stage, EF41 second stage, EL41 output. Incidentally the motor start is by push-button.

My Cinegel 235 with the side cover off (this comes off to change the motor drive belt!).
The sound flywheel is below the mechanism drive pulley.
The top and bottom spool arm drives are also visible.

The Royal 235 was offered in a silent version in 8mm; 9.5mm or 16mm; plus a dual-gauge 9.5mm / 16mm model. Seems this model only took up to 300 metre / 1000 foot spools. The Royal 235 optical sound machine was offered in a dual-gauge 9.5mm / 16mm model or just a 16mm single gauge model, this accepted 600 metre (2000ft) spools. In France the dual-gauge model seems to have been quite popular, mainly because it was offered at quite a bargain price for such a quality machine.

Ciné-Gel Royal 235 typical serial numbers are 36670, 43030

CINÉ-GEL G9.5 / GS9.5 and GR9.5 (1960 - 196? )

UK 'Cine Camera' magazine Projector Review Oct1960

The first mention of French Ciné-Gel cine projectors in the UK, seems to have been in the projector survey in the Cine Camera magazine dated October 1960 - the scan above shows the beginnings of a much newer style range of machines - based on modern plastics. No distributor was mentioned and it wasn't till the new look Pathéscope (London) Ltd (a subsiduary of Great Universal Stores) abandoned 9.5mm in 1964, that the remaining 9.5mm specialists began to take interest in French Ciné-Gel 9.5mm cine products

Whilst LGP Cine imported a few Ciné-Gel dual-gauge 9.5mm/16mm Royal 235 optical sound projectors privately, it was very soon that 9.5mm versions of the Ciné-Gel G9.5 and GR9.5 began to be advertised in the UK, soon to be distributed to the trade by AICO (Apparatus and Instrument Co).

The Ciné-Gel GS95 model (same as model G but with tape synchroniser socket)

Two machines in this series were imported, I'm sure the 9.5mm models were the top sellers at the time (1962 to the late 1960s perhaps). The basic model G took 120 metre / 400 foot spools, had a variable speed series wound motor and used the 8 volt 50 watt A1/17 type lamp. I believe the 9.5mm version had a diverging lens in front of the lamp so the light would cover the 9.5mm frame. These machines were suitable for 200-240 volt AC mains supply even if they did have French style two-pin plugs! The lens was an f1.5 35mm Gelor in a 25mm mount. Another version of this machine, the 'GS' also had a tape sychroniser connection (the Synchrovox synchroniser was available for a few pounds extra).

Back view of my 9.5mm Cinegel GS projector
(top rhs black socket is for the Synchovox tape sync unit)
(looks like a bit of a strip down to change the motor drive belt!


One confusion about these mnachines is that some models were labelled 'Cinégel 100' at the top of the operating side (the GR model had a 100 watt lamp - read on below) - hence sometimes we see 'Cinégel 100' advertised for sale when it is actually a model G or GR! It is easier to check the lower control panel where the main switch is located - this usually shows the model and the gauge (9.5mm or 8mm).

Group 9.5 magazine 'The 9.5 Review' Feb 1967 advert

The more expensive model GR was fitted with a special French Saipe 10 volt 100 watt integral mirror lamp (very difficult to find these days). This featured reverse running and a rewind clutch in adddition to the features on model G. (I think it would be possible to fit a 12 volt 100 watt QI lamp, a tap change on the lamp transformer would probably provide the required 12 volts on the UK 230/240 volt mains supply).

Group 9.5 Review magazine Projector Guide October 1968

English printed Ciné-Gel G / GR and GS Instruction Book.

Ciné-Gel GS 9.5mm typical serial numbers 100757, 100761 (my own!)

CINÉ-GEL G9.5 / GS9.5 and GR9.5 (1960 - 196? ) - SYNCHROVOX ATTACHMENT

Details of the SynchroVox attachment for the G series projectors in the back of the Instruction Book

As mentioned above, most if not all variations of the G series projectors had provision for the SynchroVox tape symchroniser attachment. The device plugged into projector with the two pins (48 above). These connected into the drive motor circuit. A spool of recording tape fits on the spindle (43 above) and threads around the rollers, rubber capstan and swinging arm onto the tape recorder. The film runs arund the sprocket (just visible at the rear of the illustration (38 above). Once the set-up is running, the tape recorder will adjust the projector speed by means of the swinging arm to give reasonable tape sound sychronisation with the picture.

SynchroVox instructions

SynchroVox attachment fitted to the 9.5mm projector - back view

SynchroVox attachment fitted to the 9.5mm projector - front view

CINÉ-GEL AS9,5 150 (1968 - ???? ) - the projector that never was!

Group 9.5 '9.5 Review' magazine March 1970

All that probably remains of this model 'AS9.5 150' cine projector is this photo of what was probably a 'mock-up' ready for Ciné-Gel publicity. Announced in France around 1968, it is unlikely this model ever went into production. From the photo it seems to take 120 metre / 400 foot spools, and has forward and reverse run. The hinged lens/gate design seems similar to the French Cineric 9.5mm projector. Obviously it was intended to be produced in 9.5mm as well as 8mm (or Super 8mm by then?) versions. So far I have not traced an example; prototype or otherwise, but a German internet site has a spare 150 watt projection lamp listed for the Cinégel AS8 - 150, and a French site lists the motor belts - so there were some Super 8mm machines - the mystery thickens!. But probably the end of Ciné-Gel products for ninefivers.


Ciné-Gel began to market 8mm cine cameras sometime in the 1950s or 1960s, I guess the camera below was a later attempt with a zoom 8mm cine camera before the Japanese took over the market. I don't think any of these were marketed in the UK.

Ciné-Gel Comete zoom std8mm cine camera

I haven't spotted any Ciné-Gel adverts in the 1970s UK cinemagazines - in fact if I spot something then I can easily change this section. Meantime, we can see from the advert below, that Ciné-Gel continued in France a little longer.

A French advert pinched from the internet, so sadly not dated;
the projector (now Super 8mm) is the same as the earlier 'G' / 'GR' series,
but the cine camera may be a Japanese import

Sadly Henri Legeay was killed in a car crash when his car caught fire near Tours, a hundred Kilometres from Le Mans, on 13th February 1968.


1. I have taken a decision about the company name! You will find I write it as - Ciné-Gel; but it appears in various forms over the years - so apologies if you think it should be written differently, but at least I try to be consistent!

2. Earlier projector lamps are becoming very scarce. It may be possible to convert some of these machines to modern QI lighting - I generally favour the A1/216 24volt 150watt G4 two-pin base type, but suitable transformers may be difficult to obtain (old slide projectors are one possibility), and there may not be enough space inside the machines to house the transformer. For the earlier 'Royal' series - it is generally useful to use a transfomer that will also supply the 110 volt motor. As I write this I think Rapid Radio do still supply a transformer with 120 / 240 volt primary and 2 x 12 volt secondary windings which can be put in series for 24 volts. The cast alloy Royal series are possibly a better bet as they have direct lighting, not indirect via a mirror as in the wood cased models.

3. The need for earthing on the 110 volt versions is hardly necessary as an electric shock at that voltage is not really serious or life threatening. Many 110 volt transfomers are double wound, so isolate the 110 volt output from the UK mains supply. The later 220 / 240 volt models would do well to be earthed if possible. Captive mains cables can be replaced by modern three core cables if you can sort out the internal wiring! (many of these 220 volt machines still have 110 volt motors and internal dropper resistors). Those with two-pin input can be modified by using a three core cable and a more modern two-pin continental input socket with a metal strip added which contacts the projector chassis as the plug socket is inserted. (If you can still find these!) - gln 29Nov2015)

4. The 25mm lens mount diameter means that other projection lenses may fit - certainly those from UK Specto projectors. Later when Ciné-Gel moved over to 8mm projector manufacture, these were often fitted with an f1.4 17-32mm zoom lens - I have discovered these seem to work fine with the earlier machines, having the same 25mm barrel diameter. Used on an earlier 9.5mm Ciné-Gel. these zooms give a larger image with no sign of vignetting at the edges of the picture. A prowl round French 'car boot' ('brocante' etc.) sales may yield a plastic type Ciné-Gel 8mm projector (with the necessary lens!) at a bargain price. (The machine can go in the nearest bin, leaving just the lightweight lens to bring home!)

8mm Ciné-Gel zoom lens in an earlier 9.5mm Royal 200

5. The French 9.5mm cine-club magazine "Ciné 9.5" carried a two part illustrated article about the Ciné-Gel company in issues numbers 260 and 261 (dated Jan/Feb/Mar 1999 and Apr/May/Jun 1999), written by André Blanc. Naturally these are written in French! The two black and white photographs at the top of this page come from issue 261 with grateful thanks!

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Created 15Mar2016 .......... Last updated: 20 November 2017 ........... 95gearcinegel.htm ............ ©MMXV1 Grahame Newnham's Web Pages
06May2016 - Synchrovox attachment details & photos added / 04Jun2016 - Comete zoom 8mm camera added
20Nov2017 - Factory & H.Legeay photos added