Grahame N's Web Pages


from Grahame Newnham B.Sc. MIEE

André Ligonie was a Parisien portrait photographer and a keen advocat of the Pathé 9.5mm film gauge, with a shop in Paris stocked full of 9.5mm equipment. He even went as far as designing a high specification 9.5mm cine camera and arranging for the manufacture and conversion of modern 9.5mm cine equipment from existing 16mm and Super 8mm equipment.

Advert in the UK Group 9.5 club magazine "The 9.5 Review" Feb1967

In fact, members of the UK 9.5 club committee, and 9.5mm dealer Larry Pearce went to Paris to visit his showrooms and arrange to import some of the 9.5mm products. The Ligonie 9.5mm products seem to have been marketed from around the mid/late 1960s through to the 1980s. If I spot advertisements in cine magazines , it may be possible to provide more exact dates. Naturally all help is gratefully accepted!

Ligonie products seem to have been imported into the UK by the 9.5mm specialist dealers - no main UK photographic agency appears to have bothered with Ligonie movie equipment. In the UK 9.5mm magazines we find that L.G.P. (Cine) - run by the late Larry Pearce and Nine-Five Products - run by Mervyn Richards; mostly advertised the Ligonie equipment for sale in the UK. Import duty made the UK retail price somewhat higher than the price in France.

André Ligonie (on left) with UK 9.5 dealer Larry Pearce (on right), in André Ligonie's Paris showroom - Feb1967


This upmarket 9.5mm cine camera is first mentioned around February 1967 in the UK Group 9.5 club magazine "The 9.5 Review". Personally designed and the manufacture arranged by André Ligonie, the Autoreflex sold in France for around £250. It was designed to use the Pathe 'Webo' 50ft film magazine making it very easy to load. In the UK, I spot an advert in Roy Salmons 9.5mm sales catalogue of 1969 at a UK price of £320.

The 9.5mm Ligonie AutoReflex cine camera

The camera was fitted with an integral Som Berthiot compact f3.8 aperture, zoom lens with electric/manual focal length adjustment from 17 - 85mm; reflex viewfinder. Filmimg speeds from 8 to 24 frames/second (or just 12 / 16 / 24 depending on the text!) were provided with an electric drive motor powered by an inbuilt rechargeable nickel-cadmium battery. Auto exposure was provided for film speeds from 10 to 400 asa. Film counter in metres - 50 foot (15 metre) Webo magazine instant loading.

The Ligpnie 9.5mm Autoreflex cinecamera - naked as it were! (Photo: André Ligonie)

Internet sources suggest that only around a hundred examples of this 9.5mm cine camera were produced.

Ligonie 9.5mm AutoReflex cine camera (ebay photo)
(I can't find my example!!)

A full review (translated from the French original) was printed in the UK Group 9.5 club magazine "The 9.5 Review" in June 1967.

LIGONIE SK2001 / SK2002 9.5MM CINE CAMERA (1976 -1984? )

9.5mm Ligonie SK2001 cine camera (16mm Beaulieu R16 conversion)

Semi-auto exposure; 100 foot (30 metre) spool loading, triple "C" mount lens turret, electric drive, 2 - 64 fps, - actually a Ligonie modified 16mm Beaulieu R16/60EL. Electrics unreliable. Does anyone have English (or even French instructions) please? (My example has the serial number space blank!). I think often these were sold less lenses although my instruction booklet (German typed!) suggests lenses of 10mm wide-angle; 25mm normal; and 75mm telephoto. The rechargeable battery pack is in the removable hand grip. The voltage is quoted as 7.2 volts and those in my example have been replaced with six 1.2 volt 280 mAh. nicad cells - at the time available from Radio Spares (RS Components) ref. 593-518. (At the time of writing, the product is available as a Varta 1.2 volt 300mAh NiMH coin cell battery, priced at £2.76 each - RS ref 325-2872).

9.5mm Ligonie SK2002 cine camera (16mm Beaulieu R16 conversion) - German leaflet

The SK2002 was a similar 16mm Beaulieu R16/60EL conversion, but supplied fitted with a Schneider f1.8 10–100mm "C' mount zoom lens (one advert) or Angenieux f2.2 17 - 68mm zoom or Angenieux f2.2 12mm - 120mm zoom (Ligonie sales leaflet). To be fair, I think the Schneider lens option is also mentioned in the leaflet. I would guess that the lens turret on the the SK2002 is locked with screws to prevent rotation and ensure accurate registration for the zoom lens.

Incidentally, by 1985, prototypes of a new 9.5mm cine camera to be called the SK2003 were shown at the Albi 9.5mm Festival.

The original instruction manual for the Ligonie SK2001 / SK2002 was a type-written few A4 pages and an A4 photo print of the salient parts of the camera. It is dated December 1978 which helps to confirm the date the camera was introduced. Sadly my copy is in German! (Don't ask!). But I have located a genuine Beaulieu R16 instruction booklet copy which is very useful. It can be downloaded below (about a 6Mb pdf file which will open in Adobe or your web-browser and should then print OK except that is is 35 pages!

Download R16 instruction book: R16 Manual


Ligonie used the remaining Pathé Europ projector parts to produce a new updated model. Earlier Ligonie Europ 9.5mm projectors seem to be the remains of the French Pathé stock, having the series wound variable speed motor and the 8 volt 50 watt (A1/17 style) reflector lamp.

The later models were fitted with an asynchronous motor with belt speed change providing 16 and 18 frames/second. (The position for the motor speed control becoming a 'mains-on' red indicator lamp) . An A1/231 12 volt 100 watt Q.I. reflector type lamp gave an even brighter picture than the original Pathé model. It took up to 1000 foot (300 metre) spools and was supplied with an f1.5 40mm Som Berthiot lens in a 32.5mm mount. Optical framing and reverse running was provided. These were still only fitted with a two-core mains lead - it may be worth updating this to a three-core earthed one these days! Above the gate is a recessed indicator lamp which comes on when the lamp is switched off - my notes say this is a 12/14 volt MES type pilot lamp. There is a room light socket with the light going off when the projector lamp is on. (The room light socket is vintage two-pin continental - see my sales lists for suitable plugs)

UK sales leaflet for the Ligonie Super Europ 9.5mm cine projector

Typical serial numbers are 12323, 12351 (I guess just the last two numbers are production quantities). Sales went on into the early 1970s as I have a Ted Smith UK sales catalogue from 1973 still listing the Ligonie Super Europ with 12 volt 100 watt lamp at £118 - fitted with a 35mm f1.8 Sopelemcinor 'P' lens. I am still searching magazines!!


9.5mm Ligonie Europ IM250S magnetic sound projector
"The 9.5 Review" Oct1969 front cover

This machine was effectively the Europ Super sat on a Heurtier transistorised magnetic soumd base. With improved cooling, the illumination was upped to a 24 volt 250 watt QI lamp, (with pre-heat), and with a claimed picture size up to 4 metres / 12foot; the set-up provided magnetic stripe record and playback. Reading from the sales leaflet below we see there are inputs for mic. and gram. ; speeds of 16 and 24 frames / second; a wide range of mains input voltages catered for; reverse run and rewind; a two-pin continental room light socket which goes off as the projection lamp is switched on; the amplifier has low level direct audio output and provides speaker output of 6 watts; with a lens mount of 32.5mm, Sopelem lenses of focal lengths between 20 to 60mm could be supplied with ample room in front of the projection lens for the fitting of widescreen adaptor lenses. Spools up to 300 metres./ 1000 foot can be used.

Incidentally the various Ligonie Europ models seem to have been imported into the UK less projection lenses - import duty was probably a big problem. I have come across UK purchased machines fitted with Hermagis and Dallmeyer lenses, although I have sourced a decent Som Berthiot 40mm f1.5 lens for my silent machine with excellent results.

Sorry! I only have the French sales leaflet, but most of the technical stuff is intelligible!


Ligonie OSM 9.5mm sound projector
Sorry! I pinched this photo from the superb Dutch cine web-site!

This machine was a 9.5mm conversion of the Elmo ST1200 Super 8mm sound projector, providing twin-track magnetic sound stripe record/playback. It does look a lovely machine - I have the Super 8mm Elmo ST1200 and it is excellent, but have not yet come across the Ligonie 9.5mm version 'in the flesh'' so to speak. I find this Ligonie conversion also listed as a Ligonie TS which may have been a silent 9.5mm conversion. I have read that these OSM conversions dissapeared sometime in the mid. 1980s because Elmo had stopped production of the ST1200 machine from which they were converted.

Assuming it is similar to the original Super 8mm machine, then it is fitted with a 15 volt 150 watt A1/232 EFR QI reflector lamp, takes up to 1200 foot spools and probably has the 25-50mm f1.4 zoom lens. The Super 8mm ST1200 M-O original version also has optical sound - maybe this has been converted to work on 9.5mm optical sound as well - the exciter lamp is a 4 volt 0.75 amp G/29 type. Magnetic sound is likely on twin tracks with twin or single track replay. In fact the magnetic record system is very comprehensive (and complicated!) with record monitoring (3.5mm jack socket). The machine runs at 18 and 24 frames / second. Power output into an 8 ohm speaker is 12 to 15 watts with a built-in 5 inch loud-speaker. Extension speaker output is by a 2-pin DIN socket. Incidentally the amplifier integrated circuit is possibly a Sanyo STK015.

Technical reviews of the Super 8mm Elmo ST1200 appeared in the Amateur Photographer magazine dated December 29th 1975 and the Movie Maker magazine dated March 1978.

LIGONIE OSM 950 9.5MM CINE PROJECTOR (197? - 198?)

That German leaflet again! - The Ligoonie OSM 950 - first model from 1976 or so

9.5mm Ligonie OSM 950 cine projector - earlier Mk 1 model

The earlier 9.5mm Ligonie OSM 950 projectors were conversions from the Swiss 16mm Bolex sound projector design by Microtechnica. It boasted two motors - one to drive the machine, the other for the cooling fan. Running speeds were 18 and 24 frames / second. The projection lamp was a 24 volt 250 watt QI type A1/259 (ELC) . Spools up to 2000 foot / 600 metres could be accomodated. The basic lens was an f1.3 35mm, but zoom projection lenses of 25-70mm and 35-75mm were offered as extras. The solid-state amplifier provided 20 watts output. It also featured magnetic sound stripe record/playback. Weight was 18Kg.

9.5mm Ligonie OSM 950 cine projector - later Mk 2 model

Later there appears to have been a conversion of an Italian Micron (maybe 28J?) 16mm sound projector. This was supplied with a 16.5mm - 30mm zoom lens in a 42.5mm mount. Fitted with a 24 volt 250 watt halogen lamp, it featured both optical and magnetic sound playback and ran at 18 and 24 frames / second. . There was also a connection for pulse sync. Amplifier output of 20 watts with output for 8 and 16 ohm speakers.

From comments on the internet (and the offer of spare parts for sale!), it appears that these machines are prone to wear of a plastic type worm drive gear (rather like the Bell & Howell problem). I have never actually handled or owned either of these machines.


This Ligonie branded 9.5mm cine projector was a conversion of the Japanese made Super 8mm Raynox cine projector. It was fitted with the 8 volt 50 watt A1/17 reflector type lamp, took up to 400 foot (120 metre) spools and retained the auto-thread feature.

Sadly the Ligonie story ends in 1986 as the dynamic André Ligonie passed away in February 1986 aged only 62 years old. Whilst his son and widow carried on with the photographic business for a period, further French 9.5mm stimulus was to come for a while from the S.E.F. set up run by Paul Bigou until the law caught up with his imaginative way of financing his 9.5mm enterprises!

Unfortunately as Ligonie 9.5mm equipment was mostly marketed in France, I have had rather more difficulty getting all the facts correct here! As usual, my motto is something like 'publish and be damned' - certainly it is useful to have some information published - hopefully extra detail and/or corrections can then be added as data becomes available. So - apologies for any errors/omissions here - all information (amd deliveries of Ligonie cine gear!!!) gratefully received.

(©Grahame L. Newnham - 27Feb2016)

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Created 27Feb2016 .......... Last updated: 28 February 2016 ........... 95gearligonie.htm ............ ©MMXV1 Grahame Newnham's Web Pages
29Feb2016 - more info/photos & R16 (SK2001) instruction book download added