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Author Topic: Aside from a Telecine Machine
Craig Jarvis
Film Handler

Posts: 44
From: Saskatoon, SK. Canada
Registered: Aug 2013


 - posted August 09, 2013 05:33 PM      Profile for Craig Jarvis   Author's Homepage   Email Craig Jarvis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You guys are a wealth of knowledge (thanks) and don't seem to mind offering insight and tips for anything I toss out there, so here's another topic I could use input on. I am transferring super 8 films. The method I have been using is crude but seems to work "okay". I just project the image onto the flat finish white side of a drafting table. I do this from about 24-30 inches. I hover my Canon digital camera overtop and zoom in so the projected image is framed nice and square and the rounded edges are cropped. Is there a better way of doing this? Would the mirror boxes be much better? If so, which is best?

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J. Craig Jarvis
Vital Transfers Canada

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Vidar Olavesen
Film God

Posts: 2228
From: Sarpsborg, Norway
Registered: Nov 2012


 - posted August 09, 2013 05:47 PM      Profile for Vidar Olavesen   Author's Homepage   Email Vidar Olavesen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've tested two different boxes, they were not good at all for me. The image is not easy to get straight and I did get bright center spot and also a weaker picture than on a cardboard poster or whatever I had lying around. So, when I start doing this for my uncle, I will do the same as you already do

I too would love to know if any box would be better

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Maurizio Di Cintio
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 966
From: Ortona, Italy
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted August 10, 2013 01:24 PM      Profile for Maurizio Di Cintio   Email Maurizio Di Cintio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi, Craig.
What you do is pretty straightforward for a home-made telecine. Depending on the projector/lens used you are losing at least 20-30% of what the format is capable to deliver in terms of sharpness and exposure latitude. In fact there are much more professional ways to do this process, the industrial standard being a Rank Cintel which has been available in HD version too, for several years now. The next best thing is a Philips Spirit: unlike the Cintel, this machine uses CCD instead of scanning tubes (which are a sort of reverse-working CRT's). Uprunner is the machine manufactured by German company MWA Nova. Then there is a number of semi-professional, "handmade" systems, all based on projectors more or less deeply modified in order to allow frame accurate transfer with even illumination and edge to edge focusing. The forerunner for systems like this is Moviestuff's "Workprinter" which was introduced circa 2001 and proved very popular; in fact there are now several versions. And imitations as well. These machines in the last group are probably the best value you can get, around 1000-2000 $ for a professional-like result; certainly better than your current set-up.
Of course if the material you need to transfer is of very poor quality, there is no point in using a different system, anyway.
Hope this helps

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Maurizio

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 503
From: Dallas, TX, USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted August 10, 2013 02:31 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Try a 4 foot by 4 foot piece of white formica kitchen countertop as a screen. Don't shrink the picture size down too much. Mostly fill that screen for the best results. When setting up your camera, zoom all the way in and focus on the screen surface manually. If you can't focus on it, place a post-it in the center and focus on that. Then zoom back out for proper framing.

For the hot spot, make a stand with a wire coathanger or equivalent. Place this a few inches in front of your lens such that the vertical wire goes straight through the projected image. At the dead center of the image vertically, place something round, like a tiny piece of tape stuck to the wire. Experiment with the size of that and placement distance in front of the projector and you can eliminate that hot spot.

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Craig Jarvis
Film Handler

Posts: 44
From: Saskatoon, SK. Canada
Registered: Aug 2013


 - posted August 10, 2013 05:02 PM      Profile for Craig Jarvis   Author's Homepage   Email Craig Jarvis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for the tips. I think a real frame by frame type of machine is out of my price range and beyond what Super 8 home movies really need or so the ones people have been bringing me to date. The latest looked much like the Zappruder film.
I think I will try projecting it larger and putting the coat hanger in the projection path to shunt the hot spot. My little drafting board is about the right size and a matte kind of texture. In general the consensus would be against one of those projection/mirror boxes? thanks again for the input.

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J. Craig Jarvis
Vital Transfers Canada

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Carl Pattison
Junior
Posts: 7
From: Hartlepool, Cleveland, UK
Registered: Aug 2013


 - posted August 11, 2013 07:58 AM      Profile for Carl Pattison   Email Carl Pattison   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
if you are short on cash you could try this home made telecine box, it stands me at about £6-£8 to build,
here is a video of my 1st TC box i ever made, its hed some tweeks since i made the video, getting better results now.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pc-zhILQcoY

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Mike McCord
Film Handler

Posts: 36
From: Birmingham, AL, USA
Registered: Jun 2013


 - posted August 11, 2013 08:24 PM      Profile for Mike McCord   Author's Homepage   Email Mike McCord   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Craig - Thanks for opening this thread. For the past 3 months I have been playing with 8mm film to DVD conversion. My background is electronics/computers. I have no experience with film, projectors, optics, lighting, etc. I am, however, an old retired tech that too often refuses to give up and pay retail - when I know I can do it myself!

I have been playing with a "box" like the one listed here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/AMBICO-V-0650-Deluxe-Video-Telecine-Transfer-System-8MM-16MM-/230994476612?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35c857fe44

This is not my eBay listing, just used it to show my approach. I have built a solid wood set of adjustable 3 platforms. One each for the projector, the telecine box, and the camera. So far, I am not overly happy with my results. Blooming, alignment, focus... are just a few of my challenges. I have been experimenting with lamp brilliance, distances, video cameras (I have 4 different VHS and VHS-C camcorders that I just pass the video thru to a monitor and ultimately to a computer. Working focus, white balance, projector speed, alignment, etc., is far from trivial...

I just noticed that Carl's post shows his homemade "box" with the projector and camera reversed. He aims his projector into the box (mirror) and acquires his video from the screen. I have never seen this stuff, so the picture on the side of the cardboard box has been my guide, so far.

Tomorrow, I am going to re-do my platform to try his way. I will post my results. In the meantime, I would love to hear some of the experiences, (successes and failures) of the other fine folks on this forum.

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Craig Jarvis
Film Handler

Posts: 44
From: Saskatoon, SK. Canada
Registered: Aug 2013


 - posted August 11, 2013 08:55 PM      Profile for Craig Jarvis   Author's Homepage   Email Craig Jarvis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Mike, right now I am about to redo a previous project with a different screen size, different projector, different capture device and variations of the above. I'll let you know how I make out. I have a similar background and add in audio recording engineer. It seems to be all over the map trying to figure out settings. What I can tell you is from one film to the next all the rules change. It's like trying to nail jello to a tree. I've found you can't change too much about what has been filmed. You can colour correct and some other things but your hands are tied by who shot the stuff and how old it is. I think sometimes I blame my equipment or techniques when the source film just sucks. [Smile]

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J. Craig Jarvis
Vital Transfers Canada

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Carl Pattison
Junior
Posts: 7
From: Hartlepool, Cleveland, UK
Registered: Aug 2013


 - posted August 12, 2013 01:26 PM      Profile for Carl Pattison   Email Carl Pattison   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
@ Craig, LOL you can guaranty the minute you turn your back the film jams or gate starts jumping..
@ Mike Jesops Transfer Box On Fleebay, thats what i have now,i paid around £15 for it but that one you have seen is the same principle

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Hugh Thompson Scott
Film God

Posts: 3063
From: Gt. Clifton,Cumbria,England
Registered: Jan 2012


 - posted August 13, 2013 03:18 PM      Profile for Hugh Thompson Scott   Email Hugh Thompson Scott       Edit/Delete Post 
I've never been into the video/digital scene, but I would have
thought a darkened room, which no one has mentioned, is going
to make a lot of difference to contrast, as is a prime lens on the
projector, plus black masking around the picture area.It has been
suggested by the likes of Francis Williams in "Movie Maker", when
copying film, that a screen size 12'' wide was adequate for brightness & contrast.
Although that advice from Brad, sounds like a man who knows.

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Craig Jarvis
Film Handler

Posts: 44
From: Saskatoon, SK. Canada
Registered: Aug 2013


 - posted August 13, 2013 09:28 PM      Profile for Craig Jarvis   Author's Homepage   Email Craig Jarvis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think I will split the difference on size just cause I can't open it up big enough in my darkroom area, Also, the black backdrop behind the screen is a GREAT idea! Movie houses were standard like this. I will report my next success or failure.

--------------------
J. Craig Jarvis
Vital Transfers Canada

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