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Author Topic: Telecine - AMBICO Deluxe Video box problems
Mike McCord
Film Handler

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


 - posted September 25, 2013 07:22 PM      Profile for Mike McCord   Author's Homepage   Email Mike McCord   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I am trying to use one of these to transfer some old 8mm film, along with a Keystone Zoom 2500 projector. I have the projector and video camera set up as shown on the AMBICO box. The projector shines on/through the white screen, hits the mirror and is reflected 90 degrees out through the lens to the camera.

I have a background in electronics, and think I have the bulb thing worked out. I have removed the original and replaced it with an LED that I can control the brightness. I have built a 3 way adjustable "jig" to hold all three components steady - projector, camera, and this box. I have a camera that allows manual settings - focus, white balance, etc.

Starting with the original lamp, I seemed to have a "grainy" image. Not so when projected on a white card stock screen on the wall. But through this device I was getting the grain. That led me to work on the bulb, and I think I have that worked out. But, I still have the "grainy" effect. So much so, that it degrades the captured film quality beyond what I feel is available.

Today, after cleaning the projector lenses, I took the Ambico apart, cleaned the mirror and lense and removed the small white piece of plastic upon which you focus the projector. Now, projecting straight to the mirror, I get one large unfocused (unusable) glob of light captured by the video camera. I can vary the LED's intensity from "bright" down to "off" - with good control, but no usable video is collected by the camera.

I then held the removed white plastic (screen?) where it would have been and I see the video in the camera, but grainy. I flipped the screen over and found the grainyness to increase. Original grainy one direction, very grainy the other...

All that said to ask a couple of questions:

1. What material can I use to replace the white plastic thingy that is not grainy?

2. Which way does the AMBICO lense go back into the box? (Round in...or round out? It is concave on one side, and convex on the other - and, I did not notice this...)

This is the box I am using. Reference only - Not my ad. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ambico-Deluxe-Video -Transfer-System-Transfer-System-/271282967280?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f29b992f0

"I need a little help from my friends..."

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Janice Glesser
Film Goddess

Posts: 3406
From: Sunnyvale, CA USA
Registered: Sep 2011


 - posted September 25, 2013 08:39 PM      Profile for Janice Glesser   Email Janice Glesser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Mike,

1. I would stick with the frosted plastic that came with the telecine unit. All frosted glass or plastic will give some grain to the imagine. You can only expect so much from this method. Here's a quick and dirty sample video I made using an Ambico cine box. I used a de-graining filter with my video editor in post production.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiWhoOrz5ik

Also...I do not modify my projector lamp. These boxes are made to use the same wattage that would be used to project to a screen. I think lowering the brightness and projecting to the frosted plastic will only increase the grain.

2. The concave side of the lens faces out of the box.

--------------------
Janice

"I'm having a very good day!"
Richard Dreyfuss - Let It Ride (1989).

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Robert Crewdson
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1031
From: UK
Registered: Jun 2013


 - posted September 26, 2013 10:03 AM      Profile for Robert Crewdson     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Very good copy Janice, I don't have a variable speed projector, and I think the camcorder only runs at 30fps.
Have you heard of a method using a Flat Bed Scanner?

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Janice Glesser
Film Goddess

Posts: 3406
From: Sunnyvale, CA USA
Registered: Sep 2011


 - posted September 26, 2013 05:50 PM      Profile for Janice Glesser   Email Janice Glesser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Robert with a good camcorder and editing software you can get decent results with a telecine box. The quality I show in my video is fairly typical and adequate for many folks considering the minimal investment in equipment and time. I now use a MovieStuff Workprinter XP frame by frame system for my R8 and S8 transfers. It yields a substantially better image...but it is much more expensive and labor intensive.

--------------------
Janice

"I'm having a very good day!"
Richard Dreyfuss - Let It Ride (1989).

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Craig Jarvis
Film Handler

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


 - posted October 09, 2013 12:12 PM      Profile for Craig Jarvis   Author's Homepage   Email Craig Jarvis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi, I have a pretty good Dualux 1000 that I think Janice is familiar with and a telecine box. I have been using the speed control and the flicker slows down more and more as I reach the maximum speed until it shows a slow pulsing of white to dark. It seems that if I could get it just a bit faster this would stop? Or am I wrong? Like I said the flicker gets slower and slower till it's a pulse. Or do I have to got slower and speed it up in post with Adobe Premiere?

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J. Craig Jarvis
Vital Transfers Canada

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Janice Glesser
Film Goddess

Posts: 3406
From: Sunnyvale, CA USA
Registered: Sep 2011


 - posted October 10, 2013 12:34 AM      Profile for Janice Glesser   Email Janice Glesser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The Sankyo 1000 has a variable speed from 14 - 22 fps. If you are projecting film that is 18fps then the speed should be set to 20fps and your camcorder shutter speed to 1/60 to minimize the flicker. If you capture at 20fps then you can slow it back down after capture in your video editor.

I just made a sample video of a transfer using a Kalimar Telecine Box. This is a nice unit. IMO ... Results were very close to the Ambico box....maybe slightly better.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10x6D1DzrCE

[ October 12, 2013, 12:42 AM: Message edited by: Janice Glesser ]

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Janice

"I'm having a very good day!"
Richard Dreyfuss - Let It Ride (1989).

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Janice Glesser
Film Goddess

Posts: 3406
From: Sunnyvale, CA USA
Registered: Sep 2011


 - posted October 11, 2013 12:58 AM      Profile for Janice Glesser   Email Janice Glesser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
...also if you are still getting flicker... try setting your camcorder shutter speed to 1/30 instead of 1/60. This sometimes helps.

[ October 12, 2013, 12:32 AM: Message edited by: Janice Glesser ]

--------------------
Janice

"I'm having a very good day!"
Richard Dreyfuss - Let It Ride (1989).

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Craig Jarvis
Film Handler

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


 - posted October 11, 2013 11:29 PM      Profile for Craig Jarvis   Author's Homepage   Email Craig Jarvis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Janice, I think current camcorders only do 30fps. I may be pooched?

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

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Janice Glesser
Film Goddess

Posts: 3406
From: Sunnyvale, CA USA
Registered: Sep 2011


 - posted October 12, 2013 12:32 AM      Profile for Janice Glesser   Email Janice Glesser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My bad Craig I ment to refer to shutter speed..but today's HD camcorders can have higher frame rates. On my Canon HF200 I can have 60i, PF30, or PF24. I should of said to change the shutter speed from 1/60 to 1/30. Also darker exposures can make the flicker more noticable. I'll correct my post :-)

Here is screen shots from my Canon HV40.

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Janice

"I'm having a very good day!"
Richard Dreyfuss - Let It Ride (1989).

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Craig Jarvis
Film Handler

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


 - posted October 12, 2013 01:34 PM      Profile for Craig Jarvis   Author's Homepage   Email Craig Jarvis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks Janice. I borrowed a Canon T4i from a friend to see if I can get what I need. I have a feeling the shooting too dark is one of the culprits too. I'm on a quest at this point. [Smile]

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

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Mike McCord
Film Handler

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


 - posted October 12, 2013 03:21 PM      Profile for Mike McCord   Author's Homepage   Email Mike McCord   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Janice:
Is this like the telecine unit you use?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/KALIMAR-VIDEO-TRANSFER-SYSTEM-8mm-16mm-Super-8mm-/271292317219?ssPageName=ADME:L:OC:US:3160

I sure hope so, because I did a quick look at ebay after reading your post and watching your sample, and found this one. I bought it immediately.

Unlike the AMBICO (I have 2), the projector appears to be pointed at the 45 degree mirror, and then reflected to the video camera. I guess there is still the white "screen-thingy" inside this box before the lens that the video camera almost touches. I'll know next week.

Once you get things aligned, do you "shoot" in a totally dark room?

I am still Playing with lamp brilliance. Using the full force of the projector lamp, I fight flicker/rolling/pulsing/blooming. Using an led, I am fighting a grainy image (see opening post in this topic). I am building a separate lamp control device to get control of the projector lamp brightness.

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Janice Glesser
Film Goddess

Posts: 3406
From: Sunnyvale, CA USA
Registered: Sep 2011


 - posted October 12, 2013 05:25 PM      Profile for Janice Glesser   Email Janice Glesser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes Mike that's the same model. My only complaint about this model is that you have to turn the projector so the front faces away. This means having to reach over the projector to thread and work the controls. But other than that it does a decent transfer...and you don't need to have the room dark. Ambico also makes another model (V-0655)that works much like the Kalimar with the projector image first going to the mirror and then to the ground glass. However, it allows you to place the projector with the controls towards you. I like that better.

[ October 12, 2013, 07:16 PM: Message edited by: Janice Glesser ]

--------------------
Janice

"I'm having a very good day!"
Richard Dreyfuss - Let It Ride (1989).

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Mike McCord
Film Handler

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


 - posted October 12, 2013 08:49 PM      Profile for Mike McCord   Author's Homepage   Email Mike McCord   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Janice-
Thanks, again, for the good advice. After reading your most recent post, I go back to ebay and there it is...and only $9.99 with no bidders. So, if I win this, I will have all my bases covered. I'll compare them and sell off the ones I don't want -cheaply!

10-14-2013 - Won the ebay auction for the new telecine unit! Now, I have all three...

[ October 14, 2013, 08:07 AM: Message edited by: Mike McCord ]

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