This is topic Getting started with Telecine, need some guidance, so many options... in forum 8mm Forum at 8mm Forum.

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Posted by Paul Robertson (Member # 6781) on January 02, 2019, 11:12 AM:
Hello and happy new year everybody.

I have been bitten by the 8mm bug again, and this time would like to build a decent telecine system. Prompted by watching old family films at Christmas time, I realized it was time to make a good transfer of the some 4 odd hours worth of film we have from the 60's and 70's to a modern viewable format. My Dad recorded them onto a sony video camera using a sheet on a wall back in the 90's, then managed to get them on the computer, not sure how, but they are really nowhere near as clear and defined as they could be. I have been researching for a few days now, studying various systems, lot's of great systems built by people on this forum and elsewhere on the web, but I am now at point of info overload, and need a little clarification so I proceed with an intelligent plan.

So I guess some basic info about me and my equipment, so you can recommend a method or system to use. I am an electronic and mechanical engineer so building something is possible, but at this point would rather use something I already have and incorporate it rather than start machining roller, sprockets etc. All of our films are regular 8mm Kodachrome so I know some of the listed projectors may not be usable??

Equipment I have is as follows:

Dad's original Bolex 18-5 projector
Another Bolex I found 18-5L Super
Sankyo 1000
Eaton's Optina Super 8
Something I can't read as it's a stylized font S8 Spezial
And I have an old RCA 16mm projector, probably 40's, tubes, but it has a nice Simpson 16mm lens which I have unscrewed from it and may be usable for this project.

I am reluctant to modify in any way other than lamp replacement, the Bolex machines but the others are all up for mods.

For cameras to record the frames or film:
Sony Mini DV HDR-SR1
Sony Mini DV DCR-TRV17
Sony PRO HVR-Z7U with MRC1 recording unit
Nikon D200 DSLR

Now what I need some clarification on, is when recording frame by frame, are you taking single images with a camera, ie one jpg image per frame? Or is the camera used in video record mode and recording a continuous video of the frames as they go by? Or is the camera being used a video streaming unit and live video coming out of it going directly into the computer, in which case I will need to buy a video capture card. The PRO Sony Z7U camera streams live HDMI out, not sure about the other Mini DV cams.

One system I am impressed with is Janice's setup, with the Workprinter XP and Canon Vixia HF20 but from her demo video, I can't tell what mode the camera is in.

Anyway, as you can tell I am a complete newbie at this, and could sure use some help. I am willing to modify the projectors, adding stepper motor or ?? to make them workable. I could also buy a Workprinter XP if I can find one locally, or at least in Canada. I don't know if Cinecap is still available or if there is something else similar but more current and available.

I look forward to hearing your ideas and helping me figure out which way to go.


PS attached is a picture of the projector label I can't ID.

Posted by Nantawat Kittiwarakul (Member # 6050) on January 02, 2019, 09:06 PM:
This sounds potentially great,at least you've got some solid ground to start with. [Smile]

If it's me I'd probably use that Sony Z7 to directly capturing from the projector's lens with modified light source (probably LED array). This should give the best possible result & most practical solution. The complete manual control of your Z7 will be a big plus over ordinary consumer-ish camcorders.


But if you want to do THE HARD WAY,try this - directly projecting the image into your DSLR's image sensor. [Eek!]


Setting it up would be extremely tedious&time consuming,but the result should worth the attempt.
Posted by Paul Robertson (Member # 6781) on January 03, 2019, 05:43 PM:
Thank you for the reply. I have continued researching the various methods and I think I like the idea of using the Sony Z7 and either recording directly from the gate of the projector, or thru the lens, just not sure how the setup would work. The Z7 lens is also removable and images could be projected straight onto the CCD element. I forgot I also have some professional Panasonic video cameras, new in the box but no lenses, they are HD but only broadcast type composite out. I think they are AW-750P and AW-860N. Not sure if they would be of any use for this project.

Now I am looking for some of the software required, VirtualDub, Cinecap etc.

Thanks again!
Posted by Nantawat Kittiwarakul (Member # 6050) on January 03, 2019, 08:56 PM:
Since Z7's lens is interchangeable,it is then theoretically possible to find a proper 1:1 macro lens to get maximum image quality. A good enlarger lens (with a bunch of adapters/extensions/bellows/focusing helicoid [Eek!] ) should fit the bill nicely. [Big Grin]

BTW is this kind of your Panasonic camera?
If yes,although it is only standard definition,but with broadcast quality & lots of manual control should make it a good candidate too. [Wink] Its compact size would be beneficial if you need a small footprint setup.

If you're doing real-time scan any conventional capture software should work fine (I use Sony Video Capture for its simple&robustness). For DV frame-by-frame scan I use ScenalyzerLive software.
It does have stop-motion capture function which simply capture selected frame from incoming DV stream and stitch them together when done. This means no recompression and lightning fast operation. The result is standard DV avi files,ready to be edit. [Cool]

PS haven't figured out any HD frame-by-frame capture workflow yet. That seems too complicated for me and since SD capture seems pretty good enough,I might stick around current workflow then.
Posted by Paul Robertson (Member # 6781) on January 03, 2019, 11:29 PM:
Thanks again for the help and ideas.

Yes those are the Panasonic cameras I have, I missed the "e" in the p/n. They were new surplus from the 2010 winter Olympics in Vancouver, BC which is why I thought they were HD, but they still create a beautiful image. I haven't ever opened the boxes they are in. [Roll Eyes]

I will investigate alternate lenses for the Sony, think it is T*, not sure. Carl Zeiss VarioSonor is what is on there now.

As I read and learn more, I am leaning toward realtime capture, but still HD frame by frame if possible, something like Janice's setup I mentioned earlier. Hoping she chimes in here as I really like that setup.

I figured out the funky logo projector I have, it is a Silma 130 made in Italy, runs on 220VAC, missing the cord and the drive belts are melted, not sure I will resurrect that one right away, but it does have a good CXL bulb in it. [Razz]

The Eaton Optina is a very well made machine, cast housing and a lot of steel components inside, and in perfect condition. I don't know who made it, I'll post a separate thread to see if anyone recognizes it. It also came with a spare belt, which happens to be the same one I need for the Sankyo Dualux 1000, which is also in nice condition except for the broken belt.

That's the update for now.

Posted by Will Trenfield (Member # 5321) on January 04, 2019, 03:33 AM:
The Eaton Optina was made in Japan for T.Eaton & Co, a department store, and dates from 1970/71. It may have been made by Sankyo, possibly, from your description and the look of it.
Posted by Janice Glesser (Member # 2758) on January 04, 2019, 06:27 PM:
Hi Paul...I'm out of town right now visiting my grand kids in SoCal. I haven't been online very much, but did catch your thread today. I don't have an instant solution for you. I've been delving into telecine for the past 9 years. My current setups are the results of several setup iterations over the years based upon research and trial and error. As you have discovered DIY solutions are in abundance on the internet. Other than buying a turn-key solution you will have to do your own diligence and research to put together a setup based upon what equipment you have or can acquire...then add in your level of expertise, the expense, the amount of effort you are willing to commit, and most importantly... the level of expectation you have for the results.

Lets look at what you have already based on your requirements.

Standard 8mm films to transfer.

In this case the only projector I see viable is the Sankyo 1000. Also it is the only variable speed projector which is needed for syncing up to one of your camcorders.

The next issue is the light source for the Sankyo 1000. With it's original 50w 8v lamp you can project to paper on the wall, to a mirror and ground glass, or a telecine box.

If you want to shoot off the gate... you will have to devise an independent external powered light system that is more like 20 - 25w or an LED bulb. This is not easy on the Sankyo 1000. You would have better luck with the Sankyo 2000h. It has a more compatible bulb base and transformer where you can easily replace the bulb with a 20w halogen. However, I must warn you...that the Sankyo's lamp generally doesn't turn on until you have film loaded and running. This makes it difficult to do any pre-capture frame sizing and focus adustment.

Frame-by-Frame vs. Realtime

Realtime capture is your only option with your current equipment. Although I've read where some have tried implementing a microswitch on the Sankyo 1000, they discovered it is not a good candidate for frame-by-frame conversion. Options for frame-by-frame might be the Wolverine type scanners (lots of info on them at this site) or try and find a MovieStuff Workprinter XP on Ebay. I see more listed every day. oviestuff-Workprinter-XP-8mm-and-super8-film-digital-capture/273630490030?hash=item3fb5a5edae:g:Q5sAAOSwN11cJuVn:rk:5:pf:0

You can also look for a MovieStuff Cinemate 15 or 20 projector mm-amp-Super-8mm-Film-Transfer-Unit-/132907897858?&_trksid=p2056016.l4276. The Cinemate will be less in cost and is great for realtime captures. You can use the mirror and lens system that comes with the Cinemate or capture directly off the gate. You don't need any special capture cards with the cinemate either.

There is another frame-by-frame option that I have not done...but you might explore. It requires slowing the shutter speed down on the projector (If your Bolex 18-5 is a Standard 8mm machine it might be usable running at the slower speed) ....capturing in realtime...then digitally extracting the "pull-down" frames. This requires some knowledge of scripting and programming. Look at this video for a demo

HD vs SD

This will depend on your camcorder. For realtime you can simply capture to your camcorder - mini-dv tapes, SSD card, or internal storage. You can also connect your camcorder to your computer via DV/firewire (SD) or HDMI (HD). You will need a video capture/editing program to record the transfer images. I currently capture frame-by-frame in HD using a BlackMagic Intensity Pro Capture card. However for realtime captures a capture card is not necessary. I've used 2 free apps...VirtualDub and VideoPad. As previously mentioned I have also used Scenenalyzer. It's a wonderful program that is no longer in development, but will capture great both realtime and frame-by-frame in SD only.

All my camcorders are Canon's so I can't advise you on your Sony models. On my Canon HD camera I use (remember I'm in the U.S.) the TV mode at 60 or 30fps. I use auto-focus initially then switch it to manual focus to lock it in so it doesn't drift. Exposure can be adjusted with the remote...but I try to minimize this during the capture and adjust in post. I mainly use VideoFred's film restoration Avisynth Scripts with VirtualDub, Adobe Premiere, and AfterEffects for post editing.
Good luck [Smile]

[ January 05, 2019, 05:20 PM: Message edited by: Janice Glesser ]
Posted by Paul Robertson (Member # 6781) on January 05, 2019, 11:17 AM:
Thank you so much Janice for your excellent description of the various methods, it will certainly make it easier for me to decide which way to (start) to go, and will be a great reference for anyone else embarking on this venture.

I like the idea of using the Sankyo and using a new light source, which I can build with an external supply so it can be remotely activated, and capturing frame by frame. I also could look at the stepper motor modification if the existing mechanics aren't suitable, but that would be a last resort.

You mention slowing the speed right down and using scripted software to extract the images, something else I wouldn't mind learning, software writing.

Anyway, thank you again for your help, it gives me lots of ideas to explore and think about.

Posted by Paul Robertson (Member # 6781) on January 14, 2019, 02:40 PM:
I thought I would update you on my after spending all morning, I finally have live video coming out of my Sony Z7 camera, into my PC using VirtualDub via Firewire cable, seems to work great. I have made a couple of test videos and it records just great. Also tried MiniDV and it works well as well for just capture.

Now moving onto the mechanical stuff, getting a decent size image into my Z7 camera.

More later.

Posted by Nantawat Kittiwarakul (Member # 6050) on January 14, 2019, 10:53 PM:
Congrats on that. [Smile]
Which approach did you choose? Conventional off-the-wall projection? telecine box? or direct lens-to-lens method? A picture of your setup would be very appreciated. [Wink]
Posted by Paul Robertson (Member # 6781) on January 15, 2019, 10:13 AM:
Well, I am still very far from getting an image from the projector into the camera. I have tried a few rudimentary setups, my preference would be to shoot right at the gate, but I need a macro lens setup, and need to change the light source as the original bulb is WAY to bright.

I'll keep you posted as I make progress.

Posted by Paul Robertson (Member # 6781) on January 30, 2019, 01:19 PM:
Well it's been a busy week of experimenting and I have made tremendous progress.

I decided on the frame by frame capture method and have the Sekonic 30C projector heavily modified with a DC motor, 10W LED and an Arduino uController and PWM motor driver to control film transport and trigger the 10W LED for each frame capture. I used a Hall sensor and small magnet on the shutter wheel to trigger it. I have an Allied Vision machine vision camera on the way, it's a 2500x1500 pixel camera that can take 4 FPS at that resolution, has remote trigger capability as well as capture thru the software. I am still working on the macro lens arrangement but won't be able to do much until the camera gets here.

I'll update again as I make further progress.


And a video so you can see it all working.

8mm Telecine project
Posted by Janice Glesser (Member # 2758) on January 30, 2019, 03:20 PM:
Fantastic progress Paul! Thanks for posting the video and can't wait to see the next stage.
Posted by Nantawat Kittiwarakul (Member # 6050) on January 30, 2019, 07:34 PM:
That's a HUGE step! Big congrats on that! [Big Grin]

Although personally I see little advantage of scanning the film beyond 1080p resolution (just more film grains,not real image content) but different people have different point of view of course.

I also once tried frame-by-frame approach but with just std.def camcorder (yes,that panasonic GS-400 on my earlier reply) and even tried upconverting the result to 720p resolution. To my surprise,the result look surprisingly acceptable even on 40" screen. [Wink] But due to its slow process I retain this approach only for some important films only.

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