posted September 16, 2017 08:00 PM
I am still very green working with old projectors and film so please forgive my lack of knowledge and what is probably a very basic question.
I am converting a bunch of super 8 film to digital. I am projecting the films to a small poster and recording with a digital camera. I am having decent results with the majority of the films that I have worked with.
I am down to the last few reels and suddenly I am having problems. In 2 of the last 4 films I am having problems with the image rolling. It is pretty similar to what you would see with old TVs when you had a vertical hold problem. If I stop and run the film in reverse the image will straighten out. A few seconds after I start moving forward again the image starts rolling.
I am not sure if this is a film issue or an issue with the projector. I have had a few issues with some of the larger reels that I have worked with. There are a bunch of 3 minute reels that were spliced together some time in the past. It usually happens right when a splice is hit. Normally I can back up the image for a few seconds and then go forward and the issue goes away. That is not the case with two reels though. It rolls throughout the entire film. It straightens out in reverse but then starts rolling again in forward.
From: Sunnyvale, CA USA
Registered: Sep 2011
posted September 16, 2017 08:28 PM
Hi Michael...it would be helpful to know what make and model projector you are using. However just initially it sounds like the film is losing it's loop and just being pulled through the projector opposed to being advanced by the claw. This can happen with some projectors when encountering splices.
"I'm having a very good day!" Richard Dreyfuss - Let It Ride (1989).
posted September 16, 2017 09:08 PM
Thank you for the quick response. The projector is a Bell and Howell 346A. As stated, I did encounter this issue when I come to a splice and it was resolved by backing up and then going forward again. With these two reels it is happening throughout the entire reel.
I am not sure if there is any damage to the film. Unfortunately this film has been stored for a long period of time in attics and garages. I am sure it has seen its share of hot and cold. I have no control over that. All I can do is try to salvage what I can for my wife's family.
So with that being said...are there steps I can take to troubleshoot? I am going to go back to a few of the previous reels to see if I have problems with those now which may tell me that yes, the problem is specific to these two reels or now I have something going on with the projector that I need to address.
From: Rajburana, Bangkok, Thailand
Registered: Aug 2017
posted September 18, 2017 01:43 AM
quote: I am going to go back to a few of the previous reels to see if I have problems with those now
Yes,if previously projectable film(s) are still projectable,then it's paticular film's fault. All that sounds more than likely to be some faulty splices to me. So it's possible that all you need to do is simply re-splice them.
OTOH,if previously projectable films now become unprojectable...then we've got a problem.
-------------------- Just a lone collector from a faraway land...
From: Gold Coast. Australia
Registered: Jan 2005
posted September 22, 2017 06:34 PM
Have you cleaned the film gate and inspected the claw pins to see if there has been any buildup of fluff on the pins? This happens over time as the fluff comes off the films you are playing.
Eventually a small birds nest will form on the pins and this causes repeated loss of the top loop. The pin won't penetrate the sprocket holes properly and slips out causing flicker. So have a look at that before blaming the films.
posted September 24, 2017 01:18 AM
John and Frank, thanks for the replies. I will be pulling out the films again early this coming week and inspect them more closely. I have not inspected the claw pins. I will need to find information regarding how to perform that maintenance. The only areas that I have cleaned are around the lens. I assume alcohol is a good cleaning solution. I am not aware of any lubrication that needs to be applied. Also I will check the film for warping and odor. I have a feeling though that the film will be deteriorated from the storage conditions as I have played a few small reels since those and have had no significant issues.
posted September 24, 2017 02:51 AM
I see newcomers here speak of the application of silicone or wax polish all along their film paths.
I see newcomers here regularly speaking of how they have gone completely over an old machine with an oil can or grease gun!
For cleaning the operating side of a film projector all that's really needed is a variety of soft and stiff photographic brushes including a blower brush and then some pure alcohol solution and cotton swabs for cleaning the magnetic heads.
Any further lubrication of the film path should come from lubricant applied to the film only, not directly to the path.
If a film path then continues to scratch, or a claw mechanism and subsequent film through the gate is not smooth running and quiet, no amount of silicone or beeswax polish will ever make a tap of difference.
[ September 24, 2017, 05:07 AM: Message edited by: Andrew Woodcock ]
-------------------- "C'mon Baggy..Get with the beat"
posted September 25, 2017 12:10 AM
Thank you Andrew for the comment. I have been restoring antique radios for over 20 years. Even in that amount of time I see things that I have never seen before but I am well seasoned in how to handle untested equipment, precautions to be taken with equipment that has not been serviced in a long period of time, etc. Because I know the down falls that newcomers to that hobby can encounter I am trying to be cautious when it comes to this.
I know nothing about film or projectors. That is the reason I am posting on this forum. I will not undertake anything until I get advice from people like you who have the experience and knowledge. With that information I will go out and do further research.
I am also searching other posts on this forum and learning a little about cleaning and lubrication of film. I have not attempted this and will not until I have done a lot more research and feel comfortable with what I have to do before doing it.
With the information you have given I will now research the soft and stiff photographic brushes and blower brush, availability, etc. Thanks for the advice. It is very much appreciated.