This is topic Retro 8 vs The Focuskye in forum 8mm Forum at 8mm Forum.

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Posted by Craig McDowall (Member # 4654) on January 25, 2015, 11:54 AM:
New to the forum . . . have a ton of reg. 8 and super 8 film I want to transfer . . looking at the retro 8 from moviestuff vs the CDX Pro from focuskye . . . I am working with a Mac and prefer what I've read on the Retro 8 but has anyone used it with a Mac and/or any positive feedback on the CDX Pro which apparently is 'mac friendly'. I have Blackmagic installed on my Mac tower running 10.6.8
Any suggestions or assistance greatly appreciated.
Posted by Janice Glesser (Member # 2758) on January 25, 2015, 04:05 PM:
Welcome to the forum Craig. I'm not familiar with the CDX-Pro model. To my knowledge the Focuskye machines (uses vintage refurbished projectors) only do real-time telecine transfers, but maybe this is something new. Perhaps you could post a link to it with pics and description. The MovieStuff machine is custom built and does frame-by-frame capture in HD and uses a high quality built-in HD camera. Quality-wise the Retro 8 is superior in construction and image transfer.
Posted by Brad Miller (Member # 2) on January 25, 2015, 10:08 PM:
Unless you are in a hurry to have this done immediately, I would strongly recommend you hold off. The Retro-8 has inexcusable amounts of cropping that with the current software cannot be overcome. This means you are losing noticeable resolution, parts of the image and if you planned on using deshaker, you would REALLY be losing a big chunk of the picture.

Roger assures me they will work on this for the next release of the software, but until that becomes a reality, I would not recommend it unless you are looking for a very casual and non-critical transfer.
Posted by Osi Osgood (Member # 424) on January 26, 2015, 12:52 PM:
Welcome Craig! [Smile]
Posted by Craig McDowall (Member # 4654) on January 29, 2015, 12:32 PM:
thanks for the replies . . going to find this website of great use! Yes the focuskye is much like the old workprinter machines that Roger used to sell using refurbished projectors . . here is the link:

Appreciate the info on the retro-8 and will wait for the upgrade . . has anyone used the retro-8 with a Mac computer?
Posted by Nathan Williams (Member # 4666) on January 29, 2015, 02:03 PM:
Unfortunately the Retro units will only work under Windows. The software needed to capture is an additional $189.95 and is Windows only.

You can however use it with a Mac if you are running something like Boot Camp.
Posted by Janice Glesser (Member # 2758) on January 29, 2015, 03:56 PM:
Craig...the Focuskye is not like the Workprinter. The Workprinter does frame-by-frame and the Fucuskye is realtime. Moviestuff did make a realtime machine called the Cinemate.

[ February 01, 2015, 07:43 PM: Message edited by: Janice Glesser ]
Posted by David Carek (Member # 4856) on May 27, 2015, 10:47 PM:
Sorry I'm late to the discussion on this. In response to Brad's comment about the excessive cropping on the Retro-8 Pro, there are ways around this but it is not nearly as easy as scanning using the RetroScan-HD software (which I'd recommend for most users). While not supported by MovieStuff, it is possible to scan your film using the camera vendors Flycap2 software. The install file FlyCapture2_x64.msi comes with the RetroScan-HD software, or you can get it from the Point Grey website. It takes a bit of learning, but there are even some additional capabilities that you can get out of the Retro-8 Pro including saving raw 12-bit Bayer output (although in that mode I can only scan at 10fps). This is actually how I've been doing most of my scans lately. I've recompiled my own version of the flycap software to make the interface better suited for use with the Retro-8 Pro. I also wrote a custom program so I can convert the saved Bayer image scans to tiffs, apply gamma correction, crop the usable film frame based on the sprocket hole locations, and then write out tiff images. I then use the tiff images for further avisynth processing. When I get some time I'll post my code for this. Here's an example of the full camera sensor image I captured from the Retro-8.

The size is scaled down to fit the forum limits (the original was 1296x964).

I posted a few other observations on the Retro-8 Pro here

I only use this for personal home movies and have been very happy with it. While I figured out a my own way around the cropping, I'd still recommend this unit even if using the RetroScan HD software. Although, I see Roger just came out with a newer unit (RetroScan Universal). It looks pretty nice and has a bunch of features I would have liked ... but it's a bit pricier too. It says it has adjustable cropping, which looks like is done optically.
Posted by Alan Taplow (Member # 4702) on September 05, 2015, 05:54 PM:
There has some been mention of the Focuskye CDX equipment, and aside from speculation about what it does and doesn’t do in comparison with other systems, there appears to be little hands-on information here or on the internet except for the maker’s advertisements and e-bay listings. I hope to be able to clarify, and perhaps answer questions others may have.

Much against some of the comments, and advice forum members, I went ahead and purchased the CDX-2 model, which is a Sankyo Dualux 2000H projector, rebuilt with several modifications, including a dim-able LED light source. The projector lens aims directly at a proprietary elbow containing several lenses and either mirrors or prisms (I don’t dare even try to take it apart). This is attached directly to the Canon HFS100 HD camera. All is calibrated by Chin Kim, and permanently mounted on a heavy 1-1/8" particle board covered with a mat-finished Formica veneer.

OK, why did I do this? Well my past efforts projecting on paper, using a Coastar Mirror, as well as an Ambico Box, and a couple of different digital cameras have been remarkable marginal to unsuccessful. I did about 800 feet of my ancient family movies, and created a DVD which was barely acceptable, and that only because it was subject matter of interest to me, my ex, and my son. It was certainly nothing I could offer to a paying customer. My personal situation as a 24/7 care-giver for my wife who had a stroke a couple of years ago, pretty much gives me only daylight hours where I can do things. I tried building a light resistant cardboard box around the Ambico and projector, which worked but made it very difficulty to get inside to do projector adjustments or focus. Bottom line — I can’t afford the $4500 & change for the frame by frame stuff; I don’t have the set-up, experience or energy for trying to make what I was doing really work commercially.

The CDX can be operated in broad daylight since it nearly a sealed system — it’s pre-calibrated so I am not driving myself crazy messing with projector position, mirror position and camera position on top of a living-room bridge table which is the only working space available. The CDX comes all on one board, is pre-adjusted for all but final lateral image positioning, the camera comes with all presets made, has a 1/24 built in speed option which synchs perfectly with the Sankyo. I got it Thursday, played around and became familiar with it on Friday and ran 2-400' reels for a customer today — good quality which I’m happy to provide with no reservations.

Some personal stuff: You may wish to check out my web page:

I'm only advertising on a community forum to a local rural market. My prices are very competitive compared to the commercial marketplace since I’m only doing this stuff to help me pass my free time at something I enjoy and to pay for my equipment. I’ll need to do about 20,000 feet to pay for the Focuskye equipment, and fortunately I’m starting with a 5,500 foot order which is what got me getting back into film in the first place. All my offerings are because someone said "Alan, can you handle _____" Then I got the equipment to do it, like the microfiche reader I have on order because a neighbor has some microfiche he wants digitized. Does it ever end :-)

Sorry for being so long-winded, and should I be the only one on the forum with this particular set-up, I’m happy to answer any questions about it. Best to copy my email on any questions posted:
Posted by Paul Williams (Member # 5202) on January 10, 2016, 03:34 AM:
I have a Retro 8 with HD that is a few years old, but only scanned a few Super 8 roles. I scanned ok, but most likes needs post processing to make it look better. It looks grainy. It doesn't record the sound, which I need to add later. Had trouble getting the sound to match up. I bought a used Focuskye SX-4 of eBay ( at good price for a used one. I'm having trouble getting my Canon HV40 (24f native speed) to focus on the lens. Does anyone have Focuskye's instructions on how to setup camcorder? I think I can capture both video and sound realtime (not frame by frame) , but think it may look better than the Retro8. I'd be happy to post a comparison if I could get the camcorder to focus. I had a macro lens attachment but I have to have the camcorder about a foot away to get a complete rectangular image. It seems like the macro lens needs to be few inches away. Please more me know if anyone has good advise.
Posted by Tom Fales (Member # 2618) on October 20, 2019, 08:10 AM:
I noticed David Carek never replied with additional notes on use of FlyCapture software with the Retro-16 or Retro-8 Moviestuff units. I would like to learn more from anyone who has used this SDK.
Posted by David Carek (Member # 4856) on October 21, 2019, 10:36 PM:


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