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This site is awsome!!
Have gone through several iterations of projects to achieve a super8 telecine system, with limited success to date.
flatbed scanning, frame by frame, etc. Sound is not included in my project.
Systems have used an old B. & H. projector as the mechanical transport, driven by a stepper, arduino and L297 driver.
Latest attempt is using olympus E-PL! for capture directly from the film gate.
question: Can’t seem to find specific text on how camera captures an image from moving film, and the timing of the capture and flash of the LED lamp. Why not leave the LED on continuously? Also, is the camera set on picture mode?
What ISO, shutter speed and Fstop is being used, an what is the film transport speed in FPS?
Question: It appears from the pictures that you are capturing more then one frame. Does your processing software pick the best or what.
Hope you have continued working on the super8 version!

Hi @tuneturkey,

The timing of the lamp and camera capture on Kinograph is controlled by the roller just after the gate. On that roller are precisely-placed bumps that trigger a small lever switch. That switch is connected to a relay, which triggers the camera and light.

There isn’t any real reason for the flashing LED. I could leave it on, but thought it was a waste and uncecessary to do so.

Yes, the camera is in picture mode. One alternative I’ve seen is leaving it in movie mode and having the machine create a sound “spike” when the frame is in the right spot so that in post you take out any frame where a sound spike occurs.

Film transport speed is 2-3fps in the current version. Not sure what F-stop I was using, ISO, etc. I’d have to check.

Only one frame was being captured at a time.

Yes, I’m working on the 8mm version right now! I’ll place updates here soon.


Thanks for the reply.
As for the LED flash, I guessed correctly. The olympus pen can be tripped electrically, however, i have had no luck in finding a pin out of the HDMI or USB cable to find which wires work the shutter. How did you do it? any suggestions?
Your Kinograph film transport is well done. On the bell and Howell projector i have, there is a knob on the front that rotates one revolution per frame. I was able to remove it and replace with a timing chain pully with a duplicate on a stepper motor (200 steps per revolution.) It will not be a problem to attach a magnet on one of the pulleys and afix small reed switch with the contact wired to the shutter trip wires.
The arduino drives the system one revolution, delays then continues. which should allow sufficient time for a clean capture. there is a slight bit of drift, but very steady for the most part.
With some experimenting I find that using an ISO of 200 with a shutter of 1/200 on the camera seems to work. Probably need to do some fine tuning of the speed using more of the delay time to slow down the shutter. At this point I use a wide open lens (F1.7). probably should stop it down to F8 or so. i read someplace where that will produce a better capture.
The only use of the B & H projector is the sprocket that pulls the film through the gate, and supply and take up reels.
I have photos of parts and pieces, but don’t know how to attach or embed in these posts.
the ping pong ball is a good idea. I had also thought of using an MR13 bulb housing as a reflector/diffuser.
I am also interested in how you do the 3D rollers. Would be great if I could divorce the projector from the project. I am not up to date on the means and methods of the 3D printer, the software required, etc.

My DSLR has a 12mp sensor which is great, but there is a limit when each frame photo file is huge. What is the optimum resolution when the resulting film will be used on a TV or a computer. With super8, Is 1280x960 to large or possibly 800x600?
The Vimeo movie on film cleaning an coating to remove scratches is great, but how do yo apply that to a 400 ft roll of film.
Can you recommend a good, reader friendly document explaining Histograms and how to apply.
Lastly, unless I am missing something, your material on Kinegraph does not talk much about using a DSLR camera in lien of a machine microscope camera. In my dealings with cameras, I first tried using an Olympus stylus camera with a zoom lens and full auto operation. When using the movie mode on the camera shooting the film at reduced speed (5-6FPS), the camera kept refocusing and the aperature continuously responding the changes in brightness until the camera went to a total blur. Thats why I went to the Olympus Pen body since it will operate manually. The Hexanon AR lens is from my very old Konica TC 35mm film camera which with adapter works well on the Olympus pen body.
Yes, I do ask a lot of questions. Hope that doesn’t turn you off!!
Merry Christmas!


Triggering Camera - this is explained in the Instructables, and works by splitting the external trigger cable.

3D parts - You can download the parts (but they’re quite big since they’re meant for 8-16-35) here, and print them with someone locally or send them to be printed online at a place like Shapeways. An alternative would be to get the 3D files from this project (look in the ‘hardware’ folder), which is designed specifically for 8mm.

Resolution - totally up to you. Rule of thumb is usually to capture at the highest resolution possible and then downgrade the quality as needed for whatever platform you’re publishing to.

Histograms - I do not have knowledge in this area. Hopefully someone else will chime in.

Camera Choice - the DSLR choice was made for the first Kinograph because I wanted to use components that everyone could get their hands on. This works, but the DSLR is not a good choice overall because of the mechanical shutter, which breaks after extended use. For the next version, I am exploring other options including machine vision cameras, cinema cameras with global shutters, and Magic Lantern + Linux hacks on Canon DSLRs.

If you know anyone with programming experience with Magic Lantern, please let me know!


There are two good reasons to flash the LED (though they aren’t part of the current design as far as I know)

The first is heat, you can have a much brighter light if flashing the LED rather than leaving it on, as you don’t have to worry as much about heat-sinks and overheating.

The other is that is you control the LED flash time, you could set your exposure via the flash duration, and leave the camera shutter open until after the trigger, if you use a very fast, but bright flash, it will stop any movement in the film, and give a sharp, crisp image, even if the film is in continuous motion.

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I have been asked by my company not to participate in the Kinograph forums any further, I hope my time here has been helpful and wish everyone the best of luck with the project.



We are very sorry to see you go, Peter. You were a tremendous help and we appreciate everything.

Yes, Peter, I am very sorry to see you go, but understand completely. You’ve given a lot of great advice and perspective.

Site gets slightly confusing about what the latest design is, are there any drawings? or packages?

Very true, @Big8perf. That’s because we’re starting at the very beginning. Right now it’s a lot of opinions and spread-out research and expertise. But I’m building my prototype every weekend and there are a few others here that are planning on building there’s soon.

IN the meantime, you can see the assembly instructions and software for the previous Kinograph version by going to the site and clicking the links below the main image: