Newbie seek help (For "dummy" style)


#1

Hi. I’ve discovered this forum thanks to the informations given to me by some lurkers here. I’ve been following some bit of conversations here & there, but still, I’m a bit lost on some notions that I could use some serious help to shed some light, if possible.

Ok, first, I would like to start doing some film scanning (mostly the 9.5mm, 16mm & 35mm format). Where do I begin to find & gather the elements I need to build something that could be capable to to this with all those formats ? Because aside of a specific camera and film(s) transport(s), I really don’t know much (if anything at all) about this.

Second. Given the fact a I need a film transport, how can I build it ? I’ve read here and there that a modified/hacked projector with the proper format is probably one of the best solution. But this bring some questions :

-Since three different film formats are involved, is this really a good solution ? I mean, is there a way to keep the whole thing compact without having different projectors laying around ?

-If modified projectors are the way to go, is there any tutorial on how to modify them efficiently for this kind of application ? Because for someone who have no experience in electric or electronic working, this might be a bit of a "big" problem...

Third. Aside of the camera to capture the film, what else is missing and how do I set all of this up so it can work automatically with a computer and the appropriate softwares that needs to be involved (which ones, BTW) ?

Sorry if it seems a lot to answer, but like I said earlyer, this involve a complete “dummy” to find his way in all this and it might be of a great help to anybody in the future that might need answers to begin in all this.

Thanks in advance for your help.


#2

I honestly can’t see that you will be able to build a reliable, single transport that would handle 9.5mm, 16mm and 35mm film. The tension differences required for the three different foramts are considerable, as is every part of the film chain, from the gate, to the reel-holders, to the sprockets and the motor required to drive it all, and you will need a different lens spacing for each format as well.
I think an all-in-one machine would be a mammoth undertaking, and would end up being more toruble than it was worth, and certainly would take years of prototyping before finding a solution that was reliable and usable.

As a start, I would suggest picking one format, perhaps 16mm, and building a scanner for that. There is so much to learn about sensors, triggering, focusing, lighting, transport etc. that it would make more sense to learn on one format, and then look at transferring the knowledge gained to the others, or to an attempt to build a universal machine.
The equipment for the most part would work between different machines, the camera/sensor, the focusing mechanism, lens and triggering and lighting solutions, will for the most part be usable on 35mm or 9.5 gear with some minor adjustment.

So I’d start with 16mm, get a projector that has an easily modifiable gate (you will want to enlarge it to see more of the film frame), and easy access to remove the shutter.
If you go with a fast sensor and computer, then you can run the projector real-time, so there is no need to worry about modifying the motor to run at different frame rates.


#3

Hi Peter. I’m so sorry that I haven’t given any news since november, but I was quite busy with other projects and personal mathers that I needed to attend immediately, which made me lost tracks to this message (and forum, in fact).

“As a start, I would suggest picking one format, perhaps 16mm, and building a scanner for that. There is so much to learn about sensors, triggering, focusing, lighting, transport etc. that it would make more sense to learn on one format, and then look at transferring the knowledge gained to the others, or to an attempt to build a universal machine.
The equipment for the most part would work between different machines, the camera/sensor, the focusing mechanism, lens and triggering and lighting solutions, will for the most part be usable on 35mm or 9.5 gear with some minor adjustment.”

Good. I have a old 16mm projector at home (I got it from an uncle who left it to me before he passed), but I have no clue on how to make it work since it didn’t came wiith any instruction at all (right now, it’s collecting dust, mostly). It an old portable Bell & Howell (I don’t know which model). I don’t know even less if I can modify the gate at all. Do you think you could help me out with this ? I can provide pictures of the whole machine, if needs to be.

In the worst case, which projector model would you recommand for modification ?

Thanks for your input.


#4

Post some photos and I can probably help.

I never liked trying to modify the B&H projectors, I like something with an open film path, but send some photos and we can see how much work it is. You dont have to modify the gate, but the standard gate does crop some of the image out, but not all that much, so it isn’t crucial.

As for recommendations, the best is the Bauer, as you can buy a board to have it take a sync input, so you can use a standard video camera, and lock the motor speed to the sync pulse from the camera, a company in germany makes the boards for the Bauer 16mm, and it works great.

For mods like we spoke of before, something like the HOKUSHIN projectors that have an open, and easily accessible film path are the easiest to work on.


#5

Ok, thanks I’ll check on both projectors. I’ll send the pictures as soon as possible. Stay tuned & thanks.

PS: Aside of the projector, what are the other parts that you think I could get easily ?


#6

Here are the pictures’ link:

http://s664.photobucket.com/user/monks19_photo/library/Projector%20B%20and%20H


#7

Oh it’s you Monks!

That projector would be a pain in the bum to try and modify unfortunately.

If you can take the back of it and show some images, that would be really helpful too.


#8

Yep, that’s me. Sorry, about that, I didn’t wanted to appear as a creepy stalker (actually, I didn’t know who you are till someone at OT refered me to kinograph. Right now I can’t use internet at home because of a power outage (it’s been nearly two days, now, thanks to the Sibeberian winter we have in Quebec). As soon as this is sorted out, I’ll send you the pictures of the projector’s back.


#9

Hi. Power’s back since late yesterday evening. The pictures from the projector’s back, as you requesteted, have been added the the same link provided earlyer. Unfortunately, the back doesn’t seems to offer much informations, unless I can unscrew the cover off (and take some pictures). If I do that, I just, I just hope that it won’t damage anything inside and that the cover can be screwed back easyly.

What do you think ?


#10

@Peter can you explain how the sync pulse works on the camera side? What cameras typically output that signal?


#11

Basically any camera that has a live video output.
The video output signal will contain the vertical and horizontal sync pulses, this can be used as a timing signal to adjust the speed of the motor driving the film to keep the two in sync.

I went to write up how to do this with say, and Arduino, but a friend of mine already summarised an approach (thanks DC42!) where you have a hall effect sensor on the ‘projector’ and are getting the sync pulse from the camera, and seeting up a PID Loop to control the motor speed of the projector, so I will post that here.