Nice to meet you all! Lighting & sensor thoughts

Hi, I’m Dylan. I’m excited to have found this website. I’m just going to get into it and say I need a scanner BAD. I’m so down to help everyone figure this out.

I recently just refurbished an old Wollensak camera that can shoot 8000fps that plugs into an industrial timer and can goose 110V up to 300V to get the camera to such high speeds. I have learned a lot from this machine and I thought I might share something with you all that might help for future Kinograph iterations.

When lighting for 8000fps you need to use a tungsten light that is supplied through DC because the high frame rate will pick up the refresh rate of AC.

Running the ‘lamp’ off DC could help reduce flicker for scanning film at 24fps with a global shutter camera.

Has anyone experimented with lighting the film with a small bulb running off DC, running the film at 24fps and then “scanning” it with something like a RED Komodo with a Global shutter?

Ventura Images makes a scanner that uses a ‘Ximea USB3.0’ camera, I just gotta think that there has to be a work around to get a better resolution than what they provide.


Welcome. If you can make something run at 8000 fps, you certainly have know how that would help!

Resolution is basically a factor of how much is one willing to pay for the sensor (camera), how fast the sensor needs to be (slower = affordable), and the sometimes overlooked optics. I have been doing 8 and S8 with 24MP camera (slow, very slow = less than $400 camera), but the results are great. Working on another built that will use less resolution, hope that a bit faster, but since I do not have the budget, it will still slow.

Yes. I built a variable current one which is essentially running DC. Here is the info.

Some in the forum have reported issues with sensors and light, and have taken the workaround of flashing the illuminant (the led lamp). While technically not DC, as long as the LEDs are fully on while the camera is capturing, that’s another approach. Think of it DC while the shutter is open, off while is closed. There are some advantages of this approach, such as less heat, and using more light without overwhelming the sensor. There are also some shortcomings too, such as white LED phosphor takes time to get to full illumination and these also take time to turn off, and it becomes harder to do dimming if one seeks to control the intensity of the light.

DC is the best approach, as long as one can manage heat and stay within sensor limits. However, the higher the speed, the most light required, the likelihood of overwhelming the sensor resulting in smearing.

Hope the info helps.

Hi, I am lucky to be using the Ventura FS8DS3 which we recently purchased, and couldn’t be happier. We had built our own Eumig based, Arduino controlled setup, using a Ximea USB3 camera and Schneider lens etc. etc. as others have done, and the quality from the Ventura - capturing in real time - ie 18 or 24 fps, with sound as well, is amazingly good. We capture TIFF image sized to 1280x1024 which work out at 5.5MB each. We then post produce with a mixture of Film9, or Da Vinci, and then edit with Final Cut and Compressor. The results are more than satisfactory and stand up well to HD display. In our case it is as good as using the Schneider lens but with the bonus of no claw or pressure pad changes, sprocket damage or tearing of old brittle stock.
We found originally that the secret with the Ximea is to pulse the LED and also getting the settings and triggering of the camera head correct. It takes a bit to get it setup as we found with the Eumig rig, but with the Ventura it is pretty much spot on setup straight out of the box. I also have to say that their tech support is second to none.

I wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss the quality of the Ximea camera head. The resolution we are getting is at film grain level with the RGB32 TIFF images - and we can’t get sharper than that. The rest is whatever you want to do in post, and I think some people over do their processing and forget that the grain was visible in normal projection.

I would think their scanners are probably designed for basic access scans only where the quality isn’t important (or for where audio is more important). There are customers who want that, they’re the people that say “I don’t care about the quality I just want to see what’s on the film”. The low-end market still needs scanners that can make scans quickly where you can render out your output without chewing up terabytes of hard drive space.