Problems with the LightPin 16mm gate 16mm for the Retroscan

I finally got some time and gave LightPin 16mm gate a go on warped film and had very poor results. Actually worse results than with the original gate.

How did you do with it?

The instructions say to focus the beam on the film and not the leader as the leader is thicker than the film. Well, if the leader is too thick, where does that leave warped film that goes up and down?

Maybe the LightPin gate works good for perfect film, but for my archive, little is perfect. I tried the LightPin gate in any all adjustments and the best it would yield is unusable results. I also tried it in all configuration while scanning to see result live. Again nothing. And I mean ALL adjustments. Even bringing the LightPin light as close to the film as possible and as far away as possible while covering the entire range for sprocket edge adjustment.

Maybe there is a way to blacken one side of clear film and use the original gate? In any case I’m glad I kept my original gate. This is exactly what I was worried about.

Maybe they should make a scanner that looks for frames and not sprockets. And what would hap when the sprockets are blown out? What would it read for sprockets.

Thanks for reporting back, @danielteolijr. It’s good to know that the lightpin gate fails on warped film. We will need to take that into consideration when designing the Kinograph. In fact, we’re working on that part now so this is perfect information at the perfect time!

I’ve found the same with very warped 8mm film on the MKII with light pin.
The light pin has a very thin focus, it’s crucial it’s focused on the film, otherwise it doesn’t get a correct reading.
The issue is, the warped film flaps up and down so the light pin is no longer in focus.
There’s a bit of distance between the light pin and the guides. I’ve been curious if the light pin being closer to the guide would work better as the film would be more stable at that point.

I’m only new to the scanner, so it could well be operator error

Here’s how it looks while running.

I’m tempted to make my own gate to screw in there to try hold it flat

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I have quite a lot of film with extreme warpage like that - the clock is ticking on those reels for sure. Its hard to even wind them onto the reel. It would be a good idea to test some samples on the Kinograph 2.0 prototype.
A guide that is pretty close to the film frame should do the trick for most films. I have almost lost hope for films like that in my collection actually so if the Kinograph can even do a ‘decent’ job with them I’d be pretty pleased. Once they are scanned, those films will go straight into the bin…
For now, the best thing is to keep the worst cases frozen using appropriate archival methods. At least it will slow the deterioration til its time to scan.