Monday, September 29, 2008

The DIY TK Set-up

Here's the set-up used to digitize the 'California 08' super8 film.

1: Modified Chinon 2000GL projector. Adapted to run slow (around 3 fps with pulsed motor control circuit) also with low voltage cooler-running light source to prevent film burning. A magnet attached to the rotating shutter disc triggers a reed switch every time a frame is stationary in the gate. A hacked mouse circuit provides a USB click to the host PC to trigger capture of each frame.
2: 120mm diameter plano-convex condenser lens to capture aerial image thrown by projector. Lens held in place by home-made foam board mounting.
3: Borrowed Canon XM2 3CCD mini DV camcorder captures images at PAL resolution, connects to host PC via IEEE1394 (Firewire).
4: Host PC (Windows XP) runs Cinecap software. Incoming mouse clicks from projector ensure frame by frame capture to hard disc.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Well the Kodak 64T film I shot in California has come back from the lab in Germany. The first cine film I've shot for a very long time. Mixed-results with the 'new' Nizo S800 camera though; there's just too much jitter in the footage and a big fat hair in the gate. Still it's an early '70s era camera and probably hasn't had a service in a while (if ever.) The old footage I've been looking at from my student days is way steadier than this, so stumping up for a camera servicing is probably the next step.

On a plus note, these stills show some results from my DIY telecine set-up. (modified Chinon 2000GL projector, Condenser Lens, Canon XM2 DV camera, Cinecap software). I'll probably show some detail on this system soon, but meantime, enjoy the holiday snaps.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Further Adventures in Telecine

After around three months research at the extreme edges of DIY film-making, technologists in Enfield have today switched on a machine that captures some of the tiniest and most elusive sub-atomic images known to man ; the so-called 'Super 8 frames'...

Following in the esteemed footsteps of of Roger Evans, Fred's Telecine and with guidance from the extensive notes published at diy super8 telecine the UK based team have extensively modified a Chinon movie projector to create a home-telecine unit for 8mm film.

Jeff on Bridlington beach 1992

We can reveal that the initial tests have been quite promising. A single 50ft reel of super 8 film was digitized frame by frame at PAL resolution at around 3 images per second. Slightly higher speeds may be obtainable soon, and upgrades to the camera and optical elements will surely follow...