Re: [Frameworks] DSLR telecine on a JK printer

From: Mike Maryniuk WFG (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Dec 14 2010 - 15:03:57 PST

Hi all,


Here’s a bunch of photos of our DSLR-JK rig. Before each photo are some things explaining the setup, specifically one photo that I explain how the Auto-Fire Mechanism that we built works.


A couple other things:


1) The bulbs we WERE using had a very short life (between 10 and 20 hours), but we recently switched to some other ones that seem to work upwards of 30 or 40 hours. So it’s been working a little more regularly apparently, but I haven’t used this system for a while.

2) This system, just like optical printing is VERY tedious. With one 16gb card I can usually get about one reel of Super 8 captured, which takes a couple hours. But if you have time to sit around and wait for this to be done, go for it. Just MAKE SURE to NOT leave the bulb on overnight, etc. Someone started transferring film and then left for the night and by the time they remembered to come back and turn the bulb off the lens had been burnt and cracked.

3) WORKING WITH FCP: I import all the JPEG images directly from the camera onto a HDD, and then bring them into FCP. When you import 1000’s of photos into FCP, surprise surprise it freaks out and takes a while to import them all. It does the same when you drag them all onto the timeline. I then color correct these JPEGs on the timeline (since they are at a higher resolution than 1080 and are more malleable in this state), and export to ProRes 1080p24. REMEMBER: before you import the pictures into FCP, go to File>User Preferences and under one of the tabs is your option for how long a still frame or photo is when dragged onto the timeline. Make sure to change this to 00:00:01 frames. Then, when you drag these thousands of photos onto the timeline all at once, they are all in order, 1 frame per photo.


Good luck!


ORIGINAL JK, with Bolex:

Original JK Setup.jpg


Modified DSLR setup, with auto fire mechanism:

DSLR " JK Setup.jpg



The Auto Fire Device – this device is connected to the Bolox motor, and also to the Nikon DSLR using a remote shutter cable that I split at one end.


There are 4 wires in the remote shutter cable: black, green, white and red. Red wire is not connected and does nothing. When green and black touch, the camera auto fouces and prepares to take a photo (which isn’t necessary since we don’t have a lens attached). When the green and black touch the white wire, it fires the camera. For this reason, I have wired the green and black wires to one post, and the white wire to the other post.


So the Black & Green line, as you can see is a lever that moves up and down, while the “white line” is fixed in position. The curved post in the top-right hand of the picture is connected to the bolex motor on the other side. When the motor turns, so does this curved post and “magnet A” on the end of the curved post pulls up on “magnet B” and completes a connection between the “Black and Green line” and the “white line”, thus firing the camera.


Auto Fire Device.jpg


Auro Fire Mechanism – pointing at the curved bar that is connected to the Bolex motor. This bar turns with the bolex motor and is responsible for firing the camera.

Auto Fire Device (point at drive shaft).jpg


Back of Auto Fire Mechanism – finger is pointing to where the bolex motor drive shaft attaches. The other 3 screw holes attach to the bolex motor to sturdy it.

Auto Fire Device (back).jpg


Auto Fire Mechanism front

Auto Fire Device (front).jpg


Bolex motor attached to the Auto Fire Mechanism

Auto Fire Device w" Motor attached2.jpg


Bolex motor attached to the Auto Fire Mechanism:

Auto Fire Device w" Motor attached.jpg


Whole darn setup:

DSLR " JK Setup 2.jpg


From: email suppressed] On Behalf Of John Woods
Sent: December 11, 2010 12:17 AM
To: Experimental Film Discussion List
Subject: Re: [Frameworks] DSLR telecine on a JK printer


I'd love to see photos of what you guys have rigged.

As far as the bulb goes wouldn't it make more sense to replace the JK light with an LED source? Where you using the original JK bulb? A 10 hour life seems to short for any sort of serious optical printing (of course at Cineworks with fingers crossed we're still using an ancient, yellowing bulb in our Oxberry printer).

As far as the post flow goes, do you import the images as a Tiff sequence and then export it (after cropping) as ProRes or another format? Or is FCP able to handle it without a conversion?

John Woods


From: Mike Maryniuk WFG <email suppressed>
To: Experimental Film Discussion List <email suppressed>
Sent: Fri, December 10, 2010 4:05:30 PM
Subject: Re: [Frameworks] DSLR telecine on a JK printer

At the Winnipeg Film Group we have modified our JK to transfer film using a DSLR. Originally we just tested it by hand, one frame at a time. But now we’ve built a mechanism that auto-fires the camera so the process is automated and you can walk away for a while. To automate the shutter release on our Canon DSLR, we’ve created a mechanism that locks into the original piece that fired the Bolex one frame at a time. On the original setup, the JK bolex “motor” would turn 360 degrees to fire one 16mm shot. Now, we have it hooked up to a mechanism that completes a circuit with a remote shutter cable (wired, not wireless). If anyone is interested I can send some photos around next week if you want to see closer how this mechanism works… it’s kind of hard to describe.


A couple problems with this method though:


1) I’ve had to replace the shutter on my 40D after transferring a few films. It was just over $100 to fix the shutter I believe, so that’s nothing compared to the costs of HD transfers.

2) The bulb in the JK light that we have only lasts for something like 10 hours, so we’ve gone through countless bulbs. That was, until I realized that we could just use a 300 watt Arri instead, which seems to have a longer bulb life. And since we’re working digital and the light doesn’t have to be measurable this method has worked great.


The benefits:


1) Upwards of 5K image on your transfer. FCP kind of freaks when you throw all the photos into it at first, but it gives you a great quality image to work with, and export as video.

2) You can capture the FULL frame of film and decide yourself how to frame it, which often is not the case when getting traditional transfers.

3) Cheap as borsht.


If anyone has questions, feel free to ask. I’ll try to upload photos of our automated mechanism on Monday.


-Aaron Zeghers-




From: email suppressed] On Behalf Of George Monteleone
Sent: December 8, 2010 4:07 PM
To: Experimental Film Discussion List
Subject: Re: [Frameworks] DSLR telecine on a JK printer


I can't speak for JK to DSLR, but and friend and I built a variant of the workprinter, but with better optics. We capture directly off the frame, and the only glass in the optical path is a high-resolution rodenstock apo-rodagon enlarging lens to Sony EX1 camera with an HD-SDI out, uncompressed 1080 signal to blackmagic caputre card. It's basically a Moviestuff workprinter setup with better optics.

Our transport is just a modified Eiki with a adjustable speed control, low-wattage bulb, and variable aperture electronically controlled. We capture using CaptureMate, the same thing the workprinter is designed to use, frame captures triggered with an opto-resistor triggered by the motor rotation. It's quite reliable; the only thing to watch for is dust or occasional jump if the film has bad splices or damaged sprockets. A JK transport would be ideal, or some kind of pin-registered transport, though registration on the Eiki at 8fps is ok. Theoretically, and upgrade to higher quality capture mechanisms (i.e. Red cameras) wouldn't be too tough, as long as the optics are appropriate for the chip size.

The quality is better than the workprinter. We've been running it as and affordable DIY telecine business, but might be planning to sell the system in the near future. Email me if you're interested in hearing more, arranging to see some samples, a quick cheap demo transfer, etc.

email suppressed

On Mon, Dec 6, 2010 at 4:04 AM, <email suppressed> wrote:

 i have done that several times a longer time ago, but you never know
 when the shutter rips off, so if you calculate yourself after 20000
 clicks about the possibility the in the middle of the project it kills
 itself you can do that very easily. you have to have a replace-camera in
 your repertoire and looking forward for replacement costs of 100-200
 bucks each time ... and a lot of nerves ;) but then it works. of course
 a 5d will stay longer as a 500d, but i would rather use the cheap one
 for that job ... nowadays i only use that for making telecine of
 finished works and not for production process anymore...

 On Sun, 5 Dec 2010 22:36:41 -0700, jeanne LIOTTA <email suppressed>
> they are doing that at my school. But you have to watch
> out--perhpasreplace the camera fairly regularly since they werent
> really made for that kind of frame-clicking volume. Its tedious, just
> like any optical printing, no? but with a controller interface you
> trust maybe you can just go out for coffee or take a nap.
> another one of the million workflows....

> On Sun, Dec 5, 2010 at 6:04 PM, John Woods wrote:
> Anyone doing film transfers on a JK optical printer with a DSLR?
> Particularly of
> S8 or 16mm colour negative? Seems like the most tedious way to
> transfer film but the potential quality it presents intrigues me.
> Thx.
> John Woods
> _______________________________________________
> FrameWorks mailing list

> email suppressed [2]
> [3]

FrameWorks mailing list
email suppressed



__________ Information from ESET NOD32 Antivirus, version of virus signature database 5693 (20101210) __________


The message was checked by ESET NOD32 Antivirus.

__________ Information from ESET NOD32 Antivirus, version of virus signature database 5693 (20101210) __________

The message was checked by ESET NOD32 Antivirus.

__________ Information from ESET NOD32 Antivirus, version of virus signature database 5699 (20101213) __________

The message was checked by ESET NOD32 Antivirus.

FrameWorks mailing list
email suppressed