Welcome to my Cine2Digits telecine project page! Here you will find all sorts of information regarding DIY telecine for 8mm film.

This site is not intended as an instruction manual for how to specifically build a telecine machine but does, in one way or another, probably contain sufficient information to do so.

These pages are more of a mixed bag of various designs, tests, experiments and results. Older information doesn't necessarily mean bad information, just that I may have come up with alternative methods to suit a particular scenario. For example, I made an early design for triggering using an optical slotted switch but for a later projector, the mechanics would not easily allow this approach and so I designed a magnetic sensor trigger using a Hall Effect sensor.

The original aim of this project was to be able to transfer around fifty Regular 8mm films taken by my mother-in-law of my wife's childhood days. This is still my first target, but of course since then word has spread around my friends and family (I guess I've talked too much about it!) and now I'm being threatened with the odd shoebox or two of films to transfer.... mostly R8, but some S8.

But it has got worse than that, I started out with the notion of a low cost solution, but then I got hooked on the challenge of getting the best from 8mm at a relatively low cost. By relatively, I mean quality which matches as close as possible to professional transfer machines in the 10~100K for a mere fraction of that. Clearly much of the cost of professional machines goes into fast, robust and repeatable machinery which is suitable for business users. I'm just using secondhand old projectors! Most of my money has gone into a decent machine vision camera, reasonable lens, controllable LED lighting and a powerful DC motor.

Of course, please feel free to browse around and I hope you find something of interest. If you do, don't be afraid to get in touch with comments, suggestions or questions - or just to say hello!

This site will be updated from time to time as my project progresses and I'll add to the Page Updates section below accordingly so you may see easily what may have changed since your last visit.

Finally, I should make it clear that not everything here has come from my own mind of course...far from it in fact! As such, I'm indebted to the many friends I've made over the internet during the project and to the volumes of telecine information already published on many sites. The LED lighting system, motor control and the front-end of the capture software are my own designs. The idea for using a machine vision camera, I got from VideoFred ;)
I do owe Fred and also Christoph Manz in Berlin a big thanks for their ongoing support, advice and expertise. I hope my lighting and capture contributions to their similar projects will make it even!

Page Updates

3rd Jan 2014 - Long overdue update! The new version of lighting system and integrated capture system has been running well for over a year now, with some systems doing professional service in transfer houses. Here is a flyer for the complete product Cine2Digits. Will update each of the section pages on this site shortly with more information. Also been working with a USB3 camera now that the USB3 Vision standard has been ratified and cameras are starting to trickle out into the market. Early tests with the Sony ICX674 sensor are very promising, with results at least as good, if not slightly better, than those from the excellent ICX285 sensor but with the advantages of a higher pixel count, similar cost and higher frame rates at 16bit depth in cameras with USB3 interface.

12th Jan 2013 - Updated the demo software and install procedure. Apologies to anyone who has had trouble with the previous procedure.

6th May 2012 - Updated the demo software to use the latest build of ActiveDcam.

Have not made any recent updates to this site as have been busy working on a new version of the lighting system. It is a high speed version with <100us exposures and automated white balance and gamma control. Watch this space for further updates in the second half of this year.
Here's a teaser of what the new light assembly looks like:

2nd Jun 2011 - Updated the demo software.

19th Dec 2010 - Moved site to new hosting.

12th Nov 2010 - Added information and download for trying out my Dcam2Digits application for machine vision cameras. See the second half of the Capture & Control page.

3rd May 2010 - Made changes to the uploaded video clips on the Results page to hopefully work on more browsers.

2nd May 2010 later the same day ;)- Added a video capture clip and link to larger version on the Results page.
Fixed the menu section to work better in non-IE browsers (still not quite as intended yet!)

2nd May 2010 - Added a picture to the Lighting section of some of the board sets I've made for friends

23rd April 2010 - Added back into the Archive page the content from my original Eumig 610D page

11th April 2010 - Added a few words and a picture of the hardware LED control panel to the Control & Capture page,

29th March 2010 - The switch to BST and Spring in the air brings a complete makeover for the site! A new colour scheme and rearrangement of information to better reflect the current state of the project. For reference, old stuff has been moved to an Archive section and there is now a Tech section of various bits of circuits and timing explanations.

A possible result of the makeover could be broken external links into this site. Sorry about that, but I would prefer all links to be to the home page anyway.