NOTE: Some video cameras have difficulty white balancing
to the new daylight balanced LED light source. If your image is too blue
and you have already switched your camera to its daylight setting, then
simply use an 85B conversion filter on the front of your camera lens. This
will convert the daylight LED light source to tungsten balance. Your camera
can then be white balanced in either the daylight or tungsten setting,
depending on which provides the best results.
NOTE: The white synch knob will cut off the motor entirely if turned down too far. Make sure it is turned clockwise to its maximum speed before proceeding. The unit should always be started at the highest position and then tuned to the appropriate speed needed to delete flicker. This process should be repeated each time you start the unit. Do not start at the slower speed position as this may damage motor.
Also, make sure your camera is not set to any "high shutter speed" or "auto shutter" or “steady shot” positions. The normal, 60th of a second speed should be used for NTSC or 50th of a second for PAL. Avoid using progressive scan or "frame mode". Just the normal video mode is needed. Best results and best registration is achieved if your film has been freshly cleaned and lubed with good splices and no torn sprocket holes. Always use the take up reel provided as the unit has been tension calibrated or use with that reel. Supply reels should be inspected for warpage or anything that will impede the even feed of film from the reel. Feed reels that bind or grab the edges of the film may cause registration problems or even film damage. Head leader should be fairly straight without a lot of "curl memory" that will impede proper loading.
Mount the condenser lens using the three provided screws. Some units may have spacers present. Mount unit on top of any spacers or washers provided. After mounting the condenser lens, please follow these directions specifically.
Best results and best registration is achieved if your film has been freshly cleaned and lubed with good splices and no torn sprocket holes. Always use the take up reel provided as the unit has been tension calibrated for use with that reel. Supply reels should be inspected for warpage or anything that will impede the even feed of film from the reel. Feed reels that bind or grab the edges of the film may cause registration problems or even film damage. Head leader should be fairly straight without a lot of "curl memory" that will impede proper loading.
is to make sure the camera is mounted on a tripod (column type is best) and is level and centered in height with the condenser lens. Also, make sure that you can see the resulting image on a large monitor. Using the tiny LCD monitor on the camera will make critical adjustments tough.
is to move the camera away from the condenser lens to about one half meter as a starting point and put the camera on wide angle.
is to turn on the lamp of the CineMate and close the gate with no film in the unit. There is a knob on the side of the unit under the lens that is a multi-position knob with markings like "rewind" "play", etc. You close the gate of the projector by turning that knob to the up most clockwise position. That will bring the pressure plate into contact with the gate so that you can see the edges clearly during set up. Otherwise, the two surfaces are separated by about a quarter inch, making definition and focus hard to determine.
(If the shutter is blocking the gate, simply "bump" the motor button to make the shutter rotate a bit. This will give you a bright, unobstructed view of the backlit gate. Or, just turn on the motor and let the shutter spin freely. Either way will let light through the gate, which is the desired result)
With the focus lever of the projector in the middle, vertical position, watch the monitor and move the camera away from the condenser lens until you begin to see a white area in the center of the condenser lens. Some side to side movement will probably be necessary as well. (It is helpful to have a lamp shining on the outside of the condenser lens so you can see the placement of the image relative to the edges of the lens.) When you first align the camera you will probably see a round white circle of illumination. As you pull the camera back, that circle will get larger until it reveals the rectangular edges of the gate. Once you reach that point, stop and adjust the camera up and down and side to side to get the illumination even. To do this, use the adjustable column on the tripod for up and down movement (as opposed to tilting the camera) and slide the tripod side to side (as opposed to panning).
once you feel you have aligned the rectangle of white in the middle of the condenser lens, zoom in and focus (manual focus only) initially on the edges, which may look rough due to the enlarging process but are well outside the frame of film that will be inserted later on. Don't zoom all the way into the white area yet, as you want to use the edges of the gate as a reference. Just zoom in until the edges of the gate are near the edges of the monitor. At this point, it is okay to target your camera by panning and tilting to center the gate in the monitor. Doing so will not affect your alignment with the "sweet spot" that is critical to getting even illumination.
It should be noted that the focus can be adjusted in two different ways: your camera and the projector. In fact, because there is no screen, the lens of the projector, the condenser lens and the camera lens are all working as one, big lens. Moving elements to different positions will create different results. If you zoom in and find that you can fill the frame but can not focus at all or evenly via the camera, set the camera focus as best you can and then adjust the focus of the projector. If the projector focus seems to be at its limit, remove the knob from the side of the projector by pulling on it and that will reveal a small philips screw. Remove that screw and that will let you remove the plastic bonnet covering the lens. This covering is not necessary for the projector to operate and removing it will allow greater freedom on the focus lever though, nominally, it should really be close to center.
is to load the unit with some disposable film that you can experiment with. This footage should be bright with good contrast and detail so you can make accurate judgments about focus and even illumination. There is a Super 8 spindle adaptor on the feed spindle with a regular 8mm spindle hidden inside. To remove the Super 8 adaptor, grab the spindle by the black plast (do NOT press down on the silver metal clip) and firmly, but gently, pull. The Super 8 adaptor will come off revealing the smaller regular 8 spindle. To load the film, return the knob to the "off" position on the projector. The markings don't always line up very well so, to find it, turn the knob counter clockwise to the bottom most position, which is "rewind" and then turn it up one click, which will be "off". Use a pair of scissors and clip the end of the leader so that you get a nice rounded tip (like your fingernail) that does not cut a sprocket hole in half. Insert this film into the projector and shove it through and inch at a time until it either stops or comes out the back end of the unit. If it stops, it may be hanging up on the claw. “Bump” the motor switch so that the claw retracts out of the way and continue pushing the film through the unit. If the film gets caught at the bottom turn below the gate, turn the knob to “rewind” briefly, which will open the pressure plate more and allow the end of the leader to pass. Once passed that point, return the knob to the “stop” position. The leader should appear at the back end of the unit where it can be easily threaded onto the take up reel. The reel generally has barbs that will “grab” the film if you just lay it on the reel hub and turn.
Do NOT attempt to load the film by taking the side cover off. This can cause the film to bind and possibly damage the advance claw. The side cover may be removed to clean the pathway but the film should only be loaded from the top with the side cover in place. Make sure the leader is good, without excessive curl that might hand up inside. It is best to push the leader through until it exits the rear of the unit before turning on the motor. "Auto feed" should be avoided as it has been disabled on these units.
is to adjust the framing. There is a framing knob on the side of the projector but it should not be adjusted unless the unit is running. With the gate closed (knob turned all the way clockwise until it stops) turn on the motor and observe the image on the screen. The edges of the gate are still in view at this point, which is necessary as point of reference. While the film is running, adjust the framing knob until the film frame is centered in the middle of the gate with a partial frame above and below. Then stop the unit.
is to adjust critical focus. Make sure that a single frame lands squarely in the gate. "Bump" the motor switch, if necessary, to seat the film or move the shutter out of the way. Again, the lens of the projector, the condenser lens and the camera lens all constitute one big lens. Furthermore, adjusting the projector lens will not only change the focus, it will slightly change the size and shape of the frame. If the image seems to have a "pin cushion" effect where the frame line seems curved, adjust the focus of the projector to attenuate that shape. Do not worry if it goes out of focus when you do this as you can re-establish the focus via the camera lens. Use manual focus only.
Ultimately, there is little I can tell you here about how to set your focus as every camera is different. You will have to experiment with your set up until you get it right. I can tell you that you should be able to get it sharp edge to edge with no chromatic aberrations and no distortion or pin cushion. Just remember that you have several ways to attenuate the image by using the projector focus and camera focus in combination. Once you feel you have achieved the desired result, zoom your camera in to rid the image of the edges of the gate and refocus. The image should be sharp edge to edge and corner to corner with no hot spot nor any chromatic aberrations. If the edge of the frame goes dark when you zoom in, just adjust the placement of the camera side to side (not panning, but actually moving the camera) ever so slightly until you restore even illumination.
is to do a test transfer. Run the projector with test film and adjust the speed until the screen shows zero flicker. It takes a light touch but is easy to do. The speed should hold quite stable but may need to be readjusted as the unit warms up. Record the image to tape or computer. You will may need to start the projector at top speed and then back it down to the desired rate for each transfer.
is playback. Enjoy the show!
That covers the basic set up for the CineMate. Let me know how it works out and if you have any problems that need trouble shooting. If necessary, you can call me anytime at 713-863-7384 or toll free at 1-8MM-TEL-CINE and I will be glad to talk you through any difficulties.
Hope you have spectacular results!