Retro-8 Set Up
If you have any issues or questions, please contact
firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at
For RetroScan-HD software
instructions, please click HERE.
NOTE: All instructions are for
RetroScan-HD version 2.6.9
If you are using a previous version, please get your free
NOTE: Please unpack carefully and keep the shipping box
and internal packing materials for warranty shipping, if
necessary. This is a precision optical device and the
warranty does not cover repairs of return shipping damage
if unit is not packaged appropriately using the original
box and internal packing materials we have provided for
Unit is designed to be
stored and used in climate controlled
environment of 68-75 degrees F or 20-32
degrees C with minimum humidity.
after unpacking, please let the unit set for about an hour
at room temperature before attempting to use.
This is necessary as changes in humidity can alter the
precision alignment on components within the unit.
Attempting to use the unit without letting it stabilize
will not hurt anything but performance
may be affected until stabilization is complete.
After unpacking, please set unit on smooth, level
If the unit rocks, adjust the leveling by loosening the
screws on one of the plastic legs, pressing down on the unit
from the top lightly, then gently tighten the screws. However,
for proper operation, do not remove the plastic legs from the
Do not loosen or adjust any other
screw on the Retro-8 unit.
All components are calibrated for
Making unauthorized adjustments to
the gate or other components can
affect performance and void your
The only exception is the
user-adjustable tension clip (see
bottom of this page).
Attach the provided USB cable to the back of the unit but DO
NOT plug USB cable into the PC.
You will be notified during installation of the software when
to connect the USB cable to the PC.
To dust off the unit, use a can of compressed air but do
not invert the can nor turn it sideways.
Clear the nozzle first with a short blast and then bend then
can's tube as shown to clear dust and debris from the mirror
above and the gate below.
Do not touch the mirror and do not use any type of liquid
cleaner on its surface. If necessary, use a cotton swab to
gently wipe the surface and then follow up with a soft puff of
compressed air to blow away cotton fibers.
Remove the accessories from the cardboard
insert and locate all the parts shown above.
Because plastic can warp over time, please
take a moment to gently flex the take up reel so that it
will not squeeze the film edges during transfer. Lay the
reel on a flat surface and pull up slightly as shown in
the photo, turning the reel a bit with each flex, until
you have adjusted the entire reel.
Insert the locking screw into the take up reel retainer
and turn until the tip of the screw is almost flush with
the surface as shown.
Place the take up reel on the right spindle and turn reel
retainer until tight and then loosen a bit so the reel
At this point, do
not continue until software has been installed.
Unit does not have to be turned on for
Please make sure that all screen savers, sleep
mode functions and antivirus are turned off during
operation of this software.
Leaving these active can cause instability on some
download the latest RetroScan-HD software, please click
Make sure that your BIN registration key is on your
You will not be able to load the RetroScan-HD software
without the BIN registration key.
RetroScan-HD software instructions, please click
After launching the RetroScan-HD software, you will need
to calibrate your unit before you can transfer.
Gently move the film tension clip from the "closed"
position to the "open" position as shown.
The purpose of the film tension clip is to keep the film
pulled flat as it spans the open gate during transfer.
It is normal that this clip may lose tension over time.
See bottom of this page about adjusting tension on this
To calibrate, you will need super 8 film or,
preferably, use the super 8 leader we have provided.
Insert the retainer hub into reel as shown above.
As shown, the center hub is facing in for super 8 film and
is facing out for regular 8 film.
But super 8 must be used for calibration.
As with the take up reel, tighten slightly and then loosen
a bit so that the reel turns freely.
Please note that, unlike regular projectors, the sprocket
holes are to the inside of the film path.
Pull film through guide
rollers as shown. There are several ways to attach the
film to the reel hub but the easiest way is to fold the
end of the film several times. On film that is brittle,
you may have to tape the end of the film to the hub or
attach more supple leader that won't break when you fold
Compress the folded film end with your fingers and insert
into the open slot of the reel hub.
Keep back tension on the supply reel and turn the take up
reel a few turns to get a good wrap.
Then thread the film onto the gate as shown, taking care
to insert the sprocket hole edge under the tension clip.
Gently move the tension clip from the "open" position to
the "closed" position as shown.
Your film is now threaded properly into the Retro-8
should be noted that the take up reel is the only thing
that pulls the film through the scanner. Normally, you can
lock the reel to the hub by just holding the reel and
tightening the black retainer against the reel firmly. But
for runs longer than 50 feet, it is probably a good idea
to also use the locking screw as shown. If using the
locking screw, it is important to make sure the end of the
screw aligns with one of the many open spaces in the reel
hub to prevent damage to the take up reel. Loosen the
retainer and turn reel to new position, if necessary.
Always loosen this retainer completely when rewinding.
After loading the Super 8 leader, switch the
unit to "forward".
the exposure knob to the position
shown then switch the unit to
The unit will pull film for
several seconds before the light
Once the light comes on, let the
unit run for about 10-15 seconds.
about 10-15 seconds, switch
directly from "run" to "set up".
The unit will then stop with the
It should be noted
that the LED is
very, very bright.
Do not look directly
into the gate with
the LED on. Doing so
runs the risk of
damage to your eyes.
To calibrate your unit, click the
"Calibration" symbol in the software.
You will see a thin, red line appear in the capture window
as seen above.
Then click "Set Up" in
the software one time. After a second or so, a live image
of the gate will appear.
Most likely the sprocket hole of the film will not be
the film moves
up the screen,
wrench and slowly turn
the calibration screw
As you slowly turn the hex wrench, the
sprocket hole will move to the left. Do not
turn too fast!
Watch the film as it moves up the
screen and stop turning the hex wrench when
edge of the sprocket hole aligns with the red
line as shown above.
Continue to observe the film to make sure that
it does not drift past the red line.
If you move the sprocket hole too far, or if
it drifts past the line, simply turn the hex
wrench the other direction.
When finished, click "Set Up" once to stop the
calibration and then click
the "Calibration" symbol again to remove the
(You may have to click the calibration symbol
twice for it to respond.)
The Retro-8 unit has now been calibrated for
both Super 8 and Regular 8 film.
NOTE: NEVER calibrate
using Regular 8 film. Only use Super 8 for
Attempting to use Regular 8 for calibration
can permanently damage the unit.
In general, calibration should not have to
be done again unless the unit is transported
to another location
which can potentially alter the critical
alignment of the camera inside.
It should be noted that the
RetroScan-HD software must be able to "see" the sprocket
holes or the frames will not be captured. Extreme over
or under exposure will blind the software to the
sprocket holes. If this happens, just turn the knob back
towards the center position and capture should resume.
To capture, again
put the unit in the "run" mode and then click "start"
on the RetroScan-HD software. When you finish your
"stop" on the software
and then stop the unit. If you let the entire reel
transfer unattended, the Retro-8 unit and the
RetroScan-HD software will stop automatically about 15
seconds after the reel ends or in the event of a film
To rewind your film, loosen the locking screw until
the tip is again flush on the back side and also
loosen the take up retainer a few turns.
Tighten the source reel retainer firmly and move
tension clip to the "open" position.
If the film was stopped before the tail end left the
path, remove the film from the Retro-8 and loop under
guide rollers as shown. Do not rewind directly between
reels or you risk the film rubbing against the
overhead mirror assembly. This can damage both the
film and the mirror assembly.
Put the Retro-8 unit in the "rewind" mode. It is
advisable to hold your hand lightly on the reel on the
right to provide back tension during rewind. It should
also be noted that the unit will not rewind if it is
in the "set up" mode. It must be in the "run" mode for
the "forward" and "rewind" functions to work.
Congratulations! You have
completed your first RetroScan-HD transfer!
Useful tips on your Retro-8 scanner.
To ensure that the source reel does not come off during
super 8 transfers, press the provided rubber grommet into
place as shown. The grommet will come off automatically
when you unscrew the black retainer knob to remove the
reel. Regular 8 transfers do not require the grommet.
NOTE: It is a certainty that you will lose this grommet at
some point, however, they are commonly available at your
local hardware store.
To manually rock and roll the film through the unit by
hand, loosen the tension clip as well as both reel retainers,
put the Retro-8 scanner and the RetroScan-HD software in the
"set up" mode and then use both hands to move the film back
and forth across the gate. The image of the frames will show
up on the RetroScan-HD software. This can be useful when
scrolling through a reel to find a specific section you wish
to transfer or when setting an over all median exposure for a
Though the unit itself has no wet-gate nor any kind of
built-in film cleaner, we anticipate Retro-8 users being
inventive enough to experiment with devices of their own
design. To accommodate that, we have added some user accessory
screws on the left side of the unit. These are wood screws and
have no nut on the back side so they can be removed safely.
These screws can be used to hold user-designed or aftermarket
attachments in the future. Also, some older source reels may
be warped. If you find they rub on the front of the unit, you
can use the provided spacer to offset the reel.
Over time, the clip may lose its
tension. Use a small hex wrench to loosen the
screw out about 1/8th of an inch or about 4mm,
pull the clip forward and down into the middle of
the gate slightly as shown. Make sure that the
bottom "hook" of the clip is firmly and completely
against the screw shaft, then tighten the screw.
To extend the life of the tension, always return
the tension clip to the "closed" position when not
Do not loosen or
adjust any other screw
on the Retro-8 unit.
All components are
calibrated for optimal
adjustments to the
gate or other
components can affect
performance and void
If you have any issues or questions,
please contact us at
email@example.com or call us at
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