i am experiencing an unusual problem, where i get "sideways jitter" on some sections of film. What basically happens is that the frame seems to be moved around 30% sideways, with a black border on the other side, for one frame. then normal frames for maybe 30 or 40 and then it happens again. At full speed it looks like sideways jitter and is very annoying. i have attached a mp4 video file showing the problem.
Sometimes when I turn on the scanner (from cold) and load a film, it will appear very bright in the Cyberview viewer. I will need to turn down the brightness slider to around -30.
Then other times, I will turn on the Scanner and load the same film, and it will appear very dull in the Cyberview window. Then I will need to move the brightness slider to almost +30 to look the same as previously. For these times, I will get the sideways jitter for this pass of the film.
There seems to be some problem with the scanner hardware light, or some kind of firmware calibration problem. When the scanner lamp is very bright, there is no jitter. But sometimes the scanner light is not as bright when I turn the unit on (I do not know why), and I need to compensate with the Cyberview software, and then that scan develops jitter.
anyone else experience this problem where they are chasing the brightness slider around in the Cyberview software to get the image to match a previous pass and it looks considerably different until adjusted?
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Picked up one of these units. Scan quality is pretty good, however after 3x400 foot rolls the scanner now squeaks while advancing 50% of the frames. I also find in many cases that the scanner gets stuck with the film, yet when I inspect the feed holes on the film itself it appears just fine.
Definitely a cool idea, will ride this out and see if the experience improves, if it doesn't it is getting returned. It's too rich for something that isn't 100%.
MrH. it has started squeaking because there is (shockingly) plastic curves inside the top and bottom feed plastic where the film rubs DIRECTLY AGAINST PLASTIC, WITH NO GUIDES OR ROLLERS WHATSOEVER as the film makes a 90 degree turn. after a short while, this plastic roughens up and gets dirty and scratches your film terribly as its being dragged across stationary plastic. BE WARNED!
a piece of film where I was brought out of the hospital only 3 days old has been damaged forever. I am still crying over it.
hold up a torch against the film before it goes in to the Reflecta, and then when it is spooling back onto the takeup reel, and check for new scratches being added to your film.
a shockingly bad design. completely distrespecful to precious film. It is even worse if you try and "reverse" film back out of the unit. do not ever use REVERSE! if you do you will see what looks like "dust" around the feeders. that's your film being scratched and stripped.
I have developed a fix for this, I will make a video soon
Thanks for the update Blackout.
Upon further inspection with my unit I could see a fine plastic dust around the two circular feed wheels, the ones that are on either side of the scan path. The friction between the feed wheel and the housing has been wearing down the plastic into this fine dust. I put some WD40 on a q-tip and lubricated these wheels and it seemed to stop the squeaking for a few sessions, but then it slowly comes back. Also, the upper feed wheel is not 100% centred, so it oscillates as it turns, really not a $2600 CAD piece of kit after taxes, shipping, exchange rate, etc... I have to say it's a great concept but poorly executed. I would be that spending an extra 10-20% on input parts and a slightly better feed mechanism would have addressed all of the issues I'm having with it. I just don't see it lasting the 150+ films that I want to scan.
Furthermore, good luck setting this unit up to run unattended. On one 350 foot film I had to do 20+ restarts because of film stuck errors, yet when I look at the film after it has passed through the scanner all of the sprocket holes look just fine. So frustrating that there is so much potential and yet it doesn't work.
I'm going to look into returning it. Maybe when a second generation unit comes out it will fix all of these problems.
Mr H. I have had all similar problems to yours.
the biggest fault in the design is that it has two sprocket wheels. This is why it jams. because when the film passes between the sprockets is not a perfect length, it buckles (causing the film to move sideways and the scan jpg to be shifted causing a black line down one side of the frame where it is off-centred) or at a film join, it to jam. the film has no-where to go but sideways and jam, because its movement is limited by the second sprocket that is restricting it in its teeth from going anywhere. a shocking design.
the short answer is to make the film only go through one sprocket, the top one. One sprocket is enough to get the job done. Remove the screws from the bottom plastic housing and put some felt (I used a record cleaning cloth cut into a 1" square) against the plastic so the film no longer is scratching against the plastic directly, and just feed the film then across to the bottom spinning guides , bypassing the second lower sprocket. It will fix SOOO many problems with your scans.
im going to do a video and take some pics of how to do this. just waiting for the Christmas holidays to find some time!
I picked up one of these on eBay for $800 from someone advertising them as having been opened for testing and I am convinced they are refurbished.
Blackout: your posts are appreciated. I read through them while waiting for the Reflecta to arrive and, because of them, ordered a sacrificial $5 Disney short off eBay for testing which will be the only thing going through this thing until it checks out.
Based on your experiences I used a mini-file and 400 grit paper to eliminate the clip ridges on both sides of the frame opening then sloped the edges of that frame opening to eliminate any possibility of the clip catching the film.
Next, I removed the bottom plastic guide leading to the lower sprocket and relocated the lower-right pully below the lower opening, using an existing hole as a pilot (bye-bye warranty!). I expect this will eliminate the need for cloth in that area.
I am capturing the initial pass now and will compare it to a future pass to gauge whether there is any damage.
Oh yeah, I'm using the take-up reel from my Kodak M70 which automatically hooks the film holes and has slippage. It's the only way to fly. When it comes time to rewind I'll relocate it onto the M70.
We'll see how CyberView works but if I don't like it I'll interface to it directly.
Hi, just bought this device and experiences very fast the problems of transportation of the film, skipping several frames ect.
Although I'm convinced that this is the only way to achieve the best copy quality if every image is scanned independently.
I thought maybe it would be a good idea to download the "update.tar" file from the reflecta homepage and update the firmware to todays actual version 1.0.12 since the program CyberView Super8 said I have firmware version 1.0.11. ->https://reflecta.de/de/downloads/firmware/~nm.50~nc.65/Firmware.html
On the firmware page they have this little sweet update description with very poor screenshots of the program CyberView X which is supporting all other scanners except, guess,.... yess, except the Super8 scanner.
The CyberView V 22.214.171.124 program for the S8 scanner does not have this "Update Firmware" menu. And CyberView X cannot access it - damn. So why they are going to put the *.tar file for download if there was no program to load it. I then unpacked it with 7Zip but there is no executable file inside the package.
Now my question: has anybody an idea how to update the firmware without sending the whole device to germany?? Described so in another blog.
I read on another thread that after an update of the firmware to some newer version the problems with the transportation and skipping of images during scanning process were gone. So this might be solving some problems.
In another blog they say that the transportation problem with skipping images or emergency stop with the alert: transportation failed due to film is stuck! can be avoided in cheating the scanner detection of the correct film spool rpm.
Means, if you put some dummy plastic film on the empty film spool, enlarging the radius of the spool, that will cheat the sensor. This simulates somehow that there is already film on the spool. Then the film spool will move slower even on beginning of scanning and the scanner will accept that the film is not stuck.
Even this problem could be solved with a firmware update. Maybe it has been solved already with firmware 1.0.12?!?
Here you can see 2 pics of the mods i have made to the top feeder of the Reflecta scanner. These mods are important because most of the scratching/damage occurs in the top part.
first you need to undo the two black screws and remove the plastic cover from the top feeder section, this is the only way you can put some fabric on the sharp turn that the film makes as it rubs against the abrasive plastic directly. You also need to take the small plastic wheels and file them smooth as they have the plastic injection points on the wheels on the surface that touches the film and the plastic wicks in the plastic wheel guides leave dents in the film. (yes, extraordinarily poor manufacture but true).
then to avoid the plastic film sensor scratching the film straight down the centre as it feeds, i have used the felt pad spring from a cassette tape housing and it sits above the plastic sensor lug. so the film runs across the felt pad, not the plastic sensor lug. you can see this in the pics on the right.
i have also made up some spacers and used a small washer to help keep the film guiding nicely. Then its just a matter of being a little more gentle when feeding a film through the scanner.
(DO NOT try and put the yellow felt on the surface and think you are going to get the plastic housing back on. its just not going to happen. it is extremely tight in there. and you will never successfully feed a film through again. plus you want to replace the yellow felt (a record cleaning cloth cut up!!) every 5 scans or so...so you need access easily...so just leave it off....better )
you dont use the Cyberview X software! it is for their other products. the S8 is specifically for the Super8 scanner.
the latest version on the link above is the version that fixes the skipping of frames. WHEN YOU INSTALL IT, IT WILL ALSO UPDATE THE FIRMWARE OF THE SCANNER. so you just need to run this one and it installs firmware (latest) and software (latest) as well.
of course, it does not fix the sideways shifting problem of the frames. that can only be done by the mod i explained where you bypass the lower sprocket.
here you can see the mod i made to the bottom area, you need to remove also the two black screws from the bottom feeder cover area and then apply more felt (with blu tack underneath to hold it in place) to the bottom turn so the film again doesnt rub against the raw plastic. then you can skip the bottom sprocket and run the film straight to the lower wheel.
its important to run the film to the wheel on the right still, instead of going the short way back to the takeup reel. Why? because the film running across and back as it does, acts like a kind of gentle elastic band-kind-of-situation when tightened, so it keeps more constant pressure on the film feeding through the actual scanning lens. the film needs to be tight into the takeup reel, otherwise your scans will look "watery" where each frame floats left or right when being scanned. But its okay to make it tight now, because you have felt and wheels and pads in all the right places. when i say "tight"... i mean, it just needs to be tight enough so that the film does not look like its "sagging" on its run across the bottom of the scanner. if its not sagging loose, then its tight enough. you dont want it too tight otherwise you may actually stretch your film!
now, another mod is to be able to manually adjust the strength of the takeup reel clutch. this is important for the reasons above, and easy. just remove the two white stickers from directly behind the reel pins, and the screws that you find adjust the tightness of the "clutch". Here you can see i have marked which way i turn the screw to tighten the takeup reel pull further. I give it a tweak every so often.
for the reel that the film is being fed from (the right-hand reel)...i have it LOOSE AS A GOOSE. free-spinning. Important. (my unit was shipped with this cranked so hard that the film was shedding from the moment it entered the machine at the first wheel!...completely un-necessary.) And actually the more loose it is being fed, the better the film is lying across my cassette tape felt pad and holding down the plastic sensor lug ...doubly good
with all of these mods and the software update....all problems are solved....your scans will be smooth, no skipping, no jitter, no film scratching! every scan will be nailed first time.
you just need to use your old projector to rewind the film. NEVER REWIND IN THE REFLECTA. and you probably wont be able to anyway once the right hand clutch screw is loosened hehe.
Last edited by Blackout; 28th Dec 2014 at 08:43.
finally here is a better picture showing exactly how the cassette tape housing pad mod is mounted and located. i used half of the actual pad spring to "hover" the felt pad over the plastic lug sensor. So the film now pushes across the soft felt pad, and not directly dragging across the plastic lug as Reflecta shockingly designed originally (underneath the pad in this picture)
Last edited by Blackout; 29th Dec 2014 at 08:49.
Thanks you for your response - updated with the "Update" button and loaded the *.tar file -> transportation works now. Fortunately I didn't had to bypass the lower sprocked until now. Since about 400 meters of film I had no problems with sideways shifting of frames at all. Maybe they already did something to avoid that. Also I reversed all 7 60m spools (which are not completely full) and several small ones without any problems, no loosing screws or transportation problems. (only had to fix some old cemented points as usual after 40 years but the quality of the films after 3-4 decades are as usual astonishing).
VenCain...how did you remove the lower right sprocket? does the whole sprocket pin just unscrew? if you turn hard enough? or is there a clip inside you need to remove?
if you look closely, the bottom left sprocket is manufactured out of alignment (another fault) and it is too far out, compared with the bottom sprocket on the right. this makes the film run slightly sideways across the bottom, and also makes the film feed crooked into the takeup reel, causing the film to always rub on the side of the takeup reel. the lower left sprocket needs to be reset deeper into the unit to make it in line. i am just wandering how to do this. Because the sprocket pin looks very well stuck in there!
however if you do not bypass the bottom sprocket then you will still be getting scratching of the film there, because the film is made to do several turns against plastic rubbing directly (with no wheels). i will warn you!
re: reversing, i only refer to rewinding the film inside the reflecta where there will be serious scratching / damage. If you just rewind the film between the reels directly of course this will be fine
That said, I believe the resolution should be much greater and, more importantly, there should be no contact with the frame's emulsion region on either side of the film. I am left unwilling to run my films through this and am looking at the $800 I spent as the price of an education.
Scratching my film is unacceptable.
I am designing a system of my own, from scratch, creating 3D printed parts for expected use with a Raspberry Pi. It should be quite plain.
hi VenCain, thanks for the reply and Happy New Year!
if you follow my instructions above then you wont get scratching.
I am not going to relocate the right hand lower sprocket. I believe its important that it is on the far right to take up slack better.
but the far left lower sprocket is set to far out. I will undo the screws and try and set it to align a few mm deeper. Ill let you know how I go. its good news that its a securing screw. and not press-secured.
your plan to make one with a RPi sounds interesting. its a big job tho. I tried and failed using Linux before buying the Reflecta. which is why id rather mod the Reflecta to work instead of start from scratch myself again as the software seems solid enough.
Last edited by Blackout; 1st Jan 2015 at 02:34.
I just got my Super 8 scanner and have been reading this forum with much interest. I have downloaded the latest version but I have not been able to get past the "film is stuck" message. It doesn't seem stuck as I can move it manually or with the up/down arrows. Any ideas?
Hello and many thanks to all the participants for their valuable contributions. Following Blackout's instructions, I bypassed the lower sprocket and put some fabric over the plastic to protect the film as it comes out of the scanner.
Two problems here. One of them is sideway jitter; apparently it was fixed by the lower sprocket bypass, but it started to happen again: in many of my films, every x frames I get some horizontally missaligned ones. Apparently it has to do with the film, since it always happens on the same spots.
My other problem, which has been getting worse and worse is that, in every film I put into the machine, every x frames the intermitent sound of the scanner gets shorter and more abrupt and the frame just registered appears vertically missaligned as if the film could not change from one frame to the next (i.e. problems to be moved). Apparently the software detects this missalignment and doesn't save the frame until it is fixed and properly "framed". But in spite of this, the dryness of the sound, and the increase in the frequency of the problem make me very nervous. It seems something might be going wrong inside the machine.
ok. The sideways jitter problem, is fixed by the film being tight in the area where it is being scanned, stopping the film from moving sideways out of alignment.
the reason why we bypass the lower teethed sprocket is so we can pull the film tighter across the area to be scanned. Previously the lower teethed sprocket would not let you do this as it was holding the film.
if you are still getting sideways jitter it is because the film is not tight enough going onto the takeup reel. So you need to adjust the clutch screw on the takeup reel arm (behind the round white sticker on the takeup reel arm at the top/back) so that the film is being pulled tighter through as it moves. You can not just bypass the lower sprocket and leave the film being taken up "loosely" or you will still get the jitter. you need to adjust the takeup reel clutch as well.
Also use a takeup reel with a large "empty" center, the same as the one that Reflecta supplied. So one turn makes for more of a revolution or "pull". if you are substituting the takeup reel for a small reel with a small center, you will not get enough film being pulled through per revolution. This is important and can also mess with things.
re: abrupt sound of Scanner....this is normal. What the Reflecta actually does is scan 3 frames at a time ie x-1, x, and x+1. then it decides which is the middle frame, and the software trims to it. This way, if the film is slightly out of alignment, it has "overscan" of the picture above and beyond the target frame left over to adjust its trim, and still get a nice clean jpg. Every so often, especially if a film is stretched, it will end up doing a scan and will get 2 1/2 frames instead of 3. so it doesnt need to move the film as far forward for the next scan. Basically, the latest software is clever enough to only move a 1/2 frame forward instead of a full frame, to get itself back into the sync of things. This has only started in the latest sofware update, to help compensate for skipping frames (what the previous versions of software used to do is just scroll forward and skip several frames, causing the skipping problem!, instead of doing a 1/2 frame movement).
so it sounds like with the jitter problem and the lots of 1/2 frame steps, you have some very stretched film there my friend.
start by tightening up the takeup reel. you will find that both problems go away.
Last edited by Blackout; 3rd Jan 2015 at 18:16.
Thank you so much, pal, I will certainly try as you say!
We baffled scanner users ought to pay you something for all the useful info you've posted here! Really invaluable
very wierd. open up the swinging door where the scans are taking place, by pushing up the latch. make sure theres no other film pieces (that might have shedded off or broken off) sitting in there. Make sure that the loose metal spring plate that pushes against the film is seated properly when you close it.?
from what i can see on the Reflecta, there is not a physical switch or sensor that triggers this message. it seems to be that the software (which is constantly comparing its previous scan frame to the next to see if they are different) seems to notice that frames seem identical for a while. so the software throws this message....
are you getting this message on moving images? or is it popping up with leader tape? you should not get it from real film with images on it...
Question for Blackout. I'm curious about something: I understand that my film is very stretched, but how is it that the space between sprocket holes remains the same? I mean: if the size of the film has changed, the sprocket holes shouldn't fit the sprocket reel dents, should they?
Many thanks for your help.
I still get some sideways jitter even when the film is VERY tight, but only in the first frames of each reel. Apart from that, the scan goes more or less OK qualitywise; the only problem is that it gets much slower than before. Each frame takes ages to be saved. And every now and then the process stops and I get a "The film is stuck" message. I can continue scanning after that, but it resumes two frames after the one in which the machine stopped. So unless I push the backward button to recover the original position, I loose one or two frames.
The Reflecta top sprocket has fairly low / short teeth. The stretched area just kinda makes its way through the sprocket.
Take a look at how small a frame is. It takes VERY little change in size to throw a spanner in the works.
orbit. I remember watching my father do this often in my childhood. So the damage is always worst at the start or close to it. Sad reality but true.
Have you done my mods to the scanning spring plate ... Ie using a file to smooth it out ? If not the poorly finished surface might be jamming the film. Causing it to get stuck.
Also make sure you have the latest firmware as well as matching latest software running. Sounds like its possible you're running the older firmware and there could be conflicts?
Oh, boy, it's getting worse and worse... it stops every 20 frames or so with the "film stuck" message. One way of avoiding this is: whenever it seems that the scanner cannot move the film, I force it by pushing a little bit the upper sprocket. That moves the film a little bit and suddenly the scanner gets the frame right, saves it and goes on for a little while... until the next stuck.
The funny thing is: I had already scanned most of this particular film already, but, when I had to resume after a stop, I accidentally erased the previously saved frames and had to start all over again... and now, the scanner seems to find bigger difficulties with the same film scanned yesterday
The firmware is updated and the software is, I think, the last version (has it ever been updated?). I filed the ridge as you showed it the pictures. It didn't seem to have any edge pointing towards the film, but I filed it anyway, and bend it a little bit, to make it further from it.
No sideways jitter, btw
Thank you very much.