Thursday, October 30, 2014

Magic Lantern

I have about 30, or so, reels of old home movies that my parents shot when we were kids and also of my kids when they were babies. I checked with Wally World, Costco and a few online sources and the cost to transfer them to DVD is way beyond my pay scale. So I went online and searched out a DIY solution. There were many sites and videos that showed how to modify an old projector to function as a telecine machine. That is what the pros use for digital transfer. They are all very complicated and require an electrical engineering degree, as well as mad computer skills. This exceeds the ken of the Boy Genius™, unbelievable as it may seem. I found this on a video posted on YouTube. It is, simply, a box with a mirror, set at a 45 degree angle. There is a hole that the projector shines through, onto the mirror. The image bounces and exits through the front. The screen in the front is just a piece of paper. The mirror reverses the image, but since it shows through the paper screen and you are looking at the back, you see it as it was shot. It is the a simple matter to place a camcorder in front of the screen and record it to the memory card. The mirror is a piece of stainless steel that I got from my old job. One of the guys there owes me a favor, so the total cost of this magnificent device was zero. Plus, he took me to lunch at the local Japanese restaurant. Sashimi salad, yeah! The reason for the stainless is a regular glass mirror give a double reflection. One off of the silvered backing and another off of the surface of the glass. It makes a big difference in the clarity of the video. All I have is an old digital camera, but it seems to work pretty well. I have to see if I can borrow a newer camcorder and see if it is any better than my old, coal fired, antique

No comments: