RetroScan Capture Problems and Solutions

General Conventions Invariably each filming situation inherently comes with it's own prescribed settings needed for capture. With this list a collection of problems and solutions will be examined, described, and provided a solution with the most recent convention used. As the proficiency with the RetroScan increases updates to these solutions will be fine tuned.

The RetroScan comes with basic recommended settings which in cases that do not meet correctly shot film standards adjustments to the settings are made to suit the footage in question. Firstly, the Sensor Knob is set to the point just after (clockwise) where the film has stopped and is now moving smoothly. The sensitivity knob is used to calibrate the RetroScan to the sprocket holes and is referenced with the strobing green light that is to pulse every time a sprocket hole is counted. It should be rare that the sensitivity knob need be adjusted, and should be positioned (currently) at about 8:55. The setting of the sensitivity knob is just clockwise of the "chugging sound" that occurs when it is trying to keep up with the number of sprocket holes, you will note that dropped frames are noticeable when "sped-up action" occurs on the screen.

Next, the exposure knob is optimized at the noon (the 12 o'clock) position and normally should be kept as close to this position as possible (currently 11 o'clock works right now) given optimum footage.

The big brass "Cam Knob" is used to alter the very slight difference needed to adjust for the sprocket holes. While this appears to adjust the framing it is meant to be used for the sprocket hole calibration. However, it is safe to use in this regard when Image Stablization is not in use. Otherwise the "Framer" lever should be used for framing. It is implied that when Image Stabilization IS used that the Cam Knob NOT be used.

As well, the exposure knob needn't  be changed once set. It is conventional thinking that leaving a richer image from the RetroScan machine side of things allows for more fine tuning at the capture, and later the vegas timeline side of things. this rationale seems to work especially for over exposed footage.

Problem: Over exposed footage.

Solution: use recommended settings on the machine, minimize the use of gain so that there will be substance to work with in Vegas. Once in vegas adjust with Ultimate S's Sony Levels and raise the output level to 0. Then increase the gain if needed.

Problem: Under exposed footage.

Solution: Hmmm....

Item: Clear edge film does not process well with Image Stabilization ON.


Problem: Ripped / Damaged Sprocket Holes

Solution: One recent job had a slight rip from sprocket to sprocket, for a stretch of 3 to 5 sprockets. This would cause a capture that jumped up out of frame and/or jump to the left/right. It was necessary to capture this film with stabilization OFF. Little could be done to correct the remaining bumps and or jumps of the capture - they had to be edited on the timeline.