Kinoton FP 38 E
- Variations: Premiere / Reference / etc
- film break sensors + workarounds
- FSC handbook on gate tension - to revise: Be careful when you are adjusting the focus that you don’t actually adjust the film pressure skate knob. It’s a knob on the front of the Kinoton that adjusts the amount of pressure that the film pressure skate has. Too much pressure and you can damage the film – too little and the film will shake in the gate making the picture shake on screen. There is a scale under the film pressure skate, which should be set in the center. The only time you should ever need to adjust the amount of pressure would be if you were projecting a shrunken or thinner than normal film that is shaking in the gate.
- Turn the projector on with the switch at the base. Make sure the tension is set for 35mm and is turned off.
- Place the feed reel on the top spindle and close the spindle. The film should be coming off of the left/bottom side of the reel. Also, and more importantly, the soundtrack should be on the side facing towards you. Remember that when threading up or rewinding 35mm, the film should coming off under the feed reel and over the top of the take up reel making an “S” shape. The only exception to this is in the rare chance that the film is wound on the reel wrong so that playing it this way would result in the soundtrack facing away from you. The above applies to using the rewind bench.
- Thread up. [photo guide coming soon]
- Close the spindle on the take up reel. Turn the tension on and make sure that the tension is engaged at the two film break sensors as sometimes you can turn the tension on but it won’t engage if the film has too much slack in front of the sensors. If this is not corrected when you turn on the motor, the film will spill on the floor.
- Double check your threading. Make sure that the spindles are closed, the tension is on and engaged, the film is framed correctly in the gate, you can feel the teeth of the gears through the sprocket holes, the film is sitting in the rollers (especially those around the sound head!), and the correct running speed is selected (both the variable speed control and the 24 or 25fps button). Finally, make sure the lamp is turned on, the correct lens and plate are in, and the proper sound format has been chosen. You are now ready to project. Yeah! Whoo!
- Finally, between every reel of 35mm, turn the projector off and then on to re-set the automatic intermittent gear. Otherwise, there’s a small chance the loop size around the sound head could change causing the sound to come fluttery and warbley. If this happens you’ll need to stop the projector, change the sound loop to the proper size, and then start the projector. You can hear this warble best in dialogue and music, not in noise and brief sound effects. Make sure the sound is on in the booth during changeovers, so you can detect this problem.
To ensure that 16mm sound and image are projected in proper sync, you will need to determine the exact number of sprocket holes your projector likes its latham loop to have. This may require some experimentation with test reels.
On the bottom left of the 16mm sound head in the top photo (below) you can easily see the 16mm sound switch that allows you to switch between optical and magnetic prints. The switch should be left at the top, “O”, for optical and the bottom, “M”, for magnetic. Optical prints are either variable density or variable area (like 35mm mono), and magnetic soundtracks look like a copper band. If you play a magnetic print, be sure to switch back to “O” when you are done, since optical soundtracks are much more common than magnetic ones (in most situations).
- Turn the projector on with the switch at the base. Make sure the tension is set for 16mm and is turned off. Place feed reel on the top spindle and close the spindle. The film should be coming off of the right/top side of the reel. On sound film the sprocket should be facing towards you and the soundtrack should be facing away from you. Remember that when threading up or rewinding 16mm, the film should coming off over the feed reel and over the top of the take up reel making an “D” shape.
- Thread up according to the images at right. To get the correct tension around the 16mm sound unit, pull the film as tight as it will go. Loosen it just enough that it lock on the sprockets and then loosen is one sprocket hole.
- To achieve sound and picture sync, make sure the distance from coming off of the feed sprocket to the top of the film pressure skate/track key is the proper number of sprockets long (see above).
- Close the spindle on the take up reel Make sure the take up reel is the same size as the feed reel. Turn the tension on and make sure that the film break sensors aren't triggered.
- Double check your threading. Make sure that the spindles are closed, the tension is on and engaged, you can feel the teeth of the gears through the sprocket holes, the film is sitting in the rollers (especially those around the sound head!), and the correct running speed is selected (both the variable speed control and the 24 or 25fps button). Finally, make sure the lamp is turned on, the lens is in place , and the proper sound format has been chosen. You are now ready to project. Go for it!
Switching the Projector from 35mm to 16mm
- Make sure the projector is turned off before starting. If it’s not turned off, the sound won’t switch over to the new format and you could accidentally cut yourself since the fan will still be spinning (this has actually happened!) If you switch the toggle switch on the front operating panel without turning off the projector, you will not have sound in the new format and it will be running at the wrong speed. If this happens you will have to stop the projector motor, turn off the projector, wait a couple of seconds and turn the projector back on.
- Switch the lamp switch lever on the back of the lamphouse all the way to left. Make sure you turn it all the way until it stops. The lamp switch lever changes the focal length of the beam of light from the lamp, so forgetting to change this will cause an incorrect light level on screen. (Note: Some lamphouses may not have this option).
- Change the tension setting on the for the feed reel on the back of the projector (it's the knob on the right) – all the way to the right for 16mm and one from the right for 35mm.
- Switch the toggle switch on the front operating panel to the top. (Note: exact location may vary - it may be on the front of the projector or somewhere else). The projector must be turned off for the projector to reset in the new format. The toggle switch resets which soundhead the projector uses.
- Change the reel shaft at the top and bottom of the projector using a hex wrench. The 16mm reel shafts have the thicker base than the 35mm. Make sure that they are on as tight as possible since if the feed reel shaft if loose, the reel and shaft could fall off damaging the reel, tearing the film and possibly landing on your head (this has actually happened!!)
- Insert the two 16mm insets in the pad shoes. Be sure that the side of the 16mm inset with two ridges is facing towards you. If these are not put in for 16mm, you will immediately lose the film loops and if they are left in for 35mm, the pad shoe will not shut over the 35mm film.
- Take off the 35mm lens, plate and film pressure skate.
- Open the shutter housing (make sure the projector is turned off!). Remove the 35mm Academy or 35mm silent heat protection aperture. Insert the 16mm heat protection aperture. Forgetting to insert the 16mm heat protection aperture will allow the light from the lamp to melt the 16mm film pressure skate (which costs about $250!) Replace the shutter housing.
- Put in the 16mm film track key. (Make sure you feel the ka-chunk!)
- Place on the 16mm film pressure skate.
- Put on the 16mm lens.
- You can now turn on the projector and thread up for 16mm.
For 16mm to 35mm follow the same order but change everything to 35mm.
- Handy instruction sheet for converting the FP 38 E from 35mm projection to 16mm projection (via Full Aperture Systems).
Booths using this projector
- Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago, IL - paired with a Kinoton FP 30 E in Theater 2.
- University of Chicago Film Studies Center, Chicago, IL - dual FP 38 Es at Cobb Hall location.
- Block Cinema at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL - dual FP 38 Es
- IU Cinema, Bloomington, IL - dual FP 38 E-S Reference projectors