Calibrating the Line



The SV7510 Still Video Printer consisted primarilly of a small B&W video monitor, a lens, a place for an instant film pack and a color filter wheel with RGB filters. Circuitry took the incoming composite or RGB signal and would expose the film sequentially with RG&B light from the video monitor to create an image on the instant film. The problem arose in balancing the output of the three exposures, since the density and sensitivity to the film varied depending on the filter which the light passed through.

A way to calibrate the devices to a proper color balance was needed. Color balance could be controlled somewhat with several adjustable pots inside the printer. They needed a simple way to do it on the assembly line. An engineer was assigned to help me with the task, however, he really had no idea how to approach the problem at first. I suggested we borrow the technique that my Beseler Color Computer used to determine color balance, with photo diodes. Jerry suggested using the new digital oscilloscope to measure the light output. This worked well! The digital oscilloscope could capture a curve for each of the color exposures and the height of these curves could be made equal with the adjustment pots. Unfortunately, the Polaroid suit in January 1996, spelled the end for Instant products and the end of the SV7510 Still Video Color Printer.

Although, we as a team had tried to pivot to a 35mm film version of the SV7510, marketing wouldn't support it. With the end of the project, I was to be re-assigned to the Systems Group of Advance Development, in what was now the Electronic Photography Division. An excellent position for me.

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