Transferring 8mm film to video at home. - Advice?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Philip Hamm, Apr 28, 2003.

  1. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I'm trying to transfer some old 8mm film to DV videocam at home. I was wondering if anyone here has any advice. I don't have a screen so I'm using a white sheet (ironed) as a screen. I've changed the framerate settings of the camera so that it's compatible, and my initial results are satisfactory. Does anyone have any advice or links to pages with advice?
     
  2. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    Man Philip I wish that I had some advice for you. I certainly hope that someone jumps in with some advice because that is my next purchase (A mini-dv) and then I will need to do the same thing with my Hi-8mm tapes.

    KyleS
     
  3. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    If these are movies you really care about, try a professional service. They're not especially cheap (and charge by the foot), but the results are going to be better than any home process including telecine. Use your browser to find various outfits that offer this (type in 8mm to DVD transfer or something).
     
  4. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Kyle,

    Make sure you buy a DV camcorder with an analog in. There are many of them, and they allow for pass-through of the analog signal through firewire to your computer or to DV tape (assuming your Hi-8 deck is working).

    Dick,

    I've got no budget. I'd like to do what you mention but it's out of the question.

    Update:

    I've ditched the sheet, and am now using a piece of flat bright white inkjet paper. The projected image is probably 5x7". Experimenting with all the frame rates on my camcorder, I have set the frame rate to 1/60th, which works well with the rate of the 8mm film. The image is bright and crisp, does not flutter, and seems to transfer OK. Right now I'm burning my second CD-ROM (the first used the sheet method and turned out not very good).

    Update: That SVCD (Created with Pinnacle Studio 8) looked -very- good. On my 50" TV I saw details in the dark parts of te picture that I've never noticed when watching the film!

    Would appreciate any more advice on this DIY activity.
     
  5. Dave Morton

    Dave Morton Supporting Actor

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    I had about 8 big reels and a few small reels of super 8 film from when I was a kid. I think it was around 6000 feet. I had it transfered for about $0.11/ft. It was around $600 that I split up with my other 2 brothers. The place I used transfered it to DVD. It turned out really good.

    If these movies have sentimental value, then I would have someone professional do it. The quality will be worth the price.

    Else if you are insistant on doing it yourself, you may want to use something more reflective than a white sheet. I would use a projector screen, if available.
     
  6. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Check out some screen caps from my homegrown transfer thus far:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Difference in color resolution is from the source film since it was shot outdoors, some in shade, some in sunlight.

    Do you really think there's going to be a that much of a difference going pro? Remember, this is 30+ year old 8mm film here. DV is probably more than capable of capturing the full resolution, heck, VCD is probably more than capable of it. With my camcorder set to the right frame rate, it does not flicker at all.
     
  7. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    Philip, I think it looks fine. As good as old video would be expected to look, anyway. If you're satisfied with the results, then that's all that matters.
     
  8. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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  9. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Ted,

    Thanks for the link!

    Just to be clear, this is old 8mm film that I'm working with, not Super 8. From reading the link, it appears that I'm running the 18fps film at about 20fps, preventing flicker, and the speed-up is noticable but not terrible. My Bell & Howell projector has a hard time running at 18fps, it wants to stop.
     
  10. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  11. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Wow 1969, a small part of this film is that new. [​IMG]
     
  12. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Buzz,

    What did he charge?

    -Vince
     
  13. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    $10 per 50 foot is more than resonable. I was thinking about paying $20! I have an 80 gig IDE drive sitting around doing nothing.

    How are the files- I mean, what format? Is it a series of single frame scans or is it encoded as a progressive avi/mpg file? How do you know FPS to use for final output? Do you know if he could scan the negatives higher than NTSC video (like 1280x720 hd for example)?

    Does Vern offer and cleaning service? I think these things could use a good once over with cleaning fluid and a squeegy.
     
  14. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Indeed- I just figured since these have been sitting in a box for a while that it might be worthwhile to get some Photoflow and a squeegy and give them a once over.

    Well, I might have to have a talk with old Vern.

    [​IMG]

    -vince
     
  15. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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  16. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Interesting about the frame by frame capture, is this running through at projected speed? I have a fair amount of footage that was fire damaged, and while the frame is intact, the sprockets aren't (one side of the reel got fried, thus missing sprockets every wrap around), meaning I'd need to do this pretty damn slowly. I'm sure this wouldn't be $10 per reel, but it might be worth sending out.
     
  17. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Wow, 2fps, I would think that's slow enough to heat damage the film. [​IMG]
     
  18. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Ahhhh.. An important detail. [​IMG]
     
  19. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    This is all very intriguing. My parents have a lot of 35mm slides that they haven't viewed in years, and if I had more money and spare time I'd be inspired to get a slide scanner and take on the project of transferring all those slides to digital, and maybe making a slideshow DVD-R as well.

    For high definition, I can imagine a digital still camera connected to the computer using USB or firewire, bypassing the memory card (which would be futile) and capturing to individual PNG files in a numbered sequence. Premiere and After Effects can import a sequence of stills as a clip.

    But what do you do with the result? Encode to MPEG2 and firewire it out to DVHS (is that possible?)?? I think I'd archive the raw files on DVD-Rs and save them until the technology matures and a suitable format emerges. Meanwhile, downconvert it to 720x480 and burn to DVD-R.
     
  20. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Archiving is fine. If you have a HTPC, you could playback the files from PC in 720p. It also possible to do dumps to DVHS- although I'm not sure the particulars.

    Bottom line is that there is no comsumer HD format that would work- but if you're gonna take the time to scan them, might as well try to go as futureproof as you can.

    -Vince
     

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