I am in the process of taking my dads old 8mm movies and putting them on dvd. I do not want to send them to a company only to have them ruined or lost. I have some free time and will enjoy doing this if I can find the right tools. Is anyone familiar with the video transfer systems that were made in the 80's? Several of the names would be Polestar, Ambico, Kalimar and Argus. These are all boxes with a mirror inside that reflexs the image into the camcorder of your choice. If there is anyone familiar with these systems I would appreciate any input. I know from research that the end result isn't always the best but would still like to try.
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Frankly, whichever one of these that you can get cheap on ebay or at a thrift store would probably do ya. I've seen these on ebay for $75 and that's ridiculous, I'd spend maybe twenty bucks on one. I picked up one for $5 at a thrift store, and it's actually pretty decent.
But decent is relative, which is why I don't recommend spending much on one of these: A lot depends on your projector and camera, and you have to spend a lot more money to get noticeably better results, so cheap is really the way to go. At least for experimental purposes.
The one thing that'll probably make the biggest difference is your projector -- if you don't have an adjustable speed projector, or one optimized for video transfer, it can be a bugger to get a picture without a lot of flicker (due to shutter speed mismatch between the projector and the camera) and to me, flicker is much more annoying than slightly fuzzy picture, it gives me a headache.
Thus my recommendation to start cheap at first, do some tests to see how your projector speed works, then if that's decent you can futz around with the image. And expect to spend a lot of time tweaking things!
Caveat: While I've done some simple transfers with a cheap telecine unit, I also got lucky and got a great deal on a couple of Goko 8mm and S8mm transfer boxes, which have a self-contained "projector" system that you just aim your camera at, and while you can get better results from pro stuff these things actually look pretty darned good. The downside is that even used they're $$$, frankly they're overpriced but I guess that's the market these days. I've heard stories that the lower model of these (like the kind I have) are crappy, but they're really not -- what they were was dusty, internally, they're magnets for dirt inside and I wonder how many people have ever cleaned one of these boxes out. Mine went from barely tolerable image to wow! with a good cleaning.
The devices you mention are no longer being made. Most people who were into Video at that time ( 80's) either held onto it or sold it on Ebay. At best, you don't know what kind of condition it will in on Ebay. So take you time if you are going to purchase make sure you have some kind of guarantee.
Originally Posted by The old guy
But it can still be fun to do it yourself on the cheap!
Originally Posted by The old guy
Thank you for all the input. I have been trying to find a Goko TC20, just to see what it looks like. I found a Polestar PV-35PLS on ebay for about 145.00. This would appear to be a step up from the other units available for under 50 dollars on ebay. Unfortunately I live in an area where antique shops are few and far between, but I will look. I am not in a hurry. I am cleaning my films at the persent time and I am finding I need to acquire some extra reels as the ones I have are getting flimsy. Even if I have to pay someone to do the transfer, hopefullly my film will be clean. Once again I thank everyone that has contributed information on this subject and would welcome any other input about transfer system anyone might have.
Originally Posted by Marvingj
I'd like to transfer my parents' 8mm reel film to digital format - preferably DVD. I'd like decent quality, but no fancy restoration.
A quick estimate indicates it might be worthwhile to rent a WorkPrinter XP or (Cinemate?) other reel to DVD transfer/conversion machine.
I'd like advice on options:
- recommendations on which machine
- any links to rentals of these machines
- would anyone be interested in "sharing" the machine? (Purchase together, share for a month or two on each end, then either continue this sharing or sell used to recoup money)
- maybe a few newbies out there like me cannot afford to buy a machine, but would spend a few hundred dollars for use.
It would probably be worthwhile to do this myself, but purchasing a Workprinter XP for use for only a few weeks is something I cannot afford. If we could get a few people interested in pooling funds, then it could be worthwhile for everyone.
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