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  1. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: United States
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    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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  2. 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.
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  3. Member Marvingj's Avatar
    Join Date: Apr 2004
    Location: Death Valley, Bomb-Bay
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    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.
    http://www.absolutevisionvideo.com

    BLUE SKY, BLACK DEATH!!
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  4. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2007
    Location: United States
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    If you can beat $.10/ft to miniDV tape or $.12/ft to DVD then go for it.

    Else I would recommend Woodland Film Transfer They did 2 batches for me that almost look better than the original film.

    Scotty
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  5. Originally Posted by The old guy
    If you can beat $.10/ft to miniDV tape or $.12/ft to DVD then go for it.
    It's pretty much impossible to beat the price/quality ratio of a good pro transfer -- a standard 50-ft roll of R8 or S8 film costs six bucks to transfer, $48 for a 400-ft reel, and frankly that's cheap for what you get. I know, 'cause I used to work for a film-to-tape house (back in the days when we used to go 8mm to VHS) and what we could do, even back then, blows the socks off your standard home setups, unless you've got $$$ to spend on equipment.

    But it can still be fun to do it yourself on the cheap!
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  6. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by The old guy
    If you can beat $.10/ft to miniDV tape or $.12/ft to DVD then go for it.
    Else I would recommend Woodland Film Transfer They did 2 batches for me that almost look better than the original film.
    Scotty
    I also suggest these people. They seem to have a good grasp of video, unlike most places I see online that are too busy filling customers with fear and BS.
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  7. Member Marvingj's Avatar
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    Location: Death Valley, Bomb-Bay
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    Woodland Film Transfer I can not best those prices at all, I hope they are good .10 per feet unbelieveable.
    http://www.absolutevisionvideo.com

    BLUE SKY, BLACK DEATH!!
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  8. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: United States
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    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.
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  9. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Marvingj
    Woodland Film Transfer I can not best those prices at all, I hope they are good .10 per feet unbelieveable.
    It's really not that uncommon. Still good profit to be made there, especially if you stay busy.
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  10. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: United States
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    HELLO!

    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.

    Terri

    You are in breach of the forum rules and are being issued with a formal warning.
    / Moderator redwudz


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  11. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    Location: AZ, USA
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    tgheen, crossposting in three different threads is a violation of our rules. Please read our rules before posting. Please do not cross post, once is enough.

    Moderator redwudz
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  12. Member
    Join Date: Sep 2006
    Location: United States
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    I know... old thread...

    My 8mm and 16mm film transfer saga:

    Back in 2006, I needed to have 250' of ~22 year old 8mm film transferred to high quality files that I could edit in Adobe Premiere. After a lot of internet searching and email conversations with various companies I chose Video Conversion Experts in Chandler, Arizona. They were a new company and gave all the right answers to my questions. At the time, they had a 600' minimum but they agreed to waive this and charged me $130. When I got the film/files back I immediately checked them out. The quality was absolutely horrible. I contacted them and they checked their backup files and wouldn't acknowledge the problems but agreed to re-transfer them at no charge using a machine that had a better feeding system, with the "restoration" process turned off this time, and capture more of the frame. When I got them back the second time they were much improved but still not even close to the quality I was hoping for. I was so disappointed, I shelved the project. (I see they are still in business so maybe the problems have been solved)?

    Fast forward to 2012. My parents gave me 700' of ~52 year old 8mm and 300' of ~54 year old 16mm home movie films. Even though I am still upset with the loss of $130 from 7 years ago, the parent's films sparked my interest again so I did the whole internet research and reading the forums, hoping that the film conversion process had matured and the problems had been resolved. I decided I wanted the transfer done in high definition even though my final output was standard definition DVD. Knowing all the footage is handheld, I wanted to be able to apply stabilization, do some panning and zooming without any quality loss (only down scaling, no up scaling).

    I narrowed it down to two companies. FilmTransfer.com in Illinois and MyMovieTransfer.com in Pennsylvania. Both offer HD transfers but their file formats weren't compatible with my decade old Adobe Premiere software. So armed with sample files from each company, I downloaded trial versions of four modern video editors and eventually settled on Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum 11. I went with version 11 since I'm still running Windows XP. Version 12 is not XP compatible.

    I opened up a chat window with FilmTransfer because they said Chat is Online but they never responded. So I called but had to leave a message. They called me back the next day and answered all my questions. I was told their chat, email and phone system were in process of changing which is the reason for the communication delay. I tried their Chat again and this time it worked. (As I'm writing this, I searched FilmTransfer.com and see that they are now called Pixcel. That might be why they were changing email and phone system). Their Better Business Bureau rating was "A" with just a couple of complaints that were satisfactorily resolved.

    I called MyMovieTransfer and also left a message. They called me back in about an hour and answered all my questions. They said they do a lot of film transfers for people who are unhappy with the quality from other transfer companies. Their Better Business Bureau rating was "A+" with no complaints.

    After mulling it over for a week, I decided to go with MyMovieTransfer even though it was going to cost $550 (which was ~$100 more). I went with their 720P transfer, had 2-pass film cleaning and sent them an external USB hard drive for the files. I knew they shut down between Christmas and New Years for holiday but I sent the package on 12/19/2012 and received everything back on 1/19/2013. The results are excellent and the quality meets my high expectations! I've finished editing the files, adding sound and audio effects so it took quite a while to get everything just right but I'm very happy with the results.

    creakndale
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  13. Thread resurrection is pretty frowned upon these parts aswell as self advertisement. If the mods are okay with this I would suggest a new thread, but asking their permission is mandatory on something like this.
    Status - Attacked by mold spores. - Pour out a lil liquor for all the homies lost in the format wars. Sanlyn will live again, a Sanlyn v2.0 if you will
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  14. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by VideoChunkster View Post
    Thread resurrection is pretty frowned upon these parts aswell as self advertisement. If the mods are okay with this I would suggest a new thread, but asking their permission is mandatory on something like this.
    Funny how "disney.com" doesn't even load right. Spammer fail.

    Most of that site is completely full of BS. The samples are 100% fake, and easy to spot fakery at that.
    It has "Lorem ipsum" all over the place.
    And then all of the testimonials are fake -- John Doe, Clark Kent, etc

    In other words, DO NOT USE filmtodvdcompany.com
    Last edited by Baldrick; 28th Jul 2014 at 17:14.
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  15. Member
    Join Date: Jun 2012
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    Originally Posted by BradHinkle View Post
    You guys are funny. We are in the middle of a website redesign. Taking much longer than it should. We are legitimate.
    Please... If this is an indication of your professionalism I'll pass.
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  16. Member
    Join Date: Jun 2012
    Location: USA
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    Originally Posted by BradHinkle View Post
    I'll let the people in the forum and the moderator decide who is being professional and helpful and who is not.
    Last I checked, I am a "people in the forum." So I guess I get a vote.

    Originally Posted by BradHinkle View Post
    Those that are not should find something else to do with their time.
    Agreed, get back to your web design and post back if you've got something to offer.

    Dang it, fed the troll.
    Last edited by smrpix; 28th Jul 2014 at 16:18.
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  17. I'm a MEGA Super Moderator Baldrick's Avatar
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    Bye bye brad.
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