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  1. Member StuR's Avatar
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    This is something that's just cropped up as my uncle has some old 8mm film which we've just found out about and I'd love to convert it. I've seen some copier services but they seem to copy to VHS then DVD, which probably isn't too good. Any one now of equiptment to do this, as it's only a few it's like to be too costly but any advise would be welcome. It only cropped up yesterday so haven't given it any though before.
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  2. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    most use telecine type setups which you can do yourself in a fashion. play the 8mm onto a screen and "capture" it with a digital cam on a tripod.
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    Check out an auction site like eBay to see if you can get an 8mm projector with variable speed. I have seen many in the past at very low prices. (Some projectors are 8mm/Super 8 combos, which is just fine.) Variable speed is an important feature, as you will need to adjust film shutter timing to your video camera. Otherwise, you will get a bad flicker effect. You can also buy an inexpensive film-to-video copy kit that enables you shoot the projected image at a direct angle for the video camera. (Sima and Optex used to make such transfer kits. I don't know if they still do. You might want to check out the Markertek website.) Merely shooting off a screen on the wall subjects you to a skewed, parallax angle of the image.

    Ebay also lists companies that offer to do the film-to-DVD service for you, but I do not know the quality you will get.

    Best of luck.
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  4. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by aedipuss
    most use telecine type setups which you can do yourself in a fashion. play the 8mm onto a screen and "capture" it with a digital cam on a tripod.
    Sound-proofing is a problem though.
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  5. Member thecoalman's Avatar
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    There are many threads about this, if you search you'll find them. the big issue seems to be a flickering most people get because of the different frame rates between the projector and the camcorder.

    They have semi-pro telecine machines available, I've seen this comapny mentioned before. No experinece myself with them.

    http://www.moviestuff.tv/8mm_telecine.html

    ---------------------

    Not sure why they haven't made one yet consumer grade but a small scanner with a mecahnism to advance the film and software to aotomatically save each frame in a sequietial series could easily accomplish this at a superior quality.
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  6. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    hey smurf - it's been awhile but IIRC 8mm had no soundtrack. don't think super 8 did either. i had an old 16mm that was silent also.
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    I had 15 small reels and 3 large reels to convert and I'll tell you the telecine route sucks for picture. Audio was not an issue as there was none. I decided to bite the bullet an used Home Movie Depot that I found online. Sent them the reels and they converted all, posted clips to a web page personalized for me to put in what order I wanted, and gave me lots of music choices (or none) to use as background audio. They let me give meaningful names to the reels so they would show on a menu nicely. Their process included cleaning the film prior to running it thru their system. They returned my reels to me, but they were empty reels as they had put all the film on brand new large reels. I think the whole thing cost me around $250 US and I got 2 DVD sets. It was worth it to me as the oldest films were of my parent's wedding from 1950. The results were astonishing! The picture was clear, the color corrected, and absolutely no flicker. It was well worth the money. Its the way to go. Their phone support was great. One reel they converted came out blurry so they went back to rerun that one reel. I called again and they tried it a 3rd time. Come to find out, the film itself was blurred as the camera was not in focus.

    Relayerman
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  8. This was a helpful page for me.

    http://www.creativepro.com/story/howto/22524.html

    You would not exactly need th get the mirror if you flipped it horizontally in software after capturing it.

    The flickering issue can be overcome by matching the frame rates on both the projector and the camera. Apparently some projectors let you change the frame rate and some high-end video cameras allow you to change the frame capture rate.


    Darryl
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  9. Member Marvingj's Avatar
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    8mm no sound track but super 8 & 16mm can have sound track.
    http://www.absolutevisionvideo.com

    BLUE SKY, BLACK DEATH!!
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  10. Member StuR's Avatar
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    Thanks for the useful replies.
    -I've not seen the film (couldn't work the projector) but I don';t think theres sound.
    -There is a projector (dose work now) and I think it had variable speed, it was a good model for the time.
    dphirschler I'd thought about using something like that when thinking about it for someone else previous. It's similar the the 'camera-obscurer' technique for drafting views in art.
    Cheers I'm goin to have a think about it.
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  11. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Most places that transfer film to DVD are pretty cheap to use, about 15-20 cents per foot.
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    Sometime ago I read an article that used a scanner equipped with 35mm attachment. The 35mm attachment was converted to handle 8mm film. The film was scanned(capdtured) in small strips to a computer which was processed with software to remove the sprocket holes and put the strips end to end to make a continuous avi video. If anyone can expand on this please do.
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  13. Originally Posted by mysts
    Sometime ago I read an article that used a scanner equipped with 35mm attachment. The 35mm attachment was converted to handle 8mm film. The film was scanned(capdtured) in small strips to a computer which was processed with software to remove the sprocket holes and put the strips end to end to make a continuous avi video. If anyone can expand on this please do.
    I read about this too. Looked interesting, but EXTREMELY tedious and time-consuming. Most people that used this technique build a film advancer machine which partially automates the task. Some people were able to build the machine using legos! Almost everyone had to get at least the main film sprocket from an old projector.


    Darryl
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  14. Member thecoalman's Avatar
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    I've seen some home brew methods but thats about it, all involved manually advancing the film then cropping out each individual frame which would take forever. One site had a few video samples and the results were very good. Even looking at what they had it could have been vastly improved with some batch processing using image software to remove noise, scratches etc. Not sure what the equivalent resolution of 8mm is but the scans I saw appeared to be at the very least capable to fill out SD.

    If you had a automated machine with digital ice you'd be in business.
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  15. Member oldandinthe way's Avatar
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    Some conversion services

    http://www.mymovietransfer.com/
    http://www.homemoviedepot.com/
    http://www.yesvideo.com/

    http://www.film-to-video.com/
    Beware if you are offended by the suggestion that DVD might not be an acceptable archival format you will not like this site
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  16. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Digital ICE? Wow..... that would take forever to scan with ICE engaged.
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  17. Years ago I used the projector->camcorder transfer(telecine) and the results were marginal at best,I recommend having a pro do it.
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  18. Member thecoalman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    Digital ICE? Wow..... that would take forever to scan with ICE engaged.
    I wouldn't care if it took all night for 5 minutes of film and produced great automated results. lol. You figure a 8mm strip by a foot would give you few seconds of footage, how long could it take to procees that amount. It's not that much surface area.
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  19. Using a projector and displaying the film on a screen, and then videotaping it, is not the better way of doing it. It probably is the cheapest way, but not the better way.

    I have a VHS tape that has a 1941 16mm transfer on it (no sound), of a small town here in Texas. Someone tried to preserve the film by transfering it to VHS tape, by just projecting it on a screen. You can obviously tell it was projected and looks poor. The image is a little crooked and not even lined up properly. Also the color is awful. Poor transfer, and flicker is terrible.

    Find a pro transfer place that will do the transfer properly, not with projectors. Here is one in Houston that does transfers using high quality equipment.

    http://www.mastercomputerandvideo.com/8mm_16mm_film.html
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  20. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Be wary of sites online that are selling video transfer services. You need to watch out.

    Every month I get at least 2-3 reports of "companies" that botched a video transfer. More often, the business never returns the original videos, leaving the person with nothing. Other put their logos on your video. Can you imagine your wedding video with "BART'S DVD TRANSFER" written on screen? Lots of jobs are just sloppy, performed with cheap video equipment that looks to have been purchased at Walmart.

    You've really got to be careful who gets your videos.

    And believe it or not, most good services are slow. If it takes 4-8 weeks turn-around (something they'll say in advance), you're probably in good hands. The people who advertise 1-2 week turnaround are either not getting any business, lying, or they have a very large facility (which is very uncommon). A quality video transfer will take several hours. The reason you pay a reasonable rate is because several videos are processed together in batches, leveling the costs for each customer. Good ol' multitasking.

    For 8mm to DVD, I suggest www.wood-land.com as these people are knowledgeable in the way of film transfer. You may want to check on what exact equipment and discs they are using. Everything is important.

    Originally Posted by oldandinthe way
    http://www.film-to-video.com/ Beware if you are offended by the suggestion that DVD might not be an acceptable archival format you will not like this site
    That's because the guy who owns this site doesn't actually know anything about video.
    - The whole "DVD's don't last 2-5 years" is bunk. He's repeating bullcrap written by a self-serving IBM guy, a story that was debunked with days after it was published a few years ago. And if he knows nothing about DVD, why would he be trusted with your videos?
    - Check our his myth #2 where he's talking about "throwing out" video "lines". Well, Captain Dipshit, don't de-interlace!

    Telling a customer that a DVD only lasts 2-5 years is not just horseshit, it's basically lying. I guess like the IBM guy, it helps you sell more tapes.

    That whole site looks like it was written by a used car salesman.

    mymovietransfer.com
    This site is one of those suspicious ones mentioned by wood-land, offering so-called proprietary methods. Do they expect us to believe they custom ground their own glass optics?

    homemoviedepot.com
    Again, more discussion of so-called "proprietary software" being used to author DVDs? So they wrote their own DVD authoring software? Again, something sounds odd here. Also guarantees of 1-5 day turn-around? More fishy business.

    yesvideo.com
    The place that Walgreens and CVS use.


    OldAndInTheWay, your links suck.
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  21. Member oldandinthe way's Avatar
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    Only LordSmurf knows about video. All Hail the leader. Everyone else is a thief, a swine or an ignoramous.

    I stand corrected.
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    Like I said earlier, I have used Home Movie Depot and I was very happy. The turnaround time was not fast, but it was around the holidays. When I talked to them on the phone (I had a question) they were very upfront about their whole process and what equipment they used. I can see why some might think the authoring software is homegrown, not real fancy, but is functional and not bad at all. It was a shot in the dark on why I selected them. I checked web sites for these type of vendors and chose this one.

    I am one satisified customer and have recommended them to my friends. All my reels were old ranging from 1950 thru 1968. they all came out great. Wish i could post a clip for all to see.

    Relayerman
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  23. Member thecoalman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Wile_E
    Someone tried to preserve the film by transfering it to VHS tape, by just projecting it on a screen. You can obviously tell it was projected and looks poor. The image is a little crooked and not even lined up properly. Also the color is awful. Poor transfer, and flicker is terrible.
    The capabilities of a DV cam are far beyond that of a VHS cam, results will be much better. The other things you mention can be adressed. You'll most certainly get a better picture quality than that of VHS transfer that apprently was done poorly. Certainly not as good if you had a proper telecine machine, I've read a few threads and others have been happy going this route but they reserched the methods and applied them.

    I have some film myself i need to transfer and I'm waiting but apprently from what I've read aged film has issues due to he chemicals they used to process it that break the quality down over a very short period of time so I don't want to wait much longer. I most liely will be going to one of these facilties, preferably one that will send me uncompressed sequential images from scans and not a telecine machine. Or from a telecine machine captured as progressive.
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    best buy has a hi8 camcorder by sony
    God Bless
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  25. Member thecoalman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bobinga
    best buy has a hi8 camcorder by sony
    8mm Film is the format, you know like 70's style where all the kids are wincing from the blinding floodlamps in the footage of Christams morning.
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  26. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by oldandinthe way
    Only LordSmurf knows about video. All Hail the leader. Everyone else is a thief, a swine or an ignoramous.
    I stand corrected.
    No, I just know more than you do. And I share that with others. Including warnings about companies that are feeding you BS. Randomly picking links online is for fools. There are far too many scams and scum out there, and they've started to leech into video work in recent years.
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  27. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Wile_E
    Find a pro transfer place that will do the transfer properly, not with projectors. Here is one in Houston that does transfers using high quality equipment.
    http://www.mastercomputerandvideo.com/8mm_16mm_film.html
    I'm curious what "3 CCD Imaging Lens Assembly Receiver" is supposed to mean. Again with the homemade proprietary claims. Did they invent a CCD? That's unlikely.

    The HISTORY CHANNEL claim is nice too, but I'd call The History Channel for some verification and ask what was done.

    Their method sounds like a 3-CCD DV25 camera slapped into a Telecine setup. That's just a guess based off what I'm reading.
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  28. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    As with anything else, the key to finding a good service is to ask what they use.
    - If it's a cheap as-found-in-stores DVD recorder, run away.
    - If they claim to do editing, but do not own an advanced NLE (Vegas, Premiere, Final Cut), run away.
    - If they don't list a good MPEG encoder for DVD work, run away. Good as in commercial software, be it hardware or software.
    - If the information sounds fluffy (we this, we that, blah blah blah), run away.
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  29. Member StuR's Avatar
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    Cheers for the replies.
    Unfortunatly the tranfere sites are for US and not UK. The easy option is Jessops but they seem pricey and I doubt their quality.
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    Has anyone heard of the SM3i Video Tansfer System? I found it on ebay, but cannot find it sold in retail stores. It is more expensive than the old Ambico video transfer systems, but claims to give better results. Any input would be appreciated as I am just getting started with transferring my dads old 8mm film to digital and want to do it the right way.
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