I have a lot of film rolls of Super 8mm from many years ago, and so I have decided to try to get a device that can scan/convert the film rolls into video. However, I'm not able to get usable information from internet to compare those devices and see what is best.
The film scanners I have looked at so far is:
1. Kodak SCANZA
Not found any source on web that shed any light on this one is capable of scanning film (*) rolls. Seems that it can only be used to scan a single negative at a time.
2. Somikon HD-XL-Film-Scanner
3. Wolverine F2DMM100 8 mm & Super 8 Movie Reels to Digital Movie Maker
4. Reflecta Scanner Super 8
Information url : bhphotovideo.
This description suggest it must be used with a windows computer and requires the "CyberView S8 software" to adjust, this is not a positive thing.
So question is - what is the best alternative for scanning Super 8mm film rolls?
The reviews I've found on youtube so far doesn't get in-dept regarding video quality or build quality on the machine itself.
If possible to compare them against each other, this is the most importan aspects for me:
Those above isn't absolute demands, but wishes I have and if possible to compare against each other.
- MUST BE ABLE TO OPERATE W/O COMPUTER. It must operate properly without being in need of a computer.
- The quality of the video itself. I rather want a bounch of 14MP images over a finnished mp4 file, that way I can use the software of my own chioce to compress the video file.
- Genera image quality. It is important that it doens't "white out" on bright areas - but maintain the color dynamic from the tape.
- Build quality (1) of the device. I don't want to spend money on a product that only last for like 200 film rolls, and then it decides to die.
- Build quality (2) : It is important that the device doesn't make any damage to the rolls. Also, it's not a good sign if the device is so poorly made that it requires a human to baby-sit it.
Those listed above is those I found on ebay by searching, but if you can suggest better models (i.e. better quality), or have first hand experience with one of the models listed, then let me know
Thanks in advance
* In norwegian there is distinctive different words for "still image photos" and "film that contains many still image pictures that makes impression of movement when scrolling", but I realize that when I use the term "film" in english language, it (by web searching) doesn't seem to differentiate between still image negatives and "movie film strip". So when I use the word "film" in my post, I refer to a film strip (on a roll) or video sequence.
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Last edited by Prototype v1.0; 15th Dec 2019 at 14:30. Reason: more link & info on Reflecta Scanner Super 8
I know the Kodak won't work, it just takes an image in the film and turns it into a single Jpeg image. The Wolverine has the most positive (70) reviews. I have no working knowledge of these machines, so I'm basically just pointing out what was obvious to me. Good luck with your decision, maybe someone else can assist here.It's not important the problem be solved, only that the blame for the mistake is assigned correctly
Have you read this topic:
Seems that the original Reflecta would scan to jpegs but you would have to be careful since the s/w would delete them after it created the avi.
But are you really serious about just wanted high-definition jpegs given the amount for even the smallest super 8 reel ?
I can also recall back in the day when I considered such a process that there was a company that, at a price, would modify projectors to transport a frame at a time. But you still needed a camera (some even higher-priced units came with one) to relay the image under the control of software to a computer. The name 'work-printer' comes to mind but I have not found any active links.
Last edited by Prototype v1.0; 15th Dec 2019 at 17:43. Reason: quote hdfills
Now I have watched the movies using the original projector (bought back in the 80's), and unfortunately most are more or less out of focus. Therefore I came to the conclusion that there is no point using insanely amount of money to get maximum quality.
So I'l probably purchase a Wolverine Super 8 Film Scanner.
But to my surprise, the price is varying between seemingly same device - could there be actual difference between those two (links below):
Wolverine 8mm & Super 8 Reels to Digital MovieMaker Pro Film Digitizer, Film Scanner, 8mm Film Scanner, Black (MM100PRO) - by Wolverine
$279 8mm & Super 8 Reels to Digital MovieMaker Film Sanner,Pro Film Digitizer Machine with 2.4" LCD, Black (Film 2 Digital Movie Maker&8mm Film Scanner) with 32 GB SD Card - by eyesen
I'm puzzling about the price difference, could that actually be the very same model ?
 Forum software have altered my links - the last part of the link (movie maker) is not something I have made.
I have a Wolverine PRO. Just be aware that the other scanner digitizes at a frame rate of 30 fps where the Wolverine PRO does so at 20 fps.
The files will play back faster than the 18 fps which the 8mm/Super 8 cameras operated at. The Wolverine PRO is closer to the original speed.
I've used Windows Movie Maker to slow down the video to 85 %. Movie Maker only provides a wmv output file, at least with Windows 7.
Is there other software that can provide speed adjustment at a reasonable price or free?
Do your films have sound? If so that adds to the complexity of the project. As far as I can see none of those scanners have sound capability.
Avidemux for the purpose of cutting and compression video files. You can easily cut video clip lossless.
Now when I'm thinking on it, Avidemux is capable of adjusting frame rate, but the function is a filter, so I don't think you can change the frame rate without re-encoding the video.
Last edited by Prototype v1.0; 2nd Jan 2020 at 16:10. Reason: quote
I have been using Wolverine F2DMM100 which captures up to 5" reels at 720P/30 fps and it does a good job. using MKVToolNix to change the MP4 to 18 fps. At that point the file is saved in Matroska format (mkv). From there I typically change the format with ffmpeg back to MP4 and edit with Sony Vegas Pro or Shotcut. For years used a Moviestuff Sniper Pro for frame by frame captures until it died finally after thousands of feet transferred. Looked for a more affordable option until can afford a newer Moviestuff model and this has worked well.
Been looking at the newer Wolverine MM100PRO model with the changes in the ability to handle up to 9" reels and 1080P/20 fps features as a stop gap. Just make sure whatever path you take to capture that you clean and lubricate the film for better captures using any machine.
All these film transfer machines need lossless capture, in my opinion, but to my knowledge nobody has ever hacked one.
Unrelated to topic: A couple of years ago I started to play with raw photos (I have a Sony RX100 pocket camera) using Rawtherapy. And boy o'h boy what an avalanch of feature that opened up that I didn't know was possible.
Also, many flatbed/negative scanners does actually have the means to produce raw output, but normally the software that ships with package is focused on being beginner-friendly and therefore doesn't support such features.
As it happens the Wolverine scanner has now been modded by a chap called Stan, in Florida.
It is not commercially available but there are around 10 or 15 in existence at this point.
I have recently modded my wolverine 720 scanner with the new board and camera.
The mod cost me around £200, the new camera and lens was £160
It takes jpg or png or tiff images and I use VirtualDub to compile the video.
That means I can create uncompressed video for later editing, or go straight to h264 mp4 video
It is also being given the option of a sprocket to pull the film through for broken sprocket holes, altho I don't have that option.
It's a massive leap forward. Capturing stills from cine is much better than the mp4 the wolverine spits out.
Still some snags to sort out with exposure during capture, but my results are beginning to look good.
The camera is an Imaging Source unit (and lens)
And IC Capture software for the capturing of the stills at one frame per second in jpg or one frame per 2 seconds for tiff.
I use an Acer Revo computer for stills capture, to memory card.
I have been using the 720p Wolverine for around 3 years now.
For frame rate change without re encoding for regular wolverine users, get a copy of My MP4Box GUI from the tools section in this website:
open mymp4 and choose the demux tab
add a video
this will generate an H264 video in the same folder as the source.
choose the MUX tab and add the h264 video
in the bottom window for fps, select your desired fps. Hit the Mux button.
18 fps isn't there, so you can go to the view menu, choose 'edit command line' and when you hit the MUX button, a command line will open, insert any fps you like, where is says fps= click save and run. job done.
This will adjust the frame rate without any re encoding.
You can only demux one file at a time, but it will batch mux a pile of video at once.
If you use the batch, ignore the warning about adding a file with only one stream.
Cine scans done frame by frame on the Wolverine don't have an audio file.
This software can also be used to join up broken scans, for example, when you have to stop the Wolverine for a broken sprocket, and end up with multiple video clips for the same reel of cine, again, with out re encoding.
Here is a shot of the modded scanner, during the mod process, with the new camera in place, on a newly designed circuit board which replaces the original board. The USB lead from the board, is plugged in to the camera, and laptop. The opto coupler on the claw triggers the capture which is then saved to computer via USB
[Attachment 51324 - Click to enlarge]
Last edited by super8rescue; 3rd Jan 2020 at 11:37. Reason: typo
I had a chat with some local video folks about this issue, and the claim is that I should be able to achieve a result that is not worse by using a regular video camera, a canvas and a super 8 projector. And for this I do have every tool neccesary to start capturing using the equipment I already possess.