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Old Dec 24, 2011, 09:17 AM   #1
photogpab
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8mm and Super 8 Film to iMac?

Morning folks!

So my mom and I were going thru my grandfathers things last night, he just recently passed away, and we found boxes of 8mm and Super 8 film. We also found his old projector, which after an hour, we were able to figure out how to work and watched a few reels. It was amazing to watch this 50 year old footage. I had never seen my grandparents in their 30s. It was pretty emotional.



Anyhow, i want to know how I can capture these to my iMac and store them digitally for the whole family. Obviously the old projector does not have the right connections, since its 50 years old. But is there a new projector I can buy or some other kind of equipment that would let me capture this old footage?

Or is this impossible and do I have to send it to a professional? I rather do it myself.

Last edited by photogpab; Dec 24, 2011 at 09:22 AM.
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Old Dec 24, 2011, 09:58 AM   #2
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What professionals usually do is to project your video onto a screen or wall and capture it with a video camera again. You can do it yourself if you have a quiet room and just let the video run. You can set up the camera yourself and get the best quality by trial and error. Place it on a tripod, remove auto focus and try to get the audio with a mic close to the projector. That is it.
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Old Dec 24, 2011, 10:01 AM   #3
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What professionals usually do is to project your video onto a screen or wall and capture it with a video camera again. You can do it yourself if you have a quiet room and just let the video run. You can set up the camera yourself and get the best quality by trial and error. Place it on a tripod, remove auto focus and try to get the audio with a mic close to the projector. That is it.
thats what i read online, but the method seemed so... amateur. i figured there had to be a better way. there isn't a way to digitally capture the film directly to the computer? do i have to go through a high end professional company for this?

there isn't equipment i can buy that would digitally capture the film to my iMac?
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Old Dec 24, 2011, 10:32 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by photogpab View Post
thats what i read online, but the method seemed so... amateur. i figured there had to be a better way. there isn't a way to digitally capture the film directly to the computer? do i have to go through a high end professional company for this?

there isn't equipment i can buy that would digitally capture the film to my iMac?
ELMO (Company, not the muppet) used to sell the 8mm-to-computer, but they stopped producing those a Loooooong time ago. If you did enough digging you could find one, but be prepared to pay 5k+ if you do, as they are both expensive and extremely rare.
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Old Dec 24, 2011, 11:13 AM   #5
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Film scanners anyone? I read up on a place that did professional film scanning for Super 16 on the cheap, by cheap I mean still pretty hefty but if its family memories I'd say it would be worth it! Damn! I wanna go dig up some old stuff now!
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Old Dec 24, 2011, 11:18 AM   #6
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I think it would be more cost effective for you to send it out. I am using a place local to me in Toronto that has a great reputation and is not that expensive, to convert some 8mm films that are 40-45 yrs old. I dropped off a hard drive with the films as they are going to convert them to digital format and put them on my hard drive. I realize you are likely not in Canada so this is not necessarily convenient, but you can ship your movies to them, they have been dealing with and specialize in 8mm film stock for a long time.

http://www.torontohomemovies.com/
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Old Dec 24, 2011, 11:24 AM   #7
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For real professional 8mm scans, check out this company:

http://www.pro8mm.com/

They specialize in the old format so they know their stuff.
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Old Dec 24, 2011, 11:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashman70 View Post
I think it would be more cost effective for you to send it out. I am using a place local to me in Toronto that has a great reputation and is not that expensive, to convert some 8mm films that are 40-45 yrs old. I dropped off a hard drive with the films as they are going to convert them to digital format and put them on my hard drive. I realize you are likely not in Canada so this is not necessarily convenient, but you can ship your movies to them, they have been dealing with and specialize in 8mm film stock for a long time.

http://www.torontohomemovies.com/
+1
I did the same thing in London - found a little place in Soho that converts to digital. Pretty pricey but worth it for family memories ..
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Old Dec 24, 2011, 12:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Mavimao View Post
For real professional 8mm scans, check out this company:

http://www.pro8mm.com/

They specialize in the old format so they know their stuff.
looks like they do an amazing job, but it is extremely, and i mean extremely expensive.

depressing. i have boxes and boxes of old film from my grandparents youth sitting in my room and no way to archive it digitally.
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Old Dec 24, 2011, 12:07 PM   #10
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Did you check out my site? Perhaps its cheaper? I know you'd likely have to ship it which might be a deal breaker.

The problem is that to do this conversion requires professional equipment which itself, is not cheap. I remember looking into this years ago with thoughts of converting to DVD but I came away with the depressing realization that it really can't be done cost effectively and you have no choice but to send it out.

Good luck.
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Old Dec 24, 2011, 12:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashman70 View Post
I think it would be more cost effective for you to send it out. I am using a place local to me in Toronto that has a great reputation and is not that expensive, to convert some 8mm films that are 40-45 yrs old. I dropped off a hard drive with the films as they are going to convert them to digital format and put them on my hard drive. I realize you are likely not in Canada so this is not necessarily convenient, but you can ship your movies to them, they have been dealing with and specialize in 8mm film stock for a long time.

http://www.torontohomemovies.com/
Quote:
Originally Posted by photogpab View Post
looks like they do an amazing job, but it is extremely, and i mean extremely expensive.

depressing. i have boxes and boxes of old film from my grandparents youth sitting in my room and no way to archive it digitally.
If I were you I would check out Ashman's proposition. It may be expensive but its relatively cheap compared to allot and something that you feel worth for really has no price, you just have to find the money and set it aside. I'm a student so I know what its like to haggle over purchasing things that aren't really needed but in the end when I drop the cash I usually find whether or not it was worth every penny, I'm happy with the end product...as was the case with my DSLR purchase. Sometimes you just gotta go by the "You gotta pay to play!" motto. Hope you get those archived! I'd recommend you do it in the H.264 format for a compressed but higher quality at a lower bit rate than DVD.

-Nate
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Old Dec 24, 2011, 01:04 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ashman70 View Post
Did you check out my site? Perhaps its cheaper? I know you'd likely have to ship it which might be a deal breaker.

The problem is that to do this conversion requires professional equipment which itself, is not cheap. I remember looking into this years ago with thoughts of converting to DVD but I came away with the depressing realization that it really can't be done cost effectively and you have no choice but to send it out.

Good luck.
im checking them out now. strangely enough, they list "miami" on their site... not sure if they have a location there... but i live in miami!

lets investigate... haha

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by nateo200 View Post
If I were you I would check out Ashman's proposition. It may be expensive but its relatively cheap compared to allot and something that you feel worth for really has no price, you just have to find the money and set it aside. I'm a student so I know what its like to haggle over purchasing things that aren't really needed but in the end when I drop the cash I usually find whether or not it was worth every penny, I'm happy with the end product...as was the case with my DSLR purchase. Sometimes you just gotta go by the "You gotta pay to play!" motto. Hope you get those archived! I'd recommend you do it in the H.264 format for a compressed but higher quality at a lower bit rate than DVD.

-Nate
im checking them out but it looks like they do the same thing i can do at home. they just project the video and re-record it? i dont know if they actually digitally scan the film... hmmmmm
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Old Dec 24, 2011, 05:25 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by photogpab View Post
im checking them out but it looks like they do the same thing i can do at home. they just project the video and re-record it? i dont know if they actually digitally scan the film... hmmmmm
Any company that uses that method are not doing things in a professional manner. You want to use a company that does frame by frame capture on specialized equipment (or similar wording). If you read the FAQ on the torontohomemovies.com site you will see they use this high-quality method. The miami location probably does too (read and ask them questions).

You can do a web search for other locations that have similar services (such as http://www.larsendigital.com/film-2-dvd.htm ).

No matter where you go for this you want to ask specific questions and make sure they can produce what you want (DVD/Blu-ray/files). I also recommend that you do a "test run" with 1 reel of the film before blindly submitting a lot of reels to them (getting all the options you would want for the big transfer).

Good luck.
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Old Dec 28, 2011, 08:31 PM   #14
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I recently found about 15 reels of film in my grandma's attic. The film was stored poorly and was severely damaged. In fact, the film was so brittle and dried out, we didn't even want to attempt to play them.

I did a lot of research and settled on the following service:

http://www.videoconversionexperts.co...VD/default.htm

The turnaround was extremely quick. I simply sent them the reels and an empty HDD and I got everything back a few days later. If I remember correctly, I opted for the "Silver" package, and I was blown away by the quality. It was really fun to be able to sit down and enjoy the old footage... It was wild to see my grandma when she was in her twenties and to see my mom and dad when they were just born.

I would highly recommend them.

And by the way, any reputable company won't just project the image onto a wall and record it. Most companies use film scanning for best possible results.
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Old Dec 29, 2011, 04:20 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by ShinyDren View Post
No matter where you go for this you want to ask specific questions and make sure they can produce what you want (DVD/Blu-ray/files). I also recommend that you do a "test run" with 1 reel of the film before blindly submitting a lot of reels to them (getting all the options you would want for the big transfer).
I would definitely derush all this Super 8 footage. Are you sure it all needs to be scanned ? Maybe you can choose a few reels to be processed by a pro and do the rest yourself by filming a projection screen ? Every year you could get a bit more scanned without breaking the bank in one go.
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Old Dec 29, 2011, 05:59 AM   #16
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Using a glasscreen

I would also prefer a professional scan.

However, you should also be able to find a less costly glasscreen video transfer device for less than 150$. It consists of a mirror and a screen. You need to place the projector in front of the mirror and the video camera in front of the screen. Quality is more than acceptable with 8mm or S-8 film. It would be helpful, if you could adjust the framerate on the projector and shutter on your camera in order to match the flicker rate of 16/18 or 24fps.

I did this procedure some years ago with footage from the 50th and early 60th.
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Old Dec 29, 2011, 06:02 AM   #17
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Derush? No! From own experience I know how fast film can detoriate. Better scan it now, then lose it forever.
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Old Dec 29, 2011, 09:14 AM   #18
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I would also prefer a professional scan.

However, you should also be able to find a less costly glasscreen video transfer device for less than 150$. It consists of a mirror and a screen. You need to place the projector in front of the mirror and the video camera in front of the screen. Quality is more than acceptable with 8mm or S-8 film. It would be helpful, if you could adjust the framerate on the projector and shutter on your camera in order to match the flicker rate of 16/18 or 24fps.

I did this procedure some years ago with footage from the 50th and early 60th.
most of the places ive talked to charge anywhere between $8-$15 per reel. the reels i have are small 3" inch 50 foot reels. thats a very reasonable price. i could have them scanned in stages. maybe send a few reels, then wait a few months and send some more, etc... so i dont break the bank all at once.

i rather have them professional scanned than film the wall or whatever. i want to keep these forever and show them to my kids and my grandkids!

plus these are the only memories i have of my grandparents. i'm already 30 years old and i had never seen these films. i had no idea what my grandparents were like in their 30s. the reels are special to me and i really want to have them scanned the right way.

has anyone ever heard of or used: http://www.gotmemories.com/

they seem like they know what they're doing and are reasonable in price.
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Old Dec 29, 2011, 09:25 AM   #19
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Try Costco

Take a few reels to Costco. They will convert to DVD. Lowest prices I have seen and good quality.
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Old Dec 29, 2011, 09:38 AM   #20
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Take a few reels to Costco. They will convert to DVD. Lowest prices I have seen and good quality.
i read that costco projects the film to a wall and films it with a camcorder...

true? does anyone know?
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Old Dec 29, 2011, 09:41 AM   #21
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i read that costco projects the film to a wall and films it with a camcorder...

true? does anyone know?
Probably, that's how most do it.
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Old Dec 29, 2011, 09:42 AM   #22
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Probably, that's how most do it.
not the companies i've found online. like the one i mentioned above:

http://www.gotmemories.com/

they all scan the film vs. filming with a camcorder.
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Old Dec 29, 2011, 11:04 PM   #23
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Got Memories: Not for Mac?

photogpab,

From the gotmemories.com website:

Quote:
Can I edit the DVD after the transfer?
You can edit the DVD files on a PC only. Not mac.
Have you used them? Do you know why they say this? Were you able to edit the videos?

Thanks for the info. (I've been putting off transferring more than 30,000 feet of 8 mm film my dad took over 40 or 50 years. This thread has rekindled the motivation.)

musique
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Old Dec 30, 2011, 02:25 AM   #24
cgbier
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They recommend Open Shiiva
http://www.gotmemories.com/content/a...oss-in-quality
But you can easily convert the VOB files with MPEG Streamclip. Gives you more export options to boot.
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Old Dec 30, 2011, 09:13 AM   #25
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cgbier,

Thanks for the info. I guess I was reading something into gotmemories.com statement that there was something unique in the way they perform their conversion, such that it was uneditable with a Mac (although I couldn't imagine how that could be). As long as it's a standard DVD, then it's not an issue.

BTW, I just wanted to say thanks for your many helpful posts. Even on some of the many subjects I kind of glaze over here, I often find yours interesting and educational. Best wishes.
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