8mm Conversions/Transfers?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by eclipse525, Nov 1, 2004.

  1. eclipse525 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 5, 2003
    USA, New York
    Can anyone recommend a place that does 8mm transfers to either DVD or just editable files. I'd like to eventually edit them in Final Cut, or at least attempt it.<LOL>

    I've done a search a found a bunch of places but I'd like to see if anyone has used a really good realiable place.

    Woodland is one I found and seem pretty good. Then again, I have no clue about this whole process and what's really good or not.


  2. strider42 macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2002
    Many camera shops do it. Well, they don't actually do it themselves, there's often a contractor who picks it up from them and does it. I used to work at a place like that. If you happen to live in the Bay area, I can highly recommend the place. its called Access Video and is located in San Ramon. They do business with shops all over the bay area under the name PS video. They did transfer to video tape (digital, betacam or VHS) don't know if they ever did it to dvd.

    Quality of transfer can vary widely. The camera and screen they use is really important. The place I worked used what's called an ariel multiplexor to capture the image, which basically projected the image between two small lenses. Other places used back lit screens, which don't make for as good an image. They also used a sony three chip camera, which was really good, and they could do some minor color correction and synched up the film speed with standard TV speed (24 fps vs 30 fps. Without the correction, the image will flicker).

    Another thing, especially if this is older footage, is to make sure its being cleaned and spliced. A lot of film had blank spots, damaged spots or overexposed spots. If these aren't taken out, then you're paying for transfer of blank images (everyoine charges per foot of film). Cleaning older film is essential. My job actually was to clean the film and splice it. Its amazing how much we'd have to take out of a reel.

    The company I worked for also used to take the small little reels and splice them together onto larger reels. This made the transfer easier and made it better for the clients. The reels were much better than the one's they came with stock.

    So basically, ask around and find out who actually does the transfer if you go to a local shop. Ask what kind of system they use (screen vs multiplexor), what kind of camera, what splicing and/or cleaning they do, and what kind of speed and color correction they are able to do. Don't necessarily go for the cheapest. I've heard of some really awful fly by night transfers being done, and it will be horrible. This kind of work has to be done by someone with the right equipment.

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