8mm Transfer...

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by eclipse525, Jul 30, 2005.

  1. eclipse525 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 5, 2003
    USA, New York
    My parents have a whole bunch of 8mm films in 3", 5" & 7" reels. Can anyone recommend a place I can send these out to get transfered.

    Also, I noticed that different place use different techniques for transferring this film.

    What is the best method?

    One last thing......what file format is recommended to save these in for editing?

  2. obeygiant macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    totally cool
    if you have your own dv or dvd camera you could almost do it yourself.
    otherwise i believe Ritz Camera has a service to do this.
  3. Kevin David macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2005
    8mm Film Transfers

    So you have some old films or video that you would like to transfer digitally to either VCD or DVD and you are not sure how to do it. One thing is for sure, you definitely need to transfer these to either VCD or DVD. The fact is film deteriorates, fades out and cracks, as well as any type of magnetic film format. If for anything, you need to preserve your family's history to keep an archive of your family's history for generations to come. You actually have a couple of options available to you, both of which will cost you a small investment, but will be well worth the investment in the end.

    You can purchase the equipment and supplies and convert them on your own, as long as you have a fairly decent PC with a fair amount of hard drive space and speed, as well as a 8mm or DV video camera. First off you will need to purchase an 8mm/Super 8 film projector. Preferably a duel projector that is capable of projecting both formats. This can be obtained through E-Bay from anywhere between $50-100. Then you will need to purchase a film to video converter which runs anywhere between $10-25. This can be obtained through EBay, as well. Finally you will need to purchase a digital video converter for your PC. You can get a fairly good one for about $100. Make sure that it is compatible with your PC before purchasing it, though. Once you have all of your equipment and have set up your editing software, you can now begin to shot your film through the converter and capture it onto your video camera. Then you will need to take the recorded video of your films and load them up to your PC via your digital converter and software.

    The other option you have is to go through a film transferring service. The cost of this all depends on how much film you have to be converted. Typically this can be on the average between $100-200. So as you see, the options are technically the same in costs, however, it all depends on whether you want to invest your time in transferring them on your own.

    I specialize in transferring 8mm and Super8 film to VCD and DVD, so if you would like, I can give you a fair estimate on what your films would cost to transfer them to either VCD or DVD. Just email me how many reels you have along with the diameters of each. kovitch@familyarchives.info. Check out my website for additional information at www.familyarchives.info.

    Good luck in what ever you decide to do!

  4. VanMac macrumors 6502a


    May 26, 2005
    Rampaging Tokyo
    Hey eclipse525.

    Read this post, as I asked the same thing a little while ago.

    To summarize, take it to a place that does the telecine process.
    Get them to dump it onto miniDV

    I took in about 50 reels. Should get them back in a few weeks. Want to make some videos for the family.
  5. eclipse525 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Aug 5, 2003
    USA, New York
    Thanks for the info! Listen, my original intention was to have them transfer my film into a "file format" so I can edit it in either "iMovie" or "Final Cut". Believe it or not I don't have a video camera/MiniDV player of sorts. Any idea's as to what format to have them save it?

    Also, anybody recommend any places that have a done some successful/clean and exceptional transfers from your films? Reason for the question, is that I hear of different processes for transfer but most importantly is the prepping process. How they clean your original film before actually playing and transferring.

  6. ammon macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2005
    If you get it on a MiniDV tape, you can capture it straight into iMovie or FCP without any problems. This creates a QuickTime DV file. From there you can edit/encode/author the file into whatever you like!
  7. Hoef macrumors 6502a


    Jul 11, 2004
    Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
    In general be careful when you hand over your films .... A friend of mine had some bad experiences at a local store in Philadelphia. Ended up loosing lots of irreplacable footage. The stuff that survived looked real nice. I think its impossible to create the same at home...... Outsourcing is expensive though.

    As a side edit ... I am always surprised how many newbies stuff like this attracts :)
  8. Bibulous macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2005
  9. xPismo macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2005
    I'll say the same. Make sure you really really trust the company you are handing your stuff over to. A local group, who seemed respecitable really messed up some great footage our family had.

    Color 8mm of the worlds fair in NY. Govm't footage from X planes during WWII, etc. We were pissed as hell when the package came back with dosens of 'clippings' which snapped off the reels, a horrendously sad transfer, and completely missing reels.

    We even considered legal action but decided not to spend the time and money.

    It was a really sad day watching all this pristine footage - not with full reel deep scratches in most of it - on the DVD. Ironically, now that I'm in film school I know what we should have done and have some connections but hindsight and all.

    Be _very_ careful. Ask and get refrences from others. Its your history!!
  10. sarge macrumors 6502a


    Jul 20, 2003
    CRT's may burn out, but the wolf's eyes are remain sharp...
  11. ftoog macrumors newbie

    Apr 26, 2007
    Try before you buy.

    As I had several hours of film that I needed to transfer, I decided that it would be worth a small investment to test a few firms before I committed to one. With that in mind, I found five DVD companies that looked promising and sent the same small reel of film to three of them. All three DVDs sent back to me were satisfactory, though there were some glaring differences. As a result of my testing, I've come to a couple of conclusions.

    One is that you shouldn't place too much faith on what you read on these companies' websites. For instance, the "frame-by-frame" process advertised by some is, in my experience, of dubious value in the real world. How do I know? I compared the frame-by-frame DVD from one of my test companies to the non-frame-by-frame DVDs from another. Now, there were many differences among the DVDs, but I tried to focus in this instance upon the issue of whether there was a discernable advantage to "frame-by-frame". When I used my DVD player's pause button to view individual DVD frames, I could see that the frame-by-frame process did, indeed, result in a distinct transfer of individual frames from the film to the DVD. However, when I watched the DVDs at normal speed, I could not see any advantage at all to the frame-by-frame process. None. If you run your movies in stop-motion fashion, you'll definitely prefer the frame-by-frame process, but if you like to watch your home movies at their normal speed, my opinion is that you don't need it. Do your own testing, though, to confirm this for yourself. Also test a "wet gate" process, as I did, to see whether its benefit with YOUR movies is worth the premium you'll pay for it.

    Another conclusion I've reached is that no company's DVDs are likely to be superior in ALL respects. For example, just because a DVD shows fewer film scratches or a greater percentage of each movie frame doesn't mean that it will also have the best color. One of the DVDs sent to me had a very slight blue tint to almost every scene. I'd have believed that this tint was due to my film's aging if I hadn't looked at the other two DVDs. One seemed to vaguely favor purple-brown tones (which I liked less than the blue tint), and the other had a more neutral balance. However, the neutral one had a few scenes that were a bit darker (not really objectionable, but noticeable) than the same few scenes on the other two DVDs. So don't expect any company to do the best job in all areas. You just need to find a company that gives you what you consider to be the best balance of compromises. And the only way to do that is to put several to the test.

    The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Of course, sampling only three companies is hardly what I would call an exhaustive test, but it's probably more than most people do. My advice is to pay a little for test DVDs before you choose one firm over another. In all likelihood, you'll find that you'll be generally happy with any of the companies you test, but there's also the chance that you'll eliminate a turkey.

    I'm not going to reveal which company I chose, because my films and my standards may be different from yours, and I don't want to prejudice you. So, just put a few companies to the test for yourself. Don't take anybody's word that one firm is the absolute best or even the best value. In the meantime, here are a few of companies that I considered (the three I tested are among them):

  12. TheFuzz macrumors regular

    Aug 18, 2006
    i currently work at the Peabody Awards and Media Archives at the University of Georgia and do this stuff everyday(a pretty decent student job). We've got quite a collection of home movies and old 8/super8/16 films that we've transferred in house. check with some of the universities in your area. they might be willing to handle all the transfers in exchange for a copy for preservation purposes.

    also, if you can get quicktime files directly from the company who's handling the transfers as opposed to a miniDV tape you'll save yourself and footage a couple stages of compression.
  13. bimmzy macrumors regular


    Dec 29, 2006
    I strongly advise you to send it to a professional telecine facility that has an 8-mm gate for their telecine machine.

    You could do it yourself but i wouldn't recommend it and the results will be poor to ok(ish)!

    A professional does so much more than just transferring picture to video.

    They make sure that the pull-down rate is accurate and they grade each scene.

    Telecine machines are so more sensitive in the black portion of the picture then say even the most expensive video cameras, so you'll get less noise and a richer color rendition.

    If this is film of you and your family in days past, trust me its worth it!

Share This Page