Old Reel to Digital Files Conversion?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by eclipse525, Mar 14, 2006.

  1. eclipse525 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 5, 2003
    USA, New York
    Can anyone recommend a place that can clean and convert my 3", 5" & 7" Reels of film to digital files, so I can edit them in iMovie? I would like the best quality possible but I'm on a budget of sorts. I am told that there are different methods for transferring film but no clear answer as to the best. Thank you for any help!

  2. Kingsly macrumors 68040


    Just google "telecine"
    It can be ridiculously expensive, though.
    I usually just project my film onto a white screen and setup my DV camera next to it and fiddle with the f. stop and shutter speed (it has to sync with the projector's shutter or you'll get strobing) until it looks good and press rec. :)
  3. strider42 macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2002
    I used to work for a place that did video transfer. At that time they didn't convert to digital files, but the basic procedure would likely be the same. They probably would transfer to minidv though, so even if a palce can't go to digital, miniDV might be an option if you have a camera for it that you cna then use with iMovie.

    You can get it done fairly cheaply if you look around, but the quality will suck. some people will just point a camera at a front lit screen (usually a poor quality one at that). Many others use a backlit screen, which tends to be better. The best would use an arial multiplexor (captures the image between two pieces of glass). The quality of the camera matters to. Using a three chip camera is going to offer much superior results to someone just using a DV cam.

    Other considerations are how they charge. Film often has blank, damaged or overexposed areas. The place I worked for would splice those areas out and only charge for the footage that actually went through the transfer process. Some places don't care and you'll get a bunch of crappy parts transferred in and get charged for it to.

    If the film is dirty, are they going to clean it? Can make a big difference. Cleaning is very simple to do, but many won't do it.

    Other considerations are that film runs a different frame rate than TV, so adjustments have to be made to elmiinate flicker. Minor color correction can also be done be good places.

    Most camera stores will offer film transfer services, but almost none actually do it themselves. Most contract out. So if you can find a place that does it in house, you may get a better price since the camera stores markup quite a bit sometimes.

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