Super 8 transfer to DVD

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adgroberts
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Joined: Aug 22 2001

Bob asks in CVE if anyone is interested in a review in CVE or CVE DVD of those who offer telecine services to transfer the above. As someone who has tens of thousands feet of standard and super 8 cine , I for one would be very interested in results (a file on DVD showing quality for example) and costs of transfers per hour film or per foot of cinereel. It would allow me to prioritise which films I film myself and which I get done professionally. I suspect that whatever the current market for DV and DVD there are countless others out there with hundreds of cines which they cannot access.
Regards
Tony Roberts

adgroberts

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

A lot of cine film made its way to VHS in the 80s and 90s. The quality was - er - well, not good I find, but the market has picked up again as people now find how good their Super-8 can look on DVD, and how the remote can take them painlessly to 1976 or 1983. But the projector drive belts are perishing by the day and the lamps get harder to find, so get the transfers done today rather than tomorrow.

I'll email you off list Tony.

tom.

rfolwell
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Joined: Apr 10 2004

I have some Standard 8 material that I would like to include in a DV project. Is it worth getting this done professionally, or would a homebrew telecine setup be adequate? I don't mind buying the necessary equipment if that is the right way to go.

Target is normal broadcast TV.

Richard

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

It's certainly worth trying the home brew technique first - but it does take set-up time and you'll need to clean the film, have an excellent projector lens (few were) and be able to fine tune the projector's speed to avoid flicker. If you don't have one of these already you may have a problem. The last of the decent Standard-8 projectors are now about 40 years old. But it'll give you an idea of what's possible, and at the same time explain why good transfers aren't cheap.

tom.

LouiseBentin
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Joined: Jul 6 2007
Simple way to D-I-Y

Hi,

If you decide to transfer some yourself, I have written a lens on how I achieved some good results, including an online video sample. You might like to check it out at

http://www.squidoo.com/super8todvd/

All the best for your project

Louise

Paul W Miley
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Joined: Dec 9 2001

I have been meaning to get a number of old reels of Super 8mm transferred to MiniDV for editing purposes for some time. It is terrible that I haven't even viewed some of the footage (no projector for a long time but I might possibly invest in one later this year).

I almost got them all transferred to VHS some years ago but test tapes from different companies were very poor.

I seem to remember reading an article a few years back that suggested that people should not be in a rush to transfer cine film to MiniDV with the prospect of HDV quality transfers imminent.

I think it mentioned that Super 8mm could achieve a higher resolution than MiniDV. Can anyone tell me if this is true?

If it is, has anyone dealt with a company/individual that could do such a transfer? Alternatively, has anyone had any success transferring their own films to HDV?

Cheers

Paul William Miley

Rob James
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Joined: Jun 26 2001

One for Claire Tall I think. I've seen samples of her work and if anyone has the pragmatic answer it will be her.

Rob The picture is only there to keep the sound in sync

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

Yes Paul - a Super-8 frame holds far more information than a 720 x 576 digital frame. The Super-8 frame is huge too, and at 5.6 x 4,2 mm (unmasked by projector) it has 1.6x the surface area of a (relatively big) 1"/3 chip. When Kodachrome 40 has been well exposed it's most certainly up to HDV standards.

Of course few people ever get to see this. Their Super-8 was shot 40 years ago. It was probably Orwochrom or Perutz. It juddered about in the floppy gate of a Bell and Howell camera, and the so-so zoom lens had no image stabilisation or auto focus. The camera should have run at 18 fps, but the tolerance was wide. The selenium lightmeter was dire.

40 years of careful storage up in the attic later, and the magents dye is all that's left. For a lot of folk having their films put on SD DVD is a revelation, as computers with their colour and exposure correction can work near miracles. Simply having the film properly cleaned can improve things enormously, and of course the smooth modern soundtrack can sound a lot better than the wheezing Eumig projector.

Go for it; have your films put on HDV and marvel at what the Kodachrome has stored all those years.

tom.

Paul W Miley
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Joined: Dec 9 2001

Thanks for the advice - much appreciated.

06.56 Tom? Sleep is for wimps right?!

I didn't use many Kodakchrome 40 (it's alright for your RICH people hah!). I'm afraid the majoity of my little reels used for family events were the cheaper AGFA cassettes & now I'm curious to see if they have survived. I've been into family history for years but neglected my own immediate relations - always looking too far back!

I've promised myself I'll get everything transferred to my PC for editing by Christmas this year - somehow.

Regards

Paul William Miley

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

Well, if you think I can help with the transfer, give a shout.

I too dallied with Agfachrome in 1973, but soon realised what Paul Simon was singing about. I changed to Kodachrome and immediately enjoyed far sharper pictures and almost invisible grain. What I wasn't to know then was that 35 years later the Kodachrome would still look like it was shot yesterday, whereas the Agfachrom looks like it's 150 years old. So much for saving a few bob on each cartridge.

tom.

mooblie
mooblie's picture
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Joined: Apr 27 2001
tom hardwick wrote:
.....What I wasn't to know then was that 35 years later the Kodachrome would still look like it was shot yesterday, whereas the Agfachrom looks like it's 150 years old. So much for saving a few bob on each cartridge....

This statement just struck a chord with me:

I wonder what we will be lamenting in 35 years from now, as our hoped-for disc archives are unreadable, yet we saved a few bob today...

If only we knew today where to avoid skimping on archive media costs.

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

Timeless Moments Ltd
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Joined: Dec 17 2007

Interesting post, just discovered your forum in a rare 1/2 hour break from work. The Kodak film is certainly the best, but the state of the camera, camera type, daylight or low light film being used inappropriately causes us no end of problems. We transfer all 8 mm and 16 mm cine to DVD using TVT telecine machines, very good value and providing fantastic results especially through a Canopus ADVC 300 or higher with TBC. These memories are so precious I would question whether it's worth while doing a home brew job. Our customers get a first class quality film, fully authored and edited with zero flicker, colour corrected and lots more for really very little cost. You should only have to transfer cine once so it makes sense to have it done professionally. Each time you run the film through the projector you risk more damage to old splices and sproket holes which could make future transfers more difficult or expensive to get right.

Transferring cine and all modern media to DVD http://www.timeless-moments.co.uk

Rob James
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Joined: Jun 26 2001

Nice, reasonably subtle commercial. I'm sure we would like you to stay, but blatant advertising is a no no. Apart from anything else it would upset the other folks who offer a similar service to yours but don't labour the point. When you have a lot more posts to your membership a bit more laxity is permitted.

Rob The picture is only there to keep the sound in sync

Timeless Moments Ltd
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Joined: Dec 17 2007

Apologies Rob

Can't blame a fella for trying. I would like to leave the non-commercial comments on though, can I edit it, do I have to change my user name and signature then?

Looks like a great forum, will definitely try to contribute in a non-commercial way as soon as our Christmas rush has died down.

Regards

Ian

Transferring cine and all modern media to DVD http://www.timeless-moments.co.uk

Rob James
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Joined: Jun 26 2001

Hi Timeless,

You should be able to edit it. I'm not a mod merely a member. So I guess you'll have to wait and see on the name change. 'Tis a very good forum and a real knowledge repository with a lot of friendly and very generous people.

Please stick around, I'm sure you would have a lot to contribute.

Happy Christmas!

Regards

Rob The picture is only there to keep the sound in sync

Timeless Moments Ltd
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Joined: Dec 17 2007

Thank you, I will and a great Christmas to you too.

Regards

Ian

:D

Transferring cine and all modern media to DVD http://www.timeless-moments.co.uk

Maxwell
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Joined: Jan 13 2007

Tom dont forget FUJI FILM, the single8 format. Far better than Kodachrome.

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

Far better? In what way? Substrate base that wouldn't tear? Until Fujichrome has withstood Kodachrome's test of time I'd rate it as second best.

ClaireTall
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Joined: Jan 28 2004

This is what you need

http://www.mwa-nova.com/flashscan8.htm

or this for 16mm

http://www.mwa-nova.com/flashtransfer.htm

you will of course need...........ahem...................about £21,000 plus VAT but they will fly you over there for a demo and pay for the hotel but like any piece of industrial kit it'll still be running after 100,000 hours or so and pay for itself after about 350 hours or 92,000ft of film or 1840 fifty foot reels, if you havn't gone mad doing them.

The DIY way is OK if you use a reasonable camera and a decent projector, Elmo is a good make and I believe some of the hybrid systems available use Elmo technology. Some of the old Elmo top of the range models go for over £1000.

There are many companies out there offering the service and I always tell anyone who thinking of getting transfer done to ask for a demo DVD before committing themselves.

Studio with green screen for hire near Gatwick Airport.
Kit hire facilities on site.
excelsiorstudios.co.uk

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

I agree Claire, the Elmo GS1200 is a four motor monster, seems to weigh as much as a small car and allows very fine and stabilised electronic speed control of the fps rate. But the poshest lens they made for it is no match for the Schneider Kreutznach MC Xenovaron f/1.1 11-30 mm which I use.

Quite agree too that you should ask for a demo DVD up front - I've seen too many transfers that were done from film that hadn't been cleaned for 30 years.

tom.

Rob James
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Joined: Jun 26 2001

We had Albrecht (MWA) mag film recorders and followers back in the 80s at the BBC. They were absolutely the Rolls-Royce solution (and twice the price of the US opposition) and I'm sure their scanners are equally at the top of the tree. Add a film cleaner and some decent sound restoration kit (and those are not cheap either) and you really will be set up to do the job properly.

Rob The picture is only there to keep the sound in sync

MAGLINK
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Joined: Mar 8 2007
Rob James wrote:
We had Albrecht (MWA) mag film recorders and followers back in the 80s at the BBC. They were absolutely the Rolls-Royce solution (and twice the price of the US opposition) and I'm sure their scanners are equally at the top of the tree. Add a film cleaner and some decent sound restoration kit (and those are not cheap either) and you really will be set up to do the job properly.

We had these at YTV too and I think they went in the skip in the 90's, sadly at Tyne Tees TV we had sondor machines and we wished that they would go into the skip as they were dreadful.

Other items chucked into the skip at TTTV were two valve EMT plates and a Neve 51 console, sob sob!:mad:

Claire
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Joined: Apr 28 2001
tom hardwick wrote:
I've seen too many transfers that were done from film that hadn't been cleaned for 30 years.

tom.

Tom, could you explain how you would clean a film? Or is it a "trade secret" :) Is it something anyone could do if they had just an odd reel or two and were prepared to risk them?

Claire

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

1. Preparation. Clean the film between rewind arms that are preferably spaced at least a metre apart, using proprietary film cleaner ( I use Fotospeed FC50) and a very soft, well washed cotton hankie. Two or three passes are generally necessary for old film. Keep turning the hankie. Take your time. Wash the hankie frequently (I use filtered water and 'pure soap') and hang to dry in a dust free atmosphere.

2. Clean the projector’s film path using meths and a cotton bud. Work in bright light. Like painting your front door, the best results come from painstaking preparation.

tom.

Claire
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Joined: Apr 28 2001

Thanks much..

BTW, my father (deceased) used to develop his own movies back in the 50's, still got some of the reels here, he did it it the garden shed and his greatest triumph was filming in the afternoon and getting us kids around the screen to watch it before bed time.

I remember the BBC called one day to borrow his home made film splitter after a big fire occured in the area and someone gave them the film from their cinecamera to put on the local news that evening. I was so proud of my dad :D

Claire

ClaireTall
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Joined: Jan 28 2004

It's strange how mucking about with film has such a lasting interest, I started with paper round money and havn't stopped playing with it and working with it since, 35 years now.

My colleage Paul has a huge collection of 8mm commercial films amased over the last 25 years or so and knows far more than me about the intricacies of the equipment.

I hope it never dies.

Studio with green screen for hire near Gatwick Airport.
Kit hire facilities on site.
excelsiorstudios.co.uk

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

It's less likely to die than any digital picture medium simply because it's so easy to decode. With Super-8 you simply wind it between spools and blink 18 times a second. A Philips 2000 cassette tape has become an unreadable block of plastic components that requires high precicion electronics and mechanics to decode.

Maxwell
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Joined: Jan 13 2007

Going back to the subject of Fuji Single8 film. The reason I say it became of better quality. I had a double layer and the picture quality was much sharper. I was the first person to test the camera with the new format. Today my films are used to show on Television for programs of the past.
"Home Movies" for HTV and various 60s programs. Yes one can argue regards what was better. It replaced cement editing and introduced tape splicing. Plus filming in black and white or color.

Paul W Miley
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Joined: Dec 9 2001

Regarding cleaning Super 8mm - years ago someone at a local cine club gave very similar advice to Tom for cleaning. However, he recommended a Selvyt cloth in preference to a soft hanky.

Interesting to see quite a few professional camera operators over the years (even recently) using blower brushes and Selvyt cloths on their lenses too.

I still have such a cloth and always wash it in soap flakes (don't know if you can get hold of soap flakes now but Selvyt cloths can still be purchased via the internet for just a few pounds).

Cheers

Paul William Miley

Rob James
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Joined: Jun 26 2001

I'll add another endorsement for the Selvyt. In the days when we used to transmit reversal on current affairs programmes like Nationwide, Newsnight and Panorama the last thing that happened before the assistant editor ran down to TK with the finished film was a run through a Selvyt. And I still use one with a blower brush on lenses.

Rob The picture is only there to keep the sound in sync