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scanning 8mm home movies

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  • scanning 8mm home movies

    Ok so I'm very new to digital photos etc. At the moment I have a Hp 3300c scanner which I want to upgrade. I have a lot of 35mm slides that I want to copy which will be no problem with a better scanner. However I also have a lot of 8mm home movies which my late father took which I would also like to take some prints from. My question is this. Is it possible to do this and has anyone any sugessions on the best way to get good reproduction.

    Thanks for your help


  • #2
    Scanning 8mm Film

    Hi Len,

    I don't have an answer--as I am interested in seeing if this can be done too. I also have a small number of 120 negatives I'd like to scan--but I know my piddy Canon N67OU could not handle just a task. Here's hoping we can both be enlightened on scanning 8mm film!




    • #3
      I think there could be a market for scanning 8 mm movies if you could get a decent size pic from the scan. I know I have some old movies myself that I would like to get a few prints from.

      Jenny, if you have enough 120 negs, and do not need to make large prints from them, you can pick up a pretty cheap scanner with a transparency lid to do the job. That's exactly the reason I bought my scanner. It's an Acer 1240UT, and it is capable of scanning negs up to 5 X 7. I bought mine on e-bay for $118.00. I think it's available online for around $150.00, maybe cheaper now. I've had mine for about 1 1/2 years now, but it doesn't get hard use.



      • #4
        Yeah guess there area few of us that would like to know the answer to my question. I've also e mailed epson asking for their help as I'm thinking of upgrading myu HP scanjet for one of the epson scanners that will take slides, but as yet I haven;t had a reply from them. Still hoping though. If I do find out any thing I'll let you know.



        • #5
          First I would take the 8mm home movies to a photo processing service and have them copy the film to a videocassette now before the film deteriorates to far. ($ 4.00 per 50 Ft.) I would bring it into the computer and make a DVD of it. Then see if you can frame it to a photo using Adobe Premiere. Good luck


          • #6
            8mm is a bit small for a decent print, but I'm sure the scan isn't too difficult if you have a standalone film scanner. By threading the film through the scanner's slot for the film tray, and somehow clamping the film into the tray at the shot you want to scan then feeding it into the scanner, you should be able to get a scan.

            I used my film scanner to scan pictures from a stereoscopic slide (23x23mm) by making a cardboard cutout the size of a 35mm slide and then mounting this, together with the transparency, in a slidemount (cutting out a hole for the transparency of course ).


            • #7
              Thanks to both of you for the advice. I'm in the process of changing my old Hp for and epson 2400 which scans slides so as soon as I get it I'll give it a go.

              Once again thanks for your help.


              • #8

                Take a look at the new EPSON Perfection 3200 PHOTO Color Scanner before you buy the 2400 Neal


                • #9
                  Thanks Neal I'll take a look



                  • #10
                    I realize this is an older thread, but I am wondering about the results. I have done some experimenting with both 8mm movie film and 110-size negatives. The percieved quality of your results depends mostly on your expectations.

                    In short, there are two things working against you in this arena: image size, and image quality.

                    Obviously the size is an issue. A super-8 frame is only about 6mm square, call it 1/4 inch. Scanning at 2400dpi (full res on my Epson 2450) only yields maybe a 600x600 pixel image. I can print a 3x3-inch still image at 200dpi with this and get something close to photo quality.

                    What about "rezzing-up", you say? In other words, why not use interpolation in either the scanner or Photoshop to increase the number of pixels, thus yielding a larger image? Particularly if you spring for a fractal Photoshop plug-in, you might get workable results. However, here is where we run into the other limitation: image quality.

                    If you are working with 8mm or super-8 home movies, you are dealing with consumer movie film that was probably shot using something less than a professional camera. If your parents were anything like mine, they had a drink in the other hand and were probably not concentrating hard on keeping the camera from moving, or paying much attention to the light source. Cameras in those days didn't have video preview like our camcorders today---the viewfinder was just a tunnel that you were lucky to be able to focus through. If you were lucky, the automatic meter in the camera was working and chose an intelligent aperture so the exposure was remotely within the film's range Consumer films don't have a very wide dynamic range.

                    Therefore, what you are starting with is a blurry image on inexpensive emulsion that was probably exposed in less than ideal conditions.

                    Again, if your folks were like mine, the result was probably not kept in ideal conditions (low heat, low humidity). Ours were stored for many years in a cardboard box in the attic, right over the dryer vent. Wide temperature and humidity extremes are not kind to celluloid or the emulsion it carries.

                    Ok, enough scary stuff. My best results taking stills were obtained with:

                    - careful choice of images for exposure and sharpness

                    - paying very careful attention to the histogram in the scanner's controls, or importing a high-bit image into Photoshop directly and toning/sharpening there

                    - rezzing up with the scanner's interpolation rather than with Photoshop, i.e. scanning at 4800dpi on an Epson 2450

                    Scanning 110, Minox, or other small-scale film images is a very similar process.

                    I hope this helps a little! It's a fun diversion in any case, and occasionally you can come up with an image fit for the wall.



                    • #11
                      Also keep in mind the idea of making the highest quaility print you can (even if it is not the right size) then scanning that print to make a bigger print. Sometimes its OK, sometimes............



                      • #12
                        What a neat idea to scan old motion picture film! I'm somewhat addicted to scanning, but, somehow it had never occurred to me to scan motion picture film. This thread caused me to remember some old 16 mm, optical sound film I have that has been gathering dust for many years. I tried scanning individual frames and the results were not too bad, especially when I used the tip about letting the scanner do the interpolation. (Used an Epson 3200 with the resolution set to 6400 dpi.) What I thought provided a more interesting image, though, was to capture several frames along with the optical sound track.

                        Here's an example. (As an aside, this is yours truly announcing his impending marriage. I love's out lasted the marriage!)
                        Attached Files


                        • #13
                          This is a good idea, I've got some 8mm stuff that I'd love to capture some images off of. I did a quick clean and color on Hankster's big moment just to see what quality I could expect. I don't think it came out too bad.

                          I scaled it up using Genuine Fractals and then did some blurring and colorizing and then desaturated to keep it in the spirit of the times in which it was shot.

                          Any more info or horror stories on this topic would be appreciated, so we don't all make the same mistakes.
                          Attached Files


                          • #14

                            You've captured the feel of the '70's perfectly! I got a kick out of it. Its like stepping back in time.



                            • #15
                              How did your 8mm film come out?


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