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getting images off 8mm film

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  • getting images off 8mm film

    ive come across some 8mm film and was wondering how i go about transfering some of the frames off the film into some digital still shots? im probably going to answer my own question right now,but should i be thinking about using a scanner that is able to scan negatives/slides?

    the reason im interested in this is because whats on the film is ELVIS PRESLEY live in concert in chicago sometime in the early to mid 1970's

    thanks for any suggestions

  • #2
    Hi jim1971,

    I haven't any experience in this, but I would think that scanning negatives could help you ... I searched the forums and got this research result...

    Hope this helps ....


    • #3

      Yes you have answered your own question. Each frame of a cine film is a miniature positive (Like slide film). So to do this digitally the images have to be scanned in

      Not many scanners (well none I can think of) supply 8mm masks but it’s quite easy to make your own from cardboard to hold the film flat.

      There is another way if you still have the projector and it has a still frame.
      You can use your digital camera to take a picture direct off the projection screen (No Flash)

      Whichever way you do it you will not get good results. 8mm film is a very small area to scan and trying to get a still from something that was designed to be moving is not easy. You may have to scan several frames and choose the sharpest.
      Even with top quality equipment I can’t get anything bigger than a 6x4 print from a very good quality piece of film. And there is not much home movie film which is that good.
      If the film is a purchased film there may be copyright issues



      • #4
        thanks for your replies flora & cameraken...once i can find someone who has a 8mm projector i'll be able to go that route since i have mini Dv camera, ill just duplicate that way and hopefully be able to pull some stills off from the dv cam..ill post the results once i get them


        • #5

          A DV camera is great to capture the movie ie moving pictures but if you rely on this to then get your stills you can be loosing even more quality. If your DV camera has a still shot onto card then use that to capture stills.

          An Editor can be as good as a projector as it gives a perfect still frame but the light is very dim.



          • #6
            on a normal flatbed scanner for scanning positives, forget it. you wont get the resolution you need. you definitely want a negative scanner. the difference between flatbeds and negative scanners is that flatbeds typically only go to about 600 dpi, and some only 300 dpi. a decent negative scanner will scan at 1800 dpi or more.

            i have a negative scanner, but the problem i'd have with your 8mm is that mine only is set up for 35mm and slides. you could do a masking to make the 8mm work, i suppose, but i'm guessing there are better negative scanners than mine, since i bought a fairly low end model.

            ok, i just went to the site the handles my type scanner and there are much better scanners than what i have. some of these are scanning at 3600 dpi and can do 35mm, filmstrips and slides. i didnt see any mention of 8mm, but i would guess you could mask these and have it work. the site is:

            my unit is the low end 1800u/i and cost me $129 at staples and i've been quite pleased with it. do bear in mind that if you're using a windows based system you wont be able to use this with another scanner type device hooked up to the same's a windows bug. so, i simply put my negative scanner on a separate machine.

            i'd also not go with the camera taking pictures off an 8mm projection. you most likely wont like the results.

            if you'd like a test of a negative scanner on your film and you have a very small portion of the film you could send me without ruining the overall, i'd be happy to give it a test and send you the results or post it here.

            whatever you do, hang on to that film and take very good care of it! Elvis memorabilia is a fairly hot item i would think.



            • #7
              thanks for that info Craig. i may end up sending you a sample of it and see what you can come up with. i will get back to you in the next couple of days via a private msg.


              • #8

                please understand, i wouldnt want you to bust up the elvis 8mm, but if you have something else i could test on, that would suffice. keep the elvis one intact.

                btw, flora, that link comes up with an error message.



                • #9
                  Originally posted by jim1971
                  thanks for your replies flora & cameraken...once i can find someone who has a 8mm projector i'll be able to go that route since i have mini Dv camera, ill just duplicate that way and hopefully be able to pull some stills off from the dv cam..ill post the results once i get them

                  Jim thats exactly what I did, check out my thread or pm me if you want more info etc..



                  • #10
                    there's another option:

                    transfer (or have it done) the whole of your 8mm film to digital format (avi) and then use a digital film editor to make stills from your avi file

                    i use pinnacle studio 9 and it delivers stills in tiff format of 768x576 px by 81 dpi


                    • #11
                      thats exactly what i was planning on doing,, i have adobe premier 6.5.
                      my main task now is to find a 8mm projector


                      • #12
                        AS has been stated. You answered your own question. The scanner. In fact there is a freeware software package designed for the person who wants to transfer thier 8mmm films to video. Its called 8mmtoAVI. It involves the very tedious process of scanning a length of the film in the scanner, cutting each scan into individual frames and then loading thos indivusl frames into any video editor and then render out the video. On your typical 10minute roll, it would take hours and hours and hours to complete. It would be much easier to purchase a telecine. Anyway, for what you want, its better to scan the film since you wont have to deal with odd/even scanlines that are part of video.

                        Pete Janak


                        • #13

                          ok, what's a telecine?
                          It would be much easier to purchase a telecine.


                          • #14
                            A telecine is a device that allows you play the filmn from a projector. Also known as a Rank transfer. The image is bounced off a series of angled mirrors into the lens of a video camera. Professional ones are a few hundred thousand. But you can buy cheapo consumer ones for about $200. The professional ones correct for timing issues so they never get the space inbetween the film frames showing on the video. On the consumer end such timing issues will be noticable with a "flicker" depending on the type of projector you have. $200 is a bit much for a one time use but if it becomes a regular thing then its worth it. Projecting on the wall is not a good idea. Not having a telecine, its suggested that you use high quality smooth white bond paper. Then project the image to roughly a 7" x 9" size on the 8x11 paper. Set up the camcorder on a tripod about a foot back but infront of the projector. The problem with this method is that the final recording will be slightly trapazoidal. Its also suggested that you purchase a special "closeup diopter lens" for the video camera. So you can zoom in while still being very close to the subject. How's that for "more than you wanted to know"



                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jim1971
                              thats exactly what i was planning on doing,, i have adobe premier 6.5.
                              my main task now is to find a 8mm projector

                              Ebay my friend. Ebay. Look for a variable speed projector. One that allows you to set the speed of the film from the default 18fps to 20fps.


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