8mm Conversion

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  • 10-16-2010, 01:52 PM
    8mm Conversion
    If this is the wrong forum for this, I am sorry. Just didn't know where to start this.

    Anyway, my wife has bugged me for about 20 of our 40 year marriage to convert a "Box" of 8mm reels to digital media....

    Well, getingt quotes on doing that made me sick to think about it further. Doing a little research today and seems that a good film scanner and software could do the work myself, over time. I am sure it would still take many hours to get it done.

    Anyone out there have any experience with a project like this or some suggestions?

    Anything would be appreciated.

  • 10-16-2010, 05:34 PM
    Re: 8mm Conversion
    there are a couple of ways you can do it yourself, and theoretically scanning them in is one way, but it would take you days to do even a short sequence without specialised equipment, as you have to scan each frame and then combine all of the scanned files into a movie. The simplest way is to project the film onto a screen or something and set up a digital video camera on a tripod and record the screen. you may have to play with the camera's shutter speed to correct for any flicker, but this way you can record the film in real time and load it straight into the computer. If you don't already have a digital video camera you may even be able to hire one to cut down on costs. The downside to this is that to record a perfect image your camera should either be exactly parralel to the projected image (this is hard to achieve as the projector will usually be in the way.) There is a little conversion box available that overcomes this. It is basically a small screen with a set of mirrors attached. The idea is that you project the movie at the screen and the video camera at a lens hole on the other side of the box, and the mirrors inside the unit correct the image for you. This also means you don't need the space you would for a wall projection nor a darkened environment. If your 8mm film has sound you do need to make sure that the projector you use has sound and you record in a quiet room so the camera can pick up the audio. Some of the conversion boxes support lines in and out for audio, but they were much more expensive. The conversion boxes were popular in the days when VHS cameras were the consumer camera of choice and everyone wanted to convert their 8mm and super 8 film to video. They might be hard to find these days, but they should be fairly inexpensive.