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Huge 16mm telecine transfer project. Old Films.


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#1 Canney

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 03:04 PM

What I got

Okay I got a huge project. I got about 77 canisters of 400feet reels. Totalling 30,800 feet. That's like 14 hours 15 min at 24 fps or 19 hours at 18fps. The dates of the films range from 1960 to 1979. It is double pref B&W. About half the containers have a range of various deteriorating smell.

The Plan

I am not doing anything fancy. Maintaining 100% quality is not an issue. What I plan to do is get a projector and shoot it off the wall. Simple as that. I use a projected image of 2 foot diagonle measure on the screen to get the best image. All the cameras setting are locked ina t manual. I have done this many times before and the quality comes out very good. The format I will be going to is Mini DV SP. I don't get shutter flicker doing this. When I transfer at 18 fps I shoot NTSC and when it 24fps I shoot PAL. With my cameras and stuff at these rates I don't get any flicker at all, so it works out. I can then convert video formats after as needed no problem.

Questions

1. The film is old. What should I look out for?

It's got the vinegar and ugly smells. I always play the film through once and examine it for damage and deteriated splices. Is there anything I should expect like the film randomly breaking in spots from age cause I have had that happen with the 8mm I did fromt he same source. Oh yeah some of the stuff I got form these people is film fromt he era of and actually Kodak Safety Film. Should I look out for any older films that might not be fire safe. If so what are they called?

2. Does any one have a recomendation for a cheap projector?

I have a lot of various 8 and S8mm projectors but no 16mm. Does any one have a recomendation for a 16mm projector. I am looking for one particulaly that will play at 18fps that way I can go right to NTSC and DVD. I'm looking to keep it under $100. Something I could get off of ebay would be great. I have one eyed right now.

3. Any comments or suggestions?

The Goal

Doing a rank or other real telecine is out of the question cause of cost. So the goal is "keep it dirt cheap".

Edited by Canney, 05 May 2006 - 03:06 PM.

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#2 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 03:34 PM

What I got

Okay I got a huge project. I got about 77 canisters of 400feet reels. Totalling 30,800 feet. That's like 14 hours 15 min at 24 fps or 19 hours at 18fps. The dates of the films range from 1960 to 1979. It is double pref B&W. About half the containers have a range of various deteriorating smell.

The Plan

I am not doing anything fancy. Maintaining 100% quality is not an issue. What I plan to do is get a projector and shoot it off the wall. Simple as that. I use a projected image of 2 foot diagonle measure on the screen to get the best image. All the cameras setting are locked ina t manual. I have done this many times before and the quality comes out very good. The format I will be going to is Mini DV SP. I don't get shutter flicker doing this. When I transfer at 18 fps I shoot NTSC and when it 24fps I shoot PAL. With my cameras and stuff at these rates I don't get any flicker at all, so it works out. I can then convert video formats after as needed no problem.

Questions

1. The film is old. What should I look out for?

It's got the vinegar and ugly smells. I always play the film through once and examine it for damage and deteriated splices. Is there anything I should expect like the film randomly breaking in spots from age cause I have had that happen with the 8mm I did fromt he same source. Oh yeah some of the stuff I got form these people is film fromt he era of and actually Kodak Safety Film. Should I look out for any older films that might not be fire safe. If so what are they called?

2. Does any one have a recomendation for a cheap projector?

I have a lot of various 8 and S8mm projectors but no 16mm. Does any one have a recomendation for a 16mm projector. I am looking for one particulaly that will play at 18fps that way I can go right to NTSC and DVD. I'm looking to keep it under $100. Something I could get off of ebay would be great. I have one eyed right now.

3. Any comments or suggestions?

The Goal

Doing a rank or other real telecine is out of the question cause of cost. So the goal is "keep it dirt cheap".


Any 16mm motion picture film made by Kodak is safety film. You do need to watch out for really old films on foreign stocks or that may have been slit down from 35mm nitrate film, which could be very flammable.

The vinegar smell is from deterioration of the acetate base due to improper storage. Usually goes hand-in-hand with some curl and shrinkage. Let the film air before you try to transfer it, perhaps venting it and letting it "breathe" by slow rewinding with careful inspection to check for torn perfs or poor splices. Use good ventilation to avoid irritation from the acid vapors.

Ideally, your film transfer machine should be optimized for shrunken film. Using old used 16mm or 8mm projectors is not a good idea if you have more than moderate shrinkage. Best to handle film at about 50% relative humidity.

Here is information about Nitrate Film:

http://www.kodak.com...te/index2.jhtml

http://www.kodak.com....15.12.12&lc=en

And about vinegar syndrome:

http://www.kodak.com...l/vinegar.jhtml

And about film handling:

http://www.kodak.com....15.12.14&lc=en
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#3 Canney

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 01:48 PM

Okay thanks for your help I appreciate this info.

Okay I looked at the films where I can smell vinegar and stuff and there are no makers on the edge as to what kind of film it is. These are old football films which were filmed long ago by private contractors so they might have made there own film stocks or used alternative brands for whatever cost reason. So I am going to assume half of the stock is nitrate film because when I went over it with a ultraviolet lamp it showed up glowy and it smells like cheamicals.

After reading about the chemical dangers in your post I kind of wished I hadn't been sticking my nose in the stuff to smell it. These films were stored for 26 years in a dry place but it was hot in the storage room there so they might have been speed up deterioration wise. Especially in sealed cans.

So I'll exercise extreame caution in handling the stuff. The film doesn't show any shings of shrinkage so I think projection wise it will hold up.

Normally I would send out the films to have the stuff transfered but since I am doing this as a favor for people I can't really be spending a whole lot of money.
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#4 Canney

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 05:41 PM

I just checked the film. Ahh some of the film on a couple rolls is has a "like paper" texture and structually. I know not to project it but just how bad is that?
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#5 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 09:43 PM

If you suspect you have any nitrate film, you should test the film as indicated in the Kodak publication H-182, that I provided a link to. Hot or humid storage accelerates deterioration of film. Get the film cool and dry, and use Molecular Sieves to adsorb the chemical vapors.
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#6 Canney

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 06:11 AM

I've read through all the threads twice. I liked the part about old projection rroms being blast proff. Okay tests on select films for nitrate base

acrid smell: positive
Black Light flouresence: Postive
sinks in trichlorethylene: stole some from a chem lab upstairs: unsure the stuff floated in the middle

The id methods from the second thread you posted worked the best. But yeah I am pretty sure its nitrate film. I have the can's air out side in front of a fan. I'll be transfering them all this week in pairs of six. That way I can give the place time to ventalate and I'll be sure to wear my gas mask.

One question whats are Molecular Sieves?
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#7 Michael Most

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 08:24 AM

I just checked the film. Ahh some of the film on a couple rolls is has a "like paper" texture and structually. I know not to project it but just how bad is that?


I would suggest getting in touch with Jeff Kreines. His company, Kinetta, builds a scanner that is specifically designed for archival use, including paper prints. One is in use at the Library of Congress for just that purpose. Jeff has been involved with many archival projects and is a good source of general knowledge on the subject. You can contact him through the Kinetta website, www.kinetta.com.
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#8 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 11:14 AM

I've read through all the threads twice. I liked the part about old projection rroms being blast proff. Okay tests on select films for nitrate base

acrid smell: positive
Black Light flouresence: Postive
sinks in trichlorethylene: stole some from a chem lab upstairs: unsure the stuff floated in the middle

The id methods from the second thread you posted worked the best. But yeah I am pretty sure its nitrate film. I have the can's air out side in front of a fan. I'll be transfering them all this week in pairs of six. That way I can give the place time to ventalate and I'll be sure to wear my gas mask.

One question whats are Molecular Sieves?


To supplement the other tests, a "burn test" of a tiny clip of film is another way to ascertain if a film might be nitrate. Cut a clip from the film in question about one-inch long and 1/4 inch wide, without perforations. Hold the clip with the tip of a pair of needle nosed pliers, and carefully ignite the end outdoors or in a fire-safe chemical fume hood. Safety film will burn about as aggressively as a piece of cardboard, polyester film may burn slowly and melt, but nitrate film will burn rapidly and agressively with a bright yellow-orange flame. For comparison, run a burn test on known nitrate film and on known safety film. Be sure you are sampling the film itself, and not just some leader or insert made on another type of film stock. If the film burns agressively, treat it as NITRATE, and have any transfer/printing/or projection only done in a facility expert and equipped to handle nitrate film.

Molecular Sieves:

http://www.kodak.com...4.15.12.6&lc=en

http://www.kodak.com...1.4.18.10&lc=en
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Ritter Battery

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