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Tips on digital transfers


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#1 Eric Zimmerman

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Posted 04 February 2007 - 11:18 PM

I recently found a number of my family's super 8 films and am looking to convert them to a digital format for editing.

Does anyone have a suggestion of a company they are familiar with that does high quality conversions for relatively cheap? I have already found a number of companies on the web advertising super 8 conversion but I thought I would ask here to see if any were preferred.
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#2 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 01:20 AM

If you are looking for good quality transfers of super 8 film at low cost, I would recommend you getting in touch with a telecine business that owns a Workprinter or Sniper. Such equipment probably provides the best ratio between quality and price. You could however get the footage transferred with a Rank or Spirit machine which would provide extremely high quality (in the hands of an experienced operator) but would cost an enormous amount of money $$$. Roger Evans is the inventer of the Workprinter and Sniper transfer units and they are capable of transferring film frame by frame which gives quite impressive quality and rates are usually quite reasonable. The way these units work is similar in principle to an optical printer. Roger owns the business Moviestuff and he offers transfers of super 8 and regular 8 film to various video formats. He operates in Texas but if that is too far away from where you live, he could probably recommend other businesses closer to you that use Workprinters or Snipers.
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#3 Clive Tobin

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 10:16 PM

If you are looking for good quality transfers of super 8 film at low cost, I would recommend you getting in touch with a telecine business that owns a Workprinter or Sniper. Such equipment probably provides the best ratio between quality and price. You could however get the footage transferred with a Rank or Spirit machine which would provide extremely high quality (in the hands of an experienced operator) but would cost an enormous amount of money $$$. ...

Don't forget the Tobin Video Transfer TVT machines. We have sold about 130 of them worldwide so far. The current models do frame by frame scanning in real time, so the transfer should cost about 1/4 as much if the operator is trying to earn the same hourly rate. The $3800 machine cost is peanuts to a facility that is doing a lot of transfer work. Of course, if you are going to use a hobbyist who doesn't care about how much he makes per hour, a computer dependent method might cost about the same.

If a prospective customer will contact me off-list with his location, I can see if any of our equipment purchasers are near to you. We are so busy building machines that we are not currently doing transfers ourselves.

A Rank or similar machine is overkill for home movies, though necessary if you are currently filming on negative film.
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