Jump to content


Photo

8mm and Super 8mm Film Transfer North America


  • Please log in to reply
16 replies to this topic

#1 Scott Pickering

Scott Pickering
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 159 posts
  • Other

Posted 01 June 2012 - 11:11 PM

I have three places in North America I have looked into for getting Hi Def transfers off of 8mm and Super 8mm movie film. I need these to be at the correct speed of either 16 or 18 fps when transferred. The three labs I have looked into are:

http://www.overseasv...ab.com/film.htm

based in Toronto. I prefer to keep it in Canada if possible to save on duty taxes. Problem is their transfers seem the worst of these three with major film dirt showing and really washed out colors and brightness. I'm sure this could be fixed in editing, but its a lot of work to do so.


http://www.spectrafi...m/Telecine.html

Seems like the best option for quality based on their info on the telecine and getting full use of the 1920x1080 rez. Problem is I use a PC and can't read MAC files. Plus most expensive of the bunch.


http://lightpress.tv/super-8mm

Middle of the road transfer on a decent machine, but I question is if this lab is the one Spectra was talking about when it comes to fees and the film gate they use on the Da Vinci telecine? Plus they aren't much cheaper then Spectra.

What I have is about 1200 feel of Super 8mm and 400 feet of Regular 8mm. I want this done right so as to not have to pay for a second transfer, but I'm delaying because of cost. Plus I'm not liking the idea of shipping my movies cross border and risk losing them in the mail. These films cannot be replaced if lost.

So what are your recommendations on this of these 3 transfer houses?
  • 0

#2 Chris Burke

Chris Burke
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1675 posts
  • Boston, MA

Posted 03 June 2012 - 09:00 AM

It's great to hear that Spectra has their Spirit up and going. It has long been anticipated. There is a link on the page for a windows decoder download. Have you tried that? Spectra is well known for top notch work, I would go wit them. Cinelab also does great work and I use them regularly.
  • 0

#3 Matt Stevens

Matt Stevens
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 702 posts
  • Other

Posted 03 June 2012 - 10:46 AM

Lightpress will not disappoint. Their colorists are terrific. You simply cannot go wrong with them. And they are having a summer special so get on it.
  • 0

#4 Will Montgomery

Will Montgomery
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2030 posts
  • Producer
  • Dallas, TX

Posted 04 June 2012 - 02:01 PM

Lightpress will not disappoint. Their colorists are terrific. You simply cannot go wrong with them. And they are having a summer special so get on it.

Lightpress are good people. Spectra too.

Same with Cinelicious, except no summer special. :)
  • 0

#5 Will Montgomery

Will Montgomery
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2030 posts
  • Producer
  • Dallas, TX

Posted 04 June 2012 - 02:03 PM

Unless they haven't updated their website, Spectra doesn't seem to have their Spirit Super 8 gate ready yet. It will be great news when they do.
  • 0

#6 Dean Echenberg

Dean Echenberg

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Other

Posted 13 June 2012 - 12:04 PM

I have also been researching where I can get the best 8mm and super 8mm transfer.

What about www.pro8mm.com. I understand they have their own 8mm gate for their millenium...
  • 0

#7 Will Montgomery

Will Montgomery
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2030 posts
  • Producer
  • Dallas, TX

Posted 13 June 2012 - 05:30 PM

What about www.pro8mm.com. I understand they have their own 8mm gate for their millenium...

Pro8mm is a hard one. One the one hand they provide a great service with all the stocks that they themselves put into Super 8. They also promote the format incredibly well and have been around in one form or another for more than 30 years.

On the other hand, sometimes their transfers are done by what I believe is "the B-Team" and come back really poorly colored. Their equipment is fine, but my results over the years have been mixed compared to other places like Cinelicious or Lightpress that are consistently good.

I'm sure there is at least one really good colorist at Pro8mm, he just doesn't do my jobs when they come in...I think the night guy does. :)

But I'm still glad they are there and I hope others can post more positive experiences.
  • 0

#8 Dean Echenberg

Dean Echenberg

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Other

Posted 14 June 2012 - 12:43 PM

I have just checked with Lightpress and Cinelicious....neither do reg 8mm....only super 8mm....
I have a mixed bag of about 4000 ft of reg and super 8mm...some over 60 years old home movies, and other rolls of Vietnam combat footage that I shot myself. I am looking for highest level of fidelity and squeezing all that I can out of what's there....
  • 0

#9 Ted Langdell

Ted Langdell
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 26 posts

Posted 03 January 2013 - 04:26 PM

You might want to check with Brad Hinkle at Video Conversion Experts in the Phoenix, AZ suburb of Chandler.

He has both the MWA Nova flashscanHD with native 1280 x 720p/50 sensor and the new Choice2K+™ with native 2336 x 1752 sensor.

Both machines handle 8mm & Super8, with magnetic sound from both stripes should you have that.

Variable R-G-B LED light sources, laser-based perf and splice detection that can handle damaged or missing perfs, shrunken film and no sprockets or claws in the film path.

If the Vietnam combat footage is well shot, it might be worth preserving at 2K+™ for use as stock footage.

Hope this is helpful.

Disclosure: I'm the North American distributor for MWA products.
  • 0

#10 Chris Burke

Chris Burke
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1675 posts
  • Boston, MA

Posted 03 January 2013 - 05:07 PM

what about frame discreet? are they not in Toronto. they have a great reputation for doing fine work.
  • 0

#11 Dean Echenberg

Dean Echenberg

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Other

Posted 17 June 2015 - 02:44 PM

I am reopening this topic of where might be the best place and the best way of  scanning (digitizing) about 3000 feet of well preserved  60 year old 8mm and original super 8mm vietnam  combat footage I shot in the 60's.

 

I see there are a couple of new possibilities to consider since I asked this question in 2013, or at least that are easier now.....ie 2k which seems is  much easier to capture and  then  there is the question of frame by frame capture to  dpx instead of cine.  In either case, I understand that scene by scene colorizing may be key.  

 

I would like to hear if anyone has any thoughts on the best way and the best place to proceed with scanning 8mm and super 8mm film for someone who wants really good results.  

 

Thanks 


  • 0

#12 David Cunningham

David Cunningham
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1049 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 17 June 2015 - 06:56 PM

In North America there is no better solution than the LaserGraphics ScanStation. Search these forums for gamma ray digital, ScanStation and LaserGraphics. You'll fine all the other threads including examples of the amazing results with the ScanStation at gamma ray digital.
  • 0

#13 Perry Paolantonio

Perry Paolantonio
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 471 posts
  • Other
  • Boston, MA

Posted 18 June 2015 - 07:13 AM

@Dean: In most cases with reversal film there isn't a ton of color correction to do. Scanners like the ScanStation will automatically deal with certain issues such as fading, while scanning. The overall process, however, is a bit different than traditional telecine, where you do the color correction as part of the transfer process, and you transfer directly to the final target deliverable (tape or files, typically). With data scanning, you get a very high resolution, lower-contrast master scan that's designed to preserve the full dynamic range of what's on the film. The idea is that you can bring this into a color correction system later and really fine-tune it if you want. 

 

That said, we've found that in most cases with home movies, very little color correction is needed later. Mostly it's just about tweaking the black point and the highlights, and everything pretty much falls into place (there are exceptions, but this is usually the case). We do a lot of home movie transfers on the ScanStation, and most people opt for 2k or 4k scans to a format that's more convenient than DPX sequences (something like ProRes 4444 Quicktime files), with a simultaneous scan to an HD or 2k H.264 scan with those basic color corrections applied during the scan. This is suitable for viewing on most computers, and for upload to YouTube, Vimeo, etc. The ProRes version becomes your master copy, and there's more than enough color data there to tweak as you'd see fit, in most edit systems, SpeedGrade, Resolve Lite, etc. 

 

-perry


  • 0

#14 David Cunningham

David Cunningham
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1049 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 18 June 2015 - 06:39 PM

Ditto what perry says.
  • 0

#15 KH Martin

KH Martin
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 246 posts
  • Other
  • Portland, Oregon

Posted 20 June 2015 - 07:06 PM

If there is serious sprocket damage, do any of these facilities have a way to correct when the film starts 'skipping'? I've got a few films where the sprocket holes are completely gone for as much as a couple feet, and the faux sprocket hole areas are basically guilotine splicing tape, which don't always hold during projection (as I recall anyway - haven't had a working projector in five years.)

 

One of these projects is an 80% finished film from 1980, and since the main character is supposed to age towards the end, I'm thinking if I can get it transferred, I may just go back in and reshoot the last part with myself at my current age ... would look a lot more credible than the 'spray gray in hair & squint a lot while rasping' approach I essayed at age 19. Of course that would mean coming up with a look in digital that duplicates Kodachrome 40 (I gave up on E160 as useless when I was 16 and only used 7244 for special projects, like when portraying Heaven and Hell), and I don't know that I've seen anything that really delivers that distinctive Kodachrome look/feel yet.


  • 0

#16 Perry Paolantonio

Perry Paolantonio
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 471 posts
  • Other
  • Boston, MA

Posted 21 June 2015 - 06:35 AM

If there is serious sprocket damage, do any of these facilities have a way to correct when the film starts 'skipping'? I've got a few films where the sprocket holes are completely gone for as much as a couple feet, and the faux sprocket hole areas are basically guilotine splicing tape, which don't always hold during projection (as I recall anyway - haven't had a working projector in five years.)

 

It depends on the sprocket damage. Our ScanStation can handle quite a bit of damage, but continuously missing sprockets for multiple feet might require special treatment. Usually, with scanners that digitally stabilize the film, using splicing tape to create perfs where they're missing, doesn't always help because the placement is always a bit off. Sometimes this can throw off the perf detection. But really, you won't know until you try.

 

Any scanner that uses a sprocket drive probably won't be able to run the film reliably, if at all, so your only real choice in this case is a sprocketless, archival scanner. 

 

We'd probably approach this by scanning through as if nothing was wrong, using perf detection. If the machine freaks out at that section, we'd turn the perf detection off, which results in a much less stable image overall - but you'd probably be able to capture the frames, and then post-stabilize that section to get things back into place after the scan is complete.

 

We've run some pretty damaged film through the ScanStation, and I'm continually surprised by what it can handle.

 

-perry 


  • 0

#17 Justin Lovell

Justin Lovell
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 262 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Toronto

Posted 04 October 2015 - 11:38 PM

Perry does great work at gamma ray! We are also running the 5k Lasergraphics Scanstation north of the border In Toronto at:

Www.framediscreet.com
Cinematographer run transfer studio.

Capable of 8/16/35mm. Loving the system and the results!

Hit me up if you have any questions via the contact page on the website.

All the best!
  • 0


Opal

The Slider

Paralinx LLC

CineLab

Aerial Filmworks

Ritter Battery

FJS International, LLC

Visual Products

Abel Cine

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineTape

Glidecam

Metropolis Post

Technodolly

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

Willys Widgets

Tai Audio

Wooden Camera

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Tai Audio

rebotnix Technologies

Abel Cine

Opal

CineLab

CineTape

Paralinx LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Technodolly

Willys Widgets

The Slider

Wooden Camera

Metropolis Post

Ritter Battery

FJS International, LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Visual Products

Aerial Filmworks

Glidecam

Gamma Ray Digital Inc