8mm film to DVD transfer

  Wilham 17:39 10 Nov 2010

I would like to edit and select extracts from a dozen 3" spools of standard B&W 8mm cine films taken by me in the 1950's.

I did try to do something like this in the 1980's when I bought a DV camcorder. I acquired a transfer box which had mounted inside a surface mirror, and a frosted glass screen to the outside. I used the camcorder to copy the projected 8mm films through the box. The results were dreadful.

I see this type of transfer box is still advertised, so I'll give detail. The main trouble was an unsteady image. There was something else. My original projector was a powerful semi-professional model, heavy geared, with 220v 500v(optional 750w for larger room. On occasion it could be suitable to use at the school where I taught. I found 220v bulbs had a short life, and none was available at 240v. A colleague had an Eumig 8mm Austrian projector with 12v 50w lamp, and other teachers were interested so we arranged a demonstration after dark one evening in the school.

The difference between the machines was remarkable. The Eumig (£37) gave brilliantly white pictures and was very quiet. Mine (£167)was dimmer, yellowish and very noisy, in part due to a powerful cooling fan. After this result I bought an Eumig in part-exchange.

At a later date I noticed that with the Eumig I could not read on the screen an advert that had been clear to see with my previous projector. It implied I would not get the detail with my DIY transfer.

I regret that as time marches on I forget time, place and who people are in my earlier films. Old colleagues thin out even more as we move through our eighties.

It seems a pity to let the records disappear altogether. Last year I watched a CD from America, it was sent to someone in the same way as a Christmas card from America. It had just a few minutes of stills, short videos and messages. It seemed more appropriate than a longer running DVD.

If anyone can advise and/or point to info I'd be delighted. In particular, is frame-by-frame transfer the best system? Is digital/software cleaning effective? What format on DVD would be easiest to edit at home to create CD shorts?

Where I know there's an email address I could also send my CD Christmas card as an attachment.

Thanks. W

  ams4127 20:06 10 Nov 2010

I will be most interested to see if anyone comes up with an answer to this. I have about 50 reels of 8mm film shot by my late parents in the '50s and '60s and have long wondered how to convert them. I know there are companies who will do it but their fees are pretty high.

  jack 08:40 11 Nov 2010

Showling him a shovel and a fork from which to select.

click here&

Google is yer friend

  Wilham 12:17 11 Nov 2010

jack: You have put your finger on the problem. The wide choice on Google is in part the reason for this cry for help.

All advertisers claim good quality transfer, but I found to my cost that a DIY option did not work with my cheap projection lens.

Other services offer a traditional projector/camcorder system,-and of course with better equipment. That to me does not overcome any instability of the picture. The 8mm cine film uses double perforated 16mm film, and the cheaper cameras in my opinion never match the precision of professional 16mm film mechanisms.

The late arrival on the scene is frame-by-frame transfer, which makes individual exposures to a digital sensor. The frame on the film can be located by image rather than sprockets, so overcoming the major part of jitter.

" Right, I'll go for that."... But then I see traditionalists claiming they are taking remedial film transfers from unsatisfied clients of frame-by-frame services.

ams 4127 mentions the high fees. It's understandable where editing and colour corrections are involved, it takes ages. I am looking for a basic transfer service, likely frame-by-frame, that would transfer my B&W standard 8mm reels to DVD, and with an easy format for me to extract snippets for my message CDs to old friends.


  Terry Brown 15:15 11 Nov 2010

You need to do a bit of creative thinking.

Set the projector up to show the image as small as possible, while getting a picture as clear as possible.

You wil need a canmcorder or a digital camera with movie mode.

Set both of these at 45 degrees to the screen, you may have to adjust the angles slightly to get the desired output, so the picture in the camcorder looks square, and is fully contained in the viewscreen.

It is then a matter of showing the films, recording them digitally and transferring to the computer for further work.


  Wilham 17:50 11 Nov 2010

Terry: You are right. In fact if I'd had more sense at the time I would have stopped down the Eumig lens with a metal washer from plumbing spares to bring in the detail, though that alone wouldn't help picture stability.

Thanks. W

  jack 09:12 12 Nov 2010

If Wilham wants a strictly DIY solution- then terry Brown is getting there - but still the shaky unstable image problem remains.
So see what you can make of this little lot
Google once more is your friend
click here-

  Wilham 15:39 12 Nov 2010

jack: I'm hoping to get media transfer without shakes, but if I'm unlucky this free stabilising software via your link may be the answer. I see there are demo's of its applications and effectiveness.
Thanks jack.

  Terry Brown 20:53 13 Nov 2010

By making the image as small as possible you will reduce the amount of visable shake. If the image from the projector is unsteady, due to the quality of the original film then after transferring to your computer one of these programs may help. click here=


  Wilham 23:15 13 Nov 2010

Terry: Yes, the speed adjust and stabilising programs suggested by you and jack are helpful,- thanks. The newer frame-by-frame transfer system was advertised to overcome wobble caused by 8mm film transport claws by using auto-frame location. So if true it is likely first choice.

If I do somewhere get a bulk 8mm transfer, what is the best format I should ask to be put on the DVD's? Will my Vista Windows be able to create a media mix of photo's and several video clips on a CD?

Thanks again, W

  Terry Brown 19:49 14 Nov 2010

The imported film from your camera will be either AVI (raw video footage) or MPEG.

If you need to join films together try Videoredo (15 day free trial)- not suitable for AVI format, only mpeg.

If you do not have a video editing program, use Windows Movie maker to create.


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