Transfer 8mm movies to miniDV, then record to television DVD Recorder

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by wklkj, Feb 3, 2007.

  1. wklkj

    wklkj Guest

    OK, I'm getting on the bandwagon a little late but I'm glad I waited.
    I've just purchased a DVD recorder for my television system for $100.
    It looks like the time is right for me to finally take all my dad's
    super 8mm family films and transfer them. It will make great presents
    and a great way to save and watch these films much easier (I hold my
    breath every 5 years when we take out the old movie projector and hope
    that the bulb still works).

    I've got this device I bought at least 20 years ago and never used, I
    don't think I paid $20 for it. It's as big as a shoe box and you
    point the movie projector into one end and the camcorder into the side
    of it. It works with mirros and I'm sure those of you out there with
    transfer knowledge know what I'm talking about.


    Is it better to use this transfer box than to use a white wall /
    projector screen?

    I've read that people say to make the image on the wall from the
    projector as large as possible without losing light. Seems to me that
    logically, this will make the image on the wall fuzzier and blurrier
    than if you kept the image size smaller?

    I have tried a few sample shots yesterday and I have seen the
    'flicker' effect on the finished product. On the Sony miniDV
    camcorder I'm using (a few years old only), there are several setting
    such as 'sports', 'beach', 'moonlight', etc. Are these the shutter
    speed settings? If yes, I guess I can use trial and error but I can't
    seem to find a way on the camcorder to 'manually' set the shutter
    speed unless these setting are the way to do it. Sorry, no
    instruction manual available.

    I guess ultimately, I'm looking for any suggestions from people that
    have done this already. I agree with some of the posts...I'm not
    looking for perfection, loook what we're starting with, right?

    Anyway, after I'm done loading the tapes into the camcorder, it will
    be a simple process to then record the miniDV tape into the DVD
    recorder - I think.


    wklkj, Feb 3, 2007
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  2. Doesn't seem like it would take that long to try it both
    ways and see for yourself. There is such a variation
    between the different pieces of equipment (projectors,
    camcorders) that there is no reliable way to predict this
    for any specific case.
    Yes, and not only that but the larger you make the picture,
    the less bright it is. It is a law of physics that nobody has
    yet circumvented.
    Maybe, but I would bet not. You will have to do the
    experiment yourself with your own equipment.
    And since you didn't tell us the make/model of your
    camcorder, if any of us know, we can't help you.
    My prejudice is that I would likely find the flicker to be
    intollerable from the do-it-yourself method(s) and I would
    be inclined to send the films to one of the many services
    that do it professionally. But only you can do the experiment
    with your particular combination of film, equipment, judgement
    and expectations.
    Depending on your definition of "simple". :)
    Richard Crowley, Feb 3, 2007
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  3. wklkj

    Fishface Guest

    I have tried a few sample shots yesterday and I have seen the
    I found some very helpful information by using the following keywords
    in a Google Web search:

    8 mm film sync digital camcorder

    You can find most recent Sony camcorder manuals in PDF form on the internet.
    Fishface, Feb 3, 2007
  4. wklkj

    PTravel Guest

    Yes, two reasons -- the device defuses the light somewhat, which should
    allow for more even illumination, and even a "white" wall will add some
    color cast.
    You can have no more picture information than has been preserved on the
    film. The size shouldn't matter. At very small picture sizes the projector
    illumination may be so great as to "blow through" the dark areas, resulting
    in poor black level. Conversely, at a very large picture size, some
    dimly-exposed areas may tend to black. You need the "Goldilocks zone," i.e.
    illumination is just right.
    Home movie film is either 16 or 18 fps (if I recall, the former was used for
    silent 8mm, the latter for silent Super8). You need a slow enough shutter
    speed so that you don't wind up catching a "blank" when the frame is being
    changed by the projector. When I transferred over my old movie film, I
    found that 1/30th of a second worked best -- minimal flicker. I'd suggest
    you experiment.
    PTravel, Feb 3, 2007
  5. Perhaps it is good to see if your camera as a manual setting for focus,
    exposure, whitebalance and all that. Then use the longest shuttertime it
    will give, and keep all setting manual during recording so the camera
    does not make funny adjustments during the run.
    When I did this (on a wall), I post-processed the miniDV footage with
    software that helps equalize the flicker. I forgot what I used, but it
    is out there and worked OK for me. The better footage you start with,
    the better the result of course...

    Good luck


    PS I think I used this Virtualdub plugin
    Martijn van Duijn, Feb 8, 2007
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