View Full Version : 8MM to /DVD conversion

Dick Adair
11-24-2010, 2:53 PM
I'm going to convert about 20 rolls of old (1960's) film to dvd. A local photo shop quoted me a price of $7.95 a roll and the cost of the dvd. I also saw an ad from a company in New Mexico about the dirty little secrets you should know about processing this film. Their cost was about double. Is there a really a difference in converting this film to dvd's. Anybody that has done this, your advice would be appreciated. Thank you for any response.

Joe Pelonio
11-24-2010, 3:08 PM
It's hard to find people that handle film any more. We have converted 8mm and 16mm to VHS. We did it with a VHS camera on a tripod aimedon a screen! :eek: I just bought a device called EasyCap (E-bay under $10) a few weeks ago to convert VHS to DVD. haven't tried it yet but it plugs into the computer USB port and the audio/video outputs from the VHS player and includes editing software called Ulead Video Studio. I suppose you could use my method with a digital video camera on a tripod if you have a projector.

Pat Germain
11-24-2010, 3:44 PM
I had a reel of old, B&W 8mm film from the 1940s converted to DVD. It was pretty expensive and the results were less than spectacular. When I view the film on an old projector I have, it looks fine. But the DVD version has an ugly, rough white line down one side. I sent it back once to have this resolved. It came back the same way.

Basically, all these outfits do is point a digital camera at a rear-projection screen attached to a projector. As Joe suggests, if you have your own camcorder, you can do this yourself. The rear-projection screens are inexpensive and you can order them online.

Eric DeSilva
11-24-2010, 5:28 PM
Are you scanning picture negatives, or are you converting movie negatives? Scanning 20 rolls of 35mm film negatives for $8 a pop plus the DVD sounds about right. That sounds low for doing movie film conversion.

If you are doing picture film, might help to know what they are scanning to--probably jpegs, but you might have the option of something like NEF if you can use that. Here's a link to a quick article on archiving pictures you might find useful: http://lifehacker.com/5693168/use-the-smithsonians-tips-to-preserve-old-photographs-and-documents

If you are doing movie film, there is a huge gap between having it done right and having it done cheaply. As others have noted, you can simply use a digital video camera to "film" the movie as it plays. There are a lot of so-called "pro" places that do exactly that. Ultimately, however, that is subject to one huge inherent problem--today's digicams typically shoot at 60 frames per second, whereas 8mm was usually 18 or 24. That means you will get flicker. The only way around that is a frame by frame scan of your movies. That process can be automated, but it is very, very expensive comparatively speaking.

Dick Adair
11-24-2010, 8:04 PM
These are home movie 8mm rolls, I think 50'. They were taken on a windup Revere camera I purchased in 1961. If the extra cost will give a better quality picture, I will do it.

Dan Hintz
11-24-2010, 8:23 PM

Eric is right about the cost... he's not talking double or triple, he's talking hundreds of dollars per film to do it correctly (i.e., scan in each frame, one by one, not project and record).

Rich Stewart
11-24-2010, 10:09 PM
Check out imemories.com. I just sent all my old videos to them. Haven't got them back yet so can't tell how good. Check it out and see what you think.

Brian Brown
11-24-2010, 10:53 PM
Try here $.20 / ft Phoenix, AZ. digmypics.com Here is the link for the 8mm page. http://www.digmypics.com/8mmFilmTransfer.aspx They do a frame by frame which works much better than rear projection. Also, they allow you to view and edit on line before they ship out the final discs. I used them for family movies, and the quality is good when the original is good. I hate sending out one of a kind originals to somebody I don't know, so I hand delivered them to be sure it wasn't Joe Photo in his basement doing rear projection. They are a real company in a clean environment. I would definitely use them again. To answer your other question, I think the additional cost is worthwhile.

denis tuomey
12-01-2010, 1:30 PM
FYI- I have alot of 8mm- 400ft. rolls to transfer n was beginning to learn the process when I heard somewhere that transfering to a DVD is only temporary, that the oridginal film will outlast a DVD, best thing to do is transfer the flim to a external hard drive then make copies on DVD n you can always redo if the DVD fails. Still havent gotten a round toit yet.

Dave Lehnert
12-01-2010, 2:32 PM
As others have said. I took my 8mm film and projected it on a poster board. Filmed it with my video camera. Worked great.

I would be afraid to send my film off in the mail and getting lost.

Bill Cunningham
12-02-2010, 9:05 PM
A nice clean movie projector screen will give you a OK copy if you can find one.. Or, use a piece of matt, inkjet photo paper as a screen. It's bright and works quite well.

Mark Patoka
12-03-2010, 9:57 AM
My mom's 8mm projector started eating the films so I had them converted to DVD several years ago. I'll have to find my records but it was to a mail-order company as well, maybe even the same as the OP. www.film-to-video.com (http://www.film-to-video.com) looks like the place I used. The job was professionally done and I ended up with mini-DV tape "masters" & DVDs. I believe they cleaned the films first and then added a background music track as well.

I was extremely pleased with the end result but was also very wary of sending out the films. I did call and talk to the company first just to try and get some reassurances I was dealing with someone legitimate. I'm not sure how the local places do their conversion but my films did come back in better quality. The cost definitely wasn't cheap to have done.