I know many people think 8mm film is tiny, silent, and not worth transferring. But there is a big difference between the transfer methods of the past and modern digital transfers. A typical transfer from the 1970s involved projecting it on a wall or sheet and filming it. Transfers from the 1980s and even 1990s were a little better, typically projected inside a black box with a mirror and screen. Modern transfers are capable of projecting the film direct to a digital camera, frame by frame, and saving forever on DVD.
Below are some comparisons of typical transfers and modern digital DVD and HD transfers. A typical 8mm transfer shows distortion, lighting problems, lack of focus, has only about 200 lines of resolution, and cuts off the edges of the picture. A modern digital transfer to DVD keeps both the background and foreground in focus, keeps good light balance, uses over 700 lines of resolution, captures the entire film frame, and gets the most possible out of the film. An HD transfer can use 1000 lines of 8mm film, both horizontal and vertical - twice standard DVD resolution.
Don't get me wrong. An 8mm film from the 70s of a dark concert stage will not look like satellite TV. But with a digital transfer (especially an HD transfer) enough details can be seen to even sync original audio back on to the video. This takes a lot of work and is not cheap, but the results can be excellent.
|So I have a standing offer for anyone who owns 8mm film from Genesis or Peter Gabriel, or knows someone who does. If you let me borrow the original film for only a few weeks, for no cost I will digitally transfer it direct to DVD and sync audio to it, if possible. The contents will be kept strictly confidential if desired.|
For more information, contact:
Here are examples of different types of transfers. It shows that the film transfer is just as important as the film itself. The following are 100% real transfers. They have not been altered to prove a point. Other than some color correction and resizing for the screen, they are exactly as they were originally transferred.
|Here is a typical VHS transfer from the 80s. They were always filmed while it was played, adjusting brightness one way - then the other. Usually this was done by filming the projection screen. The details and color are totally washed out. There are only about 200 lines of resolution. Even during a close-up, there is very little detail.|
|This transfer is significantly better. There is much more resolution (700 horizontal) but only about 500 vertical. The most obvious problem is that much of the frame is cut off, and Peter looks a little stretched.|
This transfer is HD, but one of the poorest I have
ever seen. Despite the increased resolution and full-frame, the chromatic aberration is
terrible. Especially at the edges, it looks like there are two images - one
blue and one red. There are also other problems such as horizontal distortion lines
(probably due to a bad codec) and unnatural color.
Note: This was the most expensive transfer - you don't get what you pay for
|This transfer is much better, also HD. The detail is great, no lens or color issues. The only problem is it's a little too dark. Granted, with more light always comes more video noise, and sometimes the bright areas lose detail. But this was simply too dark for my tastes, and looks a little "flat".|
|Here is an example of HD that is too bright. The image is now blown out (sounds like a song). You can see everything, especially some new details on the right and the cable holding the gong - but it's just too much.|
|This one is just right. The bright images are there, but are softened on the sides with just enough of the background. It looks almost like a small photo, about 1000x1000 lines of resolution.|