8mm film scanners

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Roy1
Posts: 429
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:04 pm

Re: 8mm film scanners

Post by Roy1 » Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:51 am

Hi Tom. I have for my sins bought a REFLECTA scanner, It would seem that nearly all these scanners are made by the same factory in China. However I must say that the quality of the image made by the scanner is a vast improvement on the method I have previously used. The difference between the two versions of LAS Palmas is very much evident. However there is a price to pay. The resultant image is a bit unsteady and I can't seem to cure it. I've tried using only 50ft reels, I've tried using 200 ft reels as supplied and I've even used no reels at all allowing the film to feed from a bin to take up into a bin. No cure at all. I'm thinking that the fault is with the scanner's gate. It seems that the film is disturbed every time a splice goes through. I used worker splice patches for years but that was nearly forty years ago so some of them have provbally dried out and maybe a bit wrinkled making them thicker than normal. It's a bit of a problem matching the sound of a previous DVD to the silent result of the scanner especially with my lip sync dramas. The problem being that films have an unknown speed having had the original projected film speed controlled by a special tape recorder. Thanks for your continued interest. ROY

tom hardwick
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Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:59 am

Re: 8mm film scanners

Post by tom hardwick » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:44 am

At £360 (and considerably more on Amazon) this is not a cheap and cheerful film scanner by any means, and should certainly not be giving you less than very acceptable results.

As such I feel that you may have a faulty one, and it may well be worth contacting the seller to see if it can be exchanged for one that gives you a steady picture. The unsteadiness will rob you of any claims to 'HD', and at such a slow transfer rate I also can't see that Würker splices would affect that at all.

By the way, my Würker splices are all 40+ years old too, and they're all as near perfect as the day they were applied.

Roy1
Posts: 429
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:04 pm

Re: 8mm film scanners

Post by Roy1 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:36 am

Hi Tom. I have discovered a disturbing fact regarding the guarantee of the film scanner. It would appear that this warrantee only lasts until the meter reads 200 . Even a simple test to find the right settings covering a few feet of film is registered on the meter as 1. I have only made two films with the scanner after testing and it is registering 140. It doesn't say much for the confidence of the makers to last very long. By the way The LAS Palmas film was shot on 8mm. film and sound recorded with a Walkman mobile tape recorder and later transferred to VHS and then years later the VHS was transferred to DV by videoing from a white screen. I am trying to get some Wurker splice patches. Unfortunately I can't find the
roller used with the worker. Any idea where I might get one? I've tried CLASSIC HOME CINEMA with no luck.

tom hardwick
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Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:59 am

Re: 8mm film scanners

Post by tom hardwick » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:16 am

I never needed a slice roller, I simply used a fingernail.

As regards the guarantee, I'd still suggest that the instability of the resultant image makes the device unfit for propose.

Roy1
Posts: 429
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:04 pm

Re: 8mm film scanners

Post by Roy1 » Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:23 am

Tom. You asked if I had any results of my film scanning. Yes I have transferred two 40 year old films and have recently included them in a show I gave at Newcastle ACA. The LAS palmas film was easiest to do and the picture quality was very good indeed. The other film of Sanfransisco was quite difficult to match up the sound. Problem was that the original sound tapes were either not kept or detoriated badly. My only resource was to use an original DVD which was one of the first on the market and so was not particularly good on sound quality but was ok image wise. What I had to do was to make a VOB image onto the PC. The problem with that you can only see two tracks one for image and one for sound. The problem there was that the only sound track was a mix of commentary, music and effects. So I had to cut up the sound track and find the commentary. The effects could not be recognized and so had to manufacture them again. The music had to be re done. As the original music could not be found anywhere to I had to use new music for Chinese, Japanese, American and ambient music for early graveyards as well strident music for the Porn district. Again the picture quality was excellent. The audience seem to like the result. However I have to say the experience was, for me, very stressful. The Reflecta did not like splices. And every so often it would weave sideways. Because of excessive movement a lot of shots hade to be made into a freeze frame { I only did this with scenes which had no action taking place}. A lot of this movement was due to my camera movement as no tripod could be used. Thr original camera movement was I think made worse by the raflecta. My final humble opinion is that using unedited and spliceless films with no sound, the results will be excellent and edited later with added commentary, music and effects would be easy to do. I forgot to mention that in my case the spliced film was so old that the splices had yellowed and showed up as yellow patches on the screen , so the two frames affected had to be removed during editing without causing jump cuts, although modern pro film encourages such jump cuts. Thanks for your interest

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Betamax Kid
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:26 pm

Re: 8mm film scanners

Post by Betamax Kid » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:12 am

The MWA Scanners I would say deliver the best results but at a price. Most of my better 8mm efforts are scanned on one at 2K on this professional system which is really impressive. Have seen the results from the China plastic units and to my eyes the results do look poor along with unstable framing. I guess once you have seen the images from the MWA nothing less will do.


Love my Wurker splicer, most of my films are joined with that precision instrument. A bit of a tip here, if you have new patches that are sticky pop them in the freezer over night before using they come out fresh as a daisy.

Have a good Christmas everyone when it lands.

tom hardwick
Posts: 801
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:59 am

Re: 8mm film scanners

Post by tom hardwick » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:06 pm

The MWA scans do get good reviews. Which firm do you use (Images for Life?), and how good is the sound quality from striped footage, do you know?

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Betamax Kid
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:26 pm

Re: 8mm film scanners

Post by Betamax Kid » Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:28 pm

Hello Tom. Mag stripe is really only as good as its age and the track put down as we know. I have been very pleased with the MWA results regarding sound. A lower cost option is the Retroscan which I did look at but getting a bit late in the day now work wise to invest so give someone else the job.
The only problem with that one is printed films are unsteady by its design but great for your home movies delivering excellent results on 8, 9.5 and 16mm.

The end result is not just about the scanner but the skilled experienced hand making the end result as perfect as possible...we hope. Sorry I do not get a great deal of time to come on here these days as I would have liked to contribute more.

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Dave Watterson
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Location: Bath, England
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Re: 8mm film scanners

Post by Dave Watterson » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:47 pm

We welcome whatever time you can spare us, Betamax Kid. Such good information and personal experience is invaluable.

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