Author Topic: 8mm film > digital conversion, DIY of course  (Read 863 times)


  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4524
8mm film > digital conversion, DIY of course
« on: February 18, 2020, 01:50:13 PM »
My parents recently handed me a box of silent Super 8 tapes from 40+ years ago. I found enough parts machines in the basement of an older friendís house to piece together a working projector and verified the tapes play! Itís kinda yellowed, the focus is often poor, and thereís some wasted action- but Iíd like to save them.

The cheapest digital conversion services run about $8 per 3 minute tape, and go up to wild prices from there. Otherwise, a machine to do frame-by-frame conversion can be bought for $180 used on eBay. Perhaps this machine could be resold for $100 when Iím done with it.

Well, as my user name suggests, I want to try DIY first. The same friend had a purpose-made conversion box where you project into one side and put your camera into the other. I borrowed a very nice 4K camera, turned the gain way down to 12 and the ISO to 10,000 and it worked EXCEPT the camera recorded rolling horizontal lines. The horizontal lines did not go away at 24, 30, or 60 FPS settings on the camera, or on the high speed setting. Changing the projectorís speed changed the speed at which the horizontal lines rolled, but did not eliminate them.

I noticed the horizontal line problem did not occur when I tried with my iPhone, but the phone could not cope with the brightness of the conversion box and the image washed out.

Does anyone have technical suggestions for this old tech to new tech challenge?