Reel to digital conversion

Does anyone have any experience converting old film reels to digital?

My wife has a whole load of 8mm reels from her late father and grandfather which she is keen to convert before they degrade too much.

A quick google shows up some specialists but a)they’re expensive and b) the reviews are mixed (eg they destroy the reel).

Comments

  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 25,705
    DIY? Project onto a screen and film digitally using a phone or camera.
    Assuming you have the playback equipment or can borrow/hire it.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • TheBigBean
    TheBigBean Posts: 20,551
    My parents did it successfully. Not sure one success makes a summer though.
  • Stevo_666
    Stevo_666 Posts: 58,382
    No idea I'm afraid but would be interested to know as I have a load of my parents old cine films.
    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,383
    Sounds like a job for a pro I reckon...
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,501
    if old film gets damp/contaminated it can stick together then tear/jam, may be why people complain of damage

    this lot say they use a retroscan, it's sprocketless so should be less likely to cause damage if the film isn't in perfect condition

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/254414415984


    or you could buy a cheapo machine and diy https://www.amazon.co.uk/Digital-MovieMaker-Scanner-Digitizer-Machine/dp/B08LYHLBQC but it's likely to get tedious, i once transferred umpteen video tapes to digital, never again

    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 25,705
    sungod said:


    or you could buy a cheapo machine and diy https://www.amazon.co.uk/Digital-MovieMaker-Scanner-Digitizer-Machine/dp/B08LYHLBQC but it's likely to get tedious, i once transferred umpteen video tapes to digital, never again

    There is that. I spent hours transferring home VHS films only for them to be watched once and forgotten about.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • monkimark
    monkimark Posts: 1,500
    My wife did it with her parents/uncles old films transferred to DVD but it was probably somewhere in Kent or Surrey so a bit far for you. I got the impression it was a bit of a one man semi hobby type operation as well, I think she had to take them around to him and collect again when they were done.

    If you can play them, why not record off the screen first so you at least have a copy if the professional transfer doesn't work.

  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 25,705
    oxoman said:

    Yep, kids parties, Xmas morning, school plays etc transferred to dvd then hard drive to be watched once a century probably. TBH I did the 35mm slides during lockdown on days off to see my parents and grandparents earlier life as sadly there no longer around. My lads watched that rather than themselves.

    My experience also. The grandchildren love looking at old photos. They switch off from videos after 5 minutes.
    I've digitised my entire history of photos and glad I did although I was already a long way down the road as I started compiling all my photos into albums in chronological order during Canadian winters decades ago and maintained that.
    The digitising was also a years long project during the bad weather days of winter.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • capt_slog
    capt_slog Posts: 3,943
    Straight away I thought "project onto a screen and record from there".

    But on second thoughts i wondered if it would work properly. Is there a chance of the frame rates clashing so that you see the closing shutter of the projector? A bit like how you see the blades of a helicopter become stationary on some films.


    The older I get, the better I was.

  • webboo
    webboo Posts: 6,087
    Stevo_666 said:

    No idea I'm afraid but would be interested to know as I have a load of my parents old cine films.

    Will there be film of you and William at Tory party conferences of yesteryear. Tory boys together 😹
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 72,517
    sungod said:

    if old film gets damp/contaminated it can stick together then tear/jam, may be why people complain of damage

    this lot say they use a retroscan, it's sprocketless so should be less likely to cause damage if the film isn't in perfect condition

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/254414415984


    or you could buy a cheapo machine and diy https://www.amazon.co.uk/Digital-MovieMaker-Scanner-Digitizer-Machine/dp/B08LYHLBQC but it's likely to get tedious, i once transferred umpteen video tapes to digital, never again

    Thanks.

    I think the economics make the DIY the cheaper option but not sure I can handle the faff.
  • pinno
    pinno Posts: 51,306
    capt_slog said:

    Straight away I thought "project onto a screen and record from there".

    But on second thoughts i wondered if it would work properly. Is there a chance of the frame rates clashing so that you see the closing shutter of the projector? A bit like how you see the blades of a helicopter become stationary on some films.

    8mm film was 16 frames per second and digital standard rate is 24 fps.
    seanoconn - gruagach craic!
  • PMark
    PMark Posts: 159
    We got Jessops to do it a few years ago, for my Dad's film he took in the 70s (although I don't know if they still offer that service). I then edited them into a few different videos (3-4 mins long). Because they are short, people are quite happy to see them every few years.

    You can also do a lot to clean them up these days, topaz video enhance ai can do a good job of converting to a modern frame rate, plus removing the noise/increasing the resolution (there are other free tools you can use as well, but are more complicated). If you are willing to put the effort in, you can end up with something like this:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fo_eZuOTBNc
  • capt_slog
    capt_slog Posts: 3,943
    pinno said:

    capt_slog said:

    Straight away I thought "project onto a screen and record from there".

    But on second thoughts i wondered if it would work properly. Is there a chance of the frame rates clashing so that you see the closing shutter of the projector? A bit like how you see the blades of a helicopter become stationary on some films.

    8mm film was 16 frames per second and digital standard rate is 24 fps.
    Which means that every 2 seconds of digital they come into sync for an instant.


    The older I get, the better I was.