What do you need to know about transferring film to digital media?

Suppliers of film transfers will use a broad variety of innovation and may charge a likewise large range of costs for their services. You can discover the specific equipment and software each provider utilizes by themselves to get the highest quality transfer results. If you are looking to transfer into a digital file yourself and you have the proper computer, parts, hardware and software then you may find some helpful tips in our blog. If you are looking to have a company make the transfer for you there are a few options you have. As of now the biggest nationwide company we recommend for film and video transfer services would be.

Recommended Nationwide Provider: AV-Workshop

16mm Film to DVD Transfer Specialists


If you would like more information about these topics then please read through our tips and tricks below and then if you have more questions you can move onto our blog for articles for more detailed topics.

The Most Basic Type of Film Transfer:

The above video explains an easy way to transfer if you have a projector and recording device like a camera phone. Anyone in ownership of a working movie projector can accomplish a “quick and unclean” digital transfer of a movie by simply forecasting it onto a screen (or wall) and shooting the program with a digital electronic camera mounted on a tripod. Image quality may be jeopardized by aspects such as the color and texture of the forecast surface area, the projector’s light and lens quality and speed setting, the angle of the camera to the screen. So long as the projector is tidy and in great working order, and the film is not significantly shrunken or harmed, this can be an effective method of capturing a preliminary record of your movies for the function of recognizing subject matter, putting draw in order, and figuring out the conservation value of the product.

Modified Projector Units:

film icon

With the introduction of small, top quality digital cameras, re-purposed movie projectors have been fitted out with digital video cameras mounted in front of the lens to record the imagery straight off of the movie. Considering that the lighted image journeys through less lenses and surfaces prior to being taped, image quality is typically remarkable to the “off-the-wall” technique. The resulting image quality can vary depending upon camera and lens quality, harmony and color of the light source, and operator ability. Customized projectors and some lower-end scanners utilize the standard projector “pull down claw” to move the movie through the gate by pulling down on the perforations at the edge of the movie. While this innovation works perfectly well when a machine is effectively maintained, film that is distorted or shrunken can be harmed if the claw does not engage the movie exactly enough.


Conventional Film Transfer – Telecine:

Although the word “telecine” is often used generically to refer to any film-transfer process, it more especially denotes the conversion of movie images to a video signal for seeing or broadcast on videotape. Most commonly for home motion pictures, a telecine unit such as the popular ELMO transfer units may be used to transfer 8mm or 16mm films to a VHS tape. Due to the fact that of the distinctions in frame rates in between movie forecast, which is really a succession of still images flashed on a screen (like a “flip book”), and video, which renders images in interlaced fields of horizontal lines, telecine electronically blends together neighboring frames (which is why when you stopped briefly a VHS tape, you didn’t get a great clear single image like you do today when you pause a streaming motion picture). With today’s frustrating appeal of digital media, moving original film to video files is seldom required.

Common Movie Scanners:

Scanners, in contrast to the conventional telecine method, are developed to catch each frame of a film as a discrete digital image. The specific image files are stored on a computer system heard drive, where they can be converted into a range of digital file types for movies like mpeg, mov, wav etc. for storage on a DVD or hard disk drive and seen on monitors or televisions. Scanners typically record image info at greater resolutions than more economical systems equipped with digital camera, and for that reason the scanning process takes longer and costs more. “Hi Def” scans at 3K and even 4K resolution are typically preferred by media producers, especially for release on Blu-ray gadgets however opinions differ as to whether the small 8mm image frame, and even the 16mm film gauge can benefit from this high of a resolution.

film with holes in edges

Drives with no sprockets:

A number of the more advanced movie scanners have actually changed the possibly damaging ‘Claw pull-down’ with sprocket less drive systems that are more mild on movie. In this system, the film is moved over smooth, flat rollers as it makes its way through the equipment, preventing the possibility of mechanically piercing the film. If your movie is displaying considerable warping or shrinkage, a sprocketless drive will likely be the only alternative for transferring your movies.

How to take care of your films:

Depending upon your movies have actually been kept and cared for, they may be damaged or dirty and it would be a good idea to clean them before moving on. Carefully winding through the movie while passing it through a velvet fabric treated with a movie cleaning liquid can get rid of light particle matter, while more focused effort is required for eliminating tape residue, oil, or mold. Some laboratories have access to elaborate movie cleaners that pass the whole film through a liquid chamber and gently bombard the very first from the film with ultra-sonic waves. If your film was modified together with many splices, cleaning can be more hard, and the splices may need to be strengthened with fresh tape. Also, numerous labs may wish to “build up” your lots of little reels of movie onto larger reels for transfer. Make sure that you talk about the importance of retaining information from your movie containers and keeping track of the order and identity of your numerous movie reels.

Depending on the strategy you put together to get your files transferred just remember to label any media you send out so that it can be used and returned in the proper way.