I agree with Richard about minimal quality. However, like Ben, I found images of long-dead relatives
that only existed on 8mm films. I had good luck working from a DVD transfer my brother had done. I
simply played the DVD on my computer and paused and frame-by-frame advanced until I had my favorite
image from the sequence. Then I did a screen shot (control-print screen) and pasted that into
Photoshop. I ended up with a 72DPI of a full-screen with the player running at 2x magnification.
This then ended up with about a 4x6 print at 144dpi. Non-ideal but good enough to clearly see the
person (it was a closeup of her face). If it were a few people standing together, I doubt you'd be
able to make out exactly who they are from the 4x6. The color wasn't very good on the 1950's vintage
8mm, but I was able to correct it somewhat in Photoshop. I decided the image looked better as a
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, September 20, 2012 1:29 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Scanner for 8mm film frames - is there such an 'animal'?
> Hello, Ben,
> Don offers an excellent suggestion, but I'd like to suggest that the image quality from 8 mm will
> be marginal at best. The area of 8 mm is about 1/4 of 16 mm. The 16mm film frame was scanned at
> 9600 dpi on the Epson V700. The resultant TIF is 3930 x 2511 pixels ((9.9 MP). I did confirm that
> the focus was soft with a loupe. 4800 dpi clearly showed jaggies before the optical resolution
> fell off. My son Robert and I sat there looking at different scanning resolutions starting at 2400
> dpi. We both felt that 9600 was the first one that was really good. He was surprised I didn't take
> the next step, but that involves interpolation, I think, so we left it at close to 10 MP for the
> image. He did a great job of cropping each frame (they were different effective heights. This
> appears to have been a commercial film strip, not part of a movie. I never knew there were 16 mm
> film strips!
> Remember, with the macro approach you will be way above 1:1 which is why normal "macro" or "micro"
> lenses which go to 1:1 will not provide the required magnification which is why all the fuss that
> Don described is necessary.
> Wikipedia indicates that the frame size of regular 8 mm film is 4.8 x 3.5 mm, so it is a bit
> larger than 1/8 of an inch (3.175 mm)--every millimetre counts!
> The aspect ratio of 8 mm is about 1.37 while both full-frame and APS-sized digital SLR sensors
> have an aspect ratio of about 1.5.
> That means that height will control the magnification (if you don't want to crop top and bottom).
> With full-frame 35 mm image sensors (36 x 24 mm) you will need magnification approximately 6.8 X.
> With an APS-sized sensor (Nikon DX) size of 24 x 16 mm, you will need about 4.5 X magnification.
> This is achievable with a macro setup. When I went digital, I sold my bellows and slide copier
> attachment and then ended up buying another fixed slide copy attachment (no bellows) later, which
> I have not used except for proof-of-concept (or more correctly determining the
> annoyance-of-concept for my scale of project).
> If you just went 1:1, you would end up with about 0.5 MP (about 875 x 583 pixels) in a 24 MP
> full-frame DSLR and 0.76 MP (about 1072 x 715 pixels) in a 16 MP DX-sized (APS) DSLR. These may be
> barely adequate, but I think I'd want more, so I'm afraid you're stuck with bellows or at least
> extension tubes. You will be in the manual everything domain, so make certain you can use your
> DSLR and lens in fully manual mode. You will want to stop down, but not too far or diffraction
> losses will reduce your sharpness. Reversing a lens, especially a wide-angle lens--will get you
> closer to what you need.
> On the other hand, a good flatbed with transparent material adapter as Jerry suggested and I did
> with the 16 mm is easier to use and faster to set up. At 9600 dpi your frame would work out to
> about 1814 x 1322 pixels or 2.4 MP which might be satisfactory. The Epson actually was
> interpolating at 9600 dpi (in one direction) which is possibly part of the softness. It's native
> resolution on the glass is 4800 x 9600 dpi while the V-500 is 6400 x 9600 dpi. So, for your
> application, the V-500 or V-600 which are priced at under $200 here in Canada are less than the
> cost of a bellows alone, let alone all to other pieces you need to make macro work, so you might
> want to give it a try. I don't want to tell you all the Nikon rings and things I have for fooling
> around with macro.
> The individual frames will be less pleasing than looking at the projected movie because, in the
> movie, the grain is random and tends to average out from frame to frame whereas that does not
> happen when you grab an individual frame. Also, with an individual frame, you will probably end up
> looking at it for longer and at greater magnification than the moving-image version...and people
> will expect more resolution from a still than from a movie.
> On 2012-09-20 9:00 AM, James Roth wrote:
>> Greetings, all!
>> First, thank you all for advising me on the baking of the 1/4-inch audiotape which had become
>> sticky over the years.
>> The tapes now play perfectly.
>> I have many feet of regular, old 8mm film and I'd love to be able to scan certain individual
>> frames of it, but they are so small (about 1/8-inch square).
>> Does anyone know of a scanner that could handle such a minute picture?
>> Perhaps there's a film editor that can snap a frame with the push of a button.
>> Ben Roth
> Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
> Aurora, Ontario, Canada (905) 713 6733 1-877-TAPE-FIX
> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.