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ARSCLIST  September 2012

ARSCLIST September 2012

Subject:

Re: Scanner for 8mm film frames - is there such an 'animal'?

From:

"Richard L. Hess" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 20 Sep 2012 13:29:18 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (96 lines)

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.

Enjoy!

Cheers,

Richard

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.
>
> Regards,
> Ben Roth
> FAU/RSA

-- 
Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada           (905) 713 6733     1-877-TAPE-FIX
http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.

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