Kodachrome S8 transfer at DVinfo.net

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Old May 22nd, 2010, 04:26 AM   #1
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Kodachrome S8 transfer

Hi everybody,

Transferring old Super 8 films (40 year old...) to burn DVD, I recently replaced a Sony HC7 with a wonderful PAL XH-A1s (newbie with that one!).
Reels are mostly Kodachrome IIA, a very contrasted film, in good condition, 18f/s.

Projector and camera are placed "lens to lens", without a mirror nor additional lens; capture mode is SD, 16:9.
Projector has a special 3W LED light (5500K). XH-A1s works in Tv mode (Clear Scan on), Focus: "Manual", AGC: "Off", AWB: "Pre", 5500K.

Has anybody an experience of such a transfer with XH-A1, and could say his advice about camera settings? A preferred preset in the long list?
I tried Wolfgang Winne's -3dB preset, and Steven Dempsey's VIVIDRGB and PANALOK2, but often the "No preset" option seems better in my case... Maybe BLACK at "Middle" or "Stretch", and KNEE at "Auto" or "Low" are better choices?
Multi testing is the right way probably, but any experience will be appreciated a lot.

Thank you for any help. Have a nice day!
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 08:39 AM   #2
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Hi

I actually right now is burning DVD:s for the same reason, I've just finished a project transferring my fathers 8mm films to DVD, using my XH-A1.

My settings was WB ~4000K, using a modified PANALOOK2 preset. I don't exactly remeber what I modified but I think it was the red gain that was decreased and also BLACK set to PRESS. As the films were about 40 years old I didn't have to much expectations, but the result was more than satisfying.

I displayed the film on a white wall and filmed the wall wit the camcorder. I also tried to film, as you describe, lens to lens but that didn't work at all, I could not get any picture at all that way.

I shot in 25f, with a shutter speed of 1/25 which gave least strobing.

A problem is strobing. 8mm was 18 frames/second if I remeber righ, and PAL is 25 f/s. My projector was able to fine tune the framerate so to get rid of strobing the result was a faster moving film. It doesn't matter so much on scenes without people, but when people are on the film they move a little faster than normal. I feel that I can live with fast moving people more than I can deal with the strobing effect. For me it isn't a problem as it is only for personal use.

I'll try to attatch a few stills from my project tomorrow.

Regards,

/Bo
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 09:24 AM   #3
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Stills from 8mm

These are still directly from the film exported from Adobe. They were exported as a bmp file and converted to a jpg file.
Attached Thumbnails
Kodachrome S8 transfer-film_4_13723.jpg   Kodachrome S8 transfer-film_6_28243.jpg  

Kodachrome S8 transfer-film_6_34667.jpg  

Last edited by Bo Sundvall; May 23rd, 2010 at 09:26 AM. Reason: More info added...
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 11:42 AM   #4
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Bo,

Thank you for your answer and stills: I'll try, starting from your settings.

Yes, there are problems to film "lens in lens": we have to use another projector lens that the genuine one, and this is more difficult with our XH-A1 (1/3" sensors, large lens) than with a little camera (1/4" sensors, little lens).

In the case of Regular or Super 8, usual projector lens have 25 - 30mm focal length; to capture with a Sony HCx, for instance, it's possible to cut and adapt an old and cheap 85mm lens, from a 24x36 projector.
I made an adaptator from a cupper tube, to mount a Will-Wetzlar lens on a Heurtier, and it was OK:
Le Transfert Pellicule... :: Bricolage adaptateur d'objectif

But with our XH-A1, such a 85mm lens always gives a picture with darker angles (I don't know the right word for "vignettage"). A 70mm focal length is good, but we have to find an old but not so cheap 16mm projector lens (Angenieux, Paillard...), then to mount it on the projector, that is another challenge... Only a few 8mm projectors fit these large lens: Beaulieu 708 and others. Some dauntless handymen undertake a real surgery on their projector!

Concerning strobing, probably your projector has a 3 blade shutter, then you could film a good 18 f/s projection, using the XH-A1 "Clear Scan" setting.
To avoid flickering, a 16.67 f/s projection rate would be correct to capture at 25 f/s [50i]. But thanks to a Clear Scan setting on 54.7, it's OK here for my 18 (real 18.28) f/s projection.
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Old May 24th, 2010, 02:04 AM   #5
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Hi Andre

I find that your project is much more complicated than mine. :-) I hope you will succeed with it. I guess I could have got a less strobing end result by working harder with that part, but for me the result I got is good enough. A problem was that the projector speed never was the same from one film to another as it is old and suffers from all kind of mechanical errors. It could also change speed during a film resulting in flicker that didn't show up until the film was finished.
A wild guess is that I've already used about 70-100 hours to produce 5 DVD:s with my fathers films and don't want to do it all over again.

It would be nice if you, in the future, could give us information about your result. Perhaps also a picture of your setup.


Regards,

/Bo
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Old May 24th, 2010, 02:56 AM   #6
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Hi Bo,

I understand your choice very well.

Here is an piece of my first DVD, captured lens in lens but with a Sony HC7.
I removed the projection window of the projector, so that the capture is wider (including the film borders and its perforation); VirtualDub helped to resize the picture.
My Deshaker practice is poor, but I'm training...


Regards,

Andre.
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Old May 24th, 2010, 03:59 AM   #7
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Hi

I'm absolute astonished by the quality of your result. It feels as if I shouldn't have answered this post at all as I just feel I don't have so much to add. :-)

How did you manage to get the film so clean from dust and scrathces? To get rid of dust I mounted a fan that blowed on the film before it entered the projector. That helped a lot but there was dust anyway. Your result is, as far as I can see, more or less without dust or other particles. I also beleive that your originals are of much better quality than mine. I remeber that we used to watch them a lot when I was young so that might have some impact on the quality.

As I said earlier, it would be nice to see a picture of your setup. I just don't understand how you do it so a picture probably explains it.

Regards,

/Bo
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Old May 24th, 2010, 04:46 AM   #8
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Hi Bo,

Thank you a lot, but I'm convinced I've to learn from your own practice.

Yes, most of my original S8 reels are in good condition. These were taken by a good cam (Nikon Super Zoom 8).
But some takes aren't so good (not Kodachrome, but polyester films, such as 3M-Ferrania).

The films are cleaned just before capture, using a soft cloth; sometimes a Vitafilm cleaning if they are really dirty.

After capturing a scene with VirtualDub, I stay in RGB uncompressed mode, and do a long monk's work, frame by frame, to cut the too bad frames (large stains etc) off; it's easy for fixed takes, and can grow up to 10% of the frames number; but we have to be cautious for panoramics, of course...
In the first video, the scene with an old car (1967! Peugeot 203!) going from right to left, a number of frames were corrected, one after the other, using the VirtualDub filter "DeLogo": each frame is opened in Windows Paint or Adobe Elements, to create red masks for the stains or scratches; then the filter "erases" them...

I'll find a picture of my installation, but it's quite simple.

Here is another piece of the same first DVD (sorry, I'm super-newbie with Vimeo):
S8 transfer on Vimeo

"Extr3_DVD1_capture" is a compression of the original capture AVI (the panels, the car), so you'll see... my numerous own stains and scratches, too!

I have now to improve, the Sony HC7 replaced by the Canon XH-A1...

Regards,

Andre.

Last edited by Andre Milliner; May 24th, 2010 at 09:30 AM.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 03:53 AM   #9
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Re: Kodachrome S8 transfer

Hi,

Just a self-update, that may helps some Super 8 "transferrers".

My capture bench uses now a Beaulieu 708 projector and a XH-A1.
Projection light is given by a single LED (sold for 5500K); projector lens is an old 16mm one (70mm, f/1.6, by Paillard-Bolex).
Projector and cam are placed "lens in lens"; ~ 1" between them.

=> XH-A1:
AGC = "Off"
AWB = "Off" -> WHITE BAL = "PRE" -> WHITE BAL PRESET = "K" (5500)
GAIN = "L", -3dB

With old Kodachrome Super 8 films, many presets tests were not very good (PAL world...).
Finally, I prefer "No Preset", but KNEE = "Low" , BLK = "Stretch"

Capture through VirtualDub, then a little job of cleaning and stabilization using the videoFred/johnmeyer script.

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Old March 4th, 2011, 04:20 AM   #10
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Re: Kodachrome S8 transfer

Hi

You don't happen to have one or more pictures of your setup?

Regards,

/Bo
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Old March 4th, 2011, 08:39 AM   #11
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Re: Kodachrome S8 transfer

Hi Bo,

Are these pictures OK ?

A general view; the projector is on a strong old WorkMate, the camera on a basic tripod; FireWire cable to the computer:
http://img820.imageshack.us/img820/1...alp1000984.jpg

LED:
http://img703.imageshack.us/img703/2108/ledp1000985.jpg

Bolex-Paillard lens:
http://img821.imageshack.us/img821/3...rdp1000987.jpg

"Lens in lens", capture position:
http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/723...nsp1000988.jpg

Regards,

Andre.
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