Digitizing old 8mm film without professional gear

Nothing says nostalgia better than movies captured from an 8mm camera. The experience of those flickering scenes and natural vintage feel is never surmountable to any digital film people have nowadays.

While it’s indeed a treasure for you to have 8mm films, there will come a time that you’ll need to back these up. Since films can get destroyed in sensitive environments, not to mention natural disasters, you need to digitize these movies to preserve them.

How? Read on below to find out.

Why should you do it yourself?

Professional services are available out there but they can be very expensive. Learning to do it yourself can take a lot of time but will certainly save you a lot more money.

How can you digitize it?

1. Have all the necessary tools.

Before anything else, it’s important you have all the tools you need. The 8mm camera to preview the film, a flat, white washed wall to project the film on, a variable speed-to-speed projector, a recorder, TV and a tripod.

2. Go as dark as you can.

Forget about doing this during the day, unless you have a dark room. You’ll need as less light as possible, since it can affect the way you’ll record the film.

Think of it as being in an actual movie house. Just have enough light to see what you’re doing.

3. Adjust the speed of the projector

In order to avoid the flickering of the film, adjust the speed of the projector. This will allow a better flow of the movie.

4. Adjust the focus and framing.

You’re after a good quality recorded video from the film being projected on the screen. So make sure to make the necessary adjustments with the frame and focus.

5. Position your camera.

Install your camera onto the tripod and place it as near to the screen as possible. Connect it to the TV to act as your viewfinder. Use manual focus in order to keep a straight recording.

Do these steps until you end up with the best recording. Don’t forget to use an audio output so you can also record the sound.

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