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Telecine Transfer Box – transferring 8mm to camcorder

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  • Telecine Transfer Box – transferring 8mm to camcorder

    My plan to digitize many 8mm, standard and super 8 movies has been to show the movies with my Sears Du All Eight projector onto a projector screen and film with a Canon Optura 50 camcorder. However, I have read the next step up from this process is to use a telecine transfer box. I have watched couple of Youtube videos about the Ambico Telecine Transfer Box and the Sima CopyKit 3 Telecine Transfer System. The process does seem an improvement over my plan and the boxes are not that expensive.

    Any comments will be appreciated.

  • #2
    Just found Sima CopyKit, decided to purchase.


    • #3
      Hmmm, not sure what's your expection level of this "telecine box"?
      All I can say is that just don't set that too high. It'll sure get the job done and that's it.
      The most prominent issue seems to be its ground glass screen - which will induce heavy hot spot and grainy surface. The resolution would be sub-par.
      (They're designed to work OK with 80's vidicon camcorder, not 2020's 4K camera.)

      Quality-wise you might get better result with plain simple "off-the-wall" approach. If done right that would be very acceptable.

      The best projector-camcorder combination would be the direct scan from the film gate with no screen involved at all, but that's another story.


      • #4
        Hello Philip. I can offer you a couple of top tips for doing a good basic film to video transfer at home. My late father and I started experimenting with a video recorder and JVC video camera in the latter part of the 1970's so have been thru the mill as it were over the years.

        You can effect quite a reasonable telecine transfer using a unit designed for the purpose fairly cheaply and often good enough for the family to see your home movies on video.
        I would recommend tracking down either a Panasonic WV-J20AE or a Sony HC-4 unit the first being the best for home transfers with the Sony the lesser of the two. All other units are not particularly brilliant although you will get a result with the Silm juts not as good as the Panny.

        Your projector will need to run a little slower for silent home movies 16 2/3 frames per second otherwise you will see some flickering in the video monitor.
        Have fun!


        • #5
          Philip Collins Before addressing a transfer device, Lee has brought up a key issue. The Sears Du-All Eight normally runs at 18 fps. It does have a slow motion setting...but to capture film with a video camera you will need a variable speed projector. Since you are in the U.S. You should run the film at 20 fps with your camcorder set to 60fps to eliminate flicker and/or banding.

          Take a look at this recent thread. As Nantawat mentioned above the quality can only be measured by your expectations. If you are not looking for high quality transfers...just something clean and viewable. I recommend either capturing directly off a piece of paper on the wall...or the Simi CopyKit mirror and ground glass. Both these methods will not require any special changes to your projector...however your projector will need to be variable speed.

          Last edited by Janice Glesser; July 16, 2020, 08:45 PM.


          • #6
            I only used a set up like that in the early video days. Then the image lag in the single tube camera covered up the flicker.


            • #7
              Ah those were the days. Dad and I got the Ferguson 3v20 in 1980 I think it was. A colour domestic video camera and did a good job for the time happily transfering our 16mm 9.5 and 8 films to tape.
              Fond memories.


              • #8
                Thanks for all your comments and suggestions, very helpful ideas. Output quality as you have mentioned is based on expectations. The movies I am digitizing are from the 60's and 70's and primarily for safe keeping and family viewing. Many are very special. I found the Sima CopyKit as you show Janice in your post. It is easy, bit tricky getting the projector/CopyKit/camcoder all lined up and height. I will import the videos into Pinnacle Studio 23 Plus for editing and exporting.