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Frequently Asked Questions

Scanning

• Yes!
• All films are scanned in-house on a Film Fabriek Mueller HDS+ scanner.

• Absolutely. The greater the definition of the grain the higher fidelity your film.
• Years of scanning in higher than 2K resolution, is clear proof to us and our customers that 8mm film has detail and nuance far beyond a simple standard definition or 1K scan.
• The better your camera and optics, the more you’ll see in HD. Please take a look at our samples page to see how good 8mm HD and UHD scans can look.

• A best-light scan takes into consideration exposure differences scene-by-scene across you film. As we scan your film we will adjust the scanner settings to get the optimal exposure for each scene. We will also adjust the colour settings in post to make the shadows, highlights and colour saturation ‘real world’  – so less need for you to grade the film yourself.

• With a one-light scan we set the scanner up for one optimal exposure of your film. This will be set so that the highlights don’t clip and the shadows are not crushed. However if some scenes are very badly over or under exposed you may lose some detail and you would have benefitted from a best-light scan. Before ordering your scan, take into consideration how consistent your exposures were during filming.

• These are the length and width proportions of your framing when filming.
• 4:3 think old fashioned TV from pre 2000 (i.e. not widescreen).
• 16:9 think cinema screen and all modern day TVs.

• The differences are the resolution of your scan, measured in pixels.
1.5K is blu-ray quality, when you take into account the 4:3 ratio of most 8mm and 16mm cameras. The resolution is 1504 x 1076 pixel resolution. This is ideal for family archives and if you’re not editing in anything higher than 1080p and not wanting to pan and scan or enlarge your footage for a 16:9 ratio edit.
2.6K is 2640 x 2048 pixel resolution and produces a scan that is ideal for 1080p or 2K edits. The size of this scan is great if you want to present your 8mm / 16mm 4:3 ratio film in a 2K 16:9 ratio without losing any resolution (i.e. by scaling the footage up). It’s also perfect if you’re running a 2K edit and would like to apply stabilisation or jitter removal to your footage.
4K is 4096 x 3000 pixel resolution. This resolution looks amazing with footage shot on professional 8mm and 16mm cameras. The detail in the grain is very fine. If you’re editing or displaying 4K resolution then choose a 4K scan, so as not to lose any quality in your scan. If you have the budget and the end use is 4K then choose a 4K scan.

We provide Pro Res HQ or Pro Res 4444 files. Dependant on which you’d prefer. We can also output other file formats if required, but there may be additional charges for doing this.

• 1 x 8mm / 16mm film scanned at 1.5K with Pro Res output  = appox 5GB.
• 1 x 8mm / 16mm film scanned at 2.6K with Pro Res output  = appox 10GB.
1 x 8mm / 16mm film scanned at 4K with Pro Res output  = appox 20GB.

• 8mm films can be jittery – it’s unfortunately the nature of the format. Super 8 is jittery because the cartridge pressure plate is a simple piece of plastic with a spring behind it. This system has always been prone to a little bit of jitter, but with modern thinner negative film stocks this can unfortunately become a little more pronounced. Standard 8 is less jittery, as the camera’s had a fitted metal pressure plate, but jitter is often present in standard 8 films too.

• Jitter in 16mm footage is much less pronounced, owing to the increased size of the film and the build quality of 16mm cameras is generally higher than 8mm consumer cameras. If you have significant jitter in your 16mm footage you should check that you’re loading your camera correctly and that the pressure plate is clean and correctly in position.

• The good news is  that with a good overscan and modern editing package you can remove film jitter really easily with light use of a film stabilization plug-in. Don’t over do the settings though, as you can lose valuable resolution and diminish the hand-held charm.

An overscan takes in all of the film frame, plus all or part of the film perforation(s). The graphic below shows the three different options we offer when scanning.