• Absolutely. The greater the definition of the film grain the higher fidelity your film is. For us this is a no-brainer.
• 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 that can occur scene-by-scene when you film. We will scan your film with one optimised exposure in line with the density of the images on the emulsion, but will then correct the exposures (where necessary) on a scene by scene basis . We will then apply what we refer to as a ‘consumer-level’ or ‘real-world’ colour grade to your footage adding density to the shadows, brightening high lights and adding real-world saturation to the colours. The aim is to get your footage optimised on a scene by scene basis whilst applying a balanced real-world colour grade. Note it is best not to choose this option if you want to adjust the colour and density values yourself in post, or if you have a colourist lined up for your post-production work.
• 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, but differences in exposure within those parameters will not be corrected. This would be the appropriate scan for those who would like to grade and correct the scans themselves.
• 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 422 HQ files.
How large are your film scan files?
• 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.