Is an HD Super 8 transfer overkill?

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videoguy326
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Is an HD Super 8 transfer overkill?

Post by videoguy326 » Sat Jun 19, 2010 4:17 am

I'm thinking of getting some super 8 transfered to HD and I wanted to get some opinions on whether or not you think it's worth it or if it's overkill.
Thanks!

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Re: Is an HD Super 8 transfer overkill?

Post by granfer » Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:41 am

Search the Forum on this... but yes, it's overkill and pointlesssly expensive.

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Re: Is an HD Super 8 transfer overkill?

Post by Uppsala BildTeknik » Sat Jun 19, 2010 10:43 am

That is not entirely correct. A HD transfer from super 8 neither overkill nor pointlessly expensive (or at least it doesen´t need to be pointlessly expensive).

I believe "the roof" for resolution/quality from a super 8 frame is somewhere between standard resolution and 720P. Probably pretty close to 720P (if it was closer to SD it would be very hard to see any difference in quality).

I made split-screen testclips from regular 8, super 8 and 16mm film using SMPTE testfilm. There is no question the HD transfer is superior to the SD transfer on super 8. And when you add the de-interlace from any SD material the difference gets even bigger.

All SD material is de-interlaced by your HDTV, so the correct way to judge these clips is to look at the de-interlaced SD versions.

You will find the testclips here: http://www.uppsalabildteknik.com/english/?page=136

And to the question if a HD transfer is pointlessly expensive... Well I guess it depends on what prices you compare. We charge 2 SEK more per meter film for HD transfers. So one 120 meter reel (400 foot) will cost 240 SEK more for the HD transfer compared to a SD transfer, that is €25 or $30 with the exchange rate today.

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Re: Is an HD Super 8 transfer overkill?

Post by christoph » Sat Jun 19, 2010 11:25 am

well, it again it depends if we talk about downsampled SD or a transfer originated from an SD system. a well done downsampled SD transfer can capture most of the information in a typical super8 frame, and then it really comes down to contrast and color...
ie. a PAL transfer from a spirit will usually look significantly better then a DIY 1080p transfer with a HDV camera.
Uppsala BildTeknik wrote:I made split-screen testclips from regular 8, super 8 and 16mm film using SMPTE testfilm.
well, most people didn't film high contrast SMPTE charts in labs using high resolution lenses and didn't use fine grained print film ;)
And when you add the de-interlace from any SD material the difference gets even bigger.
All SD material is de-interlaced by your HDTV, so the correct way to judge these clips is to look at the de-interlaced SD versions.
that's not necessary true. if you have a good HDTV, it will not deinterlace the interlaced signals but display it as 50i/60i.. and if you burn your DVD as progresive footage it will display it as 24p/25p/30p

but i agree that on transfers using affordable equipment, a HD transfer can capture quite a bit of more detail then SD transfers, and that 720p is usually enough if well done.

++ c.

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Re: Is an HD Super 8 transfer overkill?

Post by Uppsala BildTeknik » Sat Jun 19, 2010 11:37 am

christoph wrote:...a HD transfer can capture quite a bit of more detail then SD transfers, and that 720p is usually enough...
Well then we pretty much agree. :)

The reason I used the SMPTE testfilm is of course because it IS a testfilm, and it will show any differenced much better than a random super8 frame. This random super 8 frame depends on the camera used, exposure, and so on.

And I´d say 99.9999% of all super 8 SD transfers are not originated from a perfect spirit HD transfer that is downscaled properly to SD... ;) So it is a bit weird to squeeze that into this question. While you are at a spirit, why not tranfer it to HD, keep the scanner-native resolution and skip all the hassle with SD conversions and interlacing and such?

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Re: Is an HD Super 8 transfer overkill?

Post by christoph » Sat Jun 19, 2010 12:25 pm

Uppsala BildTeknik wrote:
christoph wrote:...a HD transfer can capture quite a bit of more detail then SD transfers, and that 720p is usually enough...
Well then we pretty much agree. :)
yeah, but for different reasons :P
The reason I used the SMPTE testfilm is of course because it IS a testfilm, and it will show any differenced much better than a random super8 frame. This random super 8 frame depends on the camera used, exposure, and so on.
sure, it's a nice test to see the weaknesses of a system, but if i see a big difference on the SMPTE film and barley none on the footage of my dog, then honestly it's not so important ;)
And I´d say 99.9999% of all super 8 SD transfers are not originated from a perfect spirit HD transfer that is downscaled properly to SD... ;) So it is a bit weird to squeeze that into this question. While you are at a spirit, why not tranfer it to HD, keep the scanner-native resolution and skip all the hassle with SD conversions and interlacing and such?
i bring it up because people always mix up the resolution of a format with the resolution of a system. super8 doesn't have much higher resolution then PAL, but more PAL transfer systems don't make use of the full PAL resolution. so a flashscan HD downrezzed to PAL looks very close to the 720p source, except for some softening in the grain (and hiding the noise of the system).

then again the flashscan HD does not really make use of the full resolution of the 720p format ;)

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Re: Is an HD Super 8 transfer overkill?

Post by Uppsala BildTeknik » Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:46 pm

I think you too often get stuck on technicalities. If a HD transfer can give you a little bit better image quality and higher resolution (finer details from your dog visible compared to a SD transfer), then a HD transfer is not overkill (the question in this topic).

Sure, there are different quality of HD transfer and there are different quality of SD tranfers, I believe we all can agree on this.

But the bottom line is that HD is not overkill for super8. :)

At least not if shot with good optics and properly exposed and focused. If it is shot with pisspoor optics, underexposed and badly focused, then HD is overkill. :mrgreen:

Then there are different kind of HD resolutions, and I believe that 1080P and 2K, or even 4K as someone suggested once... well those resolutions are overkill for 8mm film.

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Re: Is an HD Super 8 transfer overkill?

Post by christoph » Sat Jun 19, 2010 4:44 pm

Uppsala BildTeknik wrote:I think you too often get stuck on technicalities.
well, i think we just have a different philosophy.

for me, it's not just important to know a simplified answer (ie. a general HD transfer will give more detail then a general SD transfer), but also the reasons behind it (or rather, why the above statement is pretty useless: because image detail is not a very important factor in super8 transfers).

it's important to me because this knownledge then can be applied to get better results, or even to make educated choices in topics that have nothing to do with the original question.

you might think i'm just talking about theory, but i made quite a lot of tests before i make conclusions.. like this one:
vision2 200T in a Nizo 801 on a tripod..

flashscanHD 720P transfer:
http://eightmm.net/filmshooting/flashsc ... s_corr.png
exactly the same image downscaled to PAL and uprezzed to 720p again:
http://eightmm.net/filmshooting/flashsc ... Luprez.png

now a 1.3K transfer from my camera, downrezzed to PAL and upscaled to 720p to match the size:
http://eightmm.net/filmshooting/flashsc ... Luprez.png

personally i see just as much detail (if not more) in my PAL image then in the native flashscanHD 720p frame.. not to speak of the colors (which, btw, are already adjusted because they looked terrible in the original flashscan transfer).
If a HD transfer can give you a little bit better image quality and higher resolution (finer details from your dog visible compared to a SD transfer), then a HD transfer is not overkill (the question in this topic).
this is the simple answer, which is partly correct.
the more complex one is that talking about "HD transfer" is pretty useless because there are so many different ones.

++ c.

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Re: Is an HD Super 8 transfer overkill?

Post by Uppsala BildTeknik » Sat Jun 19, 2010 4:56 pm

videoguy326 wrote:I'm thinking of getting some super 8 transfered to HD and I wanted to get some opinions on whether or not you think it's worth it or if it's overkill.
This is what guy who created this thread asked for, some opinions if it is worth to transfer his super 8 films to HD or not.
christoph wrote:...downscale...upscale...
I don´t recall reading anything about him going to downscale and/or upscale his footage. Is was a pretty basic question, is HD overkill or not? I don´t think it is overkill for super 8. What do you think?

While it is interesting about the whole downscale-from-higher-resolution-is-better-than-native-SD-transfer, it is merely a interesting theoretical discussion that has nothing to do with this thread.

I take it you are transferring and storing everything to SD these days, because you can use your HD-camera and downscale and fiddle? Or do you transfer to HD and keep your material in HD? :?:

If you keep your material in HD you are contradicting yourself.

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Re: Is an HD Super 8 transfer overkill?

Post by christoph » Sat Jun 19, 2010 6:18 pm

well, i thought i'll add some information and opinion about the topic since i believe i know enough about the topic to make for some interesting observations.. but here we are in needless (and unpleasant) arguments again.

if you want to have a yes or no answer to the question "Is an HD Super 8 transfer overkill?" i'll say:

it depends... but for most people it is.
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Re: Is an HD Super 8 transfer overkill?

Post by Uppsala BildTeknik » Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:45 pm

So you downscale all your super 8 transfers to SD then, and keep the SD versions as you originals?

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Re: Is an HD Super 8 transfer overkill?

Post by granfer » Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:27 pm

Well, there you have it... The commercial Video Tranfsfer man promoting his Service, and the dedicated and experienced Experimenter... interesting differing opinions!
So, Videoguy 326, just how high a quality Super 8 material are you talking about, on a scale of 1 to 10, from Basic Amateur through to Dedicated Professional?

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Re: Is an HD Super 8 transfer overkill?

Post by woods01 » Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:15 pm

For converting 4:3 shot Super-8 to 16:9 do you gentlemen think its worth the effort to make the correction at the time of transfer or to crop it in the editing stage? Will there be a significant difference in grain? Particularly if the 8mm was transferred at 1080?

I realize that its more practical to make the crop at the time of the transfer but since its not practical for myself as a client to supervise the transfer I'm partial to doing the crop myself. I've also been considering the idea of using the 1.66:1 widescreen ratio as a compromise to the increased grain.

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Re: Is an HD Super 8 transfer overkill?

Post by Andreas Wideroe » Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:23 pm

Super8 to HD is not overkill. Super8 neg film can technically hold up to around 3K resolution. While what's exposed on the film may not be 3K or maybe not even HD I think that if money is not an issue I would always go for the best resolution/transfer system available.

Currently the Millenium2 (that Pro8mm has) is the best machine around for Super8 (as far as I know). The Super8 gates available for Spirits only use half the sensors meaning the true resolution is only about 1K and then the images get upconverted to HD or 2K internally. FlashscanHDs deliver results worse than our FDL-60 (30 year old machine) with an HD upconverer acording to tests we've done. I've heard bad things about the image quality of the Memory machines from Debri. I'm very keen on seeing results from the Oxberry scanner Cineco has or the new Scanity if it ever gets Super8 support. I wish more of the scanner manufacturers would put some extra effort into developing smallformat support to their hires scanners. (Hello Arri and Filmlight).

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Re: Is an HD Super 8 transfer overkill?

Post by Uppsala BildTeknik » Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:33 pm

granfer wrote:The commercial Video Tranfsfer man promoting his Service...
Excuse me, but where have I promoted my service in this thread? I merely linked to testclips and showed that the price difference is not that big. That is hardly promoting anything, I haven´t even tried to get him to use our service.

granfer wrote:and the dedicated and experienced Experimenter... interesting differing opinions!
Actually not that different. And I am pretty sure Christoph keeps his HD files. If he didn´t think there is anything to gain from his HD files all he would keep are downscaled SD files to save space on his hard drives and to get shortet render times.

We will just have to wait and see if he has switched to SD or not. I think he still keeps his HD files for a reason (and the reason is that it is not overkill to transfer super 8 to HD). ;)

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