telecine video basics
Why this page?
The films that have been processed by the lab are often used in video clips,
video films or television programs. That is a positive thing. What I notice is
that the quality of the video is much more worse than the original super8 footage.
That's logical in a way, but this is mainly caused by bad transfers. To understand
how companies scan your super8 to video I made this short introduction. I am
not a video man myself, so if you read this, and find there's something wrong
let me know.My general advise would be that you ask the transfer company how they work before you send your work there. You will be surprised how many different qualities you'll get for the same amount of money. It's always good to know the different systems. There are three
main groups that I would use to define all systems. Within the groups are different levels possible.
on the wall
The first systems works as follows. You project a film just straight on a wall.
Then record this with a video camera. It is often used by small photographic
shops 'around the corner' and amateurs. If you work very precise, the quality is not bad, but
also not very good. There are still a lot of problems to solve like image steadiness, no hotspot, sharpness, color correction for each scene and so on.
In the same category [with better results] you'll find the so called 'telescreen system'. The lab does rent a 'copy screen' for do-it-yourself work. I have used it myself and thought it was very nice if you want to spend as less money as possible but need an average quality. You could give results to friends for a fast screening of your work for example, and then decide what material is good enough for further professional scanning. There's only a very small hot-spot if you're not careful and at least you can record your full s8 frame.
two uses a semi-professional super8 film projector which projects directly on a 3CCD camera. This
is very good, and projectors were sold by Wittner Kinotechnik Germany. They did cost about Euro 7500,00 excluding other recording equipment like DVD, miniDV or VHS recorders. The
advantage of this system is good color reproduction, no 'hotspot' and sharp
images all over the screen. But still you have the trouble that the image stability might not be perfect because this system still works with a normal projector transport system which is somehow unstable itself. At the end good quality for a good price.
best quality can be achieved by these kind of machines, see the image on the left.
They are made by Philips or Cintel for example. The price of these machines are very high, so approximately Euro 300.000,00 or more. Besides this you'll need many professional recorders for
D1, D2, D5, D5-HD, HDCAM, DVC ProHD, Betacam, DigiBeta
and others we know :-)
Original it is a 16mm and 35mm scanner but it can be used for super8 if
they use a special 'super8 gate'. This machine can do a lot of color and exposure corrections.
There is no transport mechanism like the projector above. So the stability of the image is perfect. It's 3CCD chip is
more advanced. Because it is used for 35mm, the companies have a lot of
extra color correction equipment available. Famous color corrector equipment is called Pandora's Pogle or Davinci 888. Working with these machines demands much more that starting and pushing the buttons. People that operate these moneymakers are professional qualified 'color grader' That is a specialist job on it's own! If you want the best try to
find a company that uses these machines, and also bring a lot of money!
One hour of time cost around Euro 300,00.....
This page is not
finished. Finally I just want to tell you that you should be aware what kind of quality you get for what money. So always ask what they do with your film, it there's 1 scratch on it, you can't get rid of it! If you have interesting information send it to the lab. This page
is just a quick guide. Frank Bruinsma last update in March 2005.