How to Prepare to Convert 8mm Film to Digital

Convert 8mm Film to Digital

Cleaning and conditioning film prior to transfer is a critical piece of the puzzle when seeking to convert 8mm film to digital. Several factors can lead to quality issues with 8mm film so it is important to follow some steps to safely prepare the film.

Film Damages

Some damage to film will happen over time naturally due to deterioration. Inspecting film prior to transfer can help identify any problems with film before a professional service looks at the film. A trained eye can notice any issues by loading the film into a projector and seeing how it plays. Film left for long periods of time in humid environments such as coastal or tropical regions tend to develop mold or mildew which can collect on the outer edges of film and affect how a professional is able to convert 8mm film to digital.

Dealing with Mold

Mold growth is fixable if it isolated to the outer edges of the film. With thorough cleaning, the progress of mold growth may be stopped before it gets to the emulsion. Chemicals can help get rid of the microorganisms but it may erase images itself. A non-abrasive silicone cleaning cloth is best used to remove dirt, dust and mold prior to having a professional work on the film.

Shrinking

Shrinkage can and must be measured prior to having a local service work to convert 8mm film to digital format. Approximately a 0.8% to 1% shrinkage carries possibility film will be further damaged if loaded into a projector. A 2% shrinkage usually renders transfer impossible even in the best labs. To measure shrinkage, a Shrinkage Gauge may be used but it can be done manually.

It is usually best if you are not sure how best to handle your film to contact a professional film transfer service who can speak with you about how to prepare film for transfer or assist you with the process. A professional service can help convert 8mm film to digital quickly and efficiently while preserving your cherished memories.

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