Printing 8mm positives
A friend of mine asked me if i can make prints from her parents wedding film from the 60's. The film is regular 8mm movie film which is a positive film. I have only printed from negatives and cant seem to find info on this process. This is very important to her since her mother passed away when she was 6 years and there are only a few photos of her. I have scanned the film before with my film scanner but dont want to go the digi route and print them, I want them to be printed the analog way. If i printer them would they produce a negative on the paper?
Is this color film or B&W?
If B&W, you can either make an internegative, i.e. print onto negative film and then print normally from that. Or you can print directly onto paper and reversal process it.
If color, you pretty much have to make an internegative. The only direct positive process is Ilfochrome, which is expensive and definitely overkill for printing from 8mm positives.
In either case, don't expect great results. The image area on 8mm film is tiny: about 1/32 of that of 35mm film. You will get quite visible grain, even on prints of moderate size. Furthermore, individual frames of movie film often show motion blur which is not objectionable when viewing the movie, but can be an issue here. The perceived amount of detail in the picture is much greater when the frames are shown in rapid succession, as intended, than when you pick out one still.
I think Kodak made a similar gadget. Testrite is not high quality equipment as a rule.
Movie film for projection usually has quite a high density range, and 8mm is going to be tough to contrast mask unless you have very precise registration equipment, so I'd try making an interneg, probably in 35mm or medium format. You might have to experiment to find a good film, but I'd start with Ektar 100 and Portra 160NC, presuming the original is color. TMX or FP4+ for B&W.
There are a few copy methods, and much depends on the quality of the lens with something that small. I'd recommend something like a Canon FD 20mm or 35mm Macrophoto, similar Zeiss Luminar, Leitz Photar, or Olympus micro lens. These are lenses that use RMS thread and have an adapter to attach them to a bellows on the camera. Canon had a movie film copy stage that was designed for use with the FD 20mm Macrophoto to copy Super 8 to 35mm, but one doesn't see for sale it very often.
You will also need to filter the light source to match the film for color, and this could take some experimentation, but with an interneg, you've got a little wiggle room to filter when you print as long as the neg is pretty close.
Freestyle sells a direct-developing reversal paper for use with pinhole cameras, IIRC. Might that not be a solution?
Thank you everyone for all your advice! The film is b&w. I will do some reading on the process and will also check Freestyle for the paper Anscojohn has mentioned. Thanks again everyone!!!
As already suggested, an interneg would be one way to go - Adox do a print film (a paper emulsion on a clear film base) in a range of sizes (5x4, 10x8, 12x9.5). Enlarge on to this type of film, then contact print the resulting image, you could even try an alt. process for the final print.
I'm so glad to have seen this thread. I would like to try something similar. My parents recently converted their wedding film to DVD so I should be able to experiment freely with the film. I think I would opt for the reversal paper, was thinking that might give somewhat better quality than an interneg but maybe I'm wrong. The thing that I'm wondering...how in the world to keep 200 feet of film under control when trying to print??
This is probably a stupid question, but I'm completely unfamiliar with 8mm. Are the frames numbered? I think the 200 feet would get even crazier if I can't find the frames by number!
If its regular 8 then the rolls were usually 25 ft (unless shot with a Bolex), so a 200 ft roll has been spliced together. I'd physically cut the scene out and re-splice it back in after making the prints. The scenes probably won't be too long as the usual spring didn't run that long.
Originally Posted by naugastyle
If its super 8 then you might try to set up a 'moviola' on the edge of the baseboard and run the film up to the enlarger head from one side and then back down to the other reel. Assuming you are just doing 4x5 or so prints.
What about making internegatives from color super8? What filtration and exposure could work well with 1998 expired medium format Fuji 160NS? Should it be pulled 30" or less?