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Preserving Vintage Films: A Gentle Approach to Film Transfer and Restoration

Preserving Vintage Films: A Gentle Approach to Film Transfer and Restoration.


As old 8mm and 16mm film ages, the film can shrink, deteriorate and breakdown in condition. As little as a 1% shrinkage of the film can be enough to cause issues with a conventional projector. “Vinegar syndrome” affects film that was improperly stored and can be as mild as an unpleasant vinegar smell or as bad as brittle, fused, curling film that can render the film impossible to view on a standard projector.Our film transfer machine does not carry the film by the sprocket holes with teeth like a traditional projector but rather uses light sensors that detect the sprocket holes to regulate speed and detect frames for exporting which is much gentler on film that might be more prone to breaking. The film is carried along the chain by tension over rollers that only handle the edges the film causing no friction on the picture of the film. Even if the film is in great condition, there will be no risk of damage to the picture by only touching the outer edges. Film that may be brittle or that contains old splices prone to breaking can be transferred at a slower speed to reduce the amount of pressure that would cause those problems; the proper playback speed can be adjusted digitally when exporting the captured files.

Film Reels

Film that has deteriorated may not result the best picture quality scan due to the physical condition but we are able to preserve films that may otherwise be impossible in other equipment. These old films are irreplaceable and we try our best to preserve any film that not deteriorated past the point of our ability to work with it.

- Victory Studios

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