8mm Film transfer to Video using a Canon 5d

Vimeo user James Miller demonstrates a technique of directly projecting 8mm film into the sensor of a Canon 5d MkII for converting those old celluloid prints.

The Projector – 8mm Direct to 5Dmk2 from James Miller on Vimeo.

From the Vimeo Description:
This is my method for transferring 8mm footage using the Canon 5Dmk2 in real time. The results are very good for such a fast method if you cannot afford the money or time for frame scanning.

00:42 – It very important to use a flat type LED’s not the dome shaped ones. The dome shape LED’s will give you lots of blooming and the focus will drift at the edges making you suspect the lens.

00:58 – I drilled 3 holes in the body of the projector for the LED flexible light strip, behind where the original bulb used to sit. I mask out light I don’t want projected with putty. The position of the lights helps mask out some of the scratches. I need to add another couple of (horizontal) lights either side of the centre light.

01:29 – I modified the original projector lens to try and achieve a flat field image. Made from the rear element from a Carl Zeiss Flektogon 35mm and attached to the original lens tube with a bit a tape no less. You could use standard lens and there are some very nice ones out there.

03:08 – Utilising the body from the old 35mm lens, it proved a good way in shielding the projector from light pollution, I also added a 12mm extension tube. A lens cloth draped over the front further seals the light from entering, of course you could just film in very low light.

00:12 – I put 2 drive belts on the motor, this slowed the motor down just enough to reduce the shutter flicker. The Canon 5Dmk2 was set to 24p and 1/50 for our electrical phase.

ISO ranged from base up to 1000, depending on exposure of original film. The footage is fine at ISO 1000 but this could be reduced by using a more powerful flat lens LED.

03:30 – Focus and frame size changed by moving the projector or camera and adjusting the screw type lens. Try and focus on the film grain and not the scratches.

00:37 – I removed the internal mask for 8mm & S8mm aspects at the gate to project an unrestricted image into the camera. You gain areas that are hidden but they have the perfs though them and you see the top and bottom of the next and previous frame, but you can re-mask in post. If it’s personal footage you want to see everything on the frame, some times it makes the difference.

You can use the crop sensor DSLR’s but the lens would need changing or modifying unless you wanted a cropped image. On this lens and projector I can not bring the camera near enough without fouling on the body of the camera or projector body to get a full image captured.

I have tried to make this project as accessible as possible and apart from the camera, all the items are fairly cheap to pick up.

Projector used: Eumig Mark 501, I also use the Eumig 610D & the Eumig Mark DL
Camera: Canon 5Dmk2

Ref LED:

Here are links to a couple of films transferred using this exact setup:

Three from James Miller on Vimeo.

Sisters from James Miller on Vimeo.

Interview with Julien Nitzberg: “It’s like Scorcese directing Hee-Haw”

Richard Metzger interviews Julien Nitzberg, director of the amazing documentary film, “The Wild Whites of West Virginia.” Shot over the course of eighteen months, the film follows the often comical, sometimes tragic antics of the hell-raising hillbilly White family of Boone County, WV. Surely the state’s most notorious clan since the days of the Hatfields and the McCoys, the Whites engage in a mind-blowing array of anti-social and criminal activities with barely concealed glee.

Produced by “Jackass” maestros Johnny Knoxville and Jeff Tremaine through their Dickhouse production company and MTV Films, “The Wild Whites of West Virginia” takes no prisoners and it doesn’t tell you what to think about the Whites. Local law enforcement hate them, but for the most part—barring a several day armed seige one younger White puts them through—but tend to want to stay out of their insane shenanigans.

13 Examples of Why DVD Bootleggers are More Honest than Hollywood Studios

We have all seen those glowing reviews of crap movies by “critics” you never heard of, whose name is in such small print their legal department must have created the font. These shinning examples of bad bootleg DVDs shows sometimes you need to step outside the law to get a little honesty in movie marketing.

They where created by non-English speaking bootleggers getting quotes off the interwebs not realizing many are horribly negative then pastes the quotes on the package heedless of the content.

You can find these and other Crappy Bootleg DVD Covers in their Flickr pool.

“Not as good as the first one, but OK”

“…to be endured rather than enjoyed…”

“A really bad soap opera… “

“…irritating and toothless…”

“…terrible movie…”

“Dated and only intermittently funny.”

“…trying too hard to make the film work.”

“It’s just innocuous.”

“A piece of fectly Purement”

“…pretentious, confusing, dull and shocking…”

“…Good but not great”

“…the inexperience shows.”

“…Too self-absorbed…”

How to Make Breakaway Glass

In this video The Slanted Lens will show you how to make Candy glass and then introduce you to premier Hollywood products made by Alfonso’s Breakaway Glass.


  • 2 cups of Distilled water.
  • 1 cup of light corn syrup.
  • 3 1/2 cups of Sugar.
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tarter.
  1. Add all ingredients into the metal cooking pot.
  2. Bring mixture to boil stirring it constantly.
  3. Let it continue boiling on high until it reaches 300 degrees.
  4. This will take about 45 minutes.
  5. Spray the cookie sheet with the spray cooking oil.
  6. Pour the mixture onto the cookie sheet and let cool for at least 1 hour.
  7. Your glass is finished. Because of the spray oil it will fall right out of the cookie sheet

Steven Spielberg: “I need a monkey”

In this 1983 thank you note  Steven Spielberg writes  to  the editor of Famous Monsters of Filmland, Forrest Ackerman.  He mentions the “insane” casting process on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom while recalling the simpler days of film school.

Transcript below.

VIA: Letters of Note

Image via Heritage Auctions


Dear Forry,

Thank you for your kind and very amusing note the other day.

Things are going very well over here in Burbank — the next RAIDERS movie is in full prep. and casting is insane — I need a monkey, a great kid and hundreds of fruit bats!!

And they said filmmaking was easy in college!!

Please start another movie mag. I grew up with you – now I want to grow old with you!

Best of everything,

(Signed, ‘Steven’)


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