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How we achieved full aperture 8mm in High Definition

At CinePost we are always experimenting with new techniques that enable us to provide what our clients ask for. Many times we push our machines to the limit and tread in uncharted territory.

Recently we had a client who wanted to see if we would be able to scan all the way to the very edge of the 8mm frame, including sprocket holes. In many cases there is no picture in the first place, but some cameras did in fact expose this area which is normally not visible. For purists and those involved with archival restoration this process is of great interest. Being able to do a full aperture scan of 8mm reveals a significant portion of the image which would normally be lost. In the example footage you can see the school children on the left side of the frame that would be cut off if we were only showing the centered 4:3 area of the frame.

Using the Rank Cintel Turbo we zoom out and frame the image to 16:9 and then capture in high definition as ProRes 422 HQ (1920 x 1080). The resulting exposed frame shows the entire viewable area of what was shot on the original film, and it fits perfectly into the 16:9 frame. If there had been a way advance the film through the camera without sprocket holes then consumers would have been shooting 16:9 on 8mm film. From an archival standpoint, transferring 8mm film full aperture has to be considered a viable option.

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