Wolverine 8mm & Super 8 Reels to Digital MovieMaker Pro Film Digitizer, Film Scanner, 8mm Film Scanner, Black (MM100PRO)
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- A fully automated apparatus to digitize 8 and Super 8 movie Reels (no sound and no split 16mm). Frame-by-Frame digitizing for high-quality digital conversion.
- Stand-alone machine, no computer, no software or Drivers are required. Scans and directly saves digital movies into SD/SDHC cards (32GB max, not included)
- Converts 8 and Super 8 movies into 1080P mjpeg-4 (MP4) digital video files.
- Compatible with all windows, Mac and Linux operating systems.
- Playback direct to tv's using the included TV cable.
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Fully Automated Digitizer to Convert Old 8mm and Super 8 Movie Reels Into Digital Videos. Support up to 9" reels and 1080P Your old reel-to-reel 8mm and Super 8 films are degrading. Worse, the memories are fading and the film is becoming more brittle just sitting in the box. Convert your Film into digital now before the memories are lost forever! Introducing the Wolverine Reels2Digital Moviemaker-Pro. A very simple to use device that will convert your movie reels into digital movies (no sound) with few strokes. Works like a typical projector where you mount up to 9 inch reel, insert a memory card, press few buttons and the apparatus will pull the film and scan frame-by-frame to create a digital MP4 movie file that you can play on any computer, you can edit, upload to the internet or burn to DVD's. The Wolverine Reels2Digital Moviemaker-Pro pays for itself taking into consideration that photo Labs are charging more than a dollar to digitize a single foot of film!
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On the positive side:
- It is a practical and reasonably economical way of preserving precious old movies without having to send them away to an outside agency and thereby run the risk of them being lost or damaged and perhaps gone for ever.
- The overall brightness, contrast and coloration are all good, and the results are perfectly watchable.
- Appears to be designed to be quite gentle with film stock and no damage has been caused to any films so far.
On the not so positive side, some relatively minor things:
- The take-up spool is quite close to the body of the machine, and especially with larger spools, is inclined to rub on the body of the machine.
- Frame alignment using the menu seems to be a bit hit and miss, but I suspect that this will improve with practise.
- Spliced joints are inclined to stick in the gate, so I was not confident of leaving it unattended while a film was running through, although as mentioned above no film damage has been caused.
Overall a worthwhile investment if you have a large number of old movies to be preserved in digital form.
A worthwhile purchase which puts you in charge of the end product - the first effort often needs a little tweaking but of course at extra charge you can aim for perfection. Thanks Wolverine
Top international reviews
Bottom line it works very well and does what is needed.
No warranty available if you live outside the United States, which is unfortunate.
Well made, does a terrific job revamping my old films, nothing comes close.
Great job guys, very nice piece of equipment.
Le cadrage ne peut pas être ajusté en cours de scan, ce qui est gênant car il a tendance à se dérégler en cours de scan...
• My biggest issue is with the film bogging down in the gate. There is tremendous drag of the film in the gate due to the pressure plate around the film-advance pawl. This pressure plate is made of steel but should be made of low-friction delrin or nylon, or even a space gate with slight drag applied ahead of the gate from the supply side. The pawl is not always strong enough to pull the film, leaving images that are jerky or vertically displaced. This problem can occur right in the middle of a scene, not necessarily at a splice.
• The $185 more expensive Wolverine Pro model is shown on the Amazon site, and on the product’s user manual, with 400’ reels. Why is the device shipped with only a 200’ take-up reel? What were we supposed to do, let the remaining 200’ of film spill onto the floor?
• The “rollers” that define the film path, are actually rigid plastic posts that the film drags across, alternately on the base and the EMULSION!. At a minimum, these posts should be grooved so that only the edges of the film drag on the posts. Better yet, the posts could be made of a low friction delrin or nylon, and even better would be grooved sleeves that rotate on shoulder bolts. Wolverine used fake rollers that looked good in the ad photo but are guaranteed to scratch the film. This is deceptive advertising and very poor engineering!
• Under your Specificatins, you show the frame rate being “20 frames”. This would gives the impresion that film is scanned film at 20 frames per second, when actually it is 2-3 fps. It’s the playback speed that is 20 fps. Please clarify that in your ad and user manual.
• Why did you choose a non-standard 20 fps playback speed? No 8mm camera used a frame rate of 20 fps. Regular 8 cameras shot at 16 fps. Super 8 cameras shot at 18 or 24 fps. Could you not make the film play-back speed at the most common frame rate of the most prevelant format, Super 8, which is 18 fps?
• The User Manual, p. 10, states the dimensions 10X larger than the actual size (ex.: 120 in. long (10 ft. long). Just a typo, but please correct it.
• The digitizer should not be left unattended when scanning film. Sometimes the film bogs down in the middle of a scene, due to the film-advancing pawl not being able to overcome the friction of the metal pressure plate in the film gate;
• It would be helpful to have the film-reel stems extend to the back side of the arm and housing so there is something to hold onto to prevent rotation of the stem while attaching the reel and trying to align the blade on the stem to a groove in the reel.
• The scanner light is somewhat blinding. It would be helpful to have a light that shines down on the film gate so we could see that the film is properly inserted under the two white tabs;
• the film reels should be spaced farther out from the face of the device, to prevent warped reels from dragging on the device. That would also help prevent the film dragging on the frame of the LCD when rewinding.
• The motor on the take-up reel should be stronger. Sometimes the reel will not pull the slack film out of the gate, especially near the end of a 400’ reel. Wolverine charges $185 more for the Pro version that handles 400’ reels so they can afford to make the take-up motor strong enough to handle the 400’ reel. That same motor needs to be stronger to handle the rewind, which currently is s-l-o-w!
• This may not be important but the rewind procedure puts the film back on the original reel with a reverse wrap.
• It would be helpful if the supply reel had some slight back drag so that the film would not open up and expand outside the reel. This would be especially helpful if scanning for the second time because that film has a reverse wrap and wants to open up. My crude solutioin was to place a light brochure on the device and let it rest lightly on, and drag on, the top of the supply reel.
• Sometimes the image is jumpy and quite blue. With all the choices for LED’s, Wolverine could have chosen an LED with a more natural, warmer color. For comparison, I had a reel of Super 8 scanned by a commercial service, not doing frame-by-frame scanning, but conventional projection at 18 fps where the color came out much more naturally, and with no vertical jitter.
Other than that, I like it.
premiers essais catastrophiques ! qualité d'image très médiocre et d'avance pas avec de grosses bobines.
I purchased a similar product for $100 less, that only took 5" reels, and after only digitizing six 3" reels, it bellied up. This Wolverine unit offered same day delivery, so I was elated because I had rented a hand rewind and was under a deadline.
I've digitized 63 8mm reels ranging from 3" to 7" so far of 50-year-old film. Here is the process I would recommend:
- Rent or buy a hand crank rewind. It is necessary to initially clean the film before digitizing and is a faster method of rewinding the film.
- Use a product called Film Renew with lint-free cotton cleaning pads (a cut-up t-shirt into 3"x3" squares will work too--professional pads are really expensive), to clean the film before processing. Film Renew is a solvent, so don't breath too much! lol It does a good job of cleaning, as well as conditioning the film. The downside is that it also dissolves adhesive, so any tape splices you may have, especially if they're older, will fail, either during the cleaning or in the machine when digitizing.
- For failed spices, I used scotch tape and made it work. If I had to do it over again, I would have purchased a splice box to ensure the sprocket holes aligned properly (this will ensure the film doesn't hang up when digitizing), and either pre-made spice tape, or film glue. The film glue might work better as the tape splice sometimes hangs up due to a slight increase in the width of the film at the splice since I wrap the tape around the non-sprocket-hole end. My film had a few glued spices, and they never failed.
- I made one pass with the Film Renew, and then a rewind pass with a clean, dry pad to remove excess solvent, which actually cleaned the film both ways. I folded the 3" pads down to a quarter square and then soaked it almost to the point of dripping with Film Renew before folding it around the film to clean. I would continually check the pad, maybe every 10ft. to see if it was getting dirty, then used a clean fold to continue. I noticed that not only dirt and grime came off the film, but sometimes color too, as I'm guessing oxidation occurred. This will, of course, affect the brightness of colors with the finished product, but I'm figuring I can enhance the color in Premiere when I get to post production--and I'd much rather have it clean to get the best image I can up front.
- After letting the film sit out and "breath" (either a few hours, or maybe overnight would be better) so the remaining fumes dissipated, I loaded the film to the digitizer. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT: You must use the Frame Adjust feature to properly align each reel. I noticed what was aligned to and what I ended up with was a few stops off. In other words, for my unit, the alignment was a little high and to the right. What I would suggest is to align it, digitize for 5 or 10 seconds, then look at what was digitized. If the alignment is off, you can easily make the necessary adjustments before digitizing the entire reel, and if you still need that test clip, you can add it in post, or pull the film back and re-digitize.
- The other custom settings I used were EXPOSURE: -.5 to -1, SHARPNESS: High
- Most failed spices continued to digitize, and if I wasn't paying attention, a big pile of film ended up on the floor! No worries though; I fixed the splice on the fly making sure a twist hadn't happened in the film, then with the machine still running, put the take-up reel back on which wound the film up nicely.
- ALSO VERY IMPORTANT, AND TOOK ME A WHILE TO FIGURE OUT: I started noticing on some of the digitized clips, a brown spot appeared, like someone had put their fingerprint on the lens. Thinking this was something I had done, with much effort, I cleaned the digitizer camera lens with Windex and a modified Q-tip. I then thought maybe it was on the original film, but no. I finally figured out that the film was rubbing off on the illumination plate. Don't know if it was due to the film not being totally dry or what, but I got in the habit of not only cleaning the digitizing tray with compressed air, but also with Windex and a Q-tip, especially the light plate. That fixed it!
- The first competitor unit I'd purchased made binding noises, and I saw a post about adding lubricant which worked well until it died. So I decided to add a little WD-40 gel to the sprocket opening of this unit as well. It purrs like a kitten, HOWEVER, when I added a little more, I started experiencing the same problems with the new unit--namely when it turned on, it would just start running the film without recording. Apparently, there are some electronic connections that can get screwed up if you add too much lubricant, so be careful!
I know we can all get "lemons" at times, but I'm really happy with my unit, and it is performing as advertised. It is MUCH cheaper than paying someone else to do it and the quality is very good (I know there's another post where the purchaser thought it wasn't very good quality, but if you look closely, the image he provides shows it's due to the original footage, not the performance of the machine. I would suggest getting a progam plug-in like Neat Video to clean up any graininess, film scratches, etc.).
One note on the counter--the product is warranted for 1 year or 200 reels digitized. The counter counts how many times the process is started, NOT how many reels are digitized. I've done 63 reels, BUT the counter says 162 because of all the stops and starts. This was mainly due to failed spices. If you plan on starting the unit and walking away for the up to 3 or 4 hours it takes to digitize a 7" reel, unless you want to come back to a pile of film on the floor, or only 25% of your reel getting digitized before it hung up, then FIX ALL THE SPLICES BEFORE YOU START.
UNEXPECTED, PLEASANT SURPRISES: At the end of the reel, the unit will eventually stop on its own, I guess it has a sensor that when the frame doesn't change, it will stop, HOWEVER, I've also noticed that if the film is very dark or too light, it will trip the sensor too. No worries, you just have to start it back up again. Also, when your SD card gets full, the unit will stop automatically.
One last bit of advice: The film will drift slightly over time, but not by much. If you don't want to see frame lines come into view, I would suggest on the Frame Adjust feature, moving the W function (zooms in or out) to zoom in 1 or 2 more stops--it cuts a little bit of the picture, but it gives the frame a little wiggle room too. Another nice feature is that you can zoom out all the way and digitize the entire frame with sprocket holes, which is a cool effect. What you could also do in post is use a black framed matte to ensure you're seeing as much of the frame as possible.
Good luck! One thing I learned is that taking pictures of people really is the only thing that holds up over time. I have a pile of footage on scenery and landscape that were taken by my father and grandfather, and with the exception of seeing downtown Las Vegas back in the day, or a brief clip of a house I used to live in as a boy, the real value is seeing friends and family in their moments in time (especially those who are no longer with us--but remember, Jesus, the ONLY savior of all, promises to those that confess/admit their sins and believe and have put their trust in him for their salvation, that we will see fellow believers again in heaven! Read his God-breathed love letter to you (the Bible) to find out more.) Oceans of blessings to you.
The other issues were the lack of fine-tuning adjustments while the transfer was in progress. If the framing becomes problematic, you can’t fix it (or anything else) on the fly. So exposure compensation can only be done at the beginning of a transfer and not while it is happening. This is frustrating.
This unit takes a long time to transfer films; about 20 minutes for a 50-foot reel. You will have to “babysit” transfers, especially larger reels, which can take three or four hours or more.
I returned this product because at this price point, I should have more control over the quality of the transfers as they were going through. These suggestions would make this a super product for those who have loads of 8mm or Super 8mm film hanging around. Of your films are perfect, this will probably do well for you. But my reels were large with multiple rolls spliced together that were shot under varying conditions, and the results were only adequate. Not good enough for a $449 purchase.