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Details about  Retro-8 Frame by Frame High-Definition 8mm Film Scanner : Telecine Film Transfer

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Retro-8 Frame by Frame High-Definition 8mm Film Scanner : Telecine Film Transfer
Item Sold
Item condition:
New other (see details)
Mar 19, 2014 11:50:51 PDT
Winning bid:
US $2,659.66
4 bids ]
$100.00 Standard Shipping | See details
Item location:
Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States


eBay item number:
Seller assumes all responsibility for this listing.
Last updated on  Mar 15, 2014 12:57:28 PDT  View all revisions

Item specifics

New other (see details): A new, unused item with absolutely no signs of wear. The item may be missing the original packaging, ... Read moreabout the condition


Movie Film Format:

8mm, Super 8


Retro-8 HD Film Scanner

Country/Region of Manufacture:

United States

Retro-8 Frame by Frame High-Definition 8mm Film Scanner

Transfer all your old 8mm home movies to DVD using this Retro-8 Film Scanner that scans frame by frame in high definition. This 100% flicker-free Retro-8 film scanner is the first frame-by-frame continuous feed HD desktop movie scanner for private or professional use. This is the same exact equipment used by the Academy of Motion Picture Film Archives in Hollywood.

I purchased this scanner a few months ago to transfer my personal collection of 8mm films to Blu-Ray. I was extremely impressed with the simplicity of this unit and the results were absolutely breathtaking. Now that all my home movies have been preserved I no longer have any use for this scanner. The price includes the operating instructions, USB cable, film reel and ships with the current RetroScan-HD (PC) software which is now currently sold separately by the manufacturer at an additional cost of $161.00.

The shipping cost of this unit also includes shipping insurance. 

Link to Manufacturer's Video: http://vimeo.com/64685022

Description from the manufacturer:

“Small in size but big in performance, this high quality HD film scanner can handle both Standard 8mm and Super 8 film using a state-of-the-art sprocketless film gate that allows you to mix the two film types without worrying about sprocket hole damage. Manufactured in the USA, these are brand new units and are not modified old projectors.

Scan and watch your home movies on your PC using the codec-free RetroScan-HD software or you can export HD or SD .MOV video files that are iTunes compatible or for making BluRay or DVDs on your own Mac or PC edit system. You can even output codec-free, numbered image sequences that are 1000% archival. These numbered image sequences can be imported into any decent edit system now, or decades from now, to reconstitute your home movie file. You can also capture still frames using the "SnapShot" button on the RetroScan-HD viewing software. This unit does not transfer audio but you can run sound film through it. The Retro-8 unit scans both reversal and color negative to bring commercial grade scans within reach of the average person or small business owner. 

Set up is simple: No special capture card is required! Plug in the provided USB cable to your PC, load the RetroScan-HD software, and turn it on. Quiet operation and full automation means set it and forget it. Just load the Retro unit with your home movies, start the scanning process, and go do something else. The scanning process will stop automatically at the end of the roll or in the unlikely eve, of film jam or breakage. 

Unique, two-motor design with direct drive take up and rewind, combined with no sprockets, no advance claw, no capstan, no pinch roller, no belts, and no gears means virtually no maintenance. Nothing to lube, nothing to adjust. You don't even have to focus! All you have to do is dust it off and scan. Long life super bright LED produces zero hot spot, lasts thousands of hours and produces no heat on the gate or film. You can leave a frame in the gate with the LED on and it will never blister the film or lose focus. A manual exposure knob lets you adjust the light level for underexposed film and the RetroScan-HD software offers powerful RGB color and contrast correction to fist tune your capture. Precision bronze gate. polished machine smooth, handles film by edges for zero image area contact  Rubber o-rings on guide rollers also support film by the edges for maximum film safety. 

The Retro unit features SafeScan zero image area contact at the gate and rubber guide rollers that handle the film only by the edges for maximum film safety. Most film with shrinkage, broken sprocket holes or bad splices navigate the film path with ease. You can even use regular scotch tape to splice your films! Bad frames with covered sprocket holes or missing sprocket holes will be skipped automatically during transfer, making editing a breeze! On film with good sprocket holes, the units' Solid State Registration means a rock steady picture, generally accurate to within a pixel. The Retro units have a built-in, high resolution, machine-vision pick up that scans in full 24 bit (8:8: 8) using industry standard square pixel orientation. Original files are stored as 72Op and HD output fifes are 16:9, 720p or 1080p with black bars on the left and right of the film frame. The RetroScan-HD software also outputs both PAL and NTSC SD files with equal quality and is user selectable. Quality imaging and simplicity of use is why MovieStuff telecine units are number one, worldwide.”

Technical Info from the manufacturer:

Required Software: RetroScan-HD (included on disc)

Maximum Capacity of Included Reel: 400 feet

Transfer Speed: 50 feet of 8mm film will take about 30 minutes to scan. 

Connectivity: USB cable (included) 

System Requirements:

2.2 GHz or higher i3 or i5 (avoid i7 if possible) Intel PC. AMD processors will work but are not recomended, they are not optimized for image processing like Intel processors are. The RetroScan can be used with any 64 bit version of Windows 7 or Windows 8, this software will not work on a 32 bit system. You need a full 8 gigs of RAM and a fast internal drive for optimal performance of this unit. NOTE: We have a number of customers using this software on a Mac running Windows with no reported issues however we do not support the use of this product on a Mac. The files produced by this unit however are totally compatible with a Mac for editing and viewing. 

Hard Drive:  You want a modern, fast internal drive when dealing with HD. Solid state is ideal but not required. For those using laptops, you can record to your C drive with no problem. Do not record to an external drive. 

Power: This unit has a universal internal switching power supply that can run on 100-256 VAC at 50 or 60 cycles. No transformer is required for international use. 

Frequently Asked Questions from the manufacturer:

Are these units made from old projectors?
No. These units are made totally from scratch in our shop.

The Retro units are continuous feed. What does that mean?

Normal projectors have what is called an "intermittent film movement". This means that the film starts and stops for each frame of film. Starting and stopping requires an advance claw. The Retro units have no advance claw. Instead, the film moves through the unit continuously and never stops for each frame.

But if the film is moving all the time, does it still capture frame by frame?

Absolutely! We use a high speed camera shutter to "freeze" the movement of the film when the frame is in the correct place.

How good is the registration?

Perfect. The RetroScan-HD software analyzes each frame, locates the sprocket hole edge optically, then essentially cuts out the frame image area next to it and saves that as the captured image. Because of this, the registration is better than pin registration and accurate to within a pixel. 

Will the accuracy of the registration get worse as the unit is used heavily?

No. Because there is no advance claw to wear out and, because the registration is software based, the registration will be the same years from now as it is when new. 

How long does it take to scan my film?

The Retro units scan at about 2 frames per second. So 50 feet of S8/R8 or 100 feet of 9.5mm or 16mm will take about 30 minutes.

What happens if the unit reaches the end of the roll or the film jams or breaks?

The Retro units have an internal sensor that detects when the film jams, breaks or reaches the end of a reel. At that point, the unit will automatically stop. The RetroScan-HD software will also automatically stop its capture. If you check the appropriate box, the software will also shut down your PC when the capture is finished.

Do I need to clean my film or repair splices?
Well, your transfer will obviously look better if you do but, no, you do not need to do anything special to your film and bad splices will not hurt the unit.

How gentle is the unit on film? Will it scratch the image?

No. The Retro units employ SafeScan Zero Image Area Contact throughout the film path. You could run the same film over and over safely because the Retro units handle the film only by the edges.

My film has missing sprocket holes. Will I have to watch the unit to keep the film from jamming in the gate?
No. The Retro units have no advance claw and no sprockets. So the damaged sprocket holes will just slide through the system.

Will I have to edit out the sections of film with bad splices or bad sprocket holes?
Usually not. The RetroScan-HD software will most often detect and leave out bad frames like that to make editing easier.

Can I adjust the color and brightness during the transfer?
Yes. RetroScan-HD has powerful RGB color controls as well as a brightness/gamma adjustment. It will also let you adjust the framing up and down and even rotate the horizon line a bit to correct for unlevel frame lines or crooked titles (always a problem on home movies).

Does the Retro unit have auto exposure?
No. But what the unit does have is an extended range due to the fact that it captures in 24 bit (8:8:8) color space. Auto exposure can be easily fooled by high contrast scenes, which often results in normally exposed footage looking over exposed with loss of detail in the white areas. Once that detail is lost, there is no way to get it back in post. Setting a median exposure so that the whites are preserved allows the RetroScan-HD software to not be fooled by changes in brightness or contrast, such as going from a dark scene to a light scene, or by large areas of black that would fool an auto exposure system into needlessly increasing the exposure. To be clear, there is no unattended exposure system that will give you aesthetic results you will always agree with. If you are not going to monitor the exposure and let the system handle it for you, then there will be errors. But we have found the number of unrecoverable errors was greater with auto exposure than using an extended 24 bit capture system on a preset manual exposure.

Will the Retro-8 capture both Regular 8 and Super 8?
Yes. The Retro-8 handles both formats. 

Will the Retro units transfer the audio from my film?
No. The Retro units are silent only.

Is the RetroScan-HD software included with the Retro unit?
No. The RetroScan-HD software is a product of Alternaware and is sold separately. It is available only to MovieStuff customers with Retro units.

How do I purchase RetroScan-HD?
When your unit is shipped, you will receive a private purchase link for the software, which is $161 USD and is an instant download.

Do I have to buy a new version of RetroScan-HD as updates are released?
No. All updates are free via a private download link that is updated regularly.

Does the PC I'm capturing on have to be connected to the internet to install the RetroScan-HD software?

No. The software downloads first and then you manually initiate the installation from the downloaded file. So you can download on one Mac or PC and then copy the software to a flash card to move to another PC for installation. 

What are the system requirements?
You need a PC running any version of Windows 7 or Windows 8 with an AMD or Intel i3 or i5 processor 2.2 GHz or faster and 8 gigs of RAM. For full specs click HERE.

Do I need a special capture card for HD?
No. All you need is a USB port.

Can I use the RetroScan-HD software on a Mac?
Yes. We have a number of customers successfully running RetroScan-HD on Macs running Windows emulators such as Bootcamp or Parallels, etc. However, we are not a Mac shop so we would be of little help if you have issues but apparently it works fine.

Can I use other software to capture with instead of RetroScan-HD?
No. You must use the RetroScan-HD software or the Retro units will not transfer film.

What video codec does the RetroScan-HD software capture in?
None! We decided that video codecs are really a legacy of slow CPU speeds and narrow bandwidth (think of people trying to download videos on the internet with Windows 98 PCs). Instead of capturing to a video codec, the software captures to a proprietary progressive still frame format. Each frame of film ends up on an independent digital still frame in a special folder. Conventional wisdom says that you have to convert those images into a movie file before you can play them but that is not the case with RetroScan-HD. Taking advantage of the power inherent in a 64 bit PC with 8 gigs of RAM, the RetroScan-HD software can dip into that special folder and display the still images one after the other fast enough to create correct motion in the RetroScan-HD display utility. You can't open or play these original capture files in anything other than RetroScan-HD but you an export to other files types that are compatible with most all NLE systems.

What is the resolution of the original capture files?
The original capture files are stored as 720p HD. 

What types of files can I export from those RetroScan-HD capture files?
The RetroScan-HD software can export in PAL or NTSC as standard definition or high definition. High definition files can be native 720p or the RetroScan-HD software will upscale smoothly to 1080p. These files can be .MOV movies or they can be numbered image sequences as JPEG, PNG, BMP or TIF. All HD files are 16:9 aspect ratio with black pillar bars on the left and right sides of the screen. The only exception to this is Super-16, which has mild letter boxing at the top and bottom of the screen in a 16:9 frame.

Can I capture color negative?
Yes! The RetroScan-HD software has a preset for color negative and powerful color correction tools that make color neg transfers easy.

Please read the item description carefully and make sure this unit is completely compatible with your computer before bidding. Returns cannot be accepted for this item. 

Unfortunately if I accepted returns on this scanner then a buyer could potentially transfer all their home movies and then later decide to return the unit for a refund when they are finished. 

Thanks for looking and best of luck bidding!

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