Polavision (Polaroid) Home Movie Film Transfer
We transfer Polavision film cartridges. This format requires us to remove the Super 8 film from its cartridge, strip off the instamatic perforation edge enforcements, leader and wind the film onto a motion picture film reel so it can be digitized using a 2K motion picture film scanner. Project turn-time for Polavision digitizing is 5-6 weeks.
What is Polavision?
Polavision is instant motion film sealed in a proprietary playback cartridge. The concept was to give the user the ability to shoot film and then play it back instantly using Polaroid's Polavision desktop viewer. Here is a television ad for the product:
Expectations for Polavision Transfer:
Polavision film tends to be dark with crystallized emulsion. This was a film format that was very substandard and somewhat experimental. The film was not designed for longevity like other Regular and Super 8 formats. Unlike permanent safety type films, Polavision used an RGB Instamatic color striping process which can be seen once the film has been scanned. Also, because of the emulsion formulation, permanent crystals as well as fungus grow in the film surface. We use an Alcohol based WET scan process to help minimize the negative effect of these flaws whenever possible.
Here is a actual customer sample of our Super 8 film transfer results. This film clip is a typical example of slightly distressed film. There are some light scratches and emulsion anomalies, but otherwise it's in pretty good shape. The colors are still vibrant and the emulsion has remained fairly clear and sharp.
Here are examples of a poor quality transfer (left) and a high-quality transfer from The Transfer Lab (right). The poor quality transfer remains badly discolored without the proper color correction and image enhancement. There is also considerable frame flicker due to frame rate mismatch between the scanning camera and the speed/frame rate of the film. Notice the right example converted here at The Transfer Lab. We have adjusted the frame rate to prevent flicker/strobe effects, color corrected the discolored film, and enhanced the image focus and sharpness in our video lab. As you'll see the difference is obvious and dramatic.
8mm, Super 8, Super 8 with Sound
*Note: Our film transfer systems digitize your footage without flicker. However, it is possible on print film formulations that your film may have some flicker do to synchronization errors made by the film processing lab. We will do our best to minimize "print sync flicker", but it cannot be removed. Kodachrome transparency film will not have this problem.
A WORD ABOUT 3" REELS: You'll notice that a 3" reel has 50 feet of film. So, why does your film box read 25 feet? It's simple... Before the film is processed it is twice as wide (16mm). When the film is first used in the camera for shooting movies, it runs in one direction for 25 feet and stops. Then it is run on the other side for 25 feet. The processing lab than slits the tape in half (long ways) and bonds the two together after processing to create a finished 50 foot developed roll.