Re: [Videolib] Making a photo print from a film frame

Ben Achtenberg (
Wed, 19 Jan 2005 10:32:59 -0500

A couple of methods:

1) If using the project-and-photograph method suggested by others, be sure
that the projector you are using is capable of projecting a still frame
without burning the film -- not all are. Alternatively, it's possible to
photograph with the film running, but plan to have to take many exposures,
since you don't have much control over whether your camera shutter firing
matches shutter-open or shutter-closed on the projector. Project onto a
MATTE white surface -- not shiny (reflections) and not a beaded screen.
Position projector level with the center of the screen (avoid "keyhole"
images) and camera as close to the lens of the projector as possible. Do
all this in a dark or near-dark room. Obviously, how critical these things
are depends in part on what quality you want from the still.

2) A better method if your AV folks can do this (or many professional labs
can do it for you, at not TOO great expense) is to put the frame in an
enlarger and make an internegative -- I've typically requested 4X5's --
from which pretty good quality prints can be made. With a little care this
can be done without damaging the film.

3) I'm not sure about this one, because I haven't done it myself, but I
suspect that pro labs can probably do something comparable to #2 above, but
going direct to a digital format rather than internegative.

Good luck,

At 09:24 PM 1/18/05, you wrote:

>I had a question from the historical society archivist that I thought
>one of you might know the answer to... Preservation isn't my area.
>She has films of local events in the '30s and '40s.
>She'd like to print some of the frames as photographs. Just regular
>size photos, not the supersized ones you often see in museum displays.
>She said the film is 16mm, but I didn't see it to confirm. She said they
>tried using a scanner, but couldn't get a good enough resolution.
>Any ideas?
>Thanks in advance,
>Barb Bergman
>Media Services Librarian
>Minnesota State University-Mankato
>(507) 389-5945
>Videolib mailing list

Ben Achtenberg / Fanlight Productions
4196 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02131
(617) 469-4999 Fax: (617) 469-3379


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