Q. Over the years I've collected a lot of 8mm and super 8 movie film. But last year I purchased a video camera. I have some family film footage that I'd like to save by transferring it to video tape. Is it practical?
A. Yes, it's practical. There are several outfits that do this sort of work. Video stores handle this in our area, under the trade name "Memories Made Easy." Shop around; prices vary at individual stores.
Here's a general rundown on price and process:
* Thirty minutes of tape costs around $41, including the tape. This also includes some titling. A full hour is about $65, and 75 minutes is $75.
* Approximately eight 50-foot reels of 8mm film or nine reels of Super 8 can be transferred onto 30 minutes of video tape.
* Film can be copied onto either Beta or VHS format.
* Quality loss is held to a minimum, and, in fact, quality can in many cases be enhanced. Color from not too badly faded film can be bolstered. Even sharpness can be added.
And if you want to go to the extreme, some companies will even do computer enhancement, but that is many times more expensive.
* One other thing: Stills can also be transfered to tape. What a great way to preserve some special show or set of slides. EASING INTO PRINT
Q. I've just finished sorting and filing hundreds of my slides. There are several shots that I'd like to have color enlargements for the wall of my den.
How can I have this done commercially without it costing an arm and a leg? Also, how can I know these will turn out fairly well before I make a huge investment?
A. Congratulations! Now that the sorting's over, the rest is easy. Prints from slides are very successful. The state of the art has advanced dramatically in the past five years.
I suggest that you take a representative group and have what Eastman Kodak calls 3R prints made. The cost is only about a dollar per print, and the prints will be about 3x5 inches -- big enough to see what will happen if you go to the next size. By the way: Costs for blow-ups are less than you'd think. A 5x7 is about $2.50, and an 8x10 is only about $5. POND PHOTOS -- If photography is your hobby, sign up for the "Waters Edge 85" Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens photography contest.
Entered photos must have been taken at the Aquatic Gardens/Park during regular visitors' hours and in park areas open to the public.
Prizes will be awarded for "Best in Show" and for first and second in each of the following categories: Recreation, Plant Life, Wildlife and Scenics. Participants are limited to two pictures in each category, accompanied by an official entry form.
Entries must be received by 3:30 p.m. August 3 at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens Interpretive Center, 1500 Anacostia Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20019. For additional information, call 426-6905.