Welcome to our online film and video equipment museum. This page is dedicated to regular 8, Super 8 and 16mm film equipment.8mm Film – The two types
Film Reels and Sizes
8mm Film Cameras
Super 8 Film Cameras
8mm Film Viewers and editors
8mm Film Splicers
8mm Film Projectors
8mm Film Package Inserts
16mm Film Projectors
Click here to go to our Photographic Equipment page
Click here to go to our Video Equipment page
If you are looking to purchase Super 8mm film, film supplies such as film leader and film splicing tape or film reels, click here to go to our film supplies page
In the interest’s of preserving old and forgotten formats we are publishing pictures and information from our collection of old gear, some of which still works.
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Watch this space as we continue to add to our collection. If you would like to submit additional information or pictures of similar models, please contact us.
There where two types of 8mm film. The first was 8mm or more commonly referred to as Regular 8 or Standard 8. This film type had larger sprocket holes resulting in a smaller image area. In later years Super 8 was developed, this film had smaller sprocket holes allowing for a slightly larger picture area. Super 8 also had the option for sound, only where a magnetic track or strip was added down the length of the film. Not many cameras and projectors supported the Super 8 format with audio.
The difference between the two formats is clear when comparing the film compartments.
Above is the film compartment (internal) from a typical Regular 8mm camera.
Above is a typical internal picture of a Super 8 camera film compartment.
Pictured below are close up’s of the two types, Regular 8 on the left and Super 8 on the right. Large sprocket holes for Regular 8 and small sprocket holes for Super 8 film.
The two types of 8mm film
Super 8 with sound has a brown magnetic strip down one or both sides of the film.
Superstripe sound tape, this tape measures 0.8mm and was applied to Super 8 film using a striper, a fairly complicated procedure. Once applied to the film this allowed for a sound track to be added post processing.
8mm Film Cartridge before being processed
Unprocessed film will have a message similar to this at the end of the film, if it looks something like this it will need to be process before being scanned or viewed. Look for the word “exposed” along the film, this will indicated used / unused film.
Below left is a 50ft reel (75mm / 3inch diameter) on the right is a sealed cannister containing 2 x 25ft reels ready to go into a camera. During processing the 2 x 25ft reels are spliced together to form a 50ft reel. This was then returned to the customer in a prepaid post-pack.
Note the date on this pack
A pack of unused 8mm film. Pathe South Africa circa 1950’s
8mm film after processing
Processed film was generally returned from the lab as a 50ft reel, pictured below, multiple 50ft reels where then spliced together to form a 200ft or 400ft reel. A 400 ft reel is pictured below. Approximate run times for each reel are as follows, these figures are approximate as run time is determined by frame rate 16, 18 or 24 fps (frames per second) and how tightly the film has been wound.Back to Top
Common sizes of film reels, below are plastic reels, earlier reels were constructed from mild steel or aluminium.
The difference between regular 8 reels and super 8 reels can be determined by the spindle size.
- Small spindle – Regular 8 – can’t be used on a Super 8 projector
- Large Spindle – Super 8 – can be used on regular 8 projectors with a spindle adaptor
- 75mm reel diameter = 50ft = ± 4 minutes
- 125mm reel diameter = 200ft = ± 16 minutes
- 175mm reel diameter = 400ft = ± 32 minutes
We sell a variety of new and used reels. We also manufacture a range of Super 8 film reels. Constructed from ABS plastics and aluminium sides, contact us for more information. These items are made to order.
8mm film if stored correctly can last for a long time, the oldest film we’ve converted to date is from the 1940’s. It was black and white but was in near perfect condition.
Film not stored correctly will deteriorate over time, the first tell tale sign is a vinegar smell when the canister is opened.
Below is an example of bad film, the film shrinks and gets brittle and as a result the edges crinkle, this prevents the film from going through the film scanner correctly. Unfortunately in this case we were unable to rescue the first section of film.Back to Top
9.5mm film can be identified by the sprocket holes being in the middle of the film. Pictured below is a section of 9,5mm film and the film cannister. Introduced in the 1920’s by Pathe the 9.5mm format offered a larger image area than 8mm film. 8mm film proved to be more popular and as a result the 9.5mm format eventually died off.Back to Top
Paillard Bolex B8 introduced around 1953. Dual 8mm format.
Bell and Howell 252 dual 8 camera c1954.Back to Top
The Canon 814 Auto Zoom (1967) is (in my humble opinion) one of the nicest cameras in our collection. Still working to this day, this camera featured a motorized zoom lens, auto iris, 12, 18 or 24 fps frame rates and folding handle.
The Canon Auto Zoom 518SV (1971) another beautiful piece of film equipment. 18, 24 fps and slomotion mode. Watch this short video.
Manufactured and marketed in the late 1960’s this camera was a fairly popular Super 8 Camera, More information on this camera on this link.
Some examples of 8mm film cameras, the earlier models with a wind up action. Each camera could hold a 25ft roll of film, one would have to ensure that the film was not exposed to light when inserting or removing from the camera. Exposure to light would destroy the film and meant the end of that reel. Care had to be taken to change the film under a black hood or in a very dark room. Once full the film cartridges would have to be sent to a film lab for processing, the film was then returned on a reel, generally two 25ft reels spliced to form a 50ft film reel that could then be used in a viewer or projector.
The Cine Agfalux M light – 650 w 240 v – used indoors for additional lighting when using tungsten film such as today’s Kodak 500T.Back to Top
While not essential lightmeter’s provide an accurate light level indication allowing the operator to set exposure levels for best results.
A good film camera and lens combination delivers outstanding results.
Below are two sample videos followed by frames of film using a Canon camera and lens with Kodak Super 8 film.
The first video is film captured on our HD film scanner, the second was captured using our older telecine method.
The film was correctly stored and was not run through a projector on many occasions.Back to Top
Viewers or film editors were used to view the processed film and select sections to edit. Once cut, the film was joined together using a chemical film cement.
Goko G100 S8 Super 8 Editor / Viewer
The Chinon Dual Master film viewer is suitable for both regular 8 and Super 8 film. The interchangeable gates allow for easy format change over. The 18cm screen makes viewing a little easier than the 12cm models.
Pictured above is the Bolex 102 MTC projector / viewer, a very neat and compact machine with auto threading and multiple speed selection.Back to Top
8mm Film splicers were used to cut the film and hold it in place while the cement sets. This model splices both 8 and super 8 film.
Once spliced, film cement was used to join the film, care had to be taken to ensure the splice was done correctly as it could jam in the projector.
Watch this short video on how to splice 8mm filmBack to Top
There were literally thousands of film projectors available, in the later years some had sound options and could project both super and regular 8 film. Some even had two sound tracks, one on either side of the film, one could dub over the existing track to add a voice over. One major issue with projectors like these was that if there was a film jam the film would get burned due to the high lamp temperature.
The Noris 8 Junior manufactured around 1957 in Nuremberg. Note the manual drive handle on the side.
The Kodak Brownie 8 Model 10 pictured above was available for purchase between 1959 and 1963 and sold for around $45.
Visit this page for lots of information on the Kodak Brownie series
The Eumig P8 is probably one of the most popular models around.
Oregon 8mm film projector.
Pictured above are a Sekonic 80P, a Holbeck Auto, a Sankyo Sound 502, Noris Junior 8, Oregon film projector and one of our favorites, the Kodak Brownie 8. The Sankyo still works perfectly. Below is a sample film that was supplied with the ELMO range of projectors that feature sound.
A single frame of film that has been burned by being stopped in the projector gate.
Modern film scanning systems (such as ours) use cold light sources (LED) to eliminate the risk of burn through. Modern machines have sprocket less drive systems thus minimizing the risk of damage to the film.
Multiple runs through a projector would result in the film being scratched. It was very important that the film path was regularly cleaned and checked for anything that could scratch the film.Back to Top
Some inserts found in old film packets
A sample of a commercially available film reel.Back to Top
A sample of 16mm film shot in Queenstown, New Zealand somewhere in the 1950’s. This film scanned on our HD film scanner
16mm Film was very popular and there a few variations. 16mm Film used an optical sound track, below are two images, the same frame of film zoomed out showing the optical audio track on the right of the frame. Conventional projectors used a light and sensor to “decode” this information. Our software reads each frame, decodes this audio information and recreates a WAV file.
16mm Film with audio trackBack to Top
16mm projectors were very common and featured an optical sound track.
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AKAI 4000DB Reel to Reel audio tape recorder. Pre audio cassette days these types of machine were very popular among the hifi enthusiast and professionals alike. Able to record both sides of a reel in stereo and at different recording speeds. Speeds were selected by placing a small adaptor over the capstan which changed it’s diameter and hence it’s tape speed. When the reel had played to the end, the reels were swapped over and inverted to enable playback of the other two tracks.
Tape was available in different duration and sizes, below is a small reel which runs for 15 minutes at 3 3/4 inch per second recording speed.
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