Everything You Need to Know About 8mm Film


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If you’ve been digging through boxes of old home movies, you may have come across some 8mm film. This was a popular film format during the middle of the 20th century. Many families used it to capture their memories and to record special occasions. However, since the format fell out of use, it is now often impossible to watch those home movies. If your box of family heirlooms doesn’t contain an old video camera or projector, how can you view them? Those special moments from the past are crying out to have the next generation view them. The good news is that you don’t need to lose those memories forever. With an 8mm film to digital conversion service, you can preserve those special moments.

Here, we take an expert look at this film format so you can be better informed about it. 

8mm Film – Its Beginnings

The 16mm film format characterized the very earliest days of film. It was a cumbersome format. However, in 1932, Kodak introduced a new format -– the 8mm film. This added extra perforations to the frame. As a result, the film was smaller in size and offered the opportunity to have a longer run time. Usually, the frame had a width of around 7.9mm and a height of 3.5mm. Since it was close to 8mm, this became its name. The 8mm film format became a popular choice and remained so for more than 30 years. Over those years, many families used 8mm film to record their memories.

There was, however, an inconvenience hidden inside the main benefit of this film format. In order to maximize the filming time, people filmed on both edges. They had to turn the spool over halfway through filming, so they could film on the other edge. After they had the film developed, the spool would become a single film strip. This provided around four minutes of video footage.

Although color 8mm film was eventually made available, most of the 8mm films seen these days are black and white. People took these home movies during the 1930s and ’40s. Interestingly, though, 8mm film was still being using used as a format for home filming until the 1990s!

The Movie Boom During The 1930s

When Kodak introduced 8mm film in 1932, families were immediately impressed. It was the time of the Great Depression, and those suffering through this difficult time embraced the technology. The film was actually responsible for causing a boom in home movies. Thanks to its ease of use and affordable price tag, it opened up video footage to families everywhere.

The earliest 8mm film only allowed for visual recordings. Eventually, 8mm film also allowed sound to be magnetically recorded. In the domestic market, however, it didn’t really take off. Film studios did take advantage of this option and released short versions of films for consumers to buy. Disney animated shorts were especially popular in this format. 

The 1960s Development

The standard film format until the mid-1960s was the 8mm film. At that time, the Super8 took over. This was an extremely popular format with families and will be very familiar to Gen Xers! Although efforts were put in place to make the 8mm format simpler, it remained roughly the same. The 8mm film was still used as a form of stylistic film tool until the 1990s. At that point in time, Kodak ceased its production. Nevertheless, 8mm film has not yet completely disappeared. While it isn’t easy to find, there is one American company that still sells the original 8mm film. It isn’t cheap though. A single spool of 8mm color film measuring 100 feet comes in at around $40. 

Can You Transfer 8mm Film to Digital?

If you’ve just discovered a haul of 8mm home movies in your attic, don’t despair! You will be able to experience the joy of watching that old footage. An 8mm film to digital service can convert the old film format to digital files for watching and sharing.

It’s important, however, to take steps to convert the footage to a digital format as quickly as possible. The film degrades over time. Therefore, it is essential to transfer it to digital before it fully deteriorates. Thanks to cutting-edge technology, it’s now possible for a new generation to enjoy that old footage. Here at Reborn, we specialize in digitizing old film in a range of formats, including 8mm. Thanks to our state-of-the-art equipment, we can ensure smooth and seamless transferred footage. Whether you want to preserve your memories on DVD or in digital form, we can help. We make it possible to preserve those special moments from the past for your children and grandchildren to watch. Keeping the past safe is paramount for all families. We’re delighted to help you achieve this goal for your descendants.