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The Different Types of 8mm Film | The easiest way to tell the difference between standard 8mm film and Super 8mm film is to check the shape of the sprocket holes and the size of the hole in the middle of the film reel. Learn more about the differences here.

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The Different Types of 8mm Film

  1. 1. For many decades, 8mm film was the preferred medium for recording home movies and amateur films. But over those decades, there were several different formats of 8mm film that went in and out of popularity. In this presentation, we’ll discuss the different kinds of 8mm film, and how to tell the difference.
  2. 2. As the name implies, all kinds of 8mm film are exactly eight millimeters wide. Aside from that, the different types of 8mm film – standard 8mm, Super 8mm, etc. – all have slightly different features from each other. As such, examining the film can often reveal its exact format.
  3. 3. The main difference between standard 8mm and Super 8mm can be seen in the sprocket holes along the top. Standard 8mm’s sprocket holes are almost square, whereas Super 8mm’s sprocket holes are more rectangular. STANDARD 8mm SUPER 8mm
  4. 4. Another way to tell the difference between standard 8mm and Super 8mm is examining the film reel. On a reel of standard 8mm film, the center hole is smaller than that of a Super 8mm reel. If you can fit your finger in the hole, it’s almost certainly a Super 8mm reel.
  5. 5. Not sure if a piece of old film, whether 8mm or Super 8mm, has sound? Look for a yellow strip on the side of the film opposite the sprocket holes. If it doesn’t have a yellow bar, then it’s picture only.
  6. 6. Most 8mm and Super 8mm film are reversal stock; when processed, they create a transparency that is ready for projection, rather than first creating a negative. However, there are several types of 8mm reversal film, both in color and black and white.
  7. 7. In general, reversal film is better suited for interior photography using artificial light, and for daylight photographs and films with lots of sun to illuminate the picture. Reversal film tends to have a sharper, less grainy image, which comes at the expense of contrast.
  8. 8. Negative film’s greatest benefit is that it can be used effectively in a wider variety of situations than reversal film. Reversal film requires excellent lighting to create a clear picture. Negative film, on the other hand, can capture more details from shadows and darker areas.
  9. 9. specializes in transferring home movies recorded on 8mm film to crisp, clear digital presentations. Preserve your precious movie memories on DVD today by visiting