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The History of 8mm Film

The History of 8mm Film

Using the 8mm film type produces a unique and classic look that collectors and vintage videographers love. However, 8mm film movies have become a rarity over the years.

Do you know the history of Kodak’s 8mm film? Have you considered using or converting 8mm film?

The following guide will explore the glorious history of 8mm and look at where it is today. Read on and learn why people still adore the influential film format.

Before 8mm Film

In 1923, 35mm film was standard for theatrical releases of films. But the film was clunky, expensive, and unsafe because of its flammable properties.

That same year, consumers were introduced to the idea of making practical home movies. Advanced amateurs began using 16mm “Cine Kodak” cameras to make their own films.

These cameras weighed around 7 pounds and required hand cranking. The operator used the crank at two turns per second while filming. However, the price of the cameras and film were too expensive for most people to afford.

8mm Debut

The Kodak Eastman company offered 8mm film to the general public in 1932. The 8mm format consists of small film frames that are only eight millimeters wide.

In the beginning, 8mm and double 8mm film only recorded video without sound. Note that 16mm film actually came out before 8mm film. The popularity of 8mm was mostly because it was smaller and less expensive.

The early 60s

New types of projectors came out in the early 60s which made it possible to view movies with sound. The Kodak company quickly added a sound feature to its 8mm film.

8mm film used a small magnetic strip by the perforations to record sound. It provided a whole new experience to those with an 8mm film projector.

Super 8 Film

Super 8 film made its debut to the public in 1965. The film was also 8 millimeters wide which made it quite similar to previous 8mm formats.

The film used cartridges instead of canisters and reels like the previous former. The cartridges made it much easier to load the film into cameras.

End of 8mm era and Its Return

Kodak stopped producing 8mm film under the Kodak name in the 1990s. The popularity of VHS was too strong for 8mm to thrive.

However, the film format is making a resurgence among retro videographers. Kodak once again sells 8mm to those who seek its timeless style. Companies like Envision Video Services can even convert 8mm to digital formats.

The Legacy of 8mm

Using 8mm film was an excellent alternative to using 16mm. Its small size, quality, and price made home movies possible for any budget. The film requires careful handling and skill to use, but that’s part of its charm.

In the end, 8mm film couldn’t compete once more user-friendly formats hit the market. Super 8 film started the slow demise of 8mm and VHS soon took the throne.

Luckily, the 8mm film format’s legacy lives on and nostalgia never dies.

Check out our technology category for more fascinating information and tips.

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