For the aspiring film-maker at the start of the twenty-first
century, there are really only two viable film sizes to choose from
- Super-8 and 16 mm.
The other gauges cannot be considered for serious
use as the film supply is uncertain, only a limited selection of emulsions
are available, film is obtainable only with some difficulty and it
For the sake of completeness, I shall deal with the
attributes of these gauges as well as those of Super-8 and 16 mm.
but I cannot recommend these for anything other than occasional, recreational
Standard-8 (also known as
Standard-8 film is available from Photoworld, Llandudno
(see below). It is no longer made by Kodak.
It is supplied on a 33 foot spool and is 16 mm. wide.
The perforations are different from those on 16 mm. film however;
the two are not interchangeable.
The nominal length of a Standard-8 film is 33 feet
but eight feet of this is allowed for wastage, giving 25 of usable
film which is run through the camera twice, exposing half of the film
in each pass.
The film has to be manually threaded in the camera,
a process which can be slow and annoying, and which should be done
out of direct sunlight.
After processing, the film is split and sliced to
form a continuous film 50 feet in length. At 18 f.p.s. this runs for
about 4 minutes.
9.5 mm. film has a central sprocket hole. Film is
available from Photoworld, Llandudno (see below), but the selection
of emulsions is limited.
Support services, like transferring to video, can
be very hard to find for 9.5 mm., as can reasonable quality projectors
capable of handling 9.5 mm. film.
The Super-8 frame is slightly larger than Standard-8
and the perforations are smaller and differently spaced. Super-8 and
Standard-8 are not interchangeable.
This is, we think, the best system for most would-be
film makers. Super-8 is supplied in fifty feet lengths in a plastic
cassette. Loading the camera is therefore simple and quick. Film is
readily available from most good camera shops and those who do not
stock the film should be able to obtain it easily.
If you have difficulty getting the film contact Photoworld,
Llandudno (see below) or Kodak. Super-8 film is now marketed by Kodak's
professional films division.
As far as we know, film is available only in Japan
for Single-8 cameras.
16 mm. film gives a larger picture than the other
gauges. It is supplied on 50 foot or 100 foot spools. Note that not
all 16 mm. cameras will accept both spool sizes.
There are 16 mm. cine cameras available second-hand
which accept 16 mm. cartridges - these are available from Photoworld,
Llandudno (see below).
Modern film-makers use Super-16, an enlarged frame
version of 16 mm. We do not handle Super-16 equipment as it outside
our field of expertise.
16 mm. film should be obtainable from good camera
shops although it may have to be ordered. It is considerably more
expensive than Super-8, as are the cameras which use it.
Photoworld, 7a Victoria Street, Craig-Y-Don, Llandudno,
Wales, LL30 1LQ. Telephone: 01492-871818. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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History of Amateur