Developing 8mm movie film

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by rob91, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. rob91

    rob91 TPF Noob!

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    My parents pulled out their parents 8mm Brownie movie camera the other day, still working and pretty sweet. I'd like to shoot some film on this, but am unsure of how I will get it developed. I checked out a website where you can send it off, but it costs about 50$ per reel, which is a bit much for me. Anyone know of a cheaper way? Is it difficult to do on your own? Thanks.
     
  2. rom4n301

    rom4n301 TPF Noob!

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    is 8mm film the same as super 8 film cause i too would like to kno how to get it developed
     
  3. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    We have been having mongo discussions about this over at APUG.ORG. But I was looking into this a few months ago and there is a company in California I beleive that sells the film AND processes it for like $65.00 USD or so. All I did was google '8mm film sales processing' and came up with a huge amount of vendors.
     
  4. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You didn't say where you are located.

    Here are some general links.

    If you happen to live in Southern California there is a cool place called
    the Echo Park Film Center that offers classes in shooting and processing
    movie film (some classes are free). They have the processing tanks
    right there on the premises. You might at least be able to ask them
    for advice. They are friendly people.
     
  5. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    One of my favourite subjects.

    It's not difficult to develop B&W or colour reversal 8 mm movie film at home. I used to do it quite a lot, and I used to teach a movie workshop in which the attendees developed their own film.

    There are three common ways for home development:

    1) in a bucket, with the film loose;

    2) in a Morse rewind tank (what we used for the workshops); and

    3) in a 'Russian Tank' - a spiral tank that can hold either 33 ft or 50 ft of film. (what I used at home)

    A highly simplified explanation: There are two main types of 8 mm film:

    Double 8, Regular 8 or Standard 8: This starts out as 16 mm film that has twice the number of perforations as double-perf 16 mm, and it goes through the camera twice. A '25 ft' spool is actually about 33 ft long, and it goes through the camera twice, one side at a time. Then it is developed and split into two 8 mm strips. It was also available in 100 ft spools.

    Super 8 starts out 8 mm wide and goes through the camera once. It is supplied in a 50 ft cassette with side-by-side feed and take-up spools. Single 8 is similar, but the feed and take-up spools are above-and below each other in the cassette.

    There is also Double Super 8, which is 16 mm wide, used in some cameras and Quadruple Super 8 which was (is?) used for printing.

    If you Google around you should be able to dig up a lot of references: a huge culture has sprung up out there recently.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  6. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    B&W positive film, Freestyle has the film in a few sizes from Kodak Plus-x, Tri-x and Forma R100, look under B&W specialty films, they also should have the chemicals but I can not fine them now

    Does any one know if http://www.dr5.com/ does 8mm B&W postives, I know they do 35mm
     
  7. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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  8. rob91

    rob91 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the replies.

    Chris, you mention $60 for film and developing, I don't know anything about this, is that a reasonable price? I mean, I was hoping for something closer to ten bucks.

    Comp, I live in the Northern Virginia area. Wow, Walmart will do that specific film for 5 dollars. Nice. Yay, I live near that Arlington center! I'm gonna give them a call tomorrow.

    Helen, thanks for the info. I think I will look into developing this on my own.
     
  9. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    One thing to bear in mind is that if you have a Regular 8* camera you will be sending 16 mm wide film to the lab. Any lab that can process that type of 16 mm film can process Regular 8. They may not be able to slit it into 8 mm after processing, but you can do that yourself. 16 mm film is not expensive to process, though labs are not keen on processing very small amounts.

    I used to use 16 mm colour neg in my Regular 8 cameras and get it processed along with the rest of my 16 mm film. It isn't so easy to get suitably perforated 16 mm film these days, but it must be possible. I no longer have access to the reperforation equipment, unfortunately.

    Best,
    Helen

    *aka Double 8 or Standard 8
     
  10. Coldow91

    Coldow91 TPF Noob!

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    I have a question that is sort of off topic. I want to try filming with 8mm film and developing myself at home, but I was wondering what is the best way to get it onto a computer if you wanted to, or is that not worth the trouble
     
  11. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    There are quite a few ways. The simplest is probably to get a projector that is capable of variable speed running, and then to record the image with a webcam (if that's good enough for you) or a video camera.

    Project onto a piece of plain paper, not a screen. Use an 11x17 piece or larger. Do a white balance with no film in the projector and the light shining onto the paper. Have the room lights switched off and the room in darkeness (you can control contrast by havng some light in the room). If the projector has a zoom lens, use it at its longest setting.

    Adjust the projector frame rate until the video image doesn't flicker. This will happen at certain frame rates. For example, if you are recording in interlaced NTSC it will happen at about 30 fps (actually 29.97), 20 fps and 15 fps (forgetting the slight difference from an exact 30 frames/second for NTSC there are 60 fields (half of the horizontal lines, interlaced) per second, therefore there will be a match at 60/2, 60/3, 60/4 etc.

    Regular 8 was usually shot at 16 fps, so you can transfer at 15 fps. There are many other ways round this frame rate change issue - no doubt you will have questions (this is a big subject, and one that I have a lot of practical experience of).

    You can change from the rate at which the transfer happened to the rate at which you want the movie to play at in post production. It's important to get the best transfer, however. I advise trying different combinations of transfer rates and PP rate changes to see what you like the best. You can, for instance, shoot at 15 or 16 fps, do a frame-for-frame transfer at 30 fps and show at 15 fps.

    If you get a projector then there will probably be simple modifications that you can make, mainly to the shutter, to improve the quality of the video transfer.

    Good luck,
    Helen
     
  12. a_spaceman

    a_spaceman TPF Noob!

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    does anyone know places where to buy 8mm film to fit a brownie?
    i found a brownie for dirt cheap and may be a sweet buy...!
     

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