My Super 8mm Page

In addition to my many other hobbies, I'm also a Super 8mm filmmaker. Some may ask "Isn't 8mm/Super 8mm dead?" Well, in actuality, it's far from dead. Even though it has been mostly replaced by video, it is still far superior to video. Super 8mm enjoys a cult status among filmmakers trying to achieve a "home video" look and amateur filmmakers trying to make professional-looking movies "on the cheap." My main camera is a Bell & Howell Autoload camera model 431. My other cameras are a Chinon 132P XL(I don't trust it as much as my 431), a GAF Anscomatic (it runs, but I haven't shot a test roll of film with it yet), and a Fujica Z1 (which actually uses Single-8). The 431 is a solid camera which is of all-metal (?) construction unlike my Chinon, which is all-plastic. I think the GAF, which was made by Chinon in the late 60's/early 70's, is of mostly metal construction. The Z1 is interesting; it uses Fuji's own "Single-8" format, which was introduced as a competitor to Super 8mm. It uses a different style cartridge, but the film can be used with Super 8mm projectors and editors once processed. So far, I have bought three rolls of Kodachrome 40 color movie film. I bought my film at Walgreens, where they special-ordered it for me (sadly, they aren't able to do that anymore). They charged $6.99 per roll, and $8.60 for developing. So far, I have found Super 8mm filmmaking to be fun. Enjoy the site!

5/24/19100 UPDATE: I finally finished my first Super 8mm feature film, "Jar-Jar In Space". To read more about it, click here!

6/12/19100 UPDATE: I got two more Super 8mm cameras at a flea market: a GAF Anscomatic ST87, and a Kodak Ektasound 130.

6/30/19100 UPDATE: More on the Jar-Jar In Space page.

4/17/19101 UPDATE: Man, has it been a while since I updated this page. Anyway, I have recently filmed what may become my next masterpiece (yeah right): Turbinium! I heard that a 500-ton power station turbine was being moved through my hometown, so I grabbed my camera and captured this epic (ahem) event. More later!

3/7/19110 UPDATE: Wow, it has been a very, very long time since I updated this page. As you may have guessed, I haven't done much with Super 8mm in some time. Since I shot my initial 3 rolls, Kodachrome 40 has sadly been discontinued, and Ektachrome 64T is now the only option for color reversal Super8mm film (not sure if any of my cameras would work with it, but who knows). Kodak has also stopped processing Kodachrome film entirely, and Dwayne's Photo will stop processing Kodachrome at the end of 2010. A sad end for a historic filmstock (wonder what Paul Simon thinks...). However, I am considering getting back into Super 8mm, and possibly toying with Single-8, an alternative to Super 8mm which Fuji introduced. I recently picked up a Fujica Z1, which probably needs some work, but if it can be refurbished, I may try shooting some Single-8!

Equipment I Own:
Cameras: Bell & Howell model 431, Chinon model 132P XL, GAF Anscomatic ST87, Fujica Z1 (Single 8)
Projector: Kodak Instamatic model M50, Sears (model unknown)
Screen: 50"x50" glass-beaded screen of unknown manufacture (Da-Lite?)

A Guide To Kodak Super 8mm Filmstocks

Note: All Kodak Super 8mm filmstocks are 50 feet in length (yields 3 minutes and 20 seconds at 18 f.p.s.) and silent (all Kodak sound filmstocks have been discontinued due to environmental problems).

Ektachrome 64T (7280)
Color reversal film
ASA 64
Description: Kodak's replacement for the now-discontinued Kodachrome 40 filmstock, and the only color reversal film they offer (Ektachrome VNF 7240 has also been discontinued). Tungsten-balanced. Due to it's low speed, a movie light is required for indoor filmmaking. Can be used outside with an 85 filter. May or may not work in older cameras designed to work with ASA 40 film.

Vision2 200T (7217)
Color negative film
ASA 200
Description: I do not know much about these filmstocks. Vision2 200T is popular with professional filmmakers, but not very useful to most amateur filmmakers. Unlike reversal filmstocks, processed Vision2 200T films cannot be directly projected. Tungsten-balanced.

Vision2 500T (7218)
Color negative film
ASA 500
Description:Another negative color filmstock. As with Vision2 200T, I do not know much about this filmstock. Due to it being a negative filmstock, it cannot be directly projected, so it is not suited for amateur filmmaking unless access to professional equipment is available. Extremely-low grain. Tungsten-balanced.

Plus-X (7265)
Black & white reversal film
ASA 100
Description: A general-purpose black & white filmstock. Upgrade from the original Plus-X (7276), which had an ASA value of 50. Better suited for filming in daylight than Tri-X.

Tri-X (7266)
Black & white reversal film
ASA 200
Description: A black and white filmstock suitable for filming indoors or in low-light conditions. Upgrade from the original Tri-X (7278), with better specs. Due to its high speed, care should be taken to avoid overexposing the film when filming in bright sunlight.

Navigation: Back to my main page!

My Favorite Super 8mm Web Sites

Kodak's Super8mm page
Super 8mm Filmmaking by Michael Nyberg
Super 8 wiki
A source for Single-8 film, processing and supplies!
8mm Film Format Metadirectory
Yahoo Super 8mm Category
Newsgroup: alt.movies.cinematography.super8