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Regular 8mm Film

(aka Standard 8mm, Normal 8, or Double 8 Film)
with sound
with sound

Super 8mm Film

with sound
with sound

Recognizing the difference between Super-8 and Normal-8

The film's sprocket hole size determines the type of film. The holes in Regular 8mm film are larger and almost square, whereas the holes in Super 8mm are elongated and rectangular.

Both Normal 8 and Super 8 film is 8mm wide.

Our example images are much larger than the actual size of the film to help you see the difference between the two types of film.

The film spools are also different. In Normal 8, the center hole of the film spool is smaller than the center hole of the Super-8 spool. In Normal-8, the center hole measures approximately 8 mm. Super-8 measures approximately 13 mm.

On the left is the common 50 foot reel of Regular 8mm film.

The hole in the center of a reel of Regular 8 is smaller than the hole in the center of a Super 8 reel. One cannot fit their finger in the center hole of a Regular 8 reel whereas, usually, one can in a Super 8 reel.

The film lengths can often be determined by the visual indicators on each film reel -- see image. Common small reels (approx. 3" or 7 1/2 cm diameter) are about 3 1/2 minutes total running time.

How to recognize if film is silent or has sound

Only films that have magnetic band(s) have the capability of having sound recorded onto them. Simply having a magnetic band on a film does not mean the film definitively has sound. It could still be silent if no sound was ever recorded onto it.
Silent (no bands)
Normal 8
With one, or two, Magnetic Bands
Normal 8
Normal 8

How to determine if your film was shot at 18 or 24 frames per second

Most Normal-8 films were shot at 16 frames per second, and most Super-8 films were shot at 18 frames per second. Very few films were shot at 24 frames per second (fps) and usually only a trained projectionist can determine the speed at which a film was shot. Film shot at 24 fps produced smoother looking camera movements. It should have been the preferred speed to shoot at, but there was the cost factor. It used up film more quickly!

Reel Type 8mm Film Super 8 Film Super 8 Film
silent at 16.67 frames/second at 18 frames/second at 24 frames/second

50 feet (15 meters) 4 min 3.5 min 2.5 min

200 feet (60 meters) 15 min 13 min 10 min

300 feet (90 meters) 22 min 20 min 15 min

400 feet (120 meters) 30 min 26 min 20 min

600 feet (180 meters) 44 min 40 min 30 min

830 feet (250 meters) - 55 min 42 min


with sound
Reel Type 8mm Film Super 8 Film Super 8 Film
(with sound) at 16.67 frames/second at 18 frames/second at 24 frames/second

50 feet (15 meters) - 3.5 min 2.5 min

200 feet (60 meters) 12 min 11 min 8 min

300 feet (90 meters) 18 min 16 min 12 min

400 feet (120 meters) 24 min 21 min 16 min

600 feet (180 meters) 35 min 32 min 24 min

830 feet (250 meters) - 43 min 33 min


Common Formats
Common Formats

We do not tranfer the formats below:
Uncommon Film Formats

16mm vs. Normal 8 (aka Double 8)

This image above shows the difference between two different types of 16mm film perforation holes.

Shown from left to right (note that all perforation holes are the same size):

1) regular 16mm film - used in a 16mm camera

2) 16mm wide "Double 8" film (which was 25 feet long, when the unprocessed roll was purchased) - used in an 8mm camera

3) 8mm film "Normal 8" - split lengthwise (During processing at the lab, the lab would split the 25 foot reel into 2 sections of 25 feet, then joined the two 25-foot lenghts. That reel became a 50 foot reel!)

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