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Super 8: A Brief History

Super 8 camers have been a staple in homes due to its ease of use. But what exactly is the Super 8? Learn about its history here.

Copies of home movies are a staple in most homes. The concept of making these homemade movies of everyday moments began in 1923. However, film formats during that time were still very expensive and not everyone had the opportunity to film their own home movies. After years of development, Eastman Kodak was able to come up with the 8mm film format by splicing the 16mm film. Because of this, the 16mm films were the ones used by professional filmmakers while 8mm films were utilized by those who wanted to make home movies. When the 1950’s rolled in, almost everyone had 8mm film cameras to capture life’s little moments.

As the years passed, further developments were made to come up with the Super 8 film. Some developments included a built-in filter, smaller sprocket sizes and perforations at the corners of the frame. All these were done in order to achieve clearer picture, bigger frame size and improve the overall quality of the standard 8mm film. The Super 8 film format was the result of all the developments made by Eastman Kodak. Since then, making Super 8 home movies became part of the experience of being a kid and growing up.

Here’s a short clip shot with the Super 8 film format:

Video from Arch Hill Recordings via YouTube

Although some movies nowadays are shot digitally, there are still filmmakers who choose to shoot using Super 8. There are even film festivals solely dedicated to promoting Super 8 films. It seems that no matter how much technology advances, there are those who still wish to stick to their roots and shoot with film.

written by jeanmendoza

14 comments

  1. goomba

    goomba

    Beautiful article, It's really nice to know a bit more about 8mm and Super 8 film!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  2. revolte

    revolte

    I think my parents still have one of those cameras in their home, I'll steal it! Greetings

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  3. superlighter

    superlighter

    lovely article, I recently bought a beautiful Crown 8 camera, a fascinating world!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  4. pinkpix

    pinkpix

    My dad and I were talking about the movie 'Super 8' when he suddenly pulled out a super 8 camera. With film!! I love my dad.

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  5. lazybuddha

    lazybuddha

    I still shoot super 8 and have 3 cameras, I love it. Gutted that you can't get KodaChrome developed anymore (I still have 2 rolls, exposed but not developed) but at least they still make EktaChrome.

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  6. lomo-graf

    lomo-graf

    Super 8 ist great, but there is one big problem: Nearly nobody developes Super 8 film anymore, and if, then it is very, very expensive.
    Anyway - LG, we are still waiting for a Lomo film camera! We want moving lomography as your next mystery product!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  7. ehmahh

    ehmahh

    I have a super 8 camera, and i love it! waiting for some film to come through and film on it! then im guna give ago at developing myself!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  8. iiibenjamingeorgeiii

    iiibenjamingeorgeiii

    I think Lomography should have a go at making some super 8 cameras & film
    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  9. slumbrnghok

    slumbrnghok

    Most commercial movies still shoot 35mm because the latitude of film is awesome! I was going to shoot some super8 but I think I might save up and shoot super16 which I've done before. Film ROCKS!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  10. francesco1

    francesco1

    @lomo-graf i totally agree!! There should be a lomography video camera!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  11. mambovideo

    That should be the next camera! A SUPER 8mm Film Camera & projector so a new generation can experience the fun of watching Super 8 films. Getting friends together and watching 3 minute masterpieces on a Saturday night is a lot of fun.
    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  12. blu132

    blu132

    What about using 35 mm film sticked together and run it through a projector? that would be perfect for a Lomo filmcamera wouldnt be S8 but its film and its moving xD
    There should be invented such a thing 35 mm is much cheaper

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  13. sammy-fries

    sammy-fries

    I found two super 8 cameras at "le ol' Junk Shop" somewhere in-between New Hampshire and Center Lovel Maine. Unfortunately neither are in working condition. I hope to find one that can still work one day...
    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  14. robertellsworth

    robertellsworth

    I love shooting in super 8. I bought the LomoKino Super 35 Movie Maker hoping to get a similar feel. Although I love the widescreen nearly anamorphic look, the cheap plastic lens and limited time to about 6 seconds a roll is truly limiting. Why doesn't Lomography release a super 8 cam? There are still plenty of Kodak super 8 films on the market (although we just loss 100D) and the 3 mins would be much greater for short films. Come on Lomo. Release a super 8 camera!!!!
    about 1 year ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Français, 日本語, Italiano, 中文(简体版) & 中文(繁體版).