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Author Topic: So Why 8mm ?
Tom Spielman
Master Film Handler

Posts: 339
From: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Registered: Apr 2016


 - posted July 06, 2016 11:52 AM      Profile for Tom Spielman   Email Tom Spielman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm sure this question has been posed here before but I'm curious to hear from current participants.

Do you collect 8mm films? Why 8mm and not 16mm or some other format?

Do you shoot 8mm? Again, why 8mm and not some other format?

I just did some filming in Super 8 over this past weekend. It had been the first time in nearly 30 years. I have no immediate plans to do more but I'm not ruling it out. We'll see how this turns out when I'm all done.

It was at a party and the camera sparked some interest. My 12 year old daughter helped me out some. She had a friend who was very curious: "So how do you see the movies you just took? Can you edit them?" [Wink]

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Osi Osgood
Film God

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From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
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 - posted July 06, 2016 12:01 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Why collect 8mm? Why not?

OK, that's not an answer.

1. Lack of room for larger formats (that's in my case).
2. The quality, especially in optical super 8, and the earlier standard 8mm.

3. The nolstalgia of it.

That's as brief as I can be. [Smile]

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Raleigh M. Christopher
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From: New York, NY, USA
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 - posted July 06, 2016 12:13 PM      Profile for Raleigh M. Christopher     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't collect films. But shooting with Super 8mm is fun! I have a degree in film history, theory, and criticism, and all my student films were shot on Super 8mm. I love physically cuttting and splicing film to create a work. I love how tactile it is.

I also love the sound of the camera and the sound of a projector. The whole experience of shooting, cutting, splicing and projecting film is satisfying to me.

I'd love to shoot 16mm film. I did bid on a Bolex H16, but lost out by just a few dollars. It was mint too, and only one owner. Oh well. I think I will do it eventually.

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Mathew James
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From: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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 - posted July 06, 2016 12:59 PM      Profile for Mathew James   Email Mathew James   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
For me, it was simply happenstance.
I had just finished wanting to watch our old films from super 8 my parents made of us growing up...I obtained the B & H from my brother who had it stored away in a closet, burnt bulb, broken belt and all, and then got the old films from my parents...I got my wife's family films as well from her parents... may as well check them all out I, thought...

I then ordered a bulb and belt, and then, as we often did, were out fleamarketing, when i spotted a stack of Blackhawk super 8 movies. I bought them all...I had never notice super 8 at a fleamarket before, because i simply was not interested....but now that i was trying to fix the old machine to watch these old films, the bug hit and i wanted more...I started hunting local fleamarkets and ebay, and happened upon this forum while trying to fix the Elmo ST-180E I purchased from ebay that had bad belts. I purchased the elmo because the super 8 films i got at the fleamarket were sound, and i didn't have sound on our projector... and so, here we are... I never got interested in 16mm yet myself. I feel there is enough in super 8 to keep me interested for now...I have too many other hobbies as it is.
[Smile]

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Cheers,
Matt 📽

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Steve Klare
Film Guy

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From: Long Island, NY, USA
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 - posted July 06, 2016 01:30 PM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
To me it's kind of life long history.

When I was a little kid the lady across the street had Super-8 home movies and I decided very early on I wanted "one of those."

As soon as I got my first crappy (McDonald's, no less!) job as a teenager I bought a film, then a camera, then an editor (had to: I couldn't afford a projector...).

Mom and Dad bought me a projector for Christmas that year. For the last year or so of high school my movie camera followed me many places and there were shows in my parents' living room at least once a week.

I had a long break while I was in engineering school, along with girlfriends, television, recreational reading, hanging out with friends and what most young people would call "a life", there wasn't much time for anything but studies.

-I literally lost my taste for beer in those years, the first swig I took post-graduation tasted downright awful! (This didn't last too long!)

I was basically at a standstill around the year 2000. I had the projector, I had some films: once or twice a year I watched a couple of them. I didn't buy any more films because I didn't think there were any to be found anymore.

Then the Internet happened and I became more active than ever: sound films, features, 'scope, much more filmmaking and being active at CineSea. The amount of information was spectacular: the printed literature at the time was downright worthless, but I found out about things online I had no idea existed!

I doubt I'd be doing it today if I didn't start as a teenager: that's when I caught the bug. I may not have done it as a teenager without the lady across the street and her home movies either.

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All I ask is a wide screen and a projector to light her by...

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Tom Photiou
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From: Plymouth U.K
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 - posted July 06, 2016 01:58 PM      Profile for Tom Photiou   Email Tom Photiou   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Dunno mate [Big Grin]
Very good question and here is why i say that, as i have posted this before i'll condense it,
1/ When at school i had a fascination on the projector, i tried to work it all out & i loved watching the reels going around and the patterns the light beams made from the lens to the screen,especially in the cinema in the smoking days, the patterns were quite amazing.
2/Later aged 10 years i still loved the way films were shown,
3/Pure chance,my brother was an American civil war enthusiast, he spotted a 50ft reel of film on a spinning rack in our town centre, he asked what it was,(an extract from Shenandoah, 50ft b/w silent in 1973), and bought it along with a Eumig P8 std 8 projector.
4/ Few years later moved onto sound films and a Eumig markS810D DLUX, wow that was it, i wanted one.
5/ Aged 16,(almost 17) got my own first projector, an Elmo ST1200HD M&O, (how i got it is is another story, if you want me to bore you to death let me know and i'll open a new thread, but it's a good un. [Wink]
6/ Got my first full feature aged 17,(nearly 18), the 4 x 400ft Texas chainsaw, and since then the collection just got bigger, with a few sales in between.
Now as to why super 8? I dont really know, i guess in those days films of all sizes were easy to get and the second hand list were in abundance, always something to buy, we do have some 16mm films, we were going to sell the lot this year to stick to 8 but hopefully i will be gaining a new projector because the price of some super 8 is becoming so ridiculous it makes the whole hobby unaffordable while 16mm has so many better titles and a whole cheaper with generally, (NOT always) much better picture quality as far as sharpness goes. Some will disagree. We stick to our 8mm more due to space and dont have any intentions of building a huge 16mm collection, especially with new digital methods and projection being so very good that it is becoming harder to tell the difference. we also have this but at present i still like my films too much. It was only a matter of weeks ago we almost decided to sell up, seeing films advertised for a thousand or two, or even hundreds for 15 minute movies just makes me feel a bit like Why?
I think if i was just getting into the hobby i would take a look at a couple of the films being asked for way over inflated prices, then i would probably laugh and ask the same question you are asking? Why super 8? then i would move away and onto digital projection.
Fortunately i am of the age, as many of us are on here, where we have good collections bought at realistic prices have also seen the very best haydays of super 8.
Film is and always will be the real deal. [Wink]
BTW, if you are a person who simply enjoys a film and wants to watch it the cheapest way possible on a big screen then the digital era is upon us and it is getting better all the time. There is certainly nothing wrong with it, films are as cheap as cheap can be while the equipment is becoming so affordable its almost the norm for many households to treat themselves up.

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Andrew Woodcock
Film God

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From: Manchester Uk
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 - posted July 06, 2016 03:32 PM      Profile for Andrew Woodcock         Edit/Delete Post 
Is there anything else?

As was pointed out here less than a week ago, once you get the very best negatives from the film studios, send them to the best labs available, keeping strict quality control, then you simply finish up with some of the best prints money can buy.

That is what is there for all to witness in the Disney / Derann contract for example.

Couple this with a quiet running convenient sized projector that places a beautiful bright image on just about anyone's home cinema sized screen, then add on a polished stereo sound track put through a nice pair of loudspeakers, I simply couldn't imagine anything bettering the whole experience myself!

Digital projection is nothing new, even high resolution images.
The Sony VPL-10 HT or The SIM 2 were around two decades ago now producing gorgeous images up on our screens.
We need not bring it into the equation here as it is a completely different experience altogether unless of course, you simply want to watch a movie?
If so, even a mobile phone can allow you to do that now!!

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"C'mon Baggy..Get with the beat"

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Joe Caruso
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 - posted July 06, 2016 03:37 PM      Profile for Joe Caruso   Email Joe Caruso   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Look at the beauty of it all -In 1932, 8mm came as a result of splitting 16 in half - Now, we ahve the opportunity (those at the time), to acquire some rare silents - can you imagine what was available...Then the pleasure of grouping those nice films with their accompanying boxes...oh, did I forget to mention the joy of those creative artists who made eye-catching emphrema via the box-cover? Mini-posters for our viewing pleasure, attractive to display for guests...why 8mm? Shall I really have to continue? - Shorty

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Tom Spielman
Master Film Handler

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From: Minneapolis, MN, USA
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 - posted July 06, 2016 05:21 PM      Profile for Tom Spielman   Email Tom Spielman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Matthew: My reasons very closely match yours. I haven't bought any 8mm films (yet) but the idea of fixing up an old sound projector is appealing. Then of course I'd need film with sound. [Wink]

But, also like you I have other hobbies and things that require time, money, and space. One reason I ask the question is that it would seem like there would be a lot more available in 16mm. While 16mm would have been more expensive years ago, is that still true today? Space is something I've seen mentioned a couple of times and honestly it never occurred to me that that would be a reason, - but it does make sense.

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Steve Klare
Film Guy

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From: Long Island, NY, USA
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 - posted July 06, 2016 06:38 PM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The 16mm space issue is a killer for me, but there is some spectacular stuff available for sure.

If I could just do a little I'd be less reluctant.

-but I know myself better than that!

If I could just do a little I wouldn't be hatching schemes to store 8mm reels inside hollowed out furniture!

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All I ask is a wide screen and a projector to light her by...

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Barry Fritz
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From: Burnsville, MN, USA
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 - posted July 06, 2016 07:10 PM      Profile for Barry Fritz   Email Barry Fritz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Tom. There are very few 8mm sound projectors, and very few 8mm sound movies. If you are considering something other than 16mm, I would suggest Super 8. Contact me if you need a super 8 projector.

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Tom Spielman
Master Film Handler

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From: Minneapolis, MN, USA
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 - posted July 06, 2016 07:33 PM      Profile for Tom Spielman   Email Tom Spielman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks Barry. Figured it would be Super 8. Not quite ready to go there yet, but if I do I will keep you in mind.

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Daniel Macarone
Expert Film Handler

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From: Summit NJ, USA
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 - posted July 06, 2016 08:44 PM      Profile for Daniel Macarone   Author's Homepage   Email Daniel Macarone   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just reiterating what's been said, but Super 8 can be used not only because it's the least expensive film format and occupies the least space, but because of the fun of the hobby - I enjoy having a modest collection of features stored in boxes that fit up to three 1200' reels and painstakingly glueing a mini-poster on each box.
Whether it's shooting my own films or buying prints, I'm interested in the challenge of making Super 8 look as good as it can using what I can afford. I'm happy when it can pass for 16mm.

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Michael Lattavo
Expert Film Handler

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From: Canton, OH, USA
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 - posted July 06, 2016 10:28 PM      Profile for Michael Lattavo   Email Michael Lattavo   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I actually have gotten into 8mm/super 8 in reverse - I started out with 16mm. I remember my Dad showing Disney features - my Mom would make popcorn (the kind with tin foil on top, my sisters and I would take turns shaking it to make the foil blow up like a baloon. In the summertime, my Mom would make ice cream in the driveway. A long time ago, I was helping my Dad clean out his basement, and we came across his Dad's 1950s era projector, and my Dad's 1960s era projector. He was going to toss them into the trash, so I took them. For 20 years, every time I moved into a new apartment, then houses, I lugged these old projectors around. Never did anything with them, but always kept them. A few years ago, on a whim, I pulled them out, cleaned them up, and bought some film - and was hooked. Have only recently started appreciating super 8, largely due to seeing it projected at CineSea, and through meeting Bill Phelps and Steve Osborne. I just never knew super 8 could look as good as it does. Storage space with 16mm is an issue, I have outgrown my fruit cellar and am taking over the rest of the basement, much to my wife's dismay! On the same note, though, my super 8 collection is quickly outgrowing it's little section as well!

I just realized I haven't answered your question - I like the look and feel of film, and I like how it takes me back to when I was a little kid watching a real movie in the basement with my whole family. Those were always special nights.

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Andrew Woodcock
Film God

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From: Manchester Uk
Registered: Aug 2012


 - posted July 07, 2016 04:53 AM      Profile for Andrew Woodcock         Edit/Delete Post 
As Michael points out here, if you purchase a fading 200ft colour sound short and a basic Super 8mm sound projector, you simply will never have any idea JUST how good Super 8mm can look!

I post many screen shots elsewhere and I defy anyone who could argue they are anything other than magnificent in their quality when projected on even the largest of home cinema screens as I have taken with these.

When you get the best that's out there on the gauge, the quality of image and sound will far surpass anyone's expectations from a tiny frame size, very often looking every bit as good as a 16mm print on a like for like screen albeit without the dozens of splices and often scratches that frequently occur from well used library prints etc etc.

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"C'mon Baggy..Get with the beat"

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Brian Fretwell
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 - posted July 07, 2016 05:18 AM      Profile for Brian Fretwell   Email Brian Fretwell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
For me it was dad's friends 8mm home movies. The all the projectors I saw in catalogues were 8mm or Super 8. I had experienced 16mm at school but it was noisier and needed a long through to the screen to give a decent screen size.

So for me it had to be 8mm.

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Andrew Woodcock
Film God

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From: Manchester Uk
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 - posted July 07, 2016 05:35 AM      Profile for Andrew Woodcock         Edit/Delete Post 
Super 8mm with its short throw zoom lenses is indeed much more user friendly in any home environment without really any compromise for the most part, unless of course, you happen to live in mansion.

Stereo sound too for those that want it.

Also a whole less noisier and bulky too!!

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"C'mon Baggy..Get with the beat"

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Steve Klare
Film Guy

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From: Long Island, NY, USA
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 - posted July 07, 2016 11:05 AM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
That's an important point!

I've been thinking about 16mm the way some guys consider having an affair...just pondering the pros and cons...the benefits and the penalties...

(Neither my wife nor Super-8 have anything to worry about! -and if I tried 16mm I wouldn't wind up living with my Mom...I think...)

The lack of 16mm Zoom lenses mean I couldn't sit a 16mm projector on the same table I keep my 8mm machines without getting a smaller picture on screen, which is a huge waste of potential.

I did the math: I CAN fill the screen up with a typical 16mm lens, but that would mean setting up the projection table about 10 feet further back, which I can't leave there because it would be where my wife sits when she watches TV!

I mean, she's supportive of all this, but everyone has a limit!

I actually have a lot of flexibility in how I set up my machines, so I ("We") actually could live with this providing I put it away when I was done. I'd hate to be the one who actually built a projection booth for Super-8 or has a concrete wall 10 feet too close when I brought my first 16mm machine home.

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All I ask is a wide screen and a projector to light her by...

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Osi Osgood
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From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
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 - posted July 07, 2016 11:23 AM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I was totally screwed to begin with ...

as a child, my dad had a lovely Eumig P8 ...

("The reels on the thing go round and round, round and round, round and round ...")

When i was in high school, I ended up by chance, in dale Klitz's "media room", for an hour a day. Klitz would get all the throwaway films from the local Mountain Home movie theater, a neat old school theater, mostly 16MM trailers and a few 35MM's. He even got original theatrical posters, (I had an original theatrical poster of "The land That Time Forgot" on my wall in my bedroom!), and just splicing all of those films together was just such GREAT fun!!

At 18, I was thrown out on me arse into the cold cruel world, and while I was in a halfway house in Boise, I would go down to the local TV shation, and they were throwing away boxes and boxes of 16MM commercials, (this was 1983, and nearly all commercials were then switching to VHS), so naturally, I spliced them onto reel after reel. I wish I still had all of those ole commercials!

I entered the job corp and in my second year, in advanced training, I was shipped off to San Francisco, and a department store, downtown S.F., has a whole rack of marked down for clearance, Disney titles, color and sound!!! I didn't have a projector yet, but now, I was a determined man!

I wanted my dad's beloved Eumig P8, but he sold it for drink money, so that one was out of the question ...

so, in my formative years, I was saturated with film, and once I got myself on my feet and had my own place, when I had money, I bought a super 8 projector, used, from a thrift store, and bought a STAR WARS 400ft, (that no doubt, had come in with the projector), to go along with my Disney's ...

It's all went downhill from there ... [Big Grin]

Hey, I really like this series of posts, as I thought about stuff I haven't thought about in years, what lovely days!

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Michael O'Regan
Film God

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From: Essex, UK
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 - posted July 07, 2016 12:12 PM      Profile for Michael O'Regan   Email Michael O'Regan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
When you get the best that's out there on the gauge, the quality of image and sound will far surpass anyone's expectations from a tiny frame size, very often looking every bit as good as a 16mm print on a like for like screen albeit without the dozens of splices and often scratches that frequently occur from well used library prints etc etc.
This is true up to a point and I have grown to love Super 8, but in reality it is difficult to compare with 16mm. There are still vastly more amazing looking prints available on 16mm than there are on Super 8. This can't be overlooked.

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Oemer Yalinkilic
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From: Berlin, Germany
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 - posted July 07, 2016 12:54 PM      Profile for Oemer Yalinkilic   Author's Homepage   Email Oemer Yalinkilic   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It´s definitely a matter of the right projector and the space for storage of your collection.
If you say 35mm needs to much space, that´s not true, it´s a matter how big is your collection.
I know some 16mm collectors, they need more space for their 16mm collection than I need for my 35mm collection. I store in my basement about 60 35mm prints, you can store about 300 16mm features in the same space.
The other important think is, if you have the right projector for your need. I screen my film in my living room, like many other collectors. Most of the 35mm portable projectors are too noisy, but my Philips FP 3 is perfect for the use in a living room. It’s not noisier than my 16mm Xenon machine. I can use also 2000 meter reels, so I can run a feature with only one break for a reel change like most of the 16mm projectors, or my Super 8 Elmo GS1200.
I use for 16mm an Elmo 16CL Xenon or the halogen version.
Often, it is better to own the 35mm print, but not always. I have 16mm cinemascope Technicolor prints of “The Girl can´t help it” and “An Affair to remember” and this movies does not exist in Technicolor in 35mm, they are some more examples.
Some movies are not worth to own them in 35mm. Lot of movies are not important, to watch them in better, sharper quality, because the setting is not important.
And now the main question: Why Super 8?
Some features, especially modern movies looks in Super 8 good, like a 16mm print. For example, I got last 16mm prints of Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns. Batman Returns is one of the best 16mm prints I ever saw, it is a beautiful LPP print. The Batman print is a normal Eastman print, the colour is very good and not really faded, but very, very little touch of brown is there. I own the Super 8 Trailer and in compare to the 16mm feature, the colour of the Super 8 trailer is a little bit better and the big plus, the trailer is in Stereo.
The last reason is the price. Yesterday closed the auction on ebay for a 16mm scope fuji print of Jaws, it was sold for $ 2109. I own a German dubbed 35mm Technicolor print of Jaws and I paid only 250 Euro.
The quality of my print is much better, than every 16mm or Super 8 print of this title and it’s not too expensive like some Super 8 features today.
So I collect all 3 gauges.

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Stuart Reid
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From: Worthing, West Sussex, UK
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 - posted July 07, 2016 01:23 PM      Profile for Stuart Reid   Email Stuart Reid   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hey, Tom Photiou, that shop with the spinning rack wouldn't have been upstairs in Fernley Wallis the chemist at the top of town would it? That's where my film adventure began!

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Joe Caruso
Film God

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From: USA
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 - posted July 07, 2016 01:37 PM      Profile for Joe Caruso   Email Joe Caruso   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Forget all I typed - Shorty

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Panayotis A. Carayannis
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From: Athens,Greece
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 - posted July 08, 2016 01:11 AM      Profile for Panayotis A. Carayannis   Email Panayotis A. Carayannis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Barry,you are wrong! There are many standard 8 sound projectors and many double,standard/super, projectors and too many standard 8 sound films. Believe me!

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Winbert Hutahaean
Film God

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From: Nouméa, New Caledonia
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 - posted July 08, 2016 06:30 AM      Profile for Winbert Hutahaean   Email Winbert Hutahaean   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In the today's scenario comparing 8mm vs 16mm just like comparing VHS vs DVD (in terms of resolution, so when comparing films in 8mm and 16mm must have the same neg source and lab).

Now for me collecting film is just a hobby. Honestly I am more admiring the format (film medium) so I am not using 8mm films as medium of entairtainment. Should I need to be entairtained I will play my DVD :-).

Having said this I feel enough with 8mm no matter 16mm has better resolution.

I am worried of storage space if I move to 16mm, plus most 16mm projectors are heavy.

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Winbert

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