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Reels Don't Fit?

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  • Reels Don't Fit?

    I am a newbie and have been looking high and low to find some very beginner answers, I joined your forum. Sorry for such basic questions but I sincerely can't find this information anywhere.

    I currently have 12 8mm projectors and 22 8mm cameras. Also lots of film. I have bought all of this over the last five years for simply aesthetic reasons as a collector. The projectors are all the old cast iron style, De Jur, Bell & Howell, Revere. Until the Coronavirus outbreak and my subsequent self-isolation, I have been content on just looking at them all. Now I decided to try and watch some of the old film.

    Most of the projectors seem to function fine and the method of threading the film is pretty basic and easily found online for each projector. My problem is that none of the reels I have with film on them seem to fit the hubs of the projectors I have and thus floppily spin. I have lots of empty reels that seem to fit these projectors fine but the ones with film on them do not.

    I found some Super 8 to 8 plastic adapters that may solve the problem (they haven't arrived yet) but can you shed light on this issue for me? Thank you in advance.


  • #2
    It sounds like your movies might be Super 8. If the reels are flopping on the spindles of your projectors, then you have the larger format which would be Super 8. Regular 8 has a smaller diameter and is designed for regular 8 projectors. And the same applies to Super 8. Here's a few photos to give you the difference between these formats. It's common for people today to mix them up. The reels were designed that way so someone didn't try to play a Super 8 movie on a regular 8 projector. The sprocket holes are much different and trying to play a movie on the wrong projector would ruin the films.
    Click image for larger version

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    • #3
      Brian originally posted his question in another thread. Since he has correctly started a new thread in this section, I have quoted Mitchell's reply from that thread here.

      Originally posted by Mitchell Dvoskin
      8mm to Super 8 plastic adapters will solve the problem you mentioned above, but you still cannot run Super 8 film on a projector manufactured to run regular 8mm film, it will damage the film. The sprocket hole size and spacing are slightly different. From when Super 8 was introduced in the 1960's, there were dual 8 projectors (marked as such) that allowed you to run both 8mm and Super 8 formats. The larger Super 8 reel hubs were so you could not accidentally destroy a film by running it in the wrong projector format.


      • #4

        Look at the two film samples provided by Shane. What do your films look like?
        Also, please give exact details of your projectors, i.e., the make and model type/name.
        It does seem that your films are not compatible with your projectors.



        • #5
          Thank you for the information all. It appears all of my film is indeed Super 8 so the old projectors stay on the shelf for now. I bought a B&H dual 8 and it works great.