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How to Identify Your Home Movie Film Stock

 

The first home movie films were 16mm. The original 16mm films were double perforation and were filmed at 15 frames per second. If these films are not run at the proper speed the movement on them will look too fast – like the Keystone Cops.

Most double perforation16mm home movies were shot at this speed.

100 feet of 16mm film shot at 15 frames per second runs for 4.5 minutes.

 

In the late 1940s 16mm films cameras were being made that could film at 24 frames per second and most 16mm stocks went from double perforation to single perforation. This opened up the possibility of having sound on your film, either printed as an optical track or using a magnetic stripe.

Most professionally shot home movies (weddings, bar mitzvahs etc.) were shot at this speed.

100 feet of 16mm film shot at 24 frames per second runs for 2.5 minutes.

 

In the late 1930s Kodak came out with regular 8mm film, sometimes called dual or double 8mm. It was 16mm film spooled on small 25 foot reels. After shooting the first 25 feet of film you would take the spool and and flip it around. Failure to do this would result in double exposure of the film. When the film came back from the processor the film would be assembled on 50 foot reels. Regular 8mm film was shot at 15 frame per second.

50 feet of regular 8mm film runs for 4.5 minutes.

 

In 1965 Kodak came out with a new, more easily shot film – super 8mm. The film came in an easy to load cartridge and came as silent (mos) or sound film. Super 8 film was shot at 18 frames per second, and later cameras had the ability to shoot 24 frames per second as well.

50 feet of super 8 film shot at 18 frames per second runs for 3 minutes.

50 feet of super 8 film shot at 24 frames per second runs for 2.5 minutes.

 

 
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