Thursday, December 6, 2012


Fresh film is available from many sources. Try links here first:

I recommend buying the film stock from a seller who also does the processing. There are several suppliers in the above links. You can typically get a discount when purchasing both together. Ask about transfer services if you plan to show the film on TV and not on a film projector. Ask about quantity prices. You should get discount buying multiple rolls.

Store film where its cool and dry, or put in a sealed ZIPLOCK baggie and store in the refrigerator. Here's a link to what Kodak has to say about storage:

If you need a projector, eBay is the place. Most projectors were used very little and then stored. Pretty much the same as cameras have been. The thing you need to look out for is 1) does the bulb work? If the projector needs a bulb, chances are its still available. $20-$25 is typical.  2) Does the projector have the power cord?

These seem to get lost. And its not an "off the shelf item". Anybody handy can usually adapt a power cord or rewire the camera. They are pretty basic. And  3) Does it work? Sometimes people just say, "Dunno if'n it works. If it doesn't? Well, send it back" :( 

Really, one can turn the thing on and if the reels turn and the bulb lights up, it probably works ok. Whenever I see "Dunno...", I always think about the D8L I bought way back when. The seller said, "It's museum quality". Worst camera I ever bought. Rust everywhere. Parts is was... :(

I have 2x  8mm projectors. A Bell & Howell 400 Model 122 (sold in the 1940s) and a Keystone. Both work fine and have pretty much the same controls. The B&H is the better of the two. The projecting lens on the B&H is very nice. The lens on the Keystone has some air bubbles in the glass. Doesn't seem to make a difference, though.

If you haven't used a projector before, remember this rule: ALWAYS start the film rolling before the light is switch switched on.

Some projectors have a "fail safe" system. A rotary switch runs the film feed when turned to the 1st position and then the lamp comes on when the switch is turned to the 2nd position. If not done in this fashion, the heat from the lamp and a few seconds of film not moving in the projectors gate will burn a hole in the film stock :(

Shipping will be high as the projectors usually are quite heavy. 10-20 pounds. You'll need take-up reels, also. A 7" reel is common. Ebay again. Try to get a reel(s) with their corresponding storage cans. 7" reels hold 400'.

Film is returned from the developers on a 3" reel - about 50' and 3 minutes or so depending on the original filming speed. So unless you like rewinding 3" reels every 3 minutes, putting all the 'like stuff' on a single reel is the way to go. Be sure to accurately mark all reels. Nothing more aggravating than seeing Uncle Fred when you were expecting the grandkids birthday party.

Editing for film usually involves cutting out the garbage and bad shots and making some kind of movie. Might be a narrative - or just what happened, or it could be edited into a story. To edit 8mm film you'll need a "flatbed". Yeah, they are cheap. Shipping's higher because of the weight. If your searching eBay , use this link to search for 8mm editors:

Be sure to get a 8mm editor and NOT a Super 8 editor. Different size film, sprocket holes, etc. Again, these also have lamps so make sure the lamp is good or expect to spend $10-25 for another. These do not have a motor to move the film. All done by hand with hand cranks. You will need a single edged razor bland or film cutter, and film cement, and possibly some leader material. The leader is all white and serves only to allow the film projector to be running BEFORE the film you want to see shows. Else you would miss something.

Link to film leader material:

Link to film cement:

All projectors have a speed control. Use it to adjust the motion in film when running to what "looks normal". The projectors lens is focusable. You can project against a painted wall, a white sheet or use a film screen.

Projectors manuals are available online. Some free. Try a Google search:

           film projector manuals

"...Popcorn is optional..."

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