8mm film – Considering costs for using 8mm film

As you might remember, I started experimenting with my LEICINA SPECIAL Super8 camera and finally made it to send in the first cartridge of Super8 8mm film material for development. I used Kodak Tri-X black & white Reversal Film and chose Wittner Cinetec in Germany as a service provider. About 2 weeks after sending my material I received the developed film. 

8mm - developed 8mm film material - 1
8mm – developed 8mm film material – 1

Costs to shot, develop and digitise 8mm film

A 50ft (15m, around 3.5 minutes at 25 fps) cartridge costs 25€ to develop including shipping costs. Considering the 22€ to 40€ for the material, it basically sums up to 13.42 € to 18.58 € per minute. Additional costs might come up for digitisation of the film for digital post processing.

A few month ago, I already compiled a list of service providers for digitising my 8mm film. I will either go with retrofilms.de or schmalfilm-archiv.de. Booth offer frame-by-frame scanning as single image files with a resolution of 2K. Looking at their price list, I expect this to set me back another 0.60 € per meter of material and additional costs of up to 7.50 € for a 120m film spool plus 6.90 € for shipping.

8mm - developed 8mm film material - 2
8mm – developed 8mm film material – 2

In the worst case of just digitising one spool, this might add up to 23.40 €. For lets say 8 15m film spools (resulting in 120m of material) it would add up to 86,40 € and 10.80 € per spool. This would add up to 20.10 € to 25.26 € per minute with one spool and 16.50 € to 21.66 € per minute with 8 spools all costs considered. That’s not cheap.

I am not sure how much filmed material is usually produced for 1 minute of finally used material in an amateur film setting. At a relation of 1 to 8, a 3,5 minute amateur 8mm movie might add up needing 28 minutes of raw material resulting in costs of 462.00 € to 606.48 € depending on the used film just to get the shot material developed and digitised. That’s 132.00 € to 173.28 € per minute. Not cheap at all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.