My Super8 8mm Experiment – 8mm film resolution

With affordable 4K displays around the corner a higher resolution than the offered 2K frame-by-frame scanning would be nice for my 8mm film, since products like ARRISCAN provide up 6K/4K.

Bolex H16 – ARRIscan from Justin Cary on Vimeo.

The question would be, whether this makes sense at all, taking the natural resolution of the 8mm motion picture film format into consideration. The filmstrip of the format is 8 millimeters wide, providing the name for the 8mm film. Super8 has a larger image area than Normal 8 due to its smaller perforations, 5.79mm x 4.01mm (0.228” x 0.158”) to be precise.

8mm - developed 8mm film material - 2

Kodak advertises parts of their current film lineup, e.g. Vision3 for Color and Eastman for b/w, as especially made for scanning. According to Kodak, a resolution of up to 1120 scan lines can be achieved with a 8mm film, making Super8 compatible to 2K and Full HD Resolution. I think this might depend on the quality of the film material, its grain and various other factors. Apart from Kodak’s statement, I must admit any hard facts about this issue are hard to find. But since Kodak seems to be in the lead with their current products, it could be considered a valid source.

This would mean, aiming for a 4K scan won’t be necessary. In the end I could try one of the 2 service providers (retrofilms.de or schmalfilm-archiv.de) for comparison or look harder for some other offerings, maybe even internationally.

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