My Super8 8mm Experiment – 8mm film resolution

8mm - developed 8mm film material - 2

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. 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.

Bolex H16 – ARRIscan from Justin Cary on Vimeo.

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 ( or for comparison or look harder for some other offerings, maybe even internationally.

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