The Super 8mm camera has exploded within the wedding industry. As a result, photographers and videographers are jumping at the chance to incorporate this powerful storytelling tool into their wedding packages. Therefore, I wrote this blog to help those are just getting started with Super 8 film and might be in that intimidation stage of learning film in general. Unlike our parents who grew up with film, our generation is used to the reliability and comfort of digital cameras playing back our videos for our immediate pleasure. So, incorporating Super 8 can be scary to learn, but oh is it SO REWARDING. If you’re dying to incorporate that nostalgic WOW! factor into your wedding films and galleries, then read our Get Started Guide below.
My name is Alesia and I’m a wedding videographer that specializes in Super 8mm cameras and film.
This blog post is just the TIP of the Super 8 iceberg. If you’re dying to learn EVERYTHING there is to know about Super 8 and how myself and others have incorporated it into our businesses, then join us in the Super 8mm Course!
How much does a Super8mm camera cost?
Super 8 cameras can range from $20-$3000 dollars. On average, the standard working “Film tested” camera can range from $200-$500.
Where do I buy a Super 8mm camera?
When buying a super 8 camera, the most important thing to note about it, is that it says FILM TESTED from a reputable seller with high ratings. When it says “FILM TESTED,” it means that the seller ran a film roll through the camera and got it developed to prove that the camera’s motor is functioning properly and internal components are clean and working.
You’ll notice the jump in price when a super 8 says film tested versus not tested. When the title of the listing says *NOT TESTED, it’s best to assume that it’s broken or will need repairs.
Our top three places to buy an affordable + beginner friendly Super 8 camera are:
Ebay – (must say “FILM TESTED” in order for it to work. Check for return policy.)
Monsterflipsusa – (more expensive, but all cameras have been reliably film tested)
Etsy – (must say “FILM TESTED” in order for it to work. Check for return policy.)
Where do I buy Super 8mm film?
Our top three places to buy super 8 film online are:
Pro8mm – (the best bang for your buck if you purchase the super 8mm package with processing and scanning through them)
B&H photo – (the place to buy film if you don’t want to use Pro8mm)
Amazon – (most expensive and typically out of stock)
Although, if you’re in a pinch, we suggest calling around to local camera shops and seeing if they carry super 8 film. Sometimes, you can get lucky!
The price of film rolls are constantly fluctuating due to nationwide availability. You can expect to pay anywhere from $40-$70 a roll.
Which super 8mm film roll do I use?
The four most popular super 8 film rolls on the market are:
- Kodak 50D
- Kodak EKTACHROME 100D
- Kodak 200T
- Kodak 500T
*hint hint: we show off all of these rolls in the Course!
The number stands for ISO, the letter D stands for Daylight and the letter T stands for Tungsten.
Basically, our Super 8 course will walk you through every single lighting situation for every roll with real-time footage so you can determine the best film roll for your needs.
Our favorite time to use each roll are:
Kodak 50D – direct sun
Kodak EKTACHROME 100D – blue and green settings during the day
Kodak 200T – indoor venues with yellow light
Pro8mm 250D – sunset backlit
Kodak 500T – dance floors with DJ spotlights
Using the wrong roll in the wrong lighting situations can cost A LOT OF TIME + MONEY. And if you’re a wedding videographer like me… you know you’ll want all the confidence with showing up with the right film roll. To save your wallet from the trial and error, sign up to be a student in our Super 8mm course below!
Where do I get Super 8mm film developed?
Super 8 film is a tedious, expensive, and skillful task that should be left to the pros. Once you finish a roll, we highly suggest getting it processed and scanned by Pro8mm. They have a pretty up-to-date website that gives you a range of options if you’d like them to develop and send your film back to you, like frame sizes, resolution, LOG or color graded, file types, and more!
We personally haven’t used them, but have heard good reviews from our fellow filmmaker friends. Negative Lands Films is similar in price with Pro8mm if you’re wanting a process and scan with a Kodak film (aka not the pre-paid bundle of processing + scanning Pro8mm stock film).
Whereas, Spectra only does the scanning portion.
Confused about what this all means? Don’t worry! The Super 8mm Course walks you through this entire process.
Why would people go this route when Pro8mm is clearly the convenient choice?
These other labs offer higher quality scanning for a lower price than Pro8mm. They also don’t have a bundle deal like Pro 8 does. Therefore, these options are more expensive in the end. Plus, more risky if you’re shipping to multiple different labs.
But if you’re like me — happy with whatever you get back because super 8 is a VINTAGE art, the grain, the blur, the jitter, is what you want anyways… then I opt for convenience every time.
Additionally, Pro8mm has amazing customer service and will answer any questions you have through a quick phone call. I trust the experts at their lab 1000%!
Processing vs. Scanning?
Note: “Developing” is another word for processing.
It’s important to know that labs can do just developing/processing or both processing and scanning.
Processing = chemically processing the film roll to be prepped for scanning.
Scanning = they run the super 8mm film roll through a special computer to be digitized for playback viewing on a screen like any other .mp4 or .mov file.
You can have one lab develop your film and a different lab do the scanning. It’s a common topic among super 8 videographers where they get their film processed and scanned if they’re particular.
For us, we like to do it all in one place with Pro8mm. They even have videos showing their process + scan methods, super cool!
In our Super 8 course, we walk you through our EXACT processing and scanning forms with Pro8mm so you don’t get confused with all of the options out there. It’s a big learning curve!
How do you get your super 8 film delivered to you?
Either way, whoever does the scanning portion of your film development, will be the one to send you your digital video file back. I just opt for a digital email delivery since that’s essentially all I need.
At the same time, some labs offer the option for you to send them a personal usb drive to put the file on and then have it shipped back to you.
Buying a drive from the lab to put your video file on and be shipped back is another option.
Some even offer to ship back your original film reel incase you have a super8mm projector at home that you’d like to hook it up to and play it back that way. Or, even gift to your clients if that’s something you’d like to do as part of your client experience.
What do you do once you receive the digital file of your super 8 video back?
To summarize, if you’re a wedding photographer/videographer, these physical delivery options are naysay and all you really need is that digital download file. Essentially, I always opt for that email digital file delivery and ignore the usb/dvd options.
Once you receive your film, it’s time to edit (especially if you opted for a LOG version back), and colorcorrect your footage to your particular style in your editing program. We show you our editing in Final Cut Pro in the course!
Finally, I like to add a vintage song over my films before delivering it to my clients. I use Musicbed for all of my music licensing!
Check out the Super 8 Course if you’d like to watch some real-time editing of me importing our footage and making creative edits with it.
How do I add Super 8mm to my business?
If you’re looking to add Super 8 footage into your current photography/videography business, then look no further than the Super 8mm Course on our website HERE.
It goes over:
- The camera basics – terms, loading film, reading your viewfinder, batteries, focus, aperture, etc.
- Care + Travel tips with your super 8mm camera
- Understanding which film roll to use in different lighting situations
- How to film people and objects with a super 8mm camera
- A walkthrough of the process, scan and development from multiple labs
- Editing super 8 videos in Final Cut Pro
- Editing super 8 videos with digital videos in Final Cut Pro
- Marketing super 8 in your business
- Delivering super 8 films to your clients
We hope to see you in the Course!