super 8 database \ articles \ super 8 format standards

revised: 10-11-2012

 
The Super 8 standards can be read in the literature published by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) (1). This society was founded, in 1916 in New York, to streamline the development of the industry in the motion imaging field. The SMPTE standards have not just one publication, because that, over time, are updated. Down, there are most of standards published for Super 8 format.

Super 8 dimensions specs (2). The nomenclature used by the SMPTE is "8-mm motion picture film with 8-mm Type S perforations" (short: 8-mm Type S). Standard 8 format is called as "8-mm Type R" (3).

  • A, film width = 7.976 mm, +/- 0.038 mm
  • B, perfortion pitch (long) = 4.234 mm, +/- 0.010 mm
  • B', perforation pitch (short) = 4.227 mm, +/- 0.010 mm
  • C, perforation width = 0.914 mm, +/- 0.010 mm
  • D, perforation height = 1.143 mm, +/- 0.010 mm
  • E, edge to perforation = 0.51 mm, +/- 0.050 mm
  • R, radius of perforation fillet = 0.013 mm, +/- 0.030 mm
  • F, edge to camera frame = 1.47 mm
  • F', edge to projector frame = 1.65 mm
  • L, 100 consecutive perforation pitches = 423.42 mm, +/- 0.43 mm
  • L' 100 consecutive perforation pitches = 422.66 mm, +/- 0.430 mm
  • W, camera frame width = 5.69 mm
  • H, camera frame height = 4.22 mm
  • Rf, Radius of frame fillet = 0.013 mm, +/- 0.030 mm
  • W' projector frame width = 5.46 mm
  • H', projector frame heigh = 4.01 mm

Super 8 sound tracks. Super 8 film can have one or two sound tracks of magnetic type. At the first times, the sound was recorded on the main stripe. After, a second stripe was added as balance stripe. At seventies, the balance stripe was used as sound track with the duo system. And after, at middle of the decade, stereo projectors were manufactured (4). The sound is recorded 18 frames prior to the corresponding image.

  • main track width: 0.68 mm
  • balance track width: 0.13 mm
  • edge to main track: 7.21 mm
  • Sound track speed at 18 fps: 7.6086 cm/sec
  • Sound track speed at 24 fps: 10.1448 cm/sec
  • sound/picture distance: 18 frames
  • frequency response:
    • 40-11,000 Hz at 18 fps, magnetic sound with Eumig S 926 GL
    • 40-13,000 Hz at 24 fps, magnetic sound with Eumig S 926 GL

Optical sound is also available in Super 8. The sound is recorded 22 frames prior to the corresponding image. Sound quality is poor, so you always have to record the sound at 24 frames per second.

  • frequency response:
    • 50-7,000 Hz at 24 fps, optical sound with Fumeo 9119 OM
    • 50-5,000 Hz at 24 fps, optical sound with Eumig S O&M
 

Notes:

 

(1) SMPTE web site: http://www.smpte.org/home/

(2) N Bau: La practique du Super 8, Publications Photo-Cinema Paul Montel, Paris (France), 2nd edition, 1967.

(3) the SMPTE 164-1999 contains a information on cutting and perforating dimensions for Super 8 format.

(4) S de Marchi, E S Frechet: Le cinema sonore d'amateur, Publications Photo-Cinema Paul Montel, Paris (France), 8th edition, 1975, ISBN:2-7075-0046-1.

 
SMPTE STANDARDS

1] 8-mm Type S, Standards

  • SMPTE 149 - Motion-Picture Film (8-mm Type S) - Perforated 1R
  • SMPTE 151 - Motion-Picture Film (8-mm Type S) - 16 mm Film Perforated 8-mm Type S, (1-3)
  • SMPTE 153 - Motion-Picture Film (8-mm Type S) - 16 mm Film Perforated 8-mm Type S, (1-4)- Printed Areas
  • SMPTE 154 - Motion-Picture Film (8-mm Type S) - Projectable Image Area and Projector Usage
  • SMPTE 157 - Motion-Picture Film (8-mm Type S) - Camera Aperture Image and Usage
  • SMPTE 159.1 - Motion-Picture Film (8-mm Type S) - Model 1 Camera Cartridge - Cartridge-Camera Interface and Take-up Core Drive
  • SMPTE 159.2 - Motion-Picture Film (8-mm Type S) - Model 1 Camera Cartridge - Aperture, Profile, Film Position, Pressure Pad and Flatness
  • SMPTE 160M - Motion-Picture Equipment (8-mm Type S) - Projection Reels - 100- to 312-mm Diameter-Revision and Redesignation of ANSI PH22.160M-1983
  • SMPTE 161 - Motion-Picture Film (8-mm Type S) - Magnetic Striping
  • SMPTE 162 - Motion-Picture Film (8-mm Type S) - 16 mm Film Perforated 8-mm Type S (1-4)-Magnetic striping
  • SMPTE 163-1998 - (Archived 2003) Motion-Picture Film (8-mm Type S) 35-mm Film Perforated 8-mm Type S, 5R Magnetic Striping
  • SMPTE 164 - Motion-Picture Film (8-mm Type S) - Magnetic Audio Record - Position, Dimensions, and Reproducing Speed
  • SMPTE 166 - Motion-Picture Film (8-mm Type S) - Exposure Control and Stock Identification - Sound and Silent Camera Cartridge Notches
  • SMPTE 168 - Motion-Picture Film (8-mm Type S) - 16 mm Film Perforated 8-mm Type S (1-4)
  • SMPTE 176 - Motion-Picture Film (8-mm Type S) - Magnetic Audio Record - Positions, Dimensions, and Reproducing Speed
  • SMPTE 179-1996 - (Archived 2005) Motion-Picture Film (8-mm Type S) 35-mm Film Perforated 2R (1-0) and 5R (1-3-5-7-0) Printed Areas
  • SMPTE 181 - Motion-Picture Film (8-mm Type S) - 16 mm Film Perforated 8-mm Type S (1-3)- Printed Areas
  • SMPTE 188M - Motion-Picture Equipment (8-mm Type S) -Model II Camera Cartridges (15-m Capacity) - Camera Run FilmLength
  • SMPTE 189M - Motion-Picture Equipment (8-mm Type S) -Model II Camera Cartridges - Loaded Film Location
  • SMPTE 190M - Motion-Picture Equipment (8-mm Type S) -Model II Camera Cartridges - Cartridge-Camera Fit and Core
  • SMPTE 191M - 1994, Motion-Picture Equipment (8-mm Type S) -Model II Camera Cartridges - Slots, Projections, and Cartridge Hole
  • SMPTE 197 - Motion-Picture Film (8-mm Type S) - 50-ft Model 1 Sound Camera Cartridge - Cartridge, Cartridge-Camera Interface, and Take-Up Core
  • SMPTE 198 - Motion-Picture Film (8-mm Type S) - 50-ft Model 1 Sound Camera Cartridge - Aperture, Pressure Pad and Film Position
  • SMPTE 199 - Motion-Picture Film (8-mm Type S) - 50-ft Model 1 Sound Camera Cartridge - Pressure Pad Flatness and Camera Aperture Profile
  • SMPTE 200M - Motion-Picture Film (8-mm Type S) - Model 1 Sound Camera Cartridge - Camera Run Length, Perforation Cutout and End-Of-Run Notch
  • SMPTE 205 - Motion-Picture Equipment (8-mm Type S) - Model 1 Camera Cartridge - Interface and Take-Up Core Drive (200-ft Capacity)
  • SMPTE 206 - Motion-Picture Equipment (8-mm Type S) - Model 1 Sound Camera Cartridge - Aperture, Profile, Film Position, Pressure Pad, and Flatness (200-ft Capacity)
  • SMPTE 209 - Motion-Picture Equipment (8-mm Type S) - Magnetic Audio Records - Recorded Characteristics
  • SMPTE 212M - Motion-Picture Equipment (8-mm Type S) - Projection Reels - 75-mm Diameter
  • SMPTE 117 - Dimensions of Magnetic Control and Data Record on 8-mm Type S Motion-Picture Film

2] 8-mm Type S and 8-mm Type R, Standards

  • SMPTE 74-1993 - Motion-Picture Cameras (16- and 8-mm) - Zero Point for Focusing Scales (R2003)
  • SMPTE 76-1996 - Motion-Picture Cameras (16-mm and 8-mm) - Threaded Lens Mounts (R2006)
  • SMPTE 146M-2001 - Motion-Picture Film (16- and 8-mm) - Reversal Color Camera Films - Determination of Speed (R2006)

3] 8-mm Type S, Recommended Practices

  • SMPTE RP 32-1995 - Specifications for 8-mm Type S Test Film for Projectors and Printers Reel Spindles
  • SMPTE RP 48-1999 - Lubrication of 16- and 8-mm Motion-Picture Prints (R2004)
  • SMPTE RP 49 - Leaders for 8-mm Type R and S Motion Picture Release Prints Used in Continuous-Loop Cartridges
  • SMPTE RP 50-1995 (Archived 2004) - Dimensions for 8-mm Type S Motion-Picture Projector Reel Spindles
  • SMPTE RP 51-1995 (Archived 2004) - Screen Luminance and Viewing Conditions for 8-mm Review Rooms
  • SMPTE RP 53 - Scene-Change Methods for Printing 35-mm, 16-mm and 8-mm Type S Motion-Picture Film
  • SMPTE RP 55 - 8-mm Type S Sprocket Design
  • SMPTE RP 56-2002 - Safe Action and Safe Title Areas for 8-mm Release Prints (R2007)
  • SMPTE RP 58-1995 (Archived 2004) - Nomenclature for Devices Enclosing 8-mm Motion-Picture Film for Projection
  • SMPTE RP 92-1995 (Archived 2004) - Specifications for Audio Level and Multifrequency Test Films for 8-mm Type S Audio Reproducers,
  • Magnetic Type
  • SMPTE RP 109-1994 (Archived 2004) - Spectral Response of Photographic Audio Reproducers for 8-mm Type S Motion-Picture Film
  • SMPTE RP 122 - Dimensions of Cemented Splices on 8-mm Type S Motion-Picture Film, Projection Type
  • SMPTE RP 123 - Dimensions of Tape Splices on 8-mm Type S Motion-Picture Film, Projection Type
  • SMPTE RP 129 - Requirements for 35-, 16- and 8-mm Type S Tape Splices on Magnetic Audio Recording Motion-Picture Film

4] 8-mm Type S, Engineering Guidelines

  • SMPTE EG 7-1994 (Archived 2004) - Audio Sync Pulse for 8-mm Type S Cameras, Magnetic Audio Recorders and Rerecording Projectors