Single 8mm film resurrected from the dead by open source project

Dec 6, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Single 8mm film resurrected from the dead by open source project

Dec 6, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Single 8 Film

Single 8mm is the lesser-known cousin of the popular Super 8mm format. It was Japanese company Fujifilm’s answer to Kodak’s Super 8. Fujifilm hasn’t made Single 8 film since 2012, though, and there are still a lot of cameras out there.

Jenny List has been tackling this issue by designing her own Single 8 film cartridges. And they’re a drop-in replacement for the original cartridges. Jenny has been documenting the design process on YouTube.

YouTube video

The project started being posted to YouTube in April, with some early designs for a Single 8 cartridge. It’s interesting to see the development of the product over the course of several videos. The most recent of these is part 4.

What is Single 8?

The Single 8 format was created by Fujifilm in 1965 as a competitor to Kodak Super 8. While Single 8 was never as popular as Super 8, the two continued to live on side-by-side. Fuji finally pulled the plug in 2012 when they killed Fujichrome R25N and RT200N film.

We can see in the latest instalment that after doing some tests and refining, the cartridges were loaded up with film and shot. The results look very promising indeed.

YouTube video

A sign of things to come?

For a format with a quiet legacy lasting almost half a century, it would be a shame for those cameras to go on the scrap heap. So, it’s awesome to see somebody actually doing something about keeping them around. After all, for as long as they’re useful, people will use them.

And bringing back a dead format like Single 8 will make a lot of abandoned cameras very useful again. I wonder how much more of this we’ll see in the coming years. Desktop manufacturing is here to stay. And even if you don’t want to buy a 3D printer, you can buy 3D printing services online.

It’s not difficult to design anymore. And it’s certainly not difficult to make. It would be great to see more older devices being brought back to life with modern designs rather than to be trashed. Designs we can build on our desktop in less than a few hours.

Files not available yet (but they’re coming)

There are no 3D printable STL files available for the Single 8 film cartridge yet. Jenny said in a video comment that they will be released as open source. But, it’ll only happen after she’s happy with the design and it’s fully tested.

[via Hackaday]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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