Super 8 film development

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by david_choi|1, Mar 14, 2010.

  1. I'm new to film cameras, and in the midst of the digital age, I would like to take a more hands-on/organic approach... My question is regarding Super8 film; can I develop this at home, using the same techniques and materials I would use for SLR film?
    Thanks for the help.
  2. 30 years ago I could find ads for home developing tanks for super 8 film. I haven't seen one in years. If you could find one of these tanks, it would work for E-6 film or B&W film. If the color negative films still have rem jet, then they would not be suitable for home processing.
  3. Well it depends on the type of Film you are using. Ektachrome can be processed in E6 and B&W can be processed in a reversal bath. The Tanks/processors are sold on ebay I see them from time to time they go for between $25.00 and $100.00
  4. thanks for the info, gents
  5. Yeah, look for a Morse G3 Developing Tank or Superior Super-8 Daylight Tank. There are also lots of links in google searches for "8mm home or hand development". I used to process 8mm when I was a kid in the 70s. Kits were all over the Modern and Pop Photo magazine ads.
  6. I was a big 8mm and Super 8 fan back in the 70s and 80s. There were people who processed their own film but I think the consensus was that you did it because you like it rather than because it was practical or saved you any money. Keep in mind that in addition to a developing tank and chemicals you will need a special drying rack that can hold the 50 feet of wet film. You also need a special tool to open the Super 8 cartridge short of smashing it with a hammer or yanking the film out through the opening and risking scratches. Superior and other companies used to sell sets of B&W reversal chemicals but those were discontinued long ago. Kodak used to make a set of reversal chemicals for making B&W slides that would work, but not sure if it's still made or easy to find.
  7. An exposed super 8 cartridge will normally have the end of the film visible in the aperture. The end of the film has a cut-out around the perforations so that the film transport will stop when it reaches the end. The film can be removed from the cartridge simply by pulling it out. Just be careful to avoid a sharp bend of the film around the edge of the cartridge. This is the method that was most often employed for Ektachrome 160 movie film.
    If the end of the film is not viable (happens 1% or 2% of the time), then there are a couple ways to crack open the cartridge. Labs often had a "cookie cutter" that cut a round hole in the side of the cartridge. A hole saw of the right size would work in theory, but it would be hard to get exactly the right size. A better approach is to pry the cover off the cartridge. Look at the cartridgve. There are two main pieces. the "cover" consists of the aperture (film opening) and the large sides of the cartridge. You can see three sides of the "body". They are the narrow sides of the cartridge away from the aperture. You can pry the cover away from the body by starting at the back corners (farthest from the aperture). There were custom tools made for this purpose, but I've also done it in the side of a counter.
    Good luck.

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