Single 8

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Yashica TL 30 single-8 camera
Single 8 cassette Fuji Fujichrome RT 200

Single 8 is a narrow film system developed by the Japanese company Fuji ( see also film format ). It was unveiled to the world on May 1, 1965 at the Photo Expo in New York City. The market launch in the Federal Republic of Germany and Berlin (West) took place during the Hanover Fair in 1966. The system was not commercially available in the GDR and Berlin (East). It was and is the predominant narrow film system in Japan , but not very widespread and little known in Europe .

Common to Super 8

Single 8 uses the same film format, so the same display and the same perforation as the recently from Kodak introduced Super 8 system. That is why no special projectors are required for the Single 8, the films can be shown on any Super 8 projector. Most of the single-8 cassettes also contain 15 m of film material, which results in a running time of 3 minutes 20 seconds at the standard frame rate of 18 frames per second.


Super 8 and Single 8 use completely different cassettes , which results in cameras with fundamentally different structures , which can then only be loaded with the cassette of the respective system. As a rare exception to this principle, an Elmo brand camera was available on the Japanese market that could use both types of cassette.

In the case of the Super 8 cassette, the unwinding and winding rolls are arranged next to one another, which results in a correspondingly thick cassette. Above all, however, their structure does not actually allow the film to be rewound, as is interesting for various film tricks. However, some cameras can back up approx. 90 images in the free cassette space, which is sufficient for crossfades. The operating instructions generally advise against doing this at the end of the film.

With single-8 cassettes, the two rollers - similar to the audio compact cassettes - lie on top of each other on separate axes, which means that the cassette is correspondingly thin. Overall, the volume of the single 8 cassette is significantly lower than that of the super 8 cassette. The cassette allows unlimited rewinding, so the best camera model from Fuji (FUJICA ZC 1000) even allows reverse filming. The unproblematic rewinding was emphasized in the advertising from the start. The single-8 cassette has a recess for the pressure plate on the camera side.

Film pressure plate

Another difference between the two systems is that in the Super 8, Kodak has dispensed with the camera's own film pressure plate in the interests of simply inserting the cassette into the camera ; the film swims practically without proper pressure in a narrow channel that is formed from the film guide plate in the cassette and the counterpart on the camera side. An imprecisely manufactured cassette can easily cause an unsteady image stagnation, sharpness deficiencies and pumping of sharpness are common. Single-8 cameras, on the other hand (like almost all other film cameras), have their own metal film pressure plate without making inserting the cassette significantly more difficult.


The reels of a single-8 cassette and thus the entire cassette are kept very small. The original Single 8 film material offered by Fuji therefore uses a polyester material as the film carrier instead of the acetate material usual for Super 8 , which is about 1/3 thinner, but still more dimensionally stable and tear-resistant. This enables the Single 8 cassette to contain 50 feet / 15 m of film just like a Super 8 cassette. However, when cutting the film, polyester film cannot be glued with film putty (= “wet”), but only with transparent foils (= “dry”). However, since polyester film does not shrink like acetate material, it does not have the same disadvantages (light gap formation) as with acetate films bonded with foils. Applying a magnetic sound track is not possible with the "normal" glue. Because of the different thicknesses, it is also not advisable to cut acetate and polyester film material together, but this is basically possible.

In the meantime, Fuji has not only stopped the production and sale of Single 8 films, but also their development and tracking in September 2013.

The Japanese company Retro Enterprises, which u. a. can also develop the Fuji Single8 film material, but offers several alternatives to Fuji's Single8 films:

  • Color films (under the name "Cinevia" based on various slide films that can be developed using the common E6 process, including in Germany):
    • Cinevia 50D (Fuji slide film Velvia ISO 50/18 °, daylight film - now only available as a remainder)
    • Cinevia T64 Professional Single-8 (Fujichrome T64 Professional ISO 64/19 °, artificial light film - now only available as a remainder)
    • Cinevia / Astia 100F (Fujichrome Astia 100F, ISO 100/21 °, daylight film )
    • Cinevia Agfa 200D (Agfa Aviphot Chrome 200, ISO 200/24 ​​°, daylight film )
  • Black and white films that were no longer available in 8-single cassettes have been available again for some time. Retro Enterprises offers it as "Retro X" with 12 m black acetate film from German production (sensitivity ISO 200/24 ​​°).

Since all films currently on offer have a thicker film carrier than the "original" Fuji Single8 films, these Single-8 cassettes only contain 40 feet / 12 m of film, so that the running time is 2 min. 40 seconds per cassette (at 18 Frames per second) is reduced.

The company announced that from the summer of 2006 it would be offering Single8 empty cassettes with coding for all 5 possible film speeds, which can then be filled with Super8 by the meter. However, since Fuji continued to offer its R25N / R200N and the company is no longer active, these plans are off the table.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Fuji's press release from 2007 about the extension of sales and development of the two Fujichrome films . Retrieved February 14, 2011.
  2. Fuji's press release from 2009 about the current final dates for sales and development . Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved February 14, 2011. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. The original announcement of the empty cassette ( memento of November 2, 2006 in the Internet Archive )