martes, 15 de diciembre de 2020


Yesterday, Tak Kohyama, the man who keeps alive the Single-8  motion picture cartridge system after Fujifilm threw in the towel in 2012, received a notice from Kodak that it had to discontinue the sale of Ektachrome film in Single-8 cartridges, which he reloaded from DS8 Ektachrome big rolls slited with his professional machine. Ektachrome availibility in Single-8 is very important because many filmmakers (such me) we dosn´t like the super-8 cartridge, for certain uses and special effects in camera. And to use the best camera ever made for S8mm cinema, the Fujica ZC1000, we need to use the Single-8 cartridge.

IB Cinema customized Single-8 cartridges with Kodak film: Ektachrome, Tri X and all the Vision range, NOT FOR SALE. ONLY FOR USE IN IB CINEMA.
Tak was told by Kodak than he can not cut the DS8 film and make another product (Single-8). Kodak brought him the copy of my blog! 

Also, Kodak USA saw Super8 Reversal Lab web site, in Holland,  and got to know his product because it is in English.

They bought Single-8  film under somebody’s name secretly and sent to New York  and tested it: this reminds me former German Stasi!, buy secretly the film from Retro8 and then sent to United States to check the edge numbers.

Then they read the edge emulsion number and found out the film is from Kodak Japan. And they told Tak that he had to stop selling Ektachrome film in Single-8 cartridges.   It´s doesnít sound fair that such a big and beloved company attacks a very tiny shop, with a very small market, specially in COVID19 time.

Retro 8 cartridges without Kodak logo. Tak just seek to make easy filming with Ektachrome for the filmmaker in Single-8

All this is a shame because, as a filmmaker, now, I only have two alternatives for certain projects in which I want to make use of the features of the Single-8 cartridge:

1) shoot with  black and white film sold meterwere.

2) reload the Single-8 cartridge myself, as I have done in the past, with film from Super-8 cartridges: 10 meters for one single-8 cartridge, and another 5 meters for another. But this is all a very time consuming task, and Tak could be this very fast and efficiently from DS8 with his slitting machine.

I do not understand this behavior of Kodak because selling Ektachrome in Single-8 does not compete with Super-8 at all, it is complementary, generates more film sales and opens a new range of possibilities to creators who now have to do it in other ways.

Canon 518 SV for Single-8: metal pressure in camera.

For those newcomers to the world of cinema who do not know the Single-8, it may be necessary to explain what it is.  The Single-8 cartridge was introduced in 1965 as an alternative to the Super-8 cartridge. Film inside is Super-8  (8 mm wide with type S perforations) but the cartridge, unlike the co-axial design of Super-8 cartridge, the Single-8 cartridge featured one spool above the other:

Porthole window in all the film chamber doors to check the correct advance of film

This allows the entire rewinding of the film, as many times as the filmmaker want. The Single-8 cartridge is designed so that all chambers that accept it have a metal pressor. Single-8 cartridges can be easily opened and are reusable.

All single-8 cameras, even the smallest and cheapest ones, have a side porthole window that allows  to see one of the two axes of the cartridge: thus, the filmmaker can check if the film advances correctly, something very important to me: nothing else disappointing that a long day shoting timelapses to discover that nothing was filmed, something that sometimes happens with the Super-8 cartridge. 

We are very few Single-8 users but it is a mistake that Kodak does not allow Ektachrome to be sold in these cartridges: certain creators will be deprived of being able to use the best color film ever available, Ektachrome, in the best film camera ever made , the ZC1000.

I hope Kodak will reconsider its decision and allow Ektachrome to be sold in Single-8 cartridges. 

This decision would be good for both Kodak, which will sell more film, and for the filmmakers, who in certain projects, for example with multiple exposures shooting, Single-8 cartridges are the only choice possible. 


Example of Kodachrome in Single-8 with 5 (yes, 5!!!)  multiple rewinds and exposures in camera (4 for images and one more for superimposed titles in camera),  impossible to do with a Super-8 cartridge (home movie of a travel, with the family; sound track recorded on magnetic stripes with projector, in 2009): 

Travel to Holy Land - Summer 2009 (Main and end titles only) from IB CINEMA Motion Picture Films on Vimeo.

Example of shooting with the full rewind of film in  a Single-8 cartridge, shot the upper half of the image frame in the North of Spain by me, and the other half in the South, by Marc Martí; impossible to do this with a Super-8 cartridge! We need Ektachrome film in Single-8 cartridges to shoot opus like this with the best colour film ever made, the one and only one Kodak Ektachrome!: 

SCALA DE VERANO (Summer Scala) from IB CINEMA Motion Picture Films on Vimeo.

Last minute: 

Although he cannot reload the new Ektachrome 7294 in Single-8 cartridges, Tak is now currently using Ektachrome 7285, from which he was able to get several master rolls always in the fridge. Well done, fighter! Our ZC1000s need food ... and thanks to you our cameras will never starve, thanks to you.

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