The Challenges of Preserving 8mm Films


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8mm films have existed since the 1930s and are an essential part of our history. Many families have old 8mm films of special events, family gatherings, and memories of loved ones who have passed on. 

However, the challenges of preserving these films are numerous, and without proper precautions, these films can become damaged. This blog will discuss three major challenges of preserving 8mm films and the importance of converting them to a digital format.

1. Deterioration of 8mm Films Over Time

As the film ages, the images on the film fade, and the colors become distorted, making them difficult or even impossible to view. The leading cause of this deterioration is the chemical breakdown of the film’s emulsion, caused by several factors.

One of the primary factors is the film’s exposure to moisture and humidity, which can cause the emulsion to soften and become sticky. This can lead to the film or the projector becoming stuck, causing further damage. 

Over time, the emulsion can also become brittle and crack, making the film break apart and irreparable.

#2. Lack of Proper Storage Options

8mm films require specific storage conditions to be preserved over time. Unfortunately, these storage options are only sometimes available, making preserving 8mm films challenging. 

As we touched on above, storing 8mm films in an area that’s too hot, cold, humid, or dry can cause the film to become brittle or warp, making it challenging to play or convert into digital formats.

Improper storage of 8mm films can also lead to the growth of mold, which can damage the film and make it unplayable. Humidity, dust, and exposure to light can also lead to mold growth on 8mm films. 

Even storing 8mm films in a tight container, such as a box or bag, can cause damage to the film, as it can trap moisture, heat, and other environmental factors that contribute to the deterioration of the film.

#3. Not Accessible Through Modern Devices

One of the most significant challenges in preserving 8mm films is that they are not accessible through modern devices. Most people today use digital devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers to access media. These devices are incompatible with analog formats like 8mm films.

To access the content on 8mm films, you need a device to play the films. Old film projectors are becoming increasingly rare and expensive to purchase. This makes it difficult for people to access their old 8mm films.

Convert Them to Digital

The best way to overcome the challenges of preserving 8mm films is by converting them to a digital format. 

When you convert 8mm film to digital, you can ensure that the movies remain safe from any further harm and can be easily shared with family and friends.

There are several methods of converting 8mm films to a digital format. The most popular method is through professional video transfer services, such as Capture. These services use specialized equipment to transfer the film’s image and sound to a digital format, such as DVD or digital files.

Digitizing with Capture offers several advantages. They have the tools and knowledge to handle and transfer the films properly, ensuring the best possible outcome. They also provide additional services, such as film cleaning and color correction, to enhance the quality of the final product.

In addition, professional video transfer services provide a high level of convenience. You can send in your 8mm films and receive the digital files without handling any equipment or software.


8mm films are an important part of our history and contain valuable memories we want to preserve. However, the challenges of preserving these films can make it difficult. 

Converting 8mm films to a digital format is the best way to preserve them and make them easily accessible. Professional video transfer services, such as Capture’s digitization services, offer a convenient and effective way to convert your 8mm.

So don’t let your history fall to the wayside, be sure to look into digitizing your 8mm films as quickly as possible.

Robert J
Robert J
I have more than 10 years of experience, Various International Advertising Agencies Such as Foote, Cone & Belding, Digital Media, Public Administration and as a Freelancer.


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