A Quick Guide to 16mm Cameras And Film Specs
The information presented here is to identify the type and length of motion picture film required by 16mm cameras currently in use on a worldwide basis. While it is impossible to identify every such machine on the planet, typical cameras used by schools, productions and amateurs will be discussed. Major manufacturers will be listed, and within each group, specific models will be identified as necessary.
Please note: If a camera is described as, “designed for 1R (single-perforated) film” it means that the camera will properly run both 1R and 2R (double-perforated) film. If a camera is set up as “Super 16mm”, it MUST have 1R film only!
About 98% of the 16mm cameras in use today can run 1R film, whether or not they are “Super 16mm”.
16mm Cameras by Manufacturer
All Aaton cameras are designed for 1R film, and the Super 16 versions of any model must have 1R Film. These models include the “LTR”, the “XTR Plus”, and the “XTR Prod”. The Aaton “A-Minima” uses exclusively the special Kodak 200’ 1R A-Wind Product.
All Arriflex 16mm cameras have been designed for 1R film. Super 16 Models require 1R only! The “Arri S” takes 100’ spools as an internal load, and can use a 400’ mag as an accessory. Other Arri Models, including the “M”, the “BL”, and the “SR” Series use external magazines for loads of up to 400’ (and a few will take 800’ loads).
16mm Sound-on-Film cameras were manufactured from 1933 to the 1990s. These cameras may be set up to record a Photographic Soundtrack on the edge of 1R, and many were designed to record magnetic sound on (long discontinued) prestriped film. All models are designed for 1R Film. Customers wanting to record 16mm Photographic Sound-on-Film must use 1R film.
Bell & Howell 100’ Roll Cameras:
Bell & Howell began manufacturing 16mm cameras in about 1924. Their “70 Series” Cameras (AKA “Filmo”) continued production into the 1970’s with few modifications.
Many pre-WWII 70-Series Cameras required 2R Film, as did some of their 1920s-vintage 16mm projectors. Later cameras (most of what is in use today) can run 1R Film, but the customer must determine for sure, whether or not their camera has a second row of teeth on the drive sprockets.
Bell & Howell 16mm Magazine Cameras:
Kodak sold this film load business to Alan Gordon Enterprises of Hollywood over ten years ago. Customers should contact Alan Gordon directly about purchasing Kodak Film as loaded by these folks.
It is difficult to categorize Bolex cameras as to 1R vs. 2R requirements. About 90% of these machines are designed to run 1R Film. There are some that, like the Bell & Howells, are “pre-war” and will need 2R unless they are modified (not a big job, by the way). As a rule, if the Bolex in question is a “Reflex” Model, it should run 1R. The customers must determine their own needs, as with the Bell & Howell Cameras.
These cameras are similar in design to Auricon, and all use 1R Film. Virtually all take 400’ loads.
All use 1R Film.
Once the “State of the Art” in lightweight precision cameras, these machines do not have the popularity that they enjoyed in the US in the 1960s and 1970s. All Éclair Cameras will run 1R. The Éclair NPR is designed for 400’ loads. The ACL Model has 200’ magazines for 200’ Daylight Spools (NOT A-Minima), which could be a challenge if we no longer offer this spec. Few are in use in the US.
Keystone was a consumer-grade manufacturer of 8mm and 16mm cameras. Please refer to Bell & Howell information for both Keystone 100’ roll and 16mm Magazine formats, as this information is largely the same. Keystone and Bell & Howell were the first two licensees of the 16mm Format from Kodak in 1923.
Kodak 100’ Models include the following cameras, divided by film requirements: Models: A, B, BB*, E and G, made from 1923 through about 1954 use 2R only. Few are still in serious use.
Models: Cine Kodak Special (1933-1948), Cine Kodak Special II (1948-1961), Cine Kodak K-100 and Reflex Special all use 1R.
*This antique takes 50’ spools, offered only in 7250.
Kodak 16mm Magazine:
For (all models) Please refer to Bell & Howell Magazine Cameras info.
These cameras may be set up for either single or double-pin registration. If set up for double-pin, the camera requires 2R Film. Few are in use in the US.
See Mitchell, above. Most have been converted to Super 16, and require 1R Film.
Require 2R Film unless specifically converted to 1R for Super 16 (as NFL Films did).
Oxberry Animation Stands:
Require 2R Film.