Knowing the different 16mm and 8mm reel sizes can help you estimate film length without measuring film by hand. Most home movie to DVD services charge by the foot or by the diameter of the film reel itself, so let's figure out how much film you have.
A reel is just a plastic cylinder that stores a segment of film. It includes the center rod that the film gets wrapped around, and flat circular caps mounted on each end of the rod to hold the film in place.
Here are a few tips for measuring film reel size:
Most 16mm and 8mm film reels are 3, 5, or 7 inches across. Assuming they're full, larger reels naturally hold more film -- not just in feet, but in minutes, too.
After measuring film reel diameter, use this guide to estimate how much footage you have. The run times are based on a standard playback speed of 18 frames per second (fps).
|Reel Diameter||Film Length||Run Time (18 fps)|
|3 inches||50 feet||3-4 minutes|
|5 inches||200 feet||14-16 minutes|
|7 inches||400 feet||28-32 minutes|