History of Disc Film Negatives

Like many other film formats popular among amateur photographers, disc film and negatives were developed by Eastman Kodak, and first entered the market in 1982.  Disc negatives remained in use for less than 20 years. Today, most people with disc film are unable to get the negatives processed if they want to get prints from the negatives, and need to look for a disc film scanning service to create digital images of their negatives.

Disc film negative cassettes

Disc negatives and film were manufactured in the shape of a flat disc which was encased within a plastic cartridge.  Each disc houses fifteen separate exposures.  Each exposure is 8mm by 11mm, and is arrayed around the circular edge of the disc.  Each cassette has a light and dark side.  The dark side of the cassette stops light from hitting the negatives when the disc is removed from the camera.

The rotation of the disc negatives enables each disc negative to be exposed with a single image.  When compared to other cartridge-based formats, the thinness of disc negatives enables relatively sharp images.  However, the acetate base of disc negatives are much thicker than more traditional 4 inch by 5 inch sheet negatives and film and result in comparatively grainy pictures.

Disc film cameras

Disc film cameras were marketed to consumers and amateur photographers.  Like so-called “point and shoot” or “all in one” cameras, disc negative cameras were self contained and easy to load and unload.  As such, they were marketed to beginners in photography, and were popular with teenagers and young adults.

Manufacturers of disc negatives and film

In addition to Eastman Kodak, several other film companies produced disc film.  Among other film and negative manufacturers were Fuji and Konica.

Popularity of disc negatives and film

Disc negatives and film never gained wide acceptance among amateur photographers.  The relatively small size of the disc negatives – 8mm by 11mm – resulted in grainy pictures.  Eastman Kodak understood this potential issue and recommended to developers that images from disc negatives be printed using a relatively sophisticated six-element lens developed by Eastman Kodak.  Unfortunately, most developers used three-element lens (which they used for larger negatives).  As a consequence, the images resulting from disc film negatives were often grainy and of poor quality which proved unacceptable to many amateur photographers.

Seventeen years after its introduction in 1982, Eastman Kodak ceased to make disc negatives on the last day of 1999, although disc film cameras had been long absent from the market.

Pass down your legacy by converting your memories to digital

Summer is the perfect time to finally take care of one of the important family projects — preserving your family’s legacy.

Storage Conditions
Your family’s story and legacy – captured in videotapes, film, photographs, slides and negatives – is one of your most precious memories.  Unfortunately, these memories are slowly deteriorating over time.  Even if stored in ideal conditions (no direct sunlight, a little cool, free from dust), these memories are slowly deteriorating.

Unfortunately, many of us store our videotapes, film reels and photos in less than ideal places, like:

  • Attics
  • Bedroom closets
  • Bedroom dresser drawers
  • Garages
  • Utility closets

As a result, our memories are fading fast, are never enjoyed and will soon be lost forever.

Collecting Memories
Summer is a great time to scour your house for these memories.  But don’t forget about the memories stored at your parents’ house or your siblings’ houses.  One of the best ways to get this “family legacy” project rolling is to let the entire family know that you are going to preserve the entire family’s history and legacy.  Encourage them to send in their memories as well.

Or, if you are “the organizer” in the family, have everyone send their memories to you, and you can box them all up together, place an order with MemoryHub and ship the boxes to us.  In just a few short weeks, your memories will be transferred to DVDs.  You’ll get your original materials back, as well as a stack of tidy DVDs that you can share with friends and family.

Choose a theme
Many of our customers tell us that they’ve had great fun by encouraging family members to collect memories organized around one central theme.  Some sample ideas include:

  • Mom and Dad’s 40th wedding anniversary
  • Annual shore trips
  • first bicycle rides of each grandkid
  • Brides walking down the aisle

You get the idea.  By sending in memories organized around one central theme, you’ll have great fun sorting through your memories and, after MemoryHub transfers your video or scans your photo (or other media), you’ll have a group of DVDs that are perfect for sharing with loved ones throughout the year!

History of 35mm negatives film

There were many film formats used in still photography.  Among amateur consumers, the most popular format over the years was 35mm film.

The 35mm film used in still photography was introduced by Kodak in 1934.  Among users of analog film formats (as opposed to digital photography, which is now the dominant picture-taking format), the 35mm film format was the most popular consumer film size.

35mm Negative Cassettes

Individual rolls of 35mm film were encased in single-spool, metal canisters (or “cassettes”), which did not admit light, and allowed cameras to be loaded in daylight.  The 35mm film was clipped or taped to a spool and exited via a slot lined with “flocking (sort of a velvety material).  The end of the film was tapered on one side to form a “leader,” which aided photographers in inserting and loading the 35mm film into the camera.

Removing used 35mm film from the camera was typically done by using a manual lever or automated button which rewound the 35mm film back into the canister before opening the camera. Photographers never opened their 35mm camera while performing this function, as any light would damage the exposed film and it would not be able to be processed.

How many 35mm negatives could a canister of 35mm film hold?

35mm film was available in a wide variety of lengths.  The standard full length 35mm film was 36 exposures, which would then create 36 individual 35mm negatives.  While 20 exposure rolls were at one time the most popular shorter exposure length, 12 and 24 exposure length rolls became more dominant over time.

Professional photographers — who bought their film in very long lengths — could, of course, load custom lengths into the film cassettes to meet their professional needs.

Convert 35mm negatives to digital files

A number of digital transfer companies now provide services to consumers which allow you to transfer 35mm negatives into digital formats.  MemoryHub uses the highest quality negative scanner – the Kodak HR500 – to scan your negatives at a high standard resolution of 3000 PPI (Pixels per inch), and delivers high-quality JPG images on Archive-quality Data DVDs.  These digital images can then be copied onto your computer and used as you use any images generated by your digital camera.

Top 10 reasons to transfer your film, video and images

There are so many reasons to transfer your family’s videos, film and images from their current deteriorating format into the long-lasting digital format of a DVD.  Below are our top 10 reasons for saving your memories today.

1.  Unique and meaningful gifts
One of the most unique and heartfelt gifts we know is a DVD with special family memories.  Rather than take a chance on giving a friend or family member another tie or toaster, try giving them something they could not buy for themselves – access to a special memory that they had forgotten about.

2.  Preserve your family’s story for your children and their children
Your family’s story is unique.  And this story has been captured in videos, film and images (like photographs and slides).  Preserve your family’s story for your children, and their children.

3.  Stop your memories from further deteriorating
No matter where you store your videos, film or images – they are slowly deteriorating.  If they happen to be stored someplace hot, like an attic, they may be deteriorating more quickly.   Take a few moments to gather up your family memories and ship them off to MemoryHub to be preserved.

4.  Enjoy your memories everyday
When your memories are squirrelled away in boxes in the attic or garage or some closet, you are missing out on enjoying those memories.  As we say at MemoryHub, when you convert your memories to DVD, it’s like “uncorking a bottle of champagne.”

5.  Help with genealogical research
We are so pleased when we hear that our customers use our services to advance their genealogical projects.  As families document the histories of their families – making use, for example, of wonderful sites like Ancestry.com – they love being able to incorporate images and memories of the past!

6.  Solve the problem of no longer having working devices to play the memories
So often we hear from families who are frustrated to discover that, in order to play their memories originally stored in analog format, like VHS, they need a working VHS player to enjoy them.  By converting your memories to a digital format on a DVD, you can enjoy your memories without worrying about whether your old devices still work.

7.  Present to yourself – choose a meaningful memory to preserve
While quite a few of our customers convert family memories in order to give gifts to others, we also have thousands of customers who preserve their memories for … themselves.  We love hearing from moms and dads who’ve chosen to celebrate a birthday or anniversary or a promotion by giving themselves the gift of a DVD that preserves a special moment.

8.  Get organized – everything in boxes all over the place
If you are like most people, you have your memories stored in a variety of locations around the house – in a bedroom closet, in a cardboard box in the attic, or in a plastic container in the back of the garage.  Or, if you are like most people, you aren’t exactly sure where everything is!  We have hundreds of customers who find great personal satisfaction in digging up all of their memories and shipping them off to us, so that their unwieldy collection of memories can be stored in a series of nicely labeled and organized DVDs.

9.  Take full advantage of new technology
As computers (including tablets) and televisions have become more advanced, they have become wonderful showcases for memories.  If you have a new large screen computer or tablet or advanced television set up (like an Apple TV), you have the perfect showcase for your memories.

10.  Great family project
Finally, every year we get a few cards and notes from families who tell us how grateful they are to MemoryHub for facilitating a very meaningful family project.   These families let us know that the entire family pitched in to collect all of their videos, film and images – and sent them off to MemoryHub for preservation on DVDs.  But the real fun began when they instituted a regular “family movie night” in which they gathered together to relive the wonderful memories of their family.

Share the gift of memories on St. Patrick’s Day

As St. Patrick’s Day approaches – a day and evening filled with parties full of friends and family – this is the perfect time of year to share the memories of past St. Patrick’s Days.    Converting your old videotapes, transferring your film, or scanning your photographs, slides and negatives is easy!

Because MemoryHub has been helping families preserve their memories for years, we have many stories to tell of families – especially families of Irish descent – who use this special day to collect, preserve and share the memories of “St. Patrick’s Days past.”

Last Year the McCormack family from New York told us a wonderful story.  The McCormacks had been celebrating St. Patrick’s Day for 35 years, at “Mother McCormacks’ house.   Each party was well documented with both cameras and video cameras.  As a result, the family had boxes and boxes of videotapes, film and photographs (and even a few slides) memorializing this wonderful annual celebration of their Irish heritage.  Last year McCormacks decided to gather up all of these memories and have them preserved!

The oldest living brother in the family had everyone send their memories to him (really his wife, to hear her tell it).  After just two weeks of gentle reminders, they had a box full of videotapes and film and photographs.  The McCormacks shipped these memories to MemoryHub, and in a few short weeks had 20 DVDs full of family memories from their annual St. Patrick’s Day party at Mother McCormacks’ house.

These tidy DVDs were such a hit that family members soon found themselves ordering extra copies to give as birthday and Christmas presents.

At MemoryHub, we wish you and your family a wonderful upcoming St. Patrick’s Day.  Please let us help your family preserve the memories of St. Patrick’s Day past, present and future.