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Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Did 1920's home 16mm cams shoot at 24fps?

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I got some old home movies from the 1920's. It looks like the footage is fast and jerky. Did the cheap, home 16mm cams shoot at 24fps back then?

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I'd imagine they were hand-cranked back then rather then motorized meaning that even with a good operator could have a frame rate range of 18-24 fps. as for weather or not they were even capable of 24, I have no idea.

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Almost all home movies were shot at 16fps, as it was the standard speed in the silent era of the 1920's, when cameras were hand cranked I think two turns indicated 16fps and cameras that had spring motors were set to 16fps.  When playing footage that was shot at 16fps on 24fps naturally it will be fast. Virtually all amateur cameras were set to 16fps, but during the 1930's some amateur cameras started to feature 24fps as well as other higher speeds of 32fps, 48fps and 64fps. 18 fps was only introduced with Super 8, it was the slowest speed [so less film was used] that was capable of producing acceptable sound, a lot of Super 8 sound cameras only run at 18fps, in fact as far as I know Kodak never made a Super 8 sound camera that runs at 24fps.

Pav

Edited by Pavan Deep
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OK, thanks! (BTW, these were silent films.) It makes sense that they looked poor compared to todays films. Fast action is very jumpy. 

I think I saved this at 15fps. (I should keep some notes.) I save it all speed options and see what looks the best.  Don't know if they offer 16fps on the software.

Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

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Cameras that run at 16 fps only (quick and dirty from memory)

  • Bell & Howell Filmo 70-A, either 8 and 16 or 16 and 32; 1923
  • Ciné-Kodak, cranked by hand; 1924
  • Ciné-Kodak B; 1925
  • Cine-Kodak BB; 1927
  • Bolex Auto and Auto B; 1926/1928
  • Niezoldi & Krämer Ciné-Nizo 16; 1925
  • Vitascope Movie Maker, cranked by hand; 1931
  • Excel 40; 1940
  • Irwin 16
  • Agfa Movex 12
  • Kinarri 16, cranked by hand
  • Stewart-Warner Hollywood
  • Moveo; 1930

16 frames per second is still valuable for silent pictures also on 35-mm. film. One can still produce and exploit like in the twenties. You only have to find a theatre owner or manager willing to set up a pair of corresponding projectors. One big advantage we have today over the golden age of cinema is safety film stocks. Today we have multi-layer colour films, too. What you cannot have back are the stunning colours of Technicolor. But low-intensity carbon arc lamps are feasible and non-coated projection lenses of the Petzval type or of triplet design are available.

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18 hours ago, Daniel D. Teoli Jr. said:

OK, thanks! (BTW, these were silent films.) It makes sense that they looked poor compared to todays films. Fast action is very jumpy. 

I think I saved this at 15fps. (I should keep some notes.) I save it all speed options and see what looks the best.  Don't know if they offer 16fps on the software.

Literally all I can think while watching this is "Aw they're so happy and will be dead or homeless when the stock market crashes next year"

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Still looks too fast, like 16 fps shown at 24.

Do you have the original film? If you can see the entire frame it's often possible to identify exactly which sort of camera was used with these early 16mm films, by the shape of the gate aperture. Most cameras had their own unique gate cut-out or notch identifier, as pictured here:

913515422_gateidentifiers.jpg.a334a9f33cdfbeabe386bc4354f0c7cd.jpg

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