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Home /Science / How Long Does a Super 8 Film Last?

How Long Does a Super 8 Film Last?

By Elaine Elliott

Do you have a bunch of Super8 film stored away in your closet? Or maybe you recently inherited some tapes from your family?

Before you playback these memories too much, consider the sensitivity of analog media.

Because Super8 film doesn’t last forever!


Long story short, Super8 film lasts about 70 years in ideal conditions. But it’s rare to see a Super8 film kept in perfect condition for decades at a time.


Super8 film is a type of magnetic tape media. Whether you’re using a cassette tape or 8mm film, all magnetic tape media uses adhesive bindings that slowly wear and lose stickiness over time.


The binding can be degraded if exposed to humidity, bright lights, heat, or dust. But other more unexpected factors can also damage a Super8 film’s durability. For instance, since analog media uses magnetic tape, storing Super8 film next to electrical items can be harmful.


If you’ve played your Super8 film recordings multiple times, this can also lead to a shortened lifespan. This means some of your most loved Super8 films might have the greatest risk of damage.


So let’s say none of these factors apply to you. Let’s assume you’ve kept your Super8 film in a safe dark spot away from humidity, dirt, and magnetic fields. And you haven’t overplayed them in a long time. Even then, Super8 film’s magnetic media won’t last forever. Even in ideal conditions the film will only last about 70 years. But more than likely, these tapes can see deterioration within 30-40 years.


This means some of the Super8 film you have stowed away might face the risk of damage soon.


Fortunately, Southtree can digitize your Super8 film to ensure you have these tapes backed up and preserved. Make sure to convert your Super8 film digitally before it’s too late!

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