16 mm film was introduced by Kodak (Eastman-Kodak) in 1923 as a low cost amateur alternative to the conventional 35mm cinema film. During the 1920s the 16mm film was often referred to as sub-standard film by the professional cinematographers.
Initially directed toward the amateur market, Kodak hired Willard Beech Cook from his 28 mm Pathescope of America company to create the new 16 mm Kodascope Library. In addition to making home movies, people could buy or rent films from the library, one of the key selling aspects of the 16 mm film format. as it was intended for amateur use, 16 mm film was one of the first formats to use safety film, and Kodak never manufactured nitrate film for the film stock due to the high flammability of the nitrate base. 35 mm was still a nitrate film until 1952,very dangerous!
The silent 16 mm film was aimed at the home enthusiast, but by the 1930s it began to make inroads into the educational market. The addition of optical sound tracks and, most notably, Kodachrome in 1935, gave an enormous boost to 16 mm. The film was used extensively in World War II, and there was a huge expansion of 16 mm professional film making companies in the post-war years. 16 mm Films for government, business, medical and industrial clients created a large network of 16 mm professional film makers and processing – production industries in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
The advent of television also used 16 mm film, by its advantage of low cost and portability over early larger television technology. As a news-gathering format, the 16 mm film was also used to create programming shot outside of the television studio sets.
16 mm film stock is made by Kodak and fujifilm and can still be ordered directly from Kodak sales.
16 mm uses an optical sound track and has perforations on one side only to allow room for the sound track. Silent 16mm film has perforations on both edges of the film.
16 mm Transfer – FXF Frame by frame telecine
Avid Tech DVD Transfer Centre provides true frame by frame telecine for 16 mm films to DVD and also HD film scans 1080i to Blu-ray BD DVD.
Avid Tech is the first company to introduce true HD FXF ZI for full 4.2.2 colour data and a massive 1920 x 1080 pixels.