Welcome to the Perfect Image Video Blog! Find articles and tips relating to Video Production, CD/DVD Duplication, and Media Transfers.

How Long Are My VHS Tapes?

If you still have a VHS player you can put the tape in and the speed that the tape was recorded in will light up either SP, LP, or EP. SP stands for standard speed and can hold up to two hours on a regular VHS tape. LP stands for long play and you can record up to 4 hours and EP stands for extended play and you can record up to 6 hours.

You may also be able to time your tape out to see how much footage if you VCR counts in hours, minutes and seconds. You simply rewind the tape to the beginning reset the time and fast forward it until the counter stops counting. If you know longer have a VHS VCR then you may bring in your tapes and we will time them out for free.

Reel Sizes and Time

After transferring film for over 25 years one of the most common questions we hear is: What size reels do I have and how much time is on each reel? 8mm film reels are usually one of the following – 3 inches = 50 feet, 5 inches = 200 feet, and 7 inches = 400 feet.

When we want to estimate the amount of time that a film transfer will be the rule of thumb I use is 3 minutes per 50’ of 8mm or super 8 film. This is not exact to the second but will get you close enough to know how much time you have. If you have 16mm film then the time will be less since it runs at twice the speed. So a 50’ reel of 16mm will be 1.5 minutes in running time.