What is the difference ratio wise between 35mm and 16mm?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ScottR, Apr 12, 2002.

  1. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

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    If a film exists in both 35mm and 16mm versions, both open matte, is there a difference in ratio? Will the 35mm version contain more picture information?

    Posted in wrong section..sorry Mods. Please place this thread in software or Movies...thanks.
     
  2. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
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    A 16mm frame is basically square, just like a 35mm. What ratio you decide to film in depends on the lens more than it does the film format. 35mm, by nature of its size, has much higher resolution than 16mm.
     
  3. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    Adding to that: Super 16mm forgoes sprockets on one side of the film yielding a slightly larger exposure area, slightly better quality and of course a slightly wider aspect ratio.
     
  4. Scott H

    Scott H Supporting Actor

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    Camera apertures for 16mm and 4-perf 35mm:

    16mm = 1.37:1

    Super16 = 1.66:1 (really 1.69:1 but effectively cited as 1.66:1)

    35mm = 1.37:1

    Super35 = 1.33:1

    Of course, as Brian said, this is just the exposable aperture and you may compose for the intended AR within this. For example, one of the 16mm cameras that I work with regularly has native 1.85:1 ground glass markings within it's 1.37:1 aperture. Most 1.78:1 TV drama HD programming or 1.85:1 theatrical films originate within the 1.37:1 regular 35mm camera aperture.

    As Chad said, Super16 exposes where the perfs would be on one side of normal double-perf film (the single-perf film used for S16 in most cameras is B-wind)

    Super35 uses the exact same stock as regular 35, but exposes the full width between sprocket holes, including the area that would be used for the optical soundtrack in distribution. Thus, S35 can't be projected commercially.

    Remember too that the exposable ratio is not indicative of the projected AR. For example, filming with anamorphic lenses on either 16 or 35.
     
  5. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    I kind of like this being in "Movies," for some reason. And I used to jointly own 16mm prints of some of my favorite films, including 2001.
    If another admin disagrees and feels this thread should be in "Software," go ahead and move the sucker. I'm easy. [​IMG]
     
  6. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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  7. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    Also, something else to note is that not only is the 16mm frame much smaller than the 35mm frame, but it is harder to hold the 16mm frame steady during projection, so often times the image will suffer a serious degredation.
    However, I will also admit that a good 16mm presentation can have a glorious picture....
    Leo Kerr
    [email protected]
     
  8. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    16mm can have any picture aspect ratio.
     
  9. Scott H

    Scott H Supporting Actor

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  10. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    Actually, perhaps that it isn't a difficulty in holding a frame steady, but placing the next frame in the exact same spot every time. Aparently, it is due to several reasons...
    - perforations only on a single side
    - one 'pin' and/or claw to actually move and position the film in the gate
    - no pin(s) to hold the film in the gate
    - square pin smaller than perforations
    - square (rectangular, actually) sprocket holes that tend to be damaged, broken, and/or torn easily
    The Oxberry transport I used in school got around some of the problems by having four pins in the camera gate. This required, of course, double-perf film, and if you attempted to adapt this transport for projection, you'd loose sound-on-film capability (as you'd need the second set of perfs) which would also forbid Super16.
    Leo Kerr
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  11. Scott H

    Scott H Supporting Actor

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