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2.35 vs 2.40


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#1 Gian Claudio

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 07:33 PM

Hi,
I'm really interested in understanding the difference (if there is) between super 2.35 and super 2.40 formats.
As far as I know the two formats seem to relate to the two different main camera systems (respectively Arri and Panavision).
If I prepare, as a 2nd AC, a "non-anamorphic-scope-job" with an Arri camera, I'll have a super 2.35 groundglass, but if I prep the same job with Panavision (or Panarri) I'll find myself with 2.40 viewfinder marks. What's the real difference?
By the time the lab is going to squeeze the original neg that will be later deanamorphized in theaters in the same way ,not depending on what camera or groundglass I used in the framing process, is there one of the two formats (frame marks) that doesn't cover exactly (or maybe "overcovers") the projection aperture??
Is it only a matter of standard conventions? Thank you.
Gian Claudio
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#2 Max Jacoby

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 07:49 PM

Cinemascope used to be 2.35, but in 1970 SMPTE decided crop it to 2.40 (actually 2.39), to better hide the splices on the anamorphic prints. Although the expression '2.35' still gets commonly used today (like on imdb) it is in fact 2.40.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 10:47 PM

The squeeze is still 2X -- the only difference is that over the years, the projector aperture for scope prints has been altered slightly, which has caused the final aspect ratio to alter slightly. Mainly that the gate is slightly smaller vertically to hide neg splices better, hence 2.35 becoming 2.39 (rounded up to 2.40 by most people.)

Originally it was going to be 2.66 : 1 (Full Aperture photography) when CinemaScope was going to use interlocked mag track sound ala Cinerama (with a similar aspect ratio); then it became 2.55 : 1 when they switched to mag striping on both sides of the frame and smaller "C-Scope" sprocket holes; then it became 2.35 : 1 when they went to the conventional analog optical track on one side; then it became 2.39 when they shortened the height of the gate to hide splices better. It technically hasn't been 2.35 since the early 1970's (repeating what Max said.)

Since the image has a 2X squeeze and if the final unsqueezed image is slightly less wide than 2.40 : 1, then the projector aperture is slightly less wide than 1.20 : 1.
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#4 Gian Claudio

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 01:27 AM

Thank you very much, very clear answers! Only one question; what are exactly the "splices" you talk about?
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 02:24 AM

Thank you very much, very clear answers! Only one question; what are exactly the "splices" you talk about?


Surely you've heard of cutting negative... you know, physically splicing together pieces of film that match the offline edit, so that the conformed negative can be printed? See:

http://en.wikipedia....ki/Film_splicer

Since the anamorphic format uses almost the entire height of the 4-perf negative for picture information, the physical join (splice) between two pieces of negative, and thus the print made off of that negative, is barely out of the projected area.
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#6 Dominic Case

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 01:25 AM

Since the anamorphic format uses almost the entire height of the 4-perf negative

That said, I think this original question was about super-35 being shot flat for anamorphic release. In other words, the camera negative is in the super-35 format using the full width of the stock (from perf edge to perf edge) and the midle slice of this (just over half the full height) is extracted and blown up and squeezed during duplication in the lab, to produce an anamorphic dupe neg, and prints.

This allows you to use cylindrical lenses (not anamorphics) on the camera, with the advantages that that brings, and puts the task of the squeeze onto a fixed focus lens on an optical printer (or these days, more often, it's a digital squeeze, not optical). Drawback is that only hald the negative area is used.

In that case, splices in original neg are no longer an issue (nor are they in a job that is shot anamorphic and finished as a DI)- though the dimensions remain the same as they were set when splices did flash into the image area on a full-height neg.

I seem to remember that Arri and Panavision arrived at slightly different widths on the camera negative becasue Arri was protecting a strip at the very edge inside the perf area for an edge marking system.

But regardless of the camera you use, the projection format remains 2.39:1 (or 1:2.39 if you prefer).
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