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35mm Motion Picture Fil vs. 35mm Still Film


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#1 Peter Ellner

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 03:07 AM

I recently learned that what photographers refer as 35mm film is actually about 50% bigger than what cinematographers refer as 35mm film. Apparently, 35mm film for still photography is 36mm X 24mm, while 35mm motion picture film is around 24mm X 18mm (depending on number of perfs, etc.).

This is a real shock to me, I just had no idea since I'm young and haven't experienced working with film before. But why is it that motion picture film has a 50% smaller frame size than still photography film?

Thank you!
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#2 Ian Cooper

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 04:27 AM

...why is it that motion picture film has a 50% smaller frame size than still photography film?


Because in a motion picture camera the film runs through vertically, whilst in a still camera it passes through horizontally.
The height of a 'still' frame is the 'width' of a movie frame.
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#3 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 08:39 AM

It's quite an interesting history, actually.

Early still photography was always a much larger format, but in 1913 an engineer working on a precision cine camera for a company called Leitz invented a mechanism to test the emulsion speeds of 35mm cine film, which at the time were rather haphazard. His device moved the 35mm film horizontally, rather than vertically, so to maintain the aspect ratio he opened the gate aperture to make it 8 perfs wide, rather than 4 perfs tall, as in a cine camera. It took single frames, which were enough for his purposes.

The cine camera never eventuated, but the test device led to the first Leica, and a revolution in stills camera design.

For decades, older photographers disparagingly referred to the new format as "miniature photography".

http://camerapedia.w...m/wiki/Ur-Leica
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#4 jun keung cheung

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 05:41 PM

moreover digitally, say a 7D is more correct to 35mm motion picture frame (DOF) which is APS-C size frame. A 'full frame' 5D is to say it is full frame stills photography as 35mm stills are- not motion picture 35mm. Thus 5D has more is like shooting 35mm Anamorphic.

Go online and check charts or look at a 35mm stills negative compared to a 35mm motion photography neg.

JC
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