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What is the *TRUE* camera aperture of Super 16?

super 16 camera aperture mm in 15:9 1.66:1 1.69:1

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#1 Charles Zuzak

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 12:49 PM

The fact that I'm creating a topic of this nature may come to a surprise to many of you, but I feel it's necessary because I'm getting at least three different answers based on my own research.

 

1) Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia....ilm#Super_16_mm

 

WP states the camera aperture is 12.52 by 7.41 mm (0.493 by 0.292 in).  This gives us an aspect ratio of 1.6884:1 (1.69:1).  Unfortunately, nothing is cited clearly in that article (shocker!).  For an interesting twist, the entry also lists regular 16 mm as having a height of 7.49 mm (0.295 in).  I thought Super 16 just extended the horizontal dimensions of the format, not also shrink it's vertical dimensions.

 

2a) Arri: http://www.arri.com/...16416_plus.html (click on the "Technical Details" tab)

2b) Panavision: http://www.panavisio...rmats-guide.pdf

 

I lumped these two together because they both cite the same specifications: 12.35 by 7.49 mm (0.486 by 0.295 in).  This gives us less horizontal resolution than what's listed in WP's entry, but now matches the height of regular 16 mm.  We now have an aspect ratio of 1.6475:1 (1.65:1).

 

3) Kodak: http://motion.kodak....INFOGRAPHIC.pdf

 

You'd think these guys would offer evidence corroborating with the camera makers, but they say it's 12.42 by 7.44 mm.  Their Super 16 "Sell Sheet" (http://motion.kodak....oices/index.htm ; click the Super 16 mm tab) at least confirms that regular 16 mm is still 7.49 mm in height.  Their Super 16 film dimensions calculate to an aspect ratio of 1.6694:1 (1.67:1) which is the closest match to the often touted 1.66:1, in my opinion.

 

So we're left with three different physical descriptions.  Which one is correct?  What does SMPTE, ANSI, and/or ISO state for the record?  (I'm not a member of any so I'd appreciate it if those who were could chip in.)

 


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 01:31 PM

No there isn't an exact standard since it is not a projection format, just a camera format that is usually converted to other display formats with their own aspect ratios... I don't think a Super-16 camera gate is exactly the same dimensions in an Aaton versus ARRI versus Panavision, etc. I've come across these different specs before for Super-16 gates.
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#3 Charles Zuzak

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 02:54 PM

No there isn't an exact standard since it is not a projection format, just a camera format that is usually converted to other display formats with their own aspect ratios... I don't think a Super-16 camera gate is exactly the same dimensions in an Aaton versus ARRI versus Panavision, etc. I've come across these different specs before for Super-16 gates.

 

But what happens when the film in scanned into DPX files?  What portion of the film will they scan and at what resolution (x, y pixels)?  Surely scanners are set up the same way to handle Super 16 properly no matter if the footage was shot on an Aaton, Arri or Panavision, right?


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#4 Jean-Louis Seguin

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 04:16 PM

The American National Standard as per ANSI/SMPTE 201M-1988 is:

 

12.52mm ref x 7.42mm + 0.15 -0.00

 

"ref" means exact +0.00 -0.00

 

So Wikipedia has it right for this one.

 

Cheers,

Jean-Louis


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#5 Simon Wyss

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 01:58 AM

By ISO 5768 the image produced by the camera aperture is given as follows:

 

Height 7,42 mm +0,15 -0 or .292" +.006 -0

Width, referential 12,52 mm or .493"

 

Image center line to reference film edge distance 9,15 mm or .36"

Image border opposite perforation to reference edge distance minimum 15,37 mm or .605"


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