Jump to content


Photo

Dimension 150


  • Please log in to reply
18 replies to this topic

#1 Jonathan Flanagan

Jonathan Flanagan
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 38 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • London

Posted 30 March 2018 - 11:13 PM

Just finished watching Franklin J. Schaffner's "Patton" photographed by Fred J.Koenekamp in Dimension 150. Interesting that only two features were ever shot with this process and was wondering what we're its pros and cons and why it never caught on?
  • 0

#2 Tyler Purcell

Tyler Purcell
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4156 posts
  • Other
  • Los Angeles

Posted 31 March 2018 - 01:43 AM

Dimension 150 was a re-branding of Todd-AO, so it's just spherical 5 perf 65mm. The name came from a 150 degree viewing angle lens they developed, which was something you saw a lot in 80 days around the world, Todd's first feature using the format.

Remember, at the time people were trying to find cheaper solutions to 3 strip cinerama and that format had such a wide angle of view, they just made lenses for 65mm cameras that made the same look. Over the years however, 65mm capture disappeared because of the expense as anamorphic 35mm became the "widescreen" standard. 

 

It's a shame the old lenses aren't used anymore, even on 5/65 movies. It would be cool to find them and use them again just to rekindle that feel. 


  • 0

#3 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 20103 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 31 March 2018 - 01:59 AM

5-perf 65mm Todd-AO had a “bug-eye” wide angle lens made to match the wide field of view of Cinerama’s three 27mm lenses (which had a total view of 146 degrees) but it had a lot of barrel distortion. Richard Vetter developed a less distorted wide angle lens along with some more normal lenses for Todd-AO plus a solid curved screen to replace the ribboned screen of Cinerama, and called the whole system Dimension 150.

“Patton” though only used the super wide-angle lens for a few shots.

Later in the early 1970’s Richard Vetter made some 2X anamorphic lenses for 35mm and called them Todd-AO 35.
  • 0

#4 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 20103 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 31 March 2018 - 02:03 AM

See:
http://www.widescree...en/wingto13.htm
  • 0

#5 Doug Palmer

Doug Palmer
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 366 posts
  • Camera Operator

Posted 31 March 2018 - 03:15 AM

As I recall, Patton was incredibly sharp when shown on a Cinerama screen. I didn't notice the distortion. Maybe though it was the non bug-eye footage. I think the screen then at the Casino theatre in London was the ribboned version.

 

It's amazing how those cinerama presentations stay with you all your life :rolleyes:


Edited by Doug Palmer, 31 March 2018 - 03:18 AM.

  • 0

#6 Phil Connolly

Phil Connolly
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 458 posts
  • Director
  • London

Posted 31 March 2018 - 07:10 AM

Just finished watching Franklin J. Schaffner's "Patton" photographed by Fred J.Koenekamp in Dimension 150. Interesting that only two features were ever shot with this process and was wondering what we're its pros and cons and why it never caught on?

Hi Jon

 

I think part of it didn't stick for the same reason 65mm origination fell out of favour, cost reasons and the multiplexing of cinemas.

 

Also the mega curved screens are more expensive to build and result in distortion. Some of the distortion is corrected by the D150 process - but in most cinemas the screens would also have to work for conventional 35mm projection.  Apparently they had a special surface to minimise cross illumination. Never saw if it worked. Cinerama screens used 100's of vertical strips to stop cross illumination. Again making in the screen expensive - and in the case of the Bradford Cinerama screen the strips are quite visible - looking like base scratches on bright scenes. Maybe D150 fixed that.

 

In general Super Panavision 70 was probably a better offer - still great images, but lacking the distotorama screens and lenses.


  • 0

#7 Jonathan Flanagan

Jonathan Flanagan
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 38 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • London

Posted 31 March 2018 - 10:54 AM

Hi Guys,

Thanks for the responses and info.I notice the wide angle shots in Patton (which Shaffner and Koenekampe seemed to favour as I remember some in Papillon too) appear to have been handheld? Not sure how you manage those with a camera like this?

b89e2827e57da472cf0dbef0a381c3ed.jpg
  • 0

#8 Mark Dunn

Mark Dunn
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2734 posts
  • Other
  • London

Posted 31 March 2018 - 11:08 AM

There was (and is) a hand-held 65mm. camera.

Edited by Mark Dunn, 31 March 2018 - 11:08 AM.

  • 0

#9 Mark Dunn

Mark Dunn
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2734 posts
  • Other
  • London

Posted 31 March 2018 - 11:37 AM


  • 0

#10 Tyler Purcell

Tyler Purcell
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4156 posts
  • Other
  • Los Angeles

Posted 31 March 2018 - 12:35 PM

Hi Guys,

Thanks for the responses and info.I notice the wide angle shots in Patton (which Shaffner and Koenekampe seemed to favour as I remember some in Papillon too) appear to have been handheld? Not sure how you manage those with a camera like this?


They did have a pretty lightweight camera at the time, but it wasn't the studio camera which is pictured in the above image.

http://i4.photobucke...anaflex001m.jpg
  • 0

#11 Jonathan Flanagan

Jonathan Flanagan
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 38 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • London

Posted 31 March 2018 - 03:34 PM

Hey Guys,
Just to save my embarrassment, I was trying to be light hearted about hand holding that camera, but come to think of it, with 3 or 4 big grips to assist I'm sure some old style operator would have given it a go!
  • 0

#12 John Holland

John Holland
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2277 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • London England

Posted 01 April 2018 - 03:28 AM

The handheld camera was called Todd-AO AP 65mm  .


  • 0

#13 Tyler Purcell

Tyler Purcell
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4156 posts
  • Other
  • Los Angeles

Posted 01 April 2018 - 01:09 PM

Hey Guys,
Just to save my embarrassment, I was trying to be light hearted about hand holding that camera, but come to think of it, with 3 or 4 big grips to assist I'm sure some old style operator would have given it a go!

 

If you can put an IMAX camera on your shoulder, you can for sure put that camera (unblimped) on your shoulder. Funny enough, the Panavision sync sound 5/65 cameras are based on the model of camera inside that blimp and they weigh MORE than the IMAX cameras according to Hoyte. I guess that's how much isolation they needed for the mechanics to make it quiet. 


  • 0

#14 Doug Palmer

Doug Palmer
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 366 posts
  • Camera Operator

Posted 03 April 2018 - 04:00 AM

All the Cinerama and D150 presentations gave viewers an immersive experience, in my opinion better than Imax most of the time. Because of the wrap-round effect of the screen, as long as you sat centrally near the front of the balcony.  However, in most films there was at least one shot that looked wrong but maybe had to be included for flat-screen showings.  In 2001 that ridiculous side view of the Jupiter space ship... curved not straight !  In The Bible D150 there was some scene I think of a camel or horse procession side-view that appeared to be climbing over a 'hill'.  In Patton the introductory sequence with the stars and stripes all curved... yet somehow that didn't look bad as it was quite surreal anyway.


Edited by Doug Palmer, 03 April 2018 - 04:02 AM.

  • 0

#15 Phil Connolly

Phil Connolly
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 458 posts
  • Director
  • London

Posted 03 April 2018 - 06:54 AM

All the Cinerama and D150 presentations gave viewers an immersive experience, in my opinion better than Imax most of the time. Because of the wrap-round effect of the screen, as long as you sat centrally near the front of the balcony.  However, in most films there was at least one shot that looked wrong but maybe had to be included for flat-screen showings.  In 2001 that ridiculous side view of the Jupiter space ship... curved not straight !  In The Bible D150 there was some scene I think of a camel or horse procession side-view that appeared to be climbing over a 'hill'.  In Patton the introductory sequence with the stars and stripes all curved... yet somehow that didn't look bad as it was quite surreal anyway.

I saw 2001 on the cinerama screen in Bradford - didn't mind the distortion and the stargate sequence worked great on the curve. 

 

The curve only works well on some seats though. If your sat on the sides it looks terrible, you have quite a small sweet spot in the auditorium to sit in. I think Imax is slightly better in that regard - more seats work well


  • 0

#16 Doug Palmer

Doug Palmer
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 366 posts
  • Camera Operator

Posted 04 April 2018 - 04:10 AM

I saw 2001 on the cinerama screen in Bradford - didn't mind the distortion and the stargate sequence worked great on the curve. 

 

The curve only works well on some seats though. If your sat on the sides it looks terrible, you have quite a small sweet spot in the auditorium to sit in. I think Imax is slightly better in that regard - more seats work well

It's a shame most cinemas now are flat-screened. Even a slight curve gives a sense of marvel to the film, as well as making it a special experience away from the living room.

But the deep curves of Cinerama and D150 only seemed to work well with wideangle photography. 2001 a good example.  The Ben-Hur chariot race looked terrific. Some 70mm films though had a few long-lens shots.  I doubt if Omar Sharif's  entry in Lawrence of Arabia would have been as effective on a deep curved screen.  


Edited by Doug Palmer, 04 April 2018 - 04:11 AM.

  • 0

#17 Phil Connolly

Phil Connolly
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 458 posts
  • Director
  • London

Posted 04 April 2018 - 04:36 AM

I saw Lawrence of Arabia in 70mm on the Cinerama curve at Bradford photography museum . It didn't look great - partially because at the time the projector didn't have a D150 lens at the time and it was impossible to actually have the whole screen in focus with a conventional projection lens.  The curve is so deep (about 15 ft on a 56ft wide screen) it was deeper them the depth of field of the lens. So you could have the middle or edges sharp but not both. D150 required specific projection lenses with a curved field of focus. I believe they have one now making the cinema capable of playing pretty much every format.

 

Apparently David Lean preferred flat screens for LOA. I asked the museum about this and it turned out that screening LOA on the curve was a mistake made by the projectionist that day. The Cinerama cinema in Bradford has two screens - a deep curved Cinerama screen and a flat one rolls down in front of it for conventional screenings. They normally show LOA on the flat and 2001 on the curve. 

 

Personally I also prefer a subtle curve of a couple of feet depth, more practicle. Subtle curves also help reduce hotspotting - particularly helpful on silver screens.

 

But these days most cinema installations don't even have properly masked edges, with more an more common width screens - forcing scope films into an ugly smaller letterbox.


  • 0

#18 Doug Palmer

Doug Palmer
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 366 posts
  • Camera Operator

Posted 05 April 2018 - 04:01 AM

That's interesting about Lean preferring flat screen for Lawrence.  I can't see any harm though in slightly curved screens for 70 and indeed 35 scope.  I would have thought also the focus would improve at the edges in most film setups. Maybe digital projection doesn't like curves ?  The Revenant I think would look good on a deeply curved screen, with its wideangle photography, if the digital origination is up to it.

 

Yes it's shameful to see normal screens without any masking.


Edited by Doug Palmer, 05 April 2018 - 04:04 AM.

  • 0

#19 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 20103 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 05 April 2018 - 08:51 AM

Biggest problem with deeply curved screens is cross-illumination... day scenes look washed out because one side of the screen is bouncing into the opposite side. This is the problem with Omnimax dome projection too. No real solution other than the ribboned screens that original Cinerama used.
  • 0


Broadcast Solutions Inc

Paralinx LLC

Willys Widgets

Rig Wheels Passport

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Wooden Camera

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Visual Products

rebotnix Technologies

FJS International, LLC

CineTape

Ritter Battery

Abel Cine

Technodolly

Tai Audio

Metropolis Post

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

CineLab

Aerial Filmworks

Glidecam

The Slider

rebotnix Technologies

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Paralinx LLC

Glidecam

Willys Widgets

Tai Audio

Technodolly

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

Abel Cine

Rig Wheels Passport

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Ritter Battery

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

FJS International, LLC

Wooden Camera

Metropolis Post

Visual Products

CineTape

Aerial Filmworks

CineLab

The Slider