Jump to content

Simple stupid question about fields of view

Recommended Posts



This is a simple question about the fields of view of different camera platforms.From my days as a film student, I was under the impression that a 35mm camera would have a wider field of view than a 16, which in turn had a wider fov than an 8mm and so on.


I'm wondering if this is really true. I know the fov is connected to the focal length. The shorter the lens, the wider the fov. Now, I'm starting a project that might be filmed in Super 16 and we're going to be filming in some really tight places. Bathrooms on location, elevators etc. At first I thought, hmmm... the Super 16 will be a problem because of the tight spaces but then, it occurred to me that maybe the fov is NOT tighter, but that you just use lenses with shorter focal lengths.


For example, the widest lens that one might use with Super 16mm would be much shorter than the widest lens that one might use with Super 35mm.


Is this correct?


Thank you.


Cosmas Demetriou

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member

Yes, the smaller formats crop the projected image circle of the lens more, so you use shorter focal lengths to achieve the same field of view as a longer lens on a larger format, roughly half the focal length when shooting in 16mm instead of 35mm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member

Not sure I understand, there's a difference between 65mm and 16mm if you try and use the same lens on both cameras.


And there's a difference in aspect ratio, 5-perf 65mm is 2.20 : 1.


But you can match the horizontal field of view between 65mm and 16mm if you figure out the correct focal lengths.


This is where the concept of crop factor comes in. For example, the projected width of 5-perf 70mm is 48.56mm. The Super-16 frame is 12.52mm wide, so the difference in width is 3.88X (divide 48.56 by 12.52). So you can multiple or divide that crop factor to convert one focal length to another -- for example, if you use a 12mm lens in Super-16, you'd need to use a 47mm lens in 70mm to match horizontal field of view.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


Forum Sponsors

Film Gears

Serious Gear

Metropolis Post

Abel Cine

Tai Audio

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

VidGear.com - Broadcast Video Warehouse

Visual Products

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Broadcast Solutions Inc

FJS International


Wooden Camera

Cinematography Books and Gear

  • Create New...