Jump to content
Charles Zuzak

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

Recommended Posts

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.org/wiki/16_mm_film#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/camera/film_cameras/16_mm_film/arriflex_416416_plus.html (click on the "Technical Details" tab)

2b) Panavision: http://www.panavision.co.uk/pdf/downloads/equipment-info/other/formats-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.com/motion/uploadedFiles/Kodak/motion/Hub/eb/choices/Choices_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.com/motion/Products/Format_Choices/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.)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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"

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
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.

Guest
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.



  • Ritter Battery



    Abel Cine



    Broadcast Solutions Inc



    Just Cinema Gear



    FJS International



    Visual Products



    G-Force Grips



    Rig Wheels Passport



    Serious Gear



    Glidecam



    CineLab



    New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment



    The Original Slider



    Gamma Ray Digital Inc



    Metropolis Post



    Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS



    Wooden Camera



    Paralinx LLC



    Tai Audio


    Cinematography Books and Gear
×
×
  • Create New...