Film Formats

Refers to the dimensions of the apertures used in motion picture cameras to expose cinematograph film and in projectors for its presentation on the screen of the cinema theatre. They have been internationally standardized for all gauges of film now in commercial use.

It is general practice for the camera aperture to be slightly larger all round than the mask used in the projector, so as to avoid the image of an unexposed area of negative being projected, but camera masks or reduced apertures smaller than the projector aperture height are sometimes used in photography of wide screen formats. The printed area on the positive and release print is always made larger than the projector aperture and usually corresponds at least to the area exposed on the camera negative.

The generally accepted dimensions for camera and projector apertures for various gauges of film and formats of presentation are shown in the following table.

Format Inches Millimetres
Width Height Width Height
65mm Camera 2.072 0.906 52.60 23.00
70mm Projector 1.913 0.866 48.60 22.00
35mm Full aperture:
camera (AR 1.33:1)
0.945 0.709 24.00 18.00
35mm Full aperture:
projector (AR 1.33:1)
0.906 0.679 23.00 17.25
35mm Academy aperture:
camera (AR 1.37:1)
0.868 0.631 22.05 16.03
35mm Academy aperture:
projector (AR 1.37:1)
0.825 0.600 20.96 15.25
35mm Wide screen projector (AR 1.66:1) 0.825 0.497 20.96 12.62
35mm Wide screen projector (AR 1.75:1) 0.825 0.472 20.96 11.99
35mm Wide screen projector (AR 1.85:1) 0.825 0.446 20.96 11.33
35mm Half-frame camera
(Techniscope, Ultra semi-scope, etc)
0.868 0.373 22.05 9.47
35mm Anamorphic systems:
camera
0.870 0.735 22.10 18.67
35mm Anamorphic systems:
projector (AR 2.35:1)
0.839 0.715 21.31 18.16
16mm Camera 0.404 0.295 10.26 7.49
16mm Projector 0.380 0.284 9.65 7.21
9.5mm Camera 0.335 0.256 8.50 6.50
9.5mm Projector 0.315 0.242 8.00 6.15
Super-8 Camera 0.245 0.166 6.24 4.22
Super-8 Projector 0.215 0.158 5.46 4.01
8mm Camera 0.192 0.145 4.88 3.68
8mm Projector 0.172 0.129 4.37 3.28

Note: AR = Aspect ratio

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