FILM VS DIGITAL aspect ratios


Hey guys,
Ive been confused about the aspect ratios used in 35mm film compared with aspect ratios on digital. The first one I was wondering about is Panavision or 2.35:1, I know that on 35mm film using anamorphic lenses you are actually squeezing more light onto the 35mm (4:3) frame thus the horizontal “squeezed” image and then either digitally stretch in out or optically with the projector to regain the original 2.35 size. There is no cropping on this format when dealing with film. When it comes to digital 2k+ like REDs or their higher end counterparts… Is this real anamorphic achievable using a type of anamorphic lenses? or do you just capture at 2k or such and just crop the image to a 2.35:1 aspect ratio? If cropping is the case…then isn’t this destructive and worse than film?

Or is there a way to capture at 2.35 like film without resorting to a mattbox or other method that removes part of the image?


actualy using anamorphic lenses is just one way to film on 35mm, depending on the choises of the DOP, a lot of times 35mm is just filmed as is in 4/3 and afterwards masked away to 2.35 … it’s all just a mather of choises.

When it comes to the digital camera’s it’s just cropped, either internaly or afterwards.

There’s nothing “distructive” or “wrong” with that since the term 2k is used to define the horizontal resolution, cutting away parts at the top or bottom does not make it less “2k”. (2k btw is a digital term, when your only working in 35mm without doing anything digital, which is very rare, the term 2k would not apply) even more, when you film at a larger vertical resolution you have some headroom to reframe your picture horizontaly afterwards.
cutting away part of an image isnt (always) a bad thing, it helps in giving your frameing a more aesthetic view and gives you the frameing that the DOP had in mind


Excellent Tagger! basically when doing digital…all film is cropped to the desired aspect ratio and framing. At the moment I don’t have experience with cinematography or access to film equipment or digital counterparts so I’m just learning through theory.

But I got a doubt…anamorphic lenses for film grab lots of horizontal visual information (light), meaning that it is not a 4:3 image cropped to 2.35…it is a 2.35 image squeezed into a 3:4 frame…I know that the film can be scanned on DI to 2k or 4k or whatever…thats just the detail of the image. But when in digital…can these high end cameras capture these long horizontal rectangular images that are 2.35 naturally with special lenses like anamorphic or are the captured images just 2k rez 4:3 frames that are just scaled down to 2.35 aspect ratio to give the feeling of being anamorphic?


i’m not a telecine guy so i don’t know if they use anamorphic lenses in the telecine process or just strech it out for instance, but once it’s passed the telecine stage you just get as a result an image at your desired settings, 2k or 4k, square pixels or anamorphics.

as for fullframe recording on 4 perf 35mm (the one with a 4/3 gate, there is also 3 perf 35mm that can record 16/9 btw) means that they just shot the footage with a lot of headroom. They can choose to telecine it like 4/3, and in the editing put a 2.35 mask on it so they can shift the footage up or down if the frameing looks better that way. the first telecine usualy happens to normal hd tape (or even sd) btw and only once the editing is done (in theory) it’s rescanned at 2k or 4k.

anamorphism is a general term, it just means the footage was squeezed horizontaly to fit a medium, in the case of 35mm that can mean by using special lenses because the film is 4/3, on some tapeformats for dataratepurposes. it’s not because your footage is on film anamorphic that your entire workflow has to be anamorphic


what an odd question…


“They did what they had to do, with what they had.”

“Then, when the time (inevitably…) came to produce 'more than what they had’ from ‘what they had,’ they found a convincing way to do it.”

When you shoot digital in modern times, you are generally dealing with a medium that is more expressive, on the “input side,” than you will need for “output.” This is a luxury that real-film shooters could not have imagined.


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