Talk:List of film formats

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Commen re the wide screen Ratio of Kinopanorama[edit]

I believe that the 2.72:1 wide screen ratio may be incorrect; further research, by myself or others, will be necessary before the final ratio is arrived at on the List of Film Formats.

On our Kinopanorama website (the external link of which has been temporarily removed from the Wiki entry on Kinopanorama by the undersigned for technical corrections, updates, and some cosmetic improvements; it should be back in roughly 10-days) shows the wide screen ratio as 2.77:1. This was based originally on a publication listing it thus by Mark Baldock in the UK.

However, both the 2.72:1 and the 2.77:1 have been disputed as well by Martin Hart of the American Widescreen Museum.

Martin Hart believes that the Kinopanorama ratio is almost identical to that of Cinerama. I have disagreed with him about this on several occasions, given that I own the Kinopanorama PSO-1960 camera and as it is within sighting distance from this computer screen I believe that I have some advantage over Martin in regards to this. Time will tell.

A parting comment to the person or persons who have added the List of film formats to Wiki: My highest encomiums to all concerned.--Kinopanorama widescreen 01:52, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

John Steven Lasher Fifth Continent Australia Pty. Ltd. Broken Hill NSW 2880 Australia

  • Thanks for the critique! I think, IIRC, a large problem with extracting a "true" value for the AR of multi-projector systems is that there is always going to be a certain degree of overlap, which unfortunately means that one can't simply take the AR of one of the strips and multiply by three. If there's some good documentation or evidence that several were used, or that it tended to be within an AR range, then perhaps that could be noted, however. Girolamo Savonarola 11:16, 15 April 2006 (UTC)


On page seven of the List of Film Formats, the entry below Kinopanorama, is the name 70 mm. Actually, this should read as Todd-AO, which is trademarked name of the process, and the name by which it has always been called.

Would suggest, therefore, that the persons responsible for entries on this page make the changes. I refer you also the Martin Hart's website for further details.--Jslasher 02:43, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

There is an entry already on the list for Todd-AO, which originally was a 30 fps process, and thus technically distinct from modern 65/70. As there are several different names for the 24 fps variant (Super Panavision, revamped Todd AO, and often just plain 65mm or 70mm), it seemed to make more sense to leave that with a standard name. As you can clearly see, Todd-AO already gets credit prior to that, and with nearly identical specs. I will, however, make a note to the section so as to make this a little clearer, as it is a good point. Girolamo Savonarola 15:30, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Kinopanorama Aspect Ratios[edit]

In order to insure that information on the Kinopanorama aspect ratio is correct on this entry, as well as the soon to be downloaded Kinopanorama webpage, I would like to suggest to anyone reading this Talk Page that if they are interested in verifying the aspect ratios "in the flesh", so to speak, the undersigned would be more than pleased to post to them gratis strips of the 6-perf Kinopanorama work-prints shot in Australia with the PSO-1960 camera. Keep in mind, though, that there were two Kinopanorama cine cameras manufactured, the SKP-1 (1956-57), which is a "clone" of Waller's Cinerama camera, and the aforementioned PSO-1960, which incorporates interchangeable lenses of various focal-lengths, and is designed along the lines of one of the enormous Technicolour 3-strip cameras of the 1940s.

Anyway, drop me a direct mail at if you would like samples of the work-prints. Include your postage address.

John Steven Lasher--Jslasher 01:59, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

How are you going to verify the overlap space? Girolamo Savonarola 22:28, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Corrections to Kinopanorama Tech Specs[edit]

Dear Girolamo,

Just a note to remind you to correct the Kinopanorama tech specs on this page, so that they match those which you kindly downloaded for me on my jslasher talk page. The Kinopanorama website will be updated this weekend to include all of your corrections.--Jslasher 23:46, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

First Biograph film[edit]

The first official Biograph film is titled: Sparring Contest, Canastota, N.Y. (American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures, vol. A). Yes, some less authoritative sources spell it "Canastoda", but given that the name of the town in New York in spelled "Canastota", which is more likely: that the Biograph founders who lived in Canastota in 1896 (Herman Casler, Harry Marvin) got the spelling wrong, or that later film chroniclers got the spelling wrong? — Walloon 18:48, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Fair point. Conceded. The 1896 date may be wrong, however - according to the tests were complete by June 1895, and it would appear that this is the sparring match referenced, esp. if it's the first film. Girolamo Savonarola 19:08, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Actually, there were two sparring matches. In June 1895, to make the first film test of the Mutograph camera, Biograph co-founders Herman Casler and Harry Marvin boxed for the camera. Two months later, on 5 August 1895, the first four official films were taken, and this time the sparring was done by Professor Al Leonard and his pupil Bert Hosley. These four films were later exhibited collectively as Sparring Contest, Canastota, N.Y. The American Mutoscope Company was incorporated in December 1895, and the patent for the Mutograph camera was filed on 26 February 1896. The Biograph projector, and the first Mutograph films, were first offered to exhibitors in August 1896, and made their debut in a vaudeville tour in September-October 1896. The Leonard-Hosley fight films were registered for copyright on 18 December 1896. — Walloon 19:28, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Further Updates to Kinopanorama Tech Specs.[edit]

Measurements of various aspects of the PSO-1960 cine camera were carried out in Melbourne on 1st June, following the delivery of same to The Aranada Group, which have been engaged to convert the camera registration pins from KS 1866 [4740] to BH 1866 [4740] by October, 2006. The specs have since been forwarded to Mr Dan Sherlock in the USA. He is presently in process of updating the technical info, so that changes in the specs may be downloaded to the Kinopanorama website in July. Jslasher--Jslasher 23:46, 11 June 2006 (UTC)


would it be possible to get a comparison, somewhat like a resolution based analysis for these formats? --AlexOvShaolin 19:38, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

On what basis? Resolution issues ultimately come down to the film stock type being used, as well as the size and lenses, plus the post-production route. So there's no way to objectively compare resolution on the basis of format itself, aside from some broad generalizations. And even then... Girolamo Savonarola 06:10, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Kinetograph cylinder & Silent film standard[edit]

Are these formats listed correctly? My suggestions: Kinetograph cylinder> Kinteoscope cylinder, and Silent film standard> Kinetograph (Because Kinetograph used 35mm perforated film). Erkanumut 23:07, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Well, as far as I know, the Kinetoscope was only used to refer to the viewing machine (hence "scope") and the "authoring" device was therefore called the 'graph. In both cases, their designs evolved over the course of R&D, which changed it from a cylinder to a horizontal strip to a vertical strip. I don't think that there's anything saying that the Kinetograph had to use 35mm film - that's simply what it eventually wound up using. DCGeist might be a good one to ask, as he put a lot of time into the kinetoscope article; I'll give him a buzz. Girolamo Savonarola 23:59, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
I support and have made the change from "Kineotgraph cylinder" to "Kinetoscope cylinder" on two grounds: (a) consistency with the following "Kinetoscope horizontal" and (b) certainty that the term Kinetoscope had been coined by 1889; it is possible, but not certain, that Kinetograph had.
GS is correct that the Kinetograph did not have to use 35mm film--indeed, the 19mm film we describe as "Kinetoscope horizontal" was shot on what was called a Kinetograph. Thus, the existing "silent film standard" is more appropriate than "Kinetograph."—DCGeist 04:57, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

Proposed overhaul of this page[edit]

I think the idea of this list/article is great, but as it currently stands I think it needs a major overhaul in order to be useful or informative. As it stands, the tables are bloated with a ton of technical statistics, most of which the average reader won't even understand (see WP:NOT#STATS). To a cinematographer or tech-savvy film maker, these things might be interesting or useful, but I would argue that that is a terribly small portion of the article's readers. To anyone else, most of this data (I'm looking at you "Gate dimensions" column) is unnecessary and confusing. Much of this information is better left for, say, the ASC manual or technical books meant for professionals, and aren't necessary here on Wikipedia. I'm speaking of all but the left four columns of the table. "The Negative gauge" and "Negative aspect ratio" might be worth keeping, but I'm not even super sure about that.

It doesn't look like there's a ton of activity on the page or this talk page, so maybe I'm just talking to myself here, but I wanted to at least bring the topic up before I go all willy nilly and delete what looks like alot of hard work. I would love to hear any else's opinion on this. Drewcifer (talk) 06:10, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

I would greatly oppose such actions - these very statistics are exactly what differentiate the formats; stripping down the table to such an extent would render many formats largely indistinguishable. I'm sorry that this isn't the most novice-friendly table, but I strongly disagree with the assertion that it's inappropriate for Wikipedia. As it is, I've been gradually building up the references with an eye towards a finally-successful FLC - none of the prior ones, IIRC, had significant concerns with the content in and of itself. Girolamo Savonarola (talk) 09:10, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
I see what you're saying about rendering the formats indistinguishable from each other, so perhaps my knee jerk solution would've been too much. That said, the usability of the list does still concern me, whether or not it was brought up in FLCs or not (3 years ago, mind you). As a film maker myself, I know what all that data means, and obviously you do, but Wikipedia is not meant to be a resource for experts. We should always strive to make our content accessible to someone without prior knowledge. That said, I think the legend preceding the table helps a bit. But I think the "stat-dump"-ness of the table counteracts any practical usability. So it may instead be a better solution to boil the table down to its essentials. For instance, the "Gate dimensions" and "Projection dimension" columns could easily go, if only because the size is largely implied by the film gauge and aspect ratio. I would also argue that such data is significantly less important than the other two: one could (and I have) make a film with no idea how many fractions of an inch the gate measures. In fact I bet a film could be made (and are made) from A to Z without anyone along the way knowing this information. I suppose if you worked at a lens manufacturer or a post house that might be useful information, but that's not who we should be catering to. Drewcifer (talk) 10:09, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I don't see anything within our policies and guidelines that prohibits us from going into appropriate detail or prohibits us from being a "resource for experts", however you wish to define that. Have a look at the mathematics or physics articles/lists and you can quickly see that this is kids play by comparison. We're not catering to anyone - we're supplying information which provides context as to what the differences between the formats are. Ultimately, the format is defined by the negative gate and lenses and the projection gate and lenses. That's all. Girolamo Savonarola (talk) 10:24, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't think there is any need to delete information which is judged to be expert in level. I'm disappointed that there isn't an analogous list with expert details regarding film sound formats. Binksternet (talk) 16:10, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
Take a look at WP:NOT PAPER, specifically the first sentence, "A Wikipedia article should not be presented on the assumption that the reader is well versed in the topic's field." I think there's more policy type stuff about this somewhere, but I can't seem to find it at the moment. But, beyond policy, and more based on common sense I guess, isn't the whole idea of a free encyclopedia to be accessible to the general public? I think we can all agree that the average reader wouldn't know what to do with this page, and I think that's a problem. And, if we are assuming that an expert is reading this, wouldn't you assume they'd get such information from another source? Like the ASC manual, for instance? By catering to experts, not only are we alienating the majority of people who would stumble onto this page, but we're also holding out on an audience that would probably be better suited getting this information elsewhere. Drewcifer (talk) 21:20, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
The casual reader who stumbles upon this page will quickly realize it doesn't answer pop culture questions about favorite movies; this person will just as quickly surf somewhere else. I don't think we are trapping them here or limiting their ability to move on in their search for whatever they were looking for. A great many articles on Wikipedia are expert in level, especially physics and mathematics subjects. Even an idea as simple as Signal-to-noise ratio is somewhat daunting to the casual reader, what with its math formulas. I see no need to dumb down the articles that are expert in level. Perhaps a new article can be written which answers the needs of our notional casual reader who is unhappy with this list. Binksternet (talk) 01:51, 26 May 2009 (UTC)