Definition July 2021 - Web


“Full-frame has a wider field of view compared with Super 35, and you can use it with wide-angle lens capture. There is also greater flexibility”

35mm […] to create a screen image with great picture quality and size”. Large format is a term that has gained new popularity since the launch of the Arri Alexa LF in 2018. There is, however, room for confusion, because LF is often used interchangeably with the term ‘full- frame’, which Konigsberg defines as: “the maximum frame size obtained on a 35mm film”. Arri’s LF models have an area of 36.70x25.54mm – equivalent to full-frame 35mm – but the company opted not to use that terminology, because it was seen as too associated with stills photography. Arri also has the Alexa 65 rental-only camera and lenses package, described as “larger than large format”. Sony uses the ‘full-frame’ designation for its Venice CineAlta camera, which launched in 2017. Claus Pfeifer, head of connected content acquisition at Sony Professional Solutions Europe, explains the “original 35mm” sensor size was chosen for the Venice because it can work with a wider selection of lenses, including older stills models. “Other companies need special lenses to cover the full- frame of view,” he says, “which is why we focused on traditional 35mm – it gives the greatest compatibility.” RISE TO FAME Discussing why full-frame – or the current usage of LF being the same as full-frame – has become so

echnologies come and go. There are some that stay the course (35mm film is

popular in a relatively short period of time, Pfeifer says it has a lot to do with its advantages over Super 35 (with an approximate frame size of 24x14mm). “Full-frame has a wider field of view compared with Super 35, and you can use it with wide- angle lens capture,” he explains. “It has a shallower depth-of-field and can be used closer to people’s faces or in smaller spaces. There is also greater flexibility, because it switches between full-frame, Super 35 and anamorphic – something that’s used in the superhero-style movies to give different looks and feels for various types of scenes, such as a dream sequence.” Arri’s cinema lens specialist, Art Adams, comments that economics, combined with the desire from cinematographers and directors to attain a new look for their productions, has played a part in the current demand for LF and

a classic example), while others fade away after an initial burst of hype and success (3D in its various incarnations). Then there are those that have been around for some time before finding their niche. Large format (LF) imaging technology has been something of a buzz phrase recently, but it’s establishing itself at a time when feature films and high- end TV drama are looking for bigger, colourful images – and a means to accommodate ever more involved visual effects sequences. As is to be expected in a technical discipline that has been actively inventive for well over 100 years, cinema is not unacquainted with the concept of large format images. There have been 65mm and 70mm, both of which never really went away, having occasional revivals. More short-lived was the widescreen VistaVision, which relied on a 35mm camera to create a film frame with an aspect ratio of 1.485 to 0.991 inches and ran horizontally. In presentation terms, IMAX – ten times larger than 35mm and three times bigger than 70mm – is the ultimate large format. Ira Konigsberg’s The Complete Film Dictionary (second edition, 1997) defines large format cameras

MAIN IMAGE Large format was crucial to The Trial of the Chicago 7, because it enabled DOP Phedon Papamichael to capture the film as an ensemble

ABOVE Claus Pfeifer feels that full-frame is enjoying popularity because of its flexibility and improving price point

as photographing “a negative image larger than the normal

JULY 202 1 | DEF I N I T ION 29

Powered by