The emerging popularity of 1.33:1 televison in the late 1940s and early 1950s spurred tremendous development in ultrawide motion picture
technology. Its zenith best represented by the stupendous Cinerama and Cinemascope film
I would like to expand upon these spectacular ultrawide antecedents with the introduction of UltraPan8.
It is a new ultrawide native spherical film format utlizing modified 8/16mm cameras and the entire 16mm width of 2 perf regular 8mm motion picture film.
It's native gate dimensions are 10.52mm x 3.75mm with an aspect ratio of 2.8:1. This is wider than Cinemascope at 2.39:1 and a bit smaller than Cinerama's 2.87:1 aspect ratio.UltraPan8 represents a 41% increase in imaging area over Super 8 film and a respective 62% increase over regular 8mm film.
Standard 16mm optics provide optically centered full frame coverage.
Key design principals were the interchangable film transports of the Bolex H8/H16 cameras and the historical engineering of both 8mm and 16mm film formats sharing identical perforation dimensions.
One of the design intents was freedom from bulky 16mm Cinemascope anamorphic projector lens setups. Here are some examples of previous ideas and testing for
comparison purposes, i.e.
1. My original design for a potential adapter setup which was never implemented, i.e
2. Anamorphic test shot utilizing 16mm anamorphic projector lens + stepdown ring + Beaulieu 4008, i.e.
The camera was modified by Jean-Louis Seguin and includes a native 2.8:1 UltraPan8 viewfinder with a Cinemascope 2.4:1 mask. We are also working towards
modification of a 1936 8/16mm multiformat worm gear Bolex projector for film based projections.
The 8 bit digital overscanned files of the inaugral test roll were provided by John Gledhill of bitworks.org utilizing his sprocketless 16mm transfer bay in conjunction with a linear 12 bit imaging camera w/ 14 bit mask.
The digital deliverables included
1. Sequential 8 bit JPEGS. Full and half resolution. No color correction applied albeit some gamma.
2. 1700x600 DIVX file.
3. 700x250 DVCPRO file.
Here are some sample frameshotsof the overscanned final output 8 bit JPEGS, i.e.
Here are MPEG4 links to the 1700x600 DIVX file. I have added music/credits to the unedited raw footage but I have decided to display the test roll in its entirety, blemishes and all, i.e.
Here is the above 1700x600 DIVX file available for download and for your examination. Keep in mind this is not the full resolution sequential JPEGS, i.e.
DropBox = db.tt/rnEYkBs
There are visible issues in the footage and they are being addressed.
Although this was my first time filming with a Bolex I could not wipe the perpetual grin of my face as I shot this test roll, that being the fact of native UltraPan8 in the palm of my hand...a tad lighter than Kubrick's
handheld 25 pound 65mm camera shots in 2001! In fact 2001 is THE original inspiration with its gorgeous 65mm Cinemascope cinematography.
And why not re-introduce film based spectacle in these times of the digital imaging onslaught?
There will be forthcoming updates regarding additional footage and an inspiring academic paper detailing the important historical engineering modifications of the UK based WideScreen Association.
"From the heavens sprung such images."
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