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Aspect ratio database?

porscheman

Established Member
Now I have built a diy 2.35:1 ratio projector screen, I would like to sort all my DVD and BDs into aspect ratio order (basically I want all 2.35:1 dicsc in one place, and all other A.Rs in another)

IS there a definitive database online where I can look up the A.R of every dvd and BD I own? I did just check the IMDB for 'apocalypse now' and it states the film was shot in 70mm and 2.35:1 ratio, but my dvd of the 'redux' version plays in 16x9 :(

Any ideas please guys?
 

Indiana Jones

Distinguished Member
Apocalypse Now Redux DVD is 2.00:1 ratio
 

Pecker

Distinguished Member
Apocalypse Now wasn't shot in 70mm, it was shot in 35mm but was released as a 70mm blow up as well as the traditional 35mm prints.

70mm presentations were cropped slightly to 2.20:1, whilst 35mm were the full 2.40:1. DVDs were 2.00:1, but the Blu-ray Discs are all 2.40:1.

Films shot in 70mm are native 2.20:1, cropped top and bottom to 2.40:1 for 35mm. I think the vast majority (if not all) 70mm films released on Blu-ray retain the original 2.20:1 ratio.

IMDB can be patchy when it comes to 1.37:1/1.66:1/1.85:1, but it's usually pretty accurate on 2.20:1/2.40:1.

Steve W
 

porscheman

Established Member
hmm that seems odd as my dvd copy of the redux is definately 1.78:1 which is crap. :(:facepalm:

Time for me to buy the blu ray version me thinks.
 

porscheman

Established Member
^^ What do u mean by 'overscanning? And why did you mention 2:1? The IMDB lists the 1979 movie as 2.35:1. I think at this rate I am going to have to spin up all my discs on the projector and see what ratio they play at !!!
 

Indiana Jones

Distinguished Member
^^ What do u mean by 'overscanning? And why did you mention 2:1? The IMDB lists the 1979 movie as 2.35:1. I think at this rate I am going to have to spin up all my discs on the projector and see what ratio they play at !!!

Over scanning...

Overscan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I mentioned 2.00:1 because that is the aspect ratio of the Apocalypse Now Redux DVD whereas the Blu-Ray is 2.35:1
 

Pecker

Distinguished Member
When AN was released on DVD the cinematographer Vittorio Storaro thought that the image would be too small on 4:3 TV sets, so cropped the edges to make it 2.00:1.

Not just the redux, all DVDs of the film were 2.00:1, and it remained that way for home video until the Blu-Ray Discs arrived.

The good news is that, whilst Vittorio Storaro has insisted on cropping to 2.00:1 for a few of his films, it's otherwise rare. You don't have to check for this in a film-by-film basis, it's very rare.

Steve W
 

porscheman

Established Member
Many thanks guys. I thought I was cracking up !! I love the movie, so I will be buying redux on bluray, and possibly also the 'heart of darkness' documentary.

With regards to the movie business, I thought that the director would have the final say on the aspect ratio, maybe in conjunction with the cinematographer? Francis Ford surely would have wanted the final say over how his masterpiece was shown to the public?

Also, for a movie to be displayed in a particular AR, do different camera lenses need to be used (panavision panaflex etc) or is the AR set in the editing suite or when the film is mastered to dvd and bluray etc?

As you can tell I know nothing about how films are made, but I do find the subject very interesting. :)
 

porscheman

Established Member
Thanks Steve. I bow down to your superior knowledge Sir :):thumbsup:
 

Pecker

Distinguished Member
Many thanks guys. I thought I was cracking up !! I love the movie, so I will be buying redux on bluray, and possibly also the 'heart of darkness' documentary.

With regards to the movie business, I thought that the director would have the final say on the aspect ratio, maybe in conjunction with the cinematographer? Francis Ford surely would have wanted the final say over how his masterpiece was shown to the public?

Also, for a movie to be displayed in a particular AR, do different camera lenses need to be used (panavision panaflex etc) or is the AR set in the editing suite or when the film is mastered to dvd and bluray etc?

As you can tell I know nothing about how films are made, but I do find the subject very interesting. :)

Okay, absolute minefield.

When DVDs/Blu-rays are released, often the director/DoP isn't/can't be involved. When they are, it's often one or the other, and they don't always agree.

FFC was happy to go with VS on his 2.00:1 ratio experiment, but the reason given was the lack of real estate on old 4:3 TVs. Now that most people have 16:9 TVs, FFC was happy to go with 2.40:1 for the Blu-ray Disc.

How the aspect ratio is decided; first, with traditional film.

With 'narrower'/non-anamorphic films, the image is usually shot at 1.37:1, and that's how it appears on the original camera negative, and usually how it remains right through to the cinema print. The image is then masked in the projector, in the way recommended in print on the reels of films as delivered to the cinema.

Occasionally the film is hard masked, either during filming, or in post production, so the film the cinema receives is already in the correct ratio. However, this is relatively rare.

With anamorphic films (most 2.40:1 films) the film is shot through a lens which squeezes the image so that it's tall and thin. A reverse lens is used when the film is projected, to un-squeeze the image. Why? This way you use the whole of the 35mm frame, rather than just a portion of it. The image should be better by doing it this way, but anamorphic lenses often distort and soften the image.

Thus doesn't mean the projector screens are always 2.40:1. Most US cinemas in the '50s & '60s were roughly 2.00:1, with masking at the top & bottom as well as the sides. They'd show the film in the largest area possible. However, in the multiplex era most screens are either 1.85:1 or 2.40:1.

In the digital age, the vast majority of films are not anamorphic when shot. The chips in digital cameras are pretty much 16:9 (like your TV) and 2.40:1 films are generally shot on to that chip with black bars at the top and bottom (like on your TV). In the cinema they are usually projected through 'flat' (non-anamorphic) lenses, so they've never been squeezed or un-squeezed.

For 65mm/70mm films, most are shot 'flat' (non-anamorphic) in 2.20:1, and projected 'flat' (without any need for un-squeezing). For 2.40:1 cinemas the 2.20:1 image is cropped at the top & bottom, then the remaining 2.40:1 image is squeezed on to 1.37:1 film stock, then un-squeezed in projection.

I hope that helps. I know it's quite complicated.

Steve W
 

mcspongy

Prominent Member
Not sure you'd call it definitive by any means, but I've noticed on Cinema Paradiso (rental) website they indicate the aspect ratio in the detailed selection page of the movie (I.e after you have searched & selected the movie, and then clicked on DVD or Blu Ray). Might help you?
 

porscheman

Established Member
Thanks Mcspongy. It can be misleading at times. I just went shopping and looked at the blu ray case for guardians of the galaxy. It says on the back 16x9 - 2.40:1 !! I took the gamble and purchased the disc as I do like the marvel cinematic universe. I have no idea what aspect ratio it will display ! :rotfl:
 

mcspongy

Prominent Member
It is defo in that case, but I just looked up Interstellar on CP and it says 2.40:1, which is correct save for the 16:9 IMAX scenes, so maybe not the most reliable database (it says 1.78:1 for TDKnight though, for example).
 

porscheman

Established Member
I can confirm the UK single disc blu ray release of guardians of the galaxy IS 2.40:1 :thumbsup::smashin::)
 

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