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Panavision 65 Projection: What It Can Accomplish

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: FILM DAILY 1 NOV 57. PANAVISION SECTION Friday, November 1, 1957. Prepared for in70mm.com by Brian Guckian, Dublin, IrelandDate: 20.12.2015
EVER since the advent of Cinerama there has appeared a number of new photographic processes designed to produce better screen images and to impart to the audience a sense of participation.

These new processes were certainly not developed for the purpose of confounding the exhibitors, nor were they invented for the purpose of selling millions of dollars worth of new specialised motion picture equipment. They are merely the manifestations of the natural evolution of the motion picture industry toward better screen images.

When television became a real threat to the industry, a few brave and far-sighted nun realized that most seats in the movie theatres were so removed from the screen that the audience was viewing a picture little larger than the average home television picture, and. of course, of the same shape. These men reasoned that if the screen were to be enlarged and the shape changed to a more natural aspect ratio, the movies would then possess a quality and interest impossible at this time in the home television set.

The Panavision 65 mm. process was also developed from this line of reasoning and with the following specific qualities particularly in mind:

1) A practically grain free image which can be projected up to 100 feet in width in a "hard top" theatre.
2) Absolutely no architectural distortion. Straight walls must always appear straight and horizons should not curve.
3) Close ups must never stretch out the actor's or actress' face. Image definition should exceed any yet achieved.
4) The picture must be brighter than is normally considered acceptable and there must be no discernible flicker.

In short, the picture must be large and of such high photographic: quality that the screen actually seems to disappear, making it seem to the audience that they are looking upon the scene through an open window.

PANAVISION, INC. and M-G-M Studios combined resources and after several years of work achieved such a process. M-G-M labels it Camera 65 and Panavision calls it Panavision 65 but they are one and the same.

The technicians of both companies were fully aware that the new process must be practical both from the producing and exhibiting point of view. Therefore, it was tic-signed to produce release prints in the following types:

1) 70 mm. anamorphic print having up to a 3 to 1 aspect ratio.
2) 70 mm. spherical print with a 2 to 1 aspect ratio.
3) CinemaScope prints.
4) Wide-screen (1.85 to 1) aspect ratio.
5) 16 mm. print both anamorphic and flat.

It is even practical to extract a triple print for Cinerama type exhibition. Panavision's photographic quality is carried through all of the above release print types.

There are three basic factors which are responsible for the quality of the Panavision 65 mm. process. First is the 65 mm. film which, due to its large size, imparts both higher definition and greatly reduced graininess. Second is the unique optical design of the taking and printing lenses which are free from annoying distortions. Third is the two-step anamorphotic method designed for the best 35 mm. anamorphic prints.

In short, it can be simply stated that Panavision is the quality process—practical, efficient and designed for the real showmen of the motion picture industry.
More in 70mm reading:

Panavison Large Format Motion Picture Systems

The Importance of Panavision

Super Panavision 70
Ultra Panavision 70

Ultra Panavision 70 Lens

Internet link:

"The Motion Picture Projectionist"


Panavision Camera System

PANAVISION. INC. has developed a completely new method of photography which utilizes anamorphic lenses. Walter Wallin, vice-president in charge of research, reports that certain patents on this system have been granted and that others are pending.

"The system is entirely new in concept and will have widespread applications throughout the motion picture industry," Wallin said. It centers around an optical and mechanical train which can be used with any degree of anamorphosis desired.

For example, "Apo Panatar 35" lenses for photographing 35 mm. CinemaScope have an anamorphic power of 2X, whereas Apo Panatars capable of photographing Technirama have an anamorphic power of only 1.5X and the "Apo Panatar 65" used in the Panavision 65mm. system have a power of 1,33X.

Wallin asserts that the system has several distinct advantages over others currently available to the trade. Aside from reasonable cost, it provides the camera crew with maximum convenience and assurance that perfect focus will be maintained. This is by virtue of a single focus control rather than making it necessary to focus the camera's objective lens as well as the anamorphic attachment.
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Updated 07-01-23