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Behind the Lens by Jay Holben

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1.4Death of a Standard … Goodbye to 1.85:1?

For me, this is a sad observation over the past two decades—the 1.85:1 aspect ratio is dying.

From the 1950s to the late 1990s, the aspect ratio 2.39:1 (2.35:1 prior to 1973’s SMPTE change) was achieved, primarily, in one of two ways—either through the use of anamorphic lenses or through an optical printing process with Super35 film (created in the 1950s, but brought back into vogue in the 1990s). This aspect ratio was primarily used for “epic” films: adventures and action pictures where the larger scope added to the fantastic nature of the story. The vast majority of pictures produced in the US between 1950 and the late 1990s, however, were the standard 1.85:1 aspect ratio. 2.35:1 (or, later, 2.39:1) ...

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