Originally Posted by smuggymba
Why the hell can't everyone stick to 16:9 and 2.35:1. If every production house comes up with their own stuff, that would be very confusing.
Tomorrow 2.6578:1 will come (for no reason) and it will mess up people's settings. How is 2:40 different from 2.35 - does it show one extra person in the frame?
Don't worry - we are "stuck" with 16:9 (actually, 1.85:1) and 2.40.1 for a long time, as those are the only two aspect ratios supported and acknowledged by the DCI (Digital Cinema) spec. And it has been this way for a very long time. The other aspect ratios - 2.76:1, 2.20:1, etc - are mostly tied to films created between the early 50s through the 70s, when various different aspect ratios and film stocks were being experimented with.
The only real wild card here is IMAX, which has two different aspect ratios - 1.43:1 and 1.9:1. True IMAX utilizes a very large screen that takes up almost your entire field of view, so might be considered a separate film format altogether (one, that up until recently, was used almost exclusively for documentary fare).
If you want to get a really good example of "spin," check out the explanation of aspect ratio from the IMAX web site. After all of our talk of how a 2.35:1 / 2.40:1 screen provides the most immersive experience, check out how IMAX spins things in the other direction, by playing on the common mis-perception that letterboxing means less picture info:Most films today are presented in an aspect ratio called CinemaScope (2.40:1); it was the newest thing in movie making in 1953 – and it’s still the standard today. When a film is presented in CinemaScope it is cropped and uses only part of the image the movie camera captures. This is the reason most ordinary screens are very wide but not particularly high – like looking at the world through a narrow slit.
IMAX broke the mold. We provide filmmakers with the ability to expand their film’s aspect ratio for an IMAX presentation so they can utilize much more of the originally captured image - either during production through shooting with the extremely high-resolution IMAX® camera (capable of up to IMAX® 1.43:1), which offers IMAX moviegoers up to 40% more of the image than standard cinemas, or protecting more of the image during their post production process (capable of up to IMAX® 1.9:1), which offers IMAX moviegoers up to 21% more of the image than standard cinemas.
And when this image is projected onto an IMAX® screen, which isn’t simply larger; but also curved, taller for its width and positioned closer to the audience than ordinary screens, the result provides you with a full panoramic view that fills your peripheral vision more than any other cinematic experience. That’s why, when you watch an IMAX movie, it feels like it’s all around you.
IMAX’s aspect ratio is just one of the reasons The IMAX Experience® is so different – why you feel like you’re inside the action, not just watching it.