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What is your screen size and viewing angle?

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  • What is your screen size and viewing angle?

    Given enough light super 8mm film can be blown up to really large screen sizes. I know because I have seen S8 on a 25ft wide screen at the BFCC and it looked very good. But, bear in mind, I was sitting probably 75 ft away from the screen. That's really the point here, the determining factor of how good the picture looks is not just brightness on the screen, but is really the viewing angle or, in technical terms, the angle subtended by the screen at the eye. For my particular viewing situation, even though I have an Elmo GS1200 with a 2-blade shutter and an f1.0 lens, I find the optimum size picture width (for academy format super 8mm) is 5ft wide when in my sitting position 15 ft away from the screen. That is my viewing distance is about 3X the screen width, which gives a subtended viewing angle of about 20 degrees. My projector can certainly go much larger than 5ft wide with adequate brightness, but when I do this I lose sharpness and contrast. So for super 8 I find that limiting the screen viewing angle to no more than 20 degrees ( 3X screen width) brings out the full beauty of the prints and provides a more satisfying viewing experience than trying to go to the maximum size screen that I can accomadate in my room set up. For CinemaScope prints my viewing distance then becomes about 1.5 X the screen width or about 56 degrees viewing angle. Digital video projection , particularly blu-ray , can go to much higher viewing angles. but we need to recognize and work with the design limitations of super 8mm to show it at its best.
    I am curious to know what screen size (4:3 aspect ratio) and viewing distance collectors on this forum are using for super 8mm projection.

  • #2
    Hi Paul,

    At 4:3 I'm running about 52" by 70" (132 by 176cm) with a viewing distance about 12 feet (4 Meters).

    'Scope is 92 inches wide (234 cm).

    Most seating is in front of the edges of the screen.

    I find this size is not too large to still look good with a 100W lamp.

    (Besides: It's the largest screen I could fit in the front window without hiring a contractor!)
    Last edited by Steve Klare; November 22, 2020, 01:51 PM.

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    • #3
      I don't have measurements for my screen beyond 10ft across. Scope looks really good on the screen, but 4:3 looks a little too blown up and grainey,. unless we're talking one of those really good optical sound features or, of course, a lovely Derann print.

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      • #4
        My screen is 2 meters by 2 meters. I project from a distance of about 5 meters. Most films are 4:3 but when I use the anamorphic lens I get something like 2 by 0.7 meters. With the Super 8mm ELMOS there is no issue. For the ELMO 16AL I have to use a Bell & Howell zoom lens with the adaptor I design to get the whole width because the ELMO stock won't give enough throw in such a short distance.

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        • #5
          I think for 4/3 ratio I think the width is about five and a half feet, going to eleven feet for scope. I have no idea the viewing angle, but its not to much. With Super 8, I tend to sit far back "rear stalls", with 35mm or using the VP 2D/3D I tend to sit a lot closer to the screen, as the picture is a lot sharper compared with Super 8. Top and side masking is also adjustable.

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          • #6
            Well mine is 4ft in height with the width variable for what I am showing (Full 2.35:1 max for Cineavision prints, slightly less than 4ft high for 2.66:1) for Super 8. The video projector can not make the full width for 'scope films but the full height for 4:3 and 16:9. Viewing distance about 7-8ft so can almost be like Cinerama for some films.

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            • #7
              My 4:3 screen size is just under 5’ tall and just under 7’ wide with the scope set up being just over 3’ tall and just over 8’ wide. I manually move the masking for each set up. The throw distance from the projector is 18’ so the best seat is beside the projector. Guests are about 10’ away from the screen. When I’m by myself (most of the time) I sit closer.

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              • #8
                38" X 111" white surface only

                Sitting 17 feet distance
                Last edited by Chip Gelmini; January 24, 2021, 11:06 AM.

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                • #9
                  I think for 4/3 ratio I think the width is about five and a half feet, going to eleven feet for scope. I have no idea the viewing angle, but its not to much. With Super 8, I tend to sit far back "rear stalls", with 35mm or using the VP 2D/3D I tend to sit a lot closer to the screen, as the picture is a lot sharper compared with Super 8. Top and side masking is also adjustable.
                  Graham, you mentioned that when projecting 35mm film or Video (4k I assume) you sit closer to the screen than you would if projecting Super 8. Have you ever done an A/B comparison of 35mm vs. 4k video?

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