Film perforations

Functional element in motion picture film / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Film perforations, also known as perfs and sprocket holes, are the holes placed in the film stock during manufacturing and used for transporting (by sprockets and claws) and steadying (by pin registration) the film. Films may have different types of perforations depending on film gauge, film format, and intended usage. Perforations are also used as a standard measuring reference within certain camera systems to refer to the size of the frame.

Perforations on Standard (left) and Super (right) 8 mm film

Some formats are referred to in terms of the ratio "perforations per frame/gauge size" to provide an easy way of denoting size. For instance, 35mm Academy is also known as 4 perf-35mm; VistaVision is 8 perf-35mm; the long-time standard Todd-AO 70 mm film is 5 perf-70mm; and IMAX is 15 perf-70mm. This description does not indicate whether the film transport is horizontal or vertical, but uncertainty is precluded because there are currently no horizontal systems using the same number of perforations on the same gauge as a vertical one.

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