There have been many movie film formats using narrow gauge film. We are all familiar with Regular 8mm and Super-8. Then there’s the various 16mm formats and of course 9.5. But have you heard of UP8 ?
UltraPan8 is becoming increasingly popular among independent film-makers and artists. Nicholas Kovats of Toronto, Canada is an enthusiast of this system. UP8′s main attraction is the ultra widescreen frame of 2.8 :1 ratio. And this is achieved without using anamorphic lenses. How ? By using ordinary regular old standard 8mm film !
Regular-8 film is of course 16mm wide. The UP8 image extends the full width allowed between the perfs. This makes for a rather large image area. Nicholas and other UP8 fans use modified Bolex H8 cameras to transport the film. This means that it’s possible to use very wide angle lenses that give a cinerama-type effect. You can get a taste of UP8 if you look at the new facebook page he has made:
Bolex cameras can be fitted with all kinds of exotic glass. Of course the H8 camera has to take 16mm lenses. I presume that means an additional modification at the front of the camera to get the focus correct… if I’m wrong please correct me someone in the UP8 community ! Even long telephoto shots can look amazing with this native widescreen system. I see that Glenn Brady has been using a massive Century 500mm lens on his camera. And at the other end of the scale he’s fitted an ultra wide Century 1.9mm. Yes that does read 1.9 !!
So, if you are looking for a slightly different look for your next film, how about UltraPan8 ?
Thanks to Nicholas Kovats for sending me these closeups of his camera modification (carried out by Jean-Louis Seguin I believe). By the way, I understand there is also a super-8 version of this format, using the double variety. This takes us out to– wait for it— 3 to 1 image ratio.