35 mm film
is the film
gauge most commonly used for motion pictures and chemical still photography (see 135 film). The name of the gauge refers to the nominal width of the photographic film, which consists of strips 1.377 ± 0.001 inches (34.976 ± 0.025 mm) wide. The standard negative pulldown for movies ("single-frame" format) is four perforations per frame along both edges, which results in 16 frames per foot of film. For still photography, the standard frame has eight perforations on each side.
A variety of largely proprietary gauges were devised for the numerous camera and projection systems being developed independently in the late 19th century and early 20th century, ranging from 13 to 75 mm (0.51 to 2.95 in), as well as a variety of film feeding systems. This resulted in cameras, projectors, and other equipment having to be calibrated to each gauge. The 35 mm width, originally specified as 1 3⁄8 inches, was introduced in 1892 by William Dickson and Thomas Edison, using 120 film stock supplied by George Eastman. Film 35 mm wide with four perforations per frame became accepted as the international standard gauge in 1909, and remained by far the dominant film gauge for image origination and projection until the advent of digital photography and cinematography, despite challenges from smaller and larger gauges, because its size allowed for a relatively good trade-off between the cost of the film stock and the quality of the images captured.
The gauge has been versatile in application. It has been modified to include sound, redesigned to create a safer film base, formulated to capture color, has accommodated a bevy of widescreen formats, and has incorporated digital sound data into nearly all of its non-frame areas. Eastman Kodak, Fujifilm
and Agfa-Gevaert are some companies that offered 35 mm films. Today, Kodak is the last remaining manufacturer of motion picture film.The ubiquity of 35 mm movie projectors in commercial movie theaters made 35 mm the only motion picture format that could be played in almost any cinema in the world, until digital projection largely superseded it in the 21st century.
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