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Film Calculator

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How are film length and run-time related?Film calculations in metersFilm formats, frames per foot and frame rateHow to use this film calculator

Our film calculator🎞️ helps you calculate the length of the film needed if you know the video's run time you shall shoot. You can also determine the maximum video length you can capture with a specific film length or compare these properties among different film formats before choosing the right one.

Are you curious how film length and run time are related and why they depend on the film format? Are you perplexed with terms like film feet, film format, frames per foot, and frames per second? Congratulations on coming to this feet and frames calculator to find the answers!

Film calculations in meters

Although we usually measure the film length in feet, we can use meters instead. For this purpose, we use the quantities frames per meter\text{frames per meter} and meters per minute\text{meters per minute}:

film length=run-time β‹…fpsβ‹…60frames per metermeters per minute=fpsβ‹…60frames per meter\footnotesize \begin{align*} \text{film length} = \text{run-time } \cdot &\frac{\text{fps}\cdot 60}{\text{frames per meter}}\\\\ \text{meters per minute} = &\frac{\text{fps}\cdot 60}{\text{frames per meter}} \end{align*}

Keep in mind that film length\text{film length}, in this case, is also expressed in meters.

Film formats, frames per foot and frame rate

Since the invention of film cameras, the film industry has developed various film formats with different characteristics and advantages. Among them, 16mm and 35mm have been widely popular choices since their introduction. While they may seem irrelevant in the era of digital cameras, film cameras are still in use for their detail, color accuracy, and other benefits. Nowadays, almost all film cameras use 35mm, 4-perf format, otherwise known as 35 mm format.

Each film format has a different aspect ratio (frame size) and a different number of frames in each foot of the film, given by frames per foot\text{frames per foot}. The following table shows the frames per foot\text{frames per foot} for different film formats, which we used in this feet and frames calculator.

Frames per foot and per meter for different film formats.

Film format

Frames per foot

Frames per meter

8 mm

80

264

Super 8

72

236.21

16 mm

40

131.23

35 mm, 2-perf

32

105

35 mm, 3-perf

21.33

70

35 mm, 4-perf

16

52.5

65 mm, 5-perf

12.8

42

The term "perf" refers to the perforations in the film, also called sprocket holes, used to move the film through the camera with sprockets. The speed at which the camera captures the video is the frame rate, measured in frames per second (fps). The industry adopted 24 fps as the standard speed for sound films.

When you choose the film format in our film calculator, it uses the corresponding frames per foot\text{frames per foot} in its calculation.

πŸ’‘ Did you know? Standard film roll size for 16 mm film is 400 ft, and for 35 mm film is 1000 ft, because at 24 fps, they both shoot approximately equal amount of run-time (around 11 mins). If you want to see how many 400 ft or 1000 ft rolls you will need for your work, you can do so by looking at the number of required rolls section!

How to use this film calculator

You can use our film calculator to calculate feet, frames, or meters of film length needed to shoot your videoπŸ“½οΈ:

  • Choose the type of film format and enter the fps of your camera.
  • Give the film length, frames, or run-time to get the remaining values.
  • You can change the film format and see how different the results are.
  • In the last section, you can see how many rolls of 1000 ft or 400 ft film you need for the corresponding film length.

Having fun? Check out our roll length calculator next!πŸ˜‰

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