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Super Panavision 70

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Title: Super Panavision 70  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Cinerama, List of 70 mm films, Ice Station Zebra, Todd-AO, 70 mm film
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Super Panavision 70

Super Panavision 70 was the marketing brand name used to identify movies photographed with Panavision 70 mm spherical optics between 1959 and 1983.


  • History 1
  • Movies using Super Panavision 70 2
  • Panavision System 65/Super 70 3
  • Movies using Panavision System 65/Super 70 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


During the late 1950s, the Hollywood filmmaking community decided that changing from filming in the commonly accepted 35 mm format to 65 mm film would provide viewing audiences with an enhanced visual experience. To this end, cameras began to be designed to handle 65 mm film stock. The first camera system to be released using this format was Todd-AO, in 1955. The second was MGM Camera 65, a system designed by Panavision, which was introduced in 1956. In 1959, Panavision introduced Super Panavision 70 to compete with these two systems. Unlike its counterpart Ultra Panavision 70, which used anamorphic lenses, Super Panavision used spherical lenses to create a final aspect ratio of 2.20:1.

In 1959, Walt Disney Productions was the first studio to release a film, The Big Fisherman, using this process.

Some of the films made in Super Panavision 70 were presented in 70 mm Cinerama in select theaters. Special optics were used to project the 70 mm prints onto a deeply curved screen to mimic the effect of the original three-strip Cinerama process.

The terms "Super Panavision 70", "Panavision 70" and "Super Panavision" were interchangeable, whereas the term "70mm Panavision" referred to films shot in 35mm anamorphic Panavision and blown up to 70mm for release.

Movies using Super Panavision 70

Panavision System 65/Super 70

In the early 1990s, in response to an increased demand for 65 mm cameras, Panavision introduced an updated line of 65 mm cameras and optics known as "Panavision System 65" or "Panavision Super 70", designed to compete with the rival Arri 765 camera. However, the lack of 70 mm projectors, combined with the fact that 35 mm digital stereo sound somewhat minimized the multi-channel sound advantage the 70 mm format had, meant that the format revival never really took off.

Movies using Panavision System 65/Super 70

  • Far and Away (1992); selected scenes in Arri 765 and 35mm VistaVision
  • Hamlet (1996)
  • The Witness (1998) – short film produced for the Mashantucket Pequot Museum in Connecticut
  • Spider-Man 2 (2004) – selected special effects shots only
  • The New World (2005) – "hyper-reality" scenes only
  • Inception (2010) – "key sequences"
  • The Tree of Life (2011) - selected scenes
  • Samsara (2011) – the first feature film photographed entirely in 70 mm since Hamlet; however, initial theatrical showings were limited to either 35mm or digital projection
  • Snow White & the Huntsman (2012) - selected wide shots and second unit work
  • The Dark Knight Rises (2012) - selected scenes
  • The Master (2012) - about 85% of the released footage was photographed in System 65; the rest was shot in spherical 35mm[1]

See also


  1. ^ "The Master: Framed in 65mm for Maximum Visual Impact".  

External links

  • American Widescreen Museum section on Super Panavision 70
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