Moviemaking with Pre-Digital Equipment
You want to capture home videos or shoot a movie with an old-time look, so perhaps you need a vintage movie camera. While digital projection developments in the 21st century largely superseded 35mm, it was once the only motion picture format that you could play in most cinemas around the world. The French motion picture equipment manufacturer Aaton produced a range of movie cameras in the pre-digital age, and theyre still in use by retro enthusiasts and vintage equipment collectors.
What Is 35mm Film?
The measurement 35mm refers to the width of the photographic film, with single-frame format having four perforations along the edges of each frame and the standard negative pull-down for movies before digital took over.
- During the late 19th century and early 20th century, various film gauges and projection systems developed independently around the world. Introduced in 1892, the 35mm became the most dominant gauge in use until the advent of digital cinematography.
- Many still like it for its vintage aesthetic of a time gone by and a few creative advantages over digital movie making.
What Are the Advantages of Shooting With Pre-Digital Camera Equipment?
While digital camera movie making has a long list of advantages, which made it the norm, there are still some benefits of shooting with 35mm film.
- Pre-digital camera equipment often creates grain in the images, which results from small silver particles that are present. While you can apply this to some degree with digital editing tools, its not as authentic as the real grain you get with film.
- Instead of editing your videos digitally after shooting, you can play around with using different types of film to get warmer, brighter, or colder colors, depending on the look and feel you want.
- Film has a certain aesthetic that you just cant replicate through digital movie creation, and it is ideal for vintage-style movies or those looking for a creative edge.
What Should I Look for When Collecting Vintage Movie Cameras?
Vintage movie cameras are becoming a rarity with few manufacturers still producing them, and you may be on the lookout for antique models.
- Make sure the camera youre purchasing uses a film format that is still in production or you may have to find a specialized business that rolls and cuts film to custom sizes.
- Look for vintage Aaton cat-on-the-shoulder-style video cameras, a small, light, and quiet motion picture camera that rests on the top of the shooters shoulder.
- The brand also creates the more modern 35mm Penelope motion picture camera, which is the first camera of its kind designed as a switchable Techniscope or 3-perf shooting solution. It also accepts a digital magazine for 4K digital output and HD filming.
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