35mm vs. 70mm Film: How Do They Compare?

The real differences between 35mm and 70mm film are a lot more meaningful and a lot more intricate than that. Today, let’s take a look at all these detailed differences starting with their respective specs.


Date Created: 1889 Creators: William Kennedy Dickson and Thomas Edison Size: 1.377-1.378 in. wide First Use: Short film experiments Average Cost: Approx. $900 per roll


Date Created: 1894-1897; 1928 Creators: William Fox and Theodore Case Size: 2.6-2.8 in. wide First Use: Filming the Henley Royal Regatta Average Cost: Approx. $1,300 per roll

35mm vs. 70mm Film: Must-Know Facts

1. Prior to the popularization of the digital movie camera in the 2000s, movies had no choice but to shoot on film.  2. IMAX film is a horizontal variant of 70mm, delivering a much bigger picture area than standard 70mm film.

Pros and Cons of 35mm 

Pros: Looks notably better than digital, Used for far longer than digital, Cheaper than 70mm Cons: Typically costs more than digital filmmaking, Fewer and fewer theaters can support 35mm projection

Pros and Cons of 70mm Film

Pros: Currently the best-looking form of photography, equivalent to 18K resolution, Creates a true spectacle Cons: Incredibly expensive, 70mm cameras are quite loud

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