2k Digital Film Scans

Barely larger than HD.

Full aperture 35mm film is usually scanned at 2048×1556 pixels using 10-bit logaritmhic RGB color space.

The area intended for 1.85 aspect ratio projection is smaller than the 35mm full aperture. This projectable area which corresponds to the ground glass marks inside a film camera is 1956 pixels wide [Fig. 1].

A 2k 35mm scan contains much more information than a High Definition frame of video. However for practical purposes a 1.85 projectable area of a 2k scan is smaller and has only a narrow lead over HD video as illustrated in figure 2.

Film – 1956×1057 pixels (1.85 aspect ratio projectable area)

HD – 1920×1080 pixels (1080 HD standards)

D-cinema projectable area is 2048 pixels wide. A film intended for digital presentation is either scaled up from 1956 to 2048 or a wider crop from the original negative scan is used.



full aperture 2k scan

Fig. 1. Full aAperture 2K Scan


1.85 vs. 1080

Fig. 2. Full Aperture 2K Scan