Film Projector Calibration


What is Film Projector Calibration ?

Calibration is the process of modifying the color behavior of a device to achieve a known defined state.

In the case of a film projector there are few degrees of freedom to change the color reproduction potential of the device.

The main color calibration goals for a 2D film projector are:

Luminance - usually 16 foot lamberts in the center of the screen.

Open Gate white point - the lens, infrared heat reflecting filter and bulb alignment will all alter the white point. Usually a mild color filter is used to bring the projector into SMPTE projector compliance.

Uniformity is also a concern and can be adjusted if needed.

The goal of calibration is to put a display device into a defined state with regard to its color response. Film projectors have their own intrinsic stability and it is not unusual to perform a calibration on a routine schedule to maintain reproducible behavior. Calibration should always be done after replacing a bulb.


MJB Consulting can provide advice and assistance in calibrating and measuring film projectors. The calibration can be used to create a film emulation 3DLut for accurate viewing of side-by-side digital images and film emulation images.