2.35:1 Cropping with the 5dMkII

As I’m shooting a short film this weekend and the director is wanting it in the 2.35:1 cinema ratio…I needed to come up with a decent cropmark that I was happy with.  There is a 2.35 cropmark on the Magic Lantern site, but I wanted to shade out the cropped areas and have a more definitive outline of where the edges of the screen will be.

The cropmark I came up with has a nice blue outline, is shaded where the cropped areas are, and is in the correct bitmap format for use with Magic Lantern.  You can click on the thumbnail below and add it to the same location on the CF card that you have Magic Lantern, replacing the “cropmarks” file with this one.  Make sure it’s named “cropmarks” (without the quotes) otherwise it won’t work.

2.35:1 custom cropmarks for Magic Lantern

This is great if you’re only using the camera’s LCD monitor for viewing.  The problem is that the cropmark does not correctly transpose to an external monitor should one be plugged in.  You’ll need to go into the Magic Lantern menus and turn-off the cropmarks–leaving you with an uncropped monitor.

Many people (myself included) must result to gaffer’s tape method.  This way, you guesstimate where the crop should be and gaff a makeshift letterbox on your monitor.  This means you cannot see what is in the cropped areas.  I think being able to see what is in the cropped areas is important…because you can tell how close the boom mic is to the edge of the screen.  Another option someone told me once is simple scotch tape, as you can still see the cropped area and it makes a subtle line.  I wouldn’t ever want to place tape of any kind on my monitor, and don’t recommend it.

I decided to create custom cropmarks that I could print out on a tranparancy sheet (like what is used on overhead projectors for presentations) and use those to lay over my monitors.  It took me some time to test where the boundaries of the screen really is when looking at the 5dMkII footage on the monitor, but I came up with the following.

The top cropmark is specifically for the 5dMkII.  The size if the cropmark when you print out is for an 8″ monitor.  The file, however, can be easily scaled up or down to meet your monitor’s size.  The second crop mark is for general use, if you were using a standard video camera with the 8″ monitor.  You will need to print this out on a transparency with a color laser printer.  Inkjets won’t work (believe me, I tried that and ended up with a smeary mess).  You can take this file to your local Kinko’s on a thumbdrive and have them print out a few for you.


1) For 8″ Screens: CLICK HERE.

2) For 19″ Screens: CLICK HERE.

Microsoft Word - 2.35cropmarkOverlays.doc

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