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#1 Jeremy Langford

Jeremy Langford

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 08:55 PM

I've spent many years experimenting with film photography and I would love to start being able to experiment with video as well. When I look at my favorite films, I always love wide angle shots with noticeable lens distortion. I was trying to find out what format/lenses directors commonly use to achieve these qualities and I started to read about the 40mm anamorphic lens. I read that this focal length/format was used in "Chinatown" as well as "Rushmore". These are two of my favorite films due to their wide POVs and noticeable lens distortion.

I would love to be able to achieve the same effects with my own videos but I'm not sure what is required to do so. First off, I have no idea how to understand the POV of a 40mm anamorphic lens in terms of a 35mm film SLR or a FF DSLR. Would it be somewhere close to a 28mm POV?

Also, are the cinematic effects produced by a 40mm anamorphic lens dependent on the fact that the lens is anamorphic? I'm having trouble understanding what exactly anamorphic lenses do compared to spherical lenses. I got the following from this forum:

"The anamorphic element changes the horizontal angle of a lens by a factor of 2, but leaves the vertical angle untouched. So in fact you have the characteristics of two focal lenses combined in one. A 50mm anamorphic lens for instance has the vertical angle of a 50mm lens, but the horizontal angle of a 25mm lens"

If the anamorphic lens has the characteristics of two focal lengths, is it impossible to achieve the same qualities using a single focal length, spherical lens?

Thanks
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