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THE GOOD GERMAN lens


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#1 Michael Ryan

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 06:22 PM

Hello All,

I was just watching the trailer for THE GOOD GERMAN on the internet. Even with the compression I thought
the cinematography was really fantastic. Great black and white. I can hardly wait to see it up on the big screen.

Here's a question: I have read that the film was shot using vintage lenses and equipment. Is it possilbe that an old lens can have a "personality"? Can it really capture light that would remind you of a certain era?

Or is that kind of a thought overly romantic? Will a '40s lens remind you of that time and a '50s lens of that era and so on?

The cinematography in THE GOOD GERMAN is the kind of thing that just BEGS for an in-depth article in
AMERICAN CINEMATOGRAPHER.

Mike

Edited by Michael Ryan, 18 January 2007 - 06:24 PM.

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#2 Dan Goulder

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 06:36 PM

Here's a question: I have read that the film was shot using vintage lenses and equipment. Is it possilbe that an old lens can have a "personality"? Can it really capture light that would remind you of a certain era?

Or is that kind of a thought overly romantic? Will a '40s lens remind you of that time and a '50s lens of that era and so on?

The glass you use obviously has a major effect on the image. Lenses that were used in the 40s and 50s definitely differ from newer lenses, so they would of course account for a familiar "look" from those eras. However, the newer film stock used, as well as the lighting requirements for newer stock, is not the same as from that era. (Actually, color stock was used). Therefore, I wouldn't expect an exact replication of older films, although I would guess they may have attempted to do so with the D.I.
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#3 Greg Gross

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 09:17 PM

For still photography it holds true that older lenses because of superior glass
may perform better than a new age lens. I'm not familiar enough with cinema
lenses to answer your question. My best guess is that you are correct. Maybe
David Mullen ASC is around and can answer your question as I'm sure he will
know. I can tell you that I have used some Nikon lenses in a Nikon auto focus
camera in manual mode due to their superiority over some newer auto focus
lenses. One of these lenses that I love dearly is a Nikon 85mm/f1.8 and it has
some awesome glass. If my memory serves me right I think 1964 and it was
discontinued in 1977. It has a view angle of 23 degrees and focus is sharp(ex-
tremely) from edge to edge. This all in a package weighing 15oz. .

Greg Gross
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 18 January 2007 - 09:25 PM

The major change in lens optics over the past century was the invention of anti-reflection coating by Dupont in 1939, which was phased in slowly and not for every element in a lens. So older lenses with fewer coated elements, and aging coatings, tend to create more halation, which is what you see in "The Good German" from the use of these lenses (plus some lens diffusion probably.)
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#5 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 02:39 PM

The major change in lens optics over the past century was the invention of anti-reflection coating by Dupont in 1939, which was phased in slowly and not for every element in a lens. So older lenses with fewer coated elements, and aging coatings, tend to create more halation, which is what you see in "The Good German" from the use of these lenses (plus some lens diffusion probably.)


---In a Sunday NYTimes article, Soderberg said he used older Panavision lens that didn't have the latest coating. Not uncoated lenses.

These lenses would probably be from around 1970 when they added spherical
lenses to their inventory. Multi coating came out in the late 70s.
So these lenses would be single coated. & some possibly rebarreled still lenses.
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