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Zeiss Anamorphics


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#1 Jarin Blaschke

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 10:05 AM

Does anyone know where to obtain these converted lenses in the US, ideally in LA? Anyone have any experience with them in the T1.4-T2 range? I thought that I heard that Joe Dunton carries them, but they are not on his website - only the JDC cookes.

Thanks
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#2 Mike Williamson

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 04:54 PM

I thought that Panavision had a set of high-speed anamorphics that were converted Zeiss Superspeeds, but I could be wrong. I'm thinking of the lenses used on "Escape from New York", maybe somebody more specifically which lenses I'm talking about, David Mullen perhaps?

As I'm sure you know, Jarin, they flare like crazy. Watching "Escape", there's a handful of shots where you wonder where the flare is coming from, until the camera pans 30 degrees and you see a streetlight a couple hundred yards down the road, fun...
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#3 Jarin Blaschke

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 11:27 PM

From what I understand, the Panavision high speed anamorphics are made from their old SS and US spherical glass, which should not be as sharp as converted Zeiss superspeeds. Is this a safe assumption?
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#4 Mike Williamson

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 12:34 AM

Checking the FAQ on this site, apparently the lenses I'm thinking of are JDC Speedstars. Panavision also has a series of high-speed anamorphics, but they're made from Nikon glass, not Zeiss. As to which are the sharpest, your guess is better than mine, I'd guess it would be dependent on the quality of the anamorphic element at least as much as the anything else.

http://www.cinematog...?showtopic=4690
http://www.joedunton.com/

Good luck with whatever project you've got going, let me know what you find out.
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#5 Max Jacoby

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 08:46 AM

JDCs Zeiss anamorphics are indeed called Speedstars and are adapted Superspeeds. But they do not recommend that you open them wider than T2.

Technovision in France and Italy also have them, as well adapted Zeiss Standards. Since Panavision bought Technovision there should be a possibility to get to themin the US.

Also Panavision have themselves adapted Superspeeds. They were used on 'The Prestige' for instance and these lenses looked quite crisp in the theatre I found.
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#6 Mike Williamson

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 02:30 PM

I had a class last fall with Wally Pfister where he did a lighting workshop and brought in the lenses that he used on "The Prestige" to recreated a set-up from that film. The lenses were labelled as "Auto-Panatar High Speed", unfortunately I forget what the maximum aperture was. I was under the impression that they may have been recoated and reworked, but that they were essentially a well-selected set of old Panavision high speeds, like Beebe used on "Memoirs of a Geisha". Max may know the history of the lenses better than I do though. The set we had came through Panavision Woodland Hills, not Hollywood.

We viewed the footage from class at Technicolor and the lenses looked amazing, it probably helped that T2.8 was our shooting stop. If you can get ahold of that set of lenses, Jarin, you'll be in good shape.
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#7 Max Jacoby

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 02:51 PM

There's some more info in the AC article on 'The Prestige', but the lenses you saw must be these Superspeeds. The speed is T1.4. The focal lenghts are a bit limited, they start at 35mm and top out at 85mm (the longest spherical Superspeed available),with probably a 65mm and a 50mm (and maybe a 40mm in there as well) if my memory serves me correctly.

Beebe used some E-Series that opened up a tad wider than the usual T2.

Panavision have a certain number of lenses that's aren't listed in the catalogue, so it's a good idea to ask if you have anything special in mind.
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#8 Mike Williamson

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 04:41 PM

According to notes from the class, we shot with an 85mm for a two shot of a couple at a table, then 100mm for a close-up of the actress. So it sounds like you may be right about the 85 being a converted Superspeed, but they've added a few of the longer primes as well.
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#9 Max Jacoby

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 05:03 PM

Do you recall what speed the longer focal lenghts were? And did they go beyond 100mm?
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#10 Jarin Blaschke

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 12:17 AM

The last I asked about the new 1.4 anamorphics, I was told that they are "out all the time" and were pretty unobtainable. Is it true that Dan Sazaki no longer works there? If so, who is now the go-to lens expert to ask about anamorphic optics and my options?
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#11 Max Jacoby

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 12:31 AM

Dan Sazaki works for Dalsa now, making their 1.22 squeeze anamorphic lenses.
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#12 Mike Williamson

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 01:15 AM

Do you recall what speed the longer focal lenghts were? And did they go beyond 100mm?


Unfortunately I don't remember what lens were in the set we had, or the apertures of them. I was gaffing for that class, so my attention was focused on trying to take in as much of Wally's lighting method as possible. It was a great experience to meet him and have him walk us through how he works, too bad that I didn't get a closer look at the lenses though.
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#13 Mitch Gross

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 09:32 AM

Dan Sazaki works for Dalsa now, making their 1.22 squeeze anamorphic lenses.

Actually, he and a partner started their own lens making firm with Dalsa as their first client. They are not Dalsa employees.
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