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Question for David Mullen and other


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#1 Michael Ryan

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 07:53 PM

Hello David and others,



I have been shooting some film tests with Kodak Regular 8mm color 100D reversal film. I have been shooting this film with a Yashica 8 movie camera from the early '60s. Yashica actually made an anamorphic lens specifically for this camera (strange, but true!). The anamorphic lens has an aspect ratio of 2:1

I have received the film test back from the lab (Nano Lab in Australia, excellent by the way) and have projected it a few times.

So, David and others, is squeezing that much visual information onto an 8mm frame too much for it to really handle? Or is it actually better to have more visual information on the frame via the anamorphic lens.

I projected the film with an anamorphic lens on the projector and the images look really good. 100D is a very fine grain film and the film caught a great amount of detail. I filmed a parked fighter jet and the numbers and decals were very sharp.

I felt the film and lens fell down on the long shots. Shots of a country barn and trees that were several thousand yards away. Perhaps 8mm can't really cope with long shots as the frame is just not big enough to capture detail of trees that take up a very small area of the frame?

In general it seemed that anything that was within 20 feet of the camera turned out very well (color, sharpness, detail).

I was very impressed with how the 100D captured the parked fighter jet. There was a medium shot of the jet with harsh, bright sunlight on the top of the jet (the wing was several feet above my head as I shot). When I viewed the film I was really shocked at how well the under side of the wing came out. It was slightly darker, but lots of detail and not washed out. It looked almost as if I had used a reflector to bring out the detail in the shadows.

Any thoughts or help you can give me will be fantastic. Thank you in advance.

Mike
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 08:02 PM

Of course there are resolution limits with anything, particularly a small negative, but Super-8 / 8mm can look pretty detailed, especially in tight shots. But I can't really quantify it for you -- you are pretty much learning the limits by shooting with the camera.
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#3 Michael Ryan

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 08:12 PM

Of course there are resolution limits with anything, particularly a small negative, but Super-8 / 8mm can look pretty detailed, especially in tight shots. But I can't really quantify it for you -- you are pretty much learning the limits by shooting with the camera.


Hello David,

thank you for the response.

Would it be a true statment to say that using an anamorphic lens (with any film format) gives more detail, sharpness than using a spherical lens (both lenses being the same quality)?

I think what I'm trying to get at is: if I had shot the jet with the anamorphic lens and than the regular lens what shot would have looked better (detail wise)?

Mike
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#4 Chris Keth

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 09:11 PM

Hello David,

thank you for the response.

Would it be a true statment to say that using an anamorphic lens (with any film format) gives more detail, sharpness than using a spherical lens (both lenses being the same quality)?

I think what I'm trying to get at is: if I had shot the jet with the anamorphic lens and than the regular lens what shot would have looked better (detail wise)?

Mike


It probably would have looked about the same, assuming you were going with the regular super 8 aspect ratio. If you would crop super 8 to get the wide aspect ratio the anamorphic lens gives, it would look considerably worse.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 10:17 PM

You don't gain any quality from using an anamorphic lens unless in comparison to cropping a spherical lens image to get widescreen. But simply comparing an anamorphic image to a full frame spherical image on the same size film, generally the spherical lens would be sharper and grain would be the same, depending on the degree of enlargement during projection.
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#6 Terry Mester

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Posted 21 July 2007 - 01:55 AM

You don't gain any quality from using an anamorphic lens unless in comparison to cropping a spherical lens image to get widescreen. But simply comparing an anamorphic image to a full frame spherical image on the same size film, generally the spherical lens would be sharper and grain would be the same, depending on the degree of enlargement during projection.


Yes, this would be completely consistent with the fact that the Lens of the Eye is 'spherical'. An Anamorphic Lens is out-of-sync with the Eye. An up-close shot with an Anamorphic Lens ought to be at greater risk of looking a bit out of proportion or possibly distorted. From your professional experience with close-up shots, have you suffered more problems with Anamorphic over Spherical? What about where the image captured is further away from the center of an Anamorphic Lens. Would you say that you experience less sharpness away from the center than at the center of the Lens?


Mike, what is the width of your Lens? There is a maximum amount of light data that can fit into a two dimensional space. I calculated this, and the maximum number of Red Light Waves amounts to 27,729 per square millimetre. You can find more information through the Weblink in my Signature below. When the surface area of the Lens exposing the Film Frame is larger than the Frame, there will be more than one Light Ray merged to expose one spot on the Film. Perhaps 2, 3, 4 or more Light Rays exposing one spot. The larger the Lens, the more merging will take place. With the same size Lens, there will be about a four times higher degree of merging on an 8mm Frame than 16mm. This merging of Light contributes to why objects in the distance have less clarity than closer objects. The closer an object is to the Lens, the greater the area of the Lens which captures that object. An Anamorphic Lens will give you less detail along the outer edges of the Lens in order to give you a wider field of vision. Since the outer edges capture the background, you won't really notice that there's less detail. The amount of light which fits on the Frame remains the same. It would make more sense to film with Spherical Super35mm 3-perf than with Anamorphic Regular35 4-perf, but there are almost no Super35 Projectors in circulation.
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#7 Mark Dunn

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Posted 21 July 2007 - 06:24 AM

You don't gain any quality from using an anamorphic lens unless in comparison to cropping a spherical lens image to get widescreen. But simply comparing an anamorphic image to a full frame spherical image on the same size film, generally the spherical lens would be sharper and grain would be the same, depending on the degree of enlargement during projection.

What amateurs do with 'Scope is switch the anamorphic to the projector to get a picture the same height but twice as wide. You're effectively magnifying the image twice as much, which tends to tax the grain a bit on 8mm. In practice there's quite a difference in perceived sharpness.
But it still looks great.
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#8 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 21 July 2007 - 10:48 AM

yeah, projected you will get less sharpness with anamorphic since it's magnified more, while on tv you will get more sharpness since it's magnified less, since the width is fixed. 16:9 is exactly betwen 4:3 and 2.35 though so in that case it will be exactly the same. although the anamorphic lens probably isn't as sharp as a spherical one, as others have mentioned.

/matt
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#9 Jim Simon

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Posted 21 July 2007 - 11:32 PM

16:9 is exactly betwen 4:3 and 2.35


My math says 1.85 is 'exactly' between the two. (2.35+1.33 divided by 2 = 1.84)
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#10 Hal Smith

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Posted 22 July 2007 - 12:12 AM

What amateurs do with 'Scope is switch the anamorphic to the projector to get a picture the same height but twice as wide.

You do exactly the same thing with a commercial 35mm projector, use an anamorphic lens, either a "unit" lens or an adapter on a standard lens. I use a Sankor adapter on my Simplex SP's lens for scope projection. One difference is that professional anamorphic lenses have an additional focus adjustment that is preset for the distance from projector to the screen. There's nothing more awesome than watching a good scope 35mm movie at home in its native format.
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#11 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 05:12 PM

My math says 1.85 is 'exactly' between the two. (2.35+1.33 divided by 2 = 1.84)

that's assuming the height is constant, meaning the area increases as you widen the aspect, but if the width is constant thus reducing the area this is the calculation: 1/((1/2.35+1/1.33)/2)=1.70. inbetween 1.70 and 1.84 is 1.77.

i also like this way of counting:

4/3=4/3
4/3*4/3=16/9
4/3*4/3*4/3=64/27~2.35:1

/matt
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#12 Matt Pacini

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 05:41 PM

I've shot a lot of S8, and my advice is (other than the obvious; get a camera with a great lens) is to shoot very close up. More closeups than you think you would normally.
Also, don't shoot with high-speed film, and light the living crap out of the scene, i.e; get those f-stops up there. Most Super 8 lenses don't look that good wide open.
Try to get at least an f4, better yet, 5.6-11.

Matt Pacini
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#13 Robert Hughes

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 10:06 AM

Say, David, I'm gonna be moving in a few days, and need to know what kind of moving vehicle I need. I've got a VW Jetta and its trunk is like way huge! Is it true I can fit as many boxes in my Jetta as in a panel truck? How about if I replace the trunk top with one of those 1.85x anamorphic thingie trunk extensions? And are you free this Saturday? :rolleyes:

Edited by Robert Hughes, 14 August 2007 - 10:10 AM.

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#14 Jim Simon

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 06:11 PM

that's assuming the height is constant


The height is constant. It's 1. The width (1.78, 1.85, 2.35) is the variable in this equation.
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#15 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 06:13 PM

I've shot a lot of S8, and my advice is (other than the obvious; get a camera with a great lens) is to shoot very close up. More closeups than you think you would normally.....
Matt Pacini


There are two similar meanings to consider here...shoot close-up, as in being close to your subjects but in the widest angle or near widest angle the camera lens will go, or telephoto close-up. Both can look good, but the first method (wide and close) will usually produce a more stable looking image unless you are going to be using a sachtler tripod costing in the thousands. The depth portrayal with the first method is usually outstanding.

There are reasons to use telephoto lens settings to get close-ups as well, but for keeping it simple, close and wider is the simplest method for getting good results. However you can be close and wide and still zoom in and get terrific looking close-ups, but the further back you go, the flatter and shakier the image might look.
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#16 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 04:27 AM

Say, David, I'm gonna be moving in a few days, and need to know what kind of moving vehicle I need. I've got a VW Jetta and its trunk is like way huge! Is it true I can fit as many boxes in my Jetta as in a panel truck? How about if I replace the trunk top with one of those 1.85x anamorphic thingie trunk extensions? And are you free this Saturday? :rolleyes:


I'm assuming this some type of humorous response. However Econosized Toyota Corolla Wagons from the late 70's could actually hold bigger applicances than a fully sized country sedan wagon.
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