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Super Anamorphic Lenses?


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#1 Evan Winter

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 07:03 PM

Hi everyone,

I'm hoping someone can help me out.

It seems that most Anamorphic lenses shoot full frame (but not over the sound area of the film). Thus they 'waste' a bit of the neg that Super 35mm takes advantage of.

Of course, if shooting 2.35/2.39, Anamorphic is superior because when the image is unsqueezed more neg is used than if Super 35mm is matted down to 2.35.

So, my question is: How come no one has made Super Anamorphic lenses (lenses that have less of a squeeze factor - and so less optical aberrations and make use of the sound portion of the neg)? Wouldn't Super Anamorphic lenses be the ultimate lenses for widescreen and allow for the most pristine images possible for widescreen?

Thanks for the time and help,

Evan W.
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#2 Andy Romanoff

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 07:18 PM

Hi everyone,

I'm hoping someone can help me out.

It seems that most Anamorphic lenses shoot full frame (but not over the sound area of the film). Thus they 'waste' a bit of the neg that Super 35mm takes advantage of.

Of course, if shooting 2.35/2.39, Anamorphic is superior because when the image is unsqueezed more neg is used than if Super 35mm is matted down to 2.35.

So, my question is: How come no one has made Super Anamorphic lenses (lenses that have less of a squeeze factor - and so less optical aberrations and make use of the sound portion of the neg)? Wouldn't Super Anamorphic lenses be the ultimate lenses for widescreen and allow for the most pristine images possible for widescreen?

Thanks for the time and help,

Evan W.



Hi Evan,

One major reason is that people really like the optical effect - the look of anamorphic. (now a commercial) If you have time tomorrow come to Panavision Woodland Hills for Panafest, Panavisions new product roll out. Among the products we are showing is a new set of anamorphics as well as a new spherical zoom and our new solid state uncompressed recorder for Genesis and F23 the SSR. Noon to seven, lots of technical people to talk to, food and friends - oh by the way, anybody else reading this you're welcome too.

See you tomorrow,

Andy

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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 07:31 PM

The 35mm anamorphic frame already uses the 4-perf Full Aperture (Super-35) height, so it's only 2mm less wide than the Super-35 frame -- it's really not enough of an improvement that it's worth designing whole sets of 1.8X anamorphic lenses instead of 2X anamorphic lenses just to gain that 2mm of film on the left edge of the negative. Nor would there be a radical design difference/improvement between a 1.8X squeeze and a 2X squeeze. Or to put it another way, making an 8% reduction from "super" anamorphic back to normal anamorphic for print projection is not much of an improvement.

This is the anamorphic negative area:
Posted Image

At least with switching from standard 1.85 to "Super" 1.85, you can use the same lenses, so why not use Full Aperture if you are doing a D.I.? But in the case of anamorphic, designing whole new sets of lenses just to be able to do that 8% reduction is not worth the effort. I'd rather see some effort in designing 1.34X anamorphic lenses for 3-perf 35mm and 16x9 digital cameras.
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#4 Evan Winter

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 10:23 PM

Thank you both for the reply.

Andy, thanks for the invite. I would definitely show up if I could. Right now I'm in Toronto prepping for small reshoots on a music video (the first time I've ever had the opportunity to do reshoots on a video that's already been cut - which is interesting and kinda cool since I can see exactly what I need to get to make the promo stronger).

I'd love to stop by when I'm back in town though. Which will hopefully be in about a week (especially since it's becoming sweater and jacket whether up North and I didn't pack appropriately). ;)

Also, thanks for the reply David. It does seem like investing money in a set of lenses just to gain 8% of the neg might be a bit of a waste. Now I'm curious about how much extra neg we gain going from 35mm to Super 35mm (percentage wise).

A quick and not very scientific search returns numbers like 32% extra usable neg for Super 35mm over regular 35mm. If that's the case then it really emphasizes your point that making a new set of 'Super' Anamorphic lenses wouldn't make much sense if the gain was only 8%.

Did a little extra research and I think the following numbers are all correct:

If Academy 35mm is taken as 100% then the other formats (at their respective 'full gates') are:


if
Academy 35mm = 100%
then
16 mm = 22%
Super 16mm = 26% (of course this is 26% at 1.67 so it's not quite fair)
Modern Anamorphic = 116% (at 2.39)
Super 35mm = 132%
Super Dimension 70 (65mm origination) = 342% (at 2.3)
Omnimax 70mm = 1051% (at 1.33)


Again, thanks for the help everyone. I love this forum! :)

Evan
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 10:49 PM

You have to factor intended final aspect ratios when making comparisons, not just Full Apertures, etc. Super-35 is smaller in area than anamorphic once you crop it to 2.40.
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#6 Evan Winter

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 12:56 AM

Definitely true. I intended that the notations in brackets, starting with super 16mm, indicate that my comparisons were not quite fair. I mentioned all non 1.33 formats so that if someone felt like doing the extra math it would be simpler to figure out.

For instance:

If

35mm = 100%

and

Modern Anamorphic = 116%

Then

Super 35 @ 2.39 = 73%

Ouch! No wonder image purists tend to deride Super 35 framed down to 2.39.

Super 35 @ 2.39 uses 37% less neg than Modern Anamorphic. That's a larger difference in image quality than exists between regular 35mm and Super 35mm. Not to mention that Super 35mm @ 2.39, if I recall correctly, has to go through either a D.I or additional Optical process to be projected properly.

Evan W.
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#7 Evan Winter

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 12:42 PM

So I went to bed last night and had the most pleasant dream - I was shooting a feature film in OmniMax 70mm. But in the dream the camera system has been optimized so it wasn't much bigger than an Arri 535 and the lenses were cumbersome but no more so than Anamorphic primes. The best part was sitting in the theatre at the Arclight watching the 70mm print projected on the screen. The images were beyond rich...oh how film would live for another 200 years if only this wasn't a dream. :)

Evan W.
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