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Anamorphic Super 8


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#1 Matthew Buick

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 05:52 PM

Hi.

For a while I've wanted to shoot Super 8, and I've read that my Canon 814XL-S and Anamorphic Lenses really don't mix, so I'm selling it. Does anyone know of a camera that'll take an anamorphic easier? I can't really afford a Beaulieu, and don't want to go near a Kinoflex. I know it's going to be a downgrade, but as long as this cameras gives clean pictures, has decent manual features, a slow motion of some sort and a big viewfinder then I'm happy.

Thanks again.
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#2 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 13 January 2008 - 07:55 PM

As Canon 814 & 1014XL-S Super 8 cameras are being sold at values that can only be described as crazily overpriced, while a simple 5008 can be bought occasionally at reasonable prices (onto which the Iscorama 1:2.66 lens fits perfectly), may I ask what budget you are roughly looking at (indiscreet, I know, but helpful for an answer ;) ) ?
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#3 jacob thomas

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 03:00 AM

Hi.

For a while I've wanted to shoot Super 8, and I've read that my Canon 814XL-S and Anamorphic Lenses really don't mix, so I'm selling it. Does anyone know of a camera that'll take an anamorphic easier? I can't really afford a Beaulieu, and don't want to go near a Kinoflex. I know it's going to be a downgrade, but as long as this cameras gives clean pictures, has decent manual features, a slow motion of some sort and a big viewfinder then I'm happy.

Thanks again.


Are you crazy? Why all the pissing around dreaming about obscure equipment and films?
You've got a great camera now go make a film... :blink:

If you just have to shoot anamorphic get a cheap camera (Kinoflex/Quartz are not as bad as most say they are) with a small lens and try to find a cheap anamorphic to match. Then enjoy all the aggravation of shooting with a anamorphic setup, and then when you come crying back to the 814XL-S she'll be waiting patiently for you. ;)

Edited by jacob thomas, 14 January 2008 - 03:02 AM.

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#4 Matthew Buick

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Posted 14 January 2008 - 03:49 PM

Well, I don't actually want to part with the 814XL-S, but I want to free up more money for lights and reflectors, etc. That's why I want a cheaper camera, because buying another camera of equal cost would be pointless, and I do love my 814XL-S, it'll be sorely missed.

I'd like to shoot with a 1.75x attachment.

Michael, £60.00 is my limit. Not a penny more.


-Regards. ;)

Oh yeah, and I just have to shoot anamorphic. But I want a decent camera all the same.
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#5 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 01:48 AM

As Canon 814 & 1014XL-S Super 8 cameras are being sold at values that can only be described as crazily overpriced, while a simple 5008 can be bought occasionally at reasonable prices (onto which the Iscorama 1:2.66 lens fits perfectly), may I ask what budget you are roughly looking at (indiscreet, I know, but helpful for an answer ;) ) ?


Of course, one just needs to be able to find the Iscorama 1:2.66 lens . . .
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#6 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 09:05 PM

Of course, one just needs to be able to find the Iscorama 1:2.66 lens . . .


Quite right, and a new camera which not only can accomodate a anamorphotic lens but also support it weight-wise, plus come already fitted with a very good lens in the first place (if the anamorphotic isn't an interchangeable lens itself, as the Isco is for C-Mount) to reduce optical distortions and visual impairments from the added glass.

This means essentially starting from the top of my Top 30 Camera Guide and working oneself down. As your Canon 814XL-S is already in fifth position, and the camera is yours and working, selling it to free money for the acquisition of a anamorphotic lens plus having only £60 for a new camera is really pushing the envelope here.

Matthew, I honestly doubt that you will find a camera on the Top 30 list for under £60 (= $115) in a CLA'd condition that would allow you to trust it without some checking. It is possible: my brother recently aquired a mint Porst-branded Bauer S 715 XL microcomputer from eBay for 15 Euros, and apparently, it runs virtually like new sofar. But this is not the rule. Quite the contrary...

As the prerogative is both top optical quality (which you need for the anamorphote) and small purse budget so not to starve your cat off its deserved cookie (maybe it breaking your Digicam was already a hint that she wants more attention from you?), I really can only recommend to print that Top 30 list, and go through eBay and watch out for trustworthy-looking offers. Super8Arena and Super8CameraShop are all a tad more expensive than $115.

The only other support I can offer you is reflect on the premise you are working on. You have an excellent camera, you have excellent film stocks stored (glorious Spielbergian Kodak EXR :wub: ) and you clearly have a vision and determination. It is quite indisputeable that in order to shot with an anamorphote, you will compromise your existing gear in one way or another, post probably by having to go for a Bentley B-3 instead in order to finance the widescreen splendour. Is that clever?

Finally, is is really a requirement to get Vistavision wideness for your film? Doublecheck for yourself if the motive and the cinematic aspects of your project really need Widescreen, and how it would look? I know that Academy 1:1.33 can sometimes feel narrow, but the art of cinematography is to find the proper cadrage, to compose for that frame as well as to find the landscape for the format. Widescreen requires space, openeness, plains... otherwise, it can become (ironically) quite claustrophobic. Filming confined spaces or narrow urban areas or undistinct Midlands landscapes (sorry, Alan Titchmarsh, sometimes, your love for Britain really goes through with you) in Scope can look plain ridiculous (pun intended).
Similarly, even the glorifying Alan Titchmarsh who nearly made me buy a helicopter as this seems to be the best place to live-in in Britain re. views and property values (ahh, if Freya or Phil Rhodes would read that post of mine ;) ) shot his gloriorama broadcasts in Academy (Was it broadcast in 1:1.78 on BBC HD? Does anyone know? Does anyone care?) and it worked very well re. cadre and composition.

People make the mustake that they believe that what workeds with golden Kodak emulsions in Bryce Canyon with Cinemascope in "Thelma & Louise" will also work for "Jam & Jerusalem" with less golden-lit Kodak emulsions in the Yorkshire Dales with Iscorama: it won't.

So think about that twice and give us some thoughts or ideas about your film project before you become too self-insistend on using an anamorphote.


(for anyone not based in Britain and overly critical of the kept-up British end, i.e. Freya or Phil, some cultural aspects of this post might sound cryptic. I shall very much apologies for that to you colonials, eh, fellow human beings ? A JOKE, A JOKE :D )
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#7 Matthew Buick

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 04:27 PM

Wow Michael! You're heavy going! It would take me a hour to write all that.. :lol:

Well yes. I have considered whether what I want to shoot requires anamorphic, and I think for the most part it does. I'll be going to places like Hadrian's Wall, Bamburgh Castle, York, and I really want to convey the scale of these magnificent places, if I'm shooting a stock like EXR I want everything to be perfect. Or course the camera killing cat has, and will continue to be shot in 1:33, because he is small, historically worthless, and practically lives in the house. I think the Anamorphic Lens is a masterpiece in engineering, and I dearly wish to unlock its secrets. I also think having to stare through a viewfinder where everything is 1.75x compressed throws up a bit of adversary, and people adapt and improve in the face of adversary.
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#8 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 04:59 PM

Finally, is is really a requirement to get Vistavision wideness for your film?

Vistavision wideness is 1.85/1. People too often forget that 1.85/1 is widescreen.
Since Iscorama has a 1.5x squeeze, it yields a 2/1 aspect ratio. Close to 1.85/1.

Doublecheck for yourself if the motive and the cinematic aspects of your project really need Widescreen, and how it would look? I know that Academy 1:1.33 can sometimes feel narrow, but the art of cinematography is to find the proper cadrage, to compose for that frame as well as to find the landscape for the format. Widescreen requires space, openeness, plains... otherwise, it can become (ironically) quite claustrophobic. Filming confined spaces or narrow urban areas or undistinct Midlands landscapes (sorry, Alan Titchmarsh, sometimes, your love for Britain really goes through with you) in Scope can look plain ridiculous (pun intended).


Freddy Francis got an Oscar for his B/W CinemaScope photography on industrial England and cramped interiors in 'Sons and Lovers'. He also made 'The Innocents' and 'The Elephant Man'. Both impressive looking 'Scope movies.

Many other well composed 'Scope movies of the UK

Widescreen it's not just for westerns.
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#9 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 07:33 PM

Vistavision wideness is 1.85/1. People too often forget that 1.85/1 is widescreen.
Since Iscorama has a 1.5x squeeze, it yields a 2/1 aspect ratio. Close to 1.85/1.


:D

Sorry if I caused confusion. I am well aware that Vistavision is horizontally-shot 8-perf Widescreen 35 (actually, having seen "White Christmas" on DVD during the holiday season, I thought I would actually love to see that film in a new print well projected). I was just lightheartedly throwing various "scopey" words into my paragraphy to push Matthew to the psychological limit because although I can see his point, I truly fear that the plan is not entirely cooked-through, namely to sell an optically very good camera to buy a yet undesignated anamorphic attachment (and there are myriad of formats available for Super 8 which would drive any SMPTE engineer over the edge of madness, cf here) and then attempt to get a 60 sterling / $120 camera replacement off eBay which will very likely suck (as long as he doesn't get patronage from a producer) either optically or mechanically and hence potentially spoil otherwise good production.

And it kinda worked... :lol:

Freddy Francis got an Oscar for his B/W CinemaScope photography on industrial England and cramped interiors in 'Sons and Lovers'. He also made 'The Innocents' and 'The Elephant Man'. Both impressive looking 'Scope movies.


Absolutely!
But he used this intentionally to exactly showcase or to powerfully transmit the societally challenging conditions the films topics discuss. Also, the use of B&W was an enforcer of this premise because it further reduced the possibility of cinematic relief but rather increased the grimness. It is almost a subversive use of the glorifying usage that Scope systems normally represent.

I assumed, however ? based on my knowledge of Matthew's ambitions, his talent, his interest in landscape cinematography, his dedication in searching for the few remaining EXR cartridges because of the material aesthetics of these stocks which he shipped to the UK from the US, plus his recent interest for Douglas Slocombe's cinematography, but also his shooting beyond his means attitude (sorry if that sounds bad, Matthew, but I mean that in most kindest way imaginable to you ;) ) that he is not into Lynchian or Burtonesque Edwardiana, let alone Ken Loach working class dramas for his own film project ? and his post outlining his motives above show this:

I'll be going to places like Hadrian's Wall, Bamburgh Castle, York, and I really want to convey the scale of these magnificent places, if I'm shooting a stock like EXR I want everything to be perfect.


So he wants the Scope atmo, Titchmarshy as it may be. And if he shots in Spring, April particularly having a beautiful sunlight here ? at least that is what I remember from my years living in Newcastle / Whitley Bay and then later in Edinburgh ? he can pull it of!

We just have to find that lad a CLA'd camera with all the features and qualities of a Canon 814XL-S, but for 120 USD max.
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#10 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 16 January 2008 - 07:53 PM

And this is what I am going to suggest to Matthew:

60 GBP / 120 USD is not enough, really, BUT you can actually get a Bauer C 700 XLM for 150 USD or even better, a Bauer C 900 XLM for 169 USD at Super 8 Arena. Now, these are CLA'd, with warranty, shipped within Europe.

You will have to trust me on that because I don't have the time and energy to give you a complete lowdown of these cams against your Canon, and I too don't want to upset Canon owners, but these two cameras are gold nuggets for that price, the offer all you might need. They are mechanically better than the Canosounds, and optically surely not much worse. THe only thing you will loose is the variable shutter from the Canon plus the self-release functions. But the latter is kinda useless anyhow, and as you can't manually control the shutter opening angle on the Canon (unlike with a 4008, Leicina, A 512 or Nizo pro), that feature is also a bit compromised on the Canon, anyhow, too!

As a plus, you get a variable timer on both the 700 and 900. And both have 220° shutter opening, like a Panaflex :P so you get the motion fluidity that makes the Panavisionaries so distinct from the Arrimateurs (gosh, I am a harsh but "good" sales person here. Did I miss a career opportunity at some point in my life?).

Both cameras are basically identical apart form the different focal ranges of the lenses (one being a 7x, the other a 9x Macro-Neovaron with 1:1.2!) Both have a rare macro feature accessible at any focal length (like the Schneider 11x6mm or 13x6mm!).

Bauers are rough and tough cameras, and underpriced for what they offer. If you go for either of them, you will easily have a solid Super 8 camera for life! (yep, my film group has a Bauer C 700 XLM as C camera for 23 years and it works like a star!). I know both are beyond your budget, but the difference between your 60 sterling budget and the sales price of the 900 XLM is "just" 25 pounds. And frankly, that should be worth the "investment" into such gear! It's about downsizing with style, just as the 1979 Buick Riviera did against its predeceeding models ;) !

This on that matter. I wish you all the best Matthew! Good light and keep me posted.
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#11 Matthew Buick

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 04:32 PM

Well, I thank you for your king and caring advice, you go to a lot of troble to help people. Thank you :)

When I set myself a budget of 60 GBP I was thinking of cameras such as Canon 518SV, Nikon Super Zoom 8 or the Beaulieu 1028 XL60, cameras that seem to sell for much less than £60. I never considered the Bauer, thanks very much for bringing that camera to the party. I suppose once I know what les I'm going to use it'll make the camera choice more smooth and easy. Anything 1.75x does me, I hate to be a Mr. Luxury, but I'd really love macro ability.
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#12 Kevin Olmsted

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 05:34 PM

I can't contribute to the anamorphic discussion here, but I can vouch for the Bauer C900XLM. I'm a longtime Bauer fan, but Michael Lehnert introduced me to the 900 and recommended I buy one. I love my S209XL but was looking to replace it with a camera with a comparable lens but was more compact and travel-friendly. I got my 900 a few weeks ago and love it. The macro is very nice and has all your meat-and-potatoes features, at least the ones that I would want for my home movies/documentaries. Backlight, interval timer, manual/auto exposure and a nice selection of film speeds. Not to mention that beautiful Bauer styling... but I digress.

I got mine from Super 8 Camera Shop but I've had great experience with Super 8 Arena as well.

Recommended.

Edited by Kevin Olmsted, 17 January 2008 - 05:35 PM.

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#13 Matthew Buick

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 06:42 PM

I'l start forging for enough cash to get the 900XLM or 109XL. Thnakns, Kevin. :)

And I know what you mean about the Bauer styling. So clean, so crisp, so elegant, so reliable and so...German.
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#14 Freya Black

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 07:25 PM

I'm quite a fan of Anamorphic, however I've learnt quite a few things from my own setup.

Firstly you will need to interface the lens to the camera somehow. I got slightly lucky with this to some extent but I still have serious issues with supporting the lens that I havn't worked out yet. The end result is that you may end up spending quite a bit of money on step up step down rings. (In theory such rings are cheap but its all relative and we are talking tiny amounts here I notice).

Secondly you will need some kind of matte box. These are expensive as hell tho of course, you may be able to make your own tho? It probably doesn't have to hold filters so it could be made out of strong card sprayed black even, but you really, really need a matte box when shooting anamorphic. I found this out the hard way. Theres flares, and then theres flares, and theres all kinds of freaky reflections too. Watch out.

Thirdly you need to support the lens. You really do. Found this out the hard way too. Rails are not cheap but maybe you can fabricate something or make brackets or something? I suspect this bit might be hard. I'm still working on a solution for my situation here and I have a bit more money to spend and already have the lens.

Which brings me to another point. I know that theoretically they exist, but I have never, ever, ever seend a 1.75x lens for sale. I think if one turned up it would sell for a fair bit. 2x seems most common and then 1.5x and 1.33x. 1.75 seems impossible.

Matthew, you have an incredible camera. Canon put realy nice lenses on their S8 cameras. I have a horrible old canon thing but it has a lovely lens on it (canon 318M I think?) and it's probably not as nice as the one you have on your camera. As you are shooting on neg, could you not just crop the image in post or even better in telecine? It seems like you are presently putting these strange and really difficult barriers in the way of making your film!

I have to say I find nothing wrong with 4:3 either. It may not be trendy right now but wait a short time till everyone has HDV cameras that only shoot 16:9 and it will all be different.

love

Freya

P.S. Strangely enough there was a helicopter flying over my house only a few days ago! Big spotlight beam coming down into the street. I ran into my house to get a video camera but didn't get back out fast enough. Someone else remarked that everyone else in the street was running into their houses to get away from the helicopter while I wanted to chase it!

I do sooooo love the idea of living in a helicopter. I sometimes fancy a penthouse on top of one of those high apartment blocks but some kind of luxury airship might be a great idea. I'd be scared about coming down for shopping and re-fueling tho, especially if it was hydrogen filled, it only takes one little urchin with a firework... :( I think I need my own personal cloud 9 really. It's one of the best suggestions I've had yet tho, much better than getting a dog (crazy idea) although I still think a tiger could do the trick personally. Anyway enough chat about 21st C England...
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#15 Freya Black

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 07:33 PM

I'l start forging for enough cash to get the 900XLM or 109XL. Thnakns, Kevin. :)


Surely you have a potentially infinite budget then? Or is it the cost of ink jet cartridges or the little metallic strips that gets in the way? I have to confess I don't have much experience with this but certainly would welcome any tips you might have Matthew! :)

love

Freya
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#16 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 07:46 PM

I have to say I find nothing wrong with 4:3 either. It may not be trendy right now but wait a short time till everyone has HDV cameras that only shoot 16:9 and it will all be different.


I very much agree with that, actually. Which is why I would never crop Academy S8 in telecine of the old films of my film group. They are perfectly composed for 4:3, and live through that. 4:3, just like B&W will return with a vengeance, as a cinematic statement. But that will take some time... :)

P.S. Strangely enough there was a helicopter flying over my house only a few days ago! Big spotlight beam coming down into the street. I ran into my house to get a video camera but didn't get back out fast enough. Someone else remarked that everyone else in the street was running into their houses to get away from the helicopter while I wanted to chase it!


Well, I guess London gets to you :D

We had 3 Jack Torrance-style axe burglaries here in our block over the past weeks, plus a really messy stabbing. Oh, and that girl from Girls Aloud finally moved out, too (here presence really freaked me out... I prefer Jack Torrances. At least you know what you are faced with... :wacko:

I do sooooo love the idea of living in a helicopter. I sometimes fancy a penthouse on top of one of those high apartment blocks but some kind of luxury airship might be a great idea. I'd be scared about coming down for shopping and re-fueling tho, especially if it was hydrogen filled, it only takes one little urchin with a firework... :( I think I need my own personal cloud 9 really. It's one of the best suggestions I've had yet tho, much better than getting a dog (crazy idea) although I still think a tiger could do the trick personally. Anyway enough chat about 21st C England...



Luxury Airship which is docking on top of the "Shard of Glass" tower where Freya resides with her pet Pumas... NOW THAT SOUNDS 21st Century turns 1960s decadence! I love it!! :lol:
Rest assured that modern Zeppelins are actually filled with non-flammable Helium. That existed already in the 1930s, pre-"Hindenburg", but Helium ?in a nutshell? was too difficult to acquire.
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#17 Matthew Buick

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 06:40 PM

Surely you have a potentially infinite budget then? Or is it the cost of ink jet cartridges or the little metallic strips that gets in the way? I have to confess I don't have much experience with this but certainly would welcome any tips you might have Matthew! :)

love

Freya


Well, I certainly don't have an infinite budget, I'll have to scrape for that extra money for the camera.

If I cropped 1.33 Super 8mm to 2.35 I would lose untold amounts of very precious quality, and I just have to shoot in 2.35. I have a real gut feeling about that.

P.S: I seem pretty close to winning a genuine CinemaScope lens for quite a good price from ebay. Fingers crossed.


Sorry if this all seems blunt, I had a drealful night's sleep.
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#18 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 03:32 PM

Rest assured that modern Zeppelins are actually filled with non-flammable Helium. That existed already in the 1930s, pre-"Hindenburg", but Helium ?in a nutshell? was too difficult to acquire.


It was a US government controlled monopoly.

Helium mines were in Amarillo. 'The Amarillo Mines of Helium' being an Edgar Rice Burroughs John Carter of Mars novelette.
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#19 Freya Black

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 05:55 PM

Well, I certainly don't have an infinite budget, I'll have to scrape for that extra money for the camera.


Well they say crime doesn't pay anyway, although theres a lot of people getting away with a lot of terrible stuff these days.

If I cropped 1.33 Super 8mm to 2.35 I would lose untold amounts of very precious quality, and I just have to shoot in 2.35. I have a real gut feeling about that.

P.S: I seem pretty close to winning a genuine CinemaScope lens for quite a good price from ebay. Fingers crossed.


Sorry if this all seems blunt, I had a drealful night's sleep.


Well a genuine cinemascope lens will be a 2x lens and thus greater than 2.35
but maybe even wider will be more intresting?

love

Freya
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#20 Matthew Buick

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 03:32 PM

Well they say crime doesn't pay anyway, although theres a lot of people getting away with a lot of terrible stuff these days.


Freya, I do hope you don't think I'm raising the extra money illigitimately? :lol: Not at all, I was just refering to having to scrape through my bedside table.

Cinemascope is 2x, 2.66, also I was outbid on the cinemascope lens. :(
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