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Redrock M2 35mm adapter + Anamorphic Lenses


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#1 Dorian Soracco

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 02:38 PM

I'm shooting a short on an HVX200 with the Redrock M2 35mm lens adapter. Is there a way to shoot with anamorphic lenses on this adapter, or even on this camera for that matter? Are the lenses mountable on this system? If so, which lenses work best with the HVX/Redrock combo? Any recommended rental houses for this?
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 03:00 PM

The lenses will certainly go on the adapter, assuming it is in PL mount. Clairmont has a good selection of nice PL mount anamorphics. They aren't cheap.

The biggest problem you will have that I can foresee is with the stability of the redrock. It's a pretty shoddy-built thing and when I used one, it flexed on the rods with small spherical primes. You are going to need lens supports for every one of those big anamorphic primes to make sure that it doesn't pull the adapter out of square and make your focus go all wonky. Second, how good a focus puller do you have? A 1st good enough to pull anamorphic isn't going to come cheap. I think I could do it but I've never pulled anamorphic before. Call me if you go through with the plan and want me to have a go.

Second, as far as I know, the camera and most monitors don't have any way of unsqueezing an anamorphic image. That means you'll ahve to see tall skinny people until you can unsqueeze it in post.

Third, anamorphic primes tend to be slower than spherical primes. I would plan to light up to a T4 or better.

Edited by Chris Keth, 21 February 2008 - 03:01 PM.

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#3 Dorian Soracco

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 11:49 PM

Thanks Chris. I was worried about being able to unsqueeze the image during production, but I may just have to live with it.

About the Redrock, I was thinking of going with the Letus Extreme instead. Is this any better as far as stability goes?

I would say my 1st is very capable, but he hasn't pulled for anamorphic before. It's only a 4 day shoot, so the cost may not be a big issue for them. I'll definitely keep in contact with you, could you send me your number?

Would you say all of the primes are the that slow, including the shorter focal lengths? I'm not too concerned about being able to shoot a T4, as most scenes are day exteriors, and I'm not worried about the few interiors.
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#4 Jimmy Browning

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 11:03 PM

Second, as far as I know, the camera and most monitors don't have any way of unsqueezing an anamorphic image. That means you'll ahve to see tall skinny people until you can unsqueeze it in post.



Tall, skinny, and upside down :)
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#5 Michael Nash

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 11:40 PM

Tall, skinny, upside down and R-E-A-L-L-Y W-I-D-E (like, 3.56:1).

Why do you want anamorphic lenses, specifically? Is it to avoid losing pixel resolution by cropping spherical 1.78:1 down to 2.40:1? With anamorphic lenses you'll have to crop the sides and resize your squeezed 1.78:1 image to achieve 2.40:1, so you'd be throwing away pixels anyway.

If you just want extremely shallow depth of field, that's not hard to do with fast spherical lenses (at lower f-stops, to boot).

If you want the unique optical artifacts of anamorphic lenses (like horizontal flares and distorted bokeh), realize that not all anamorphic lenses behave the same, and you may not get the artifacts you're hoping for without testing a lot of different lenses. And the "right" lenses aren't always cheap, or readily available.

And like has been mentioned, anamorphic lenses are generally slow, large, and heavy. Kind of cumbersome for a 35mm adapter setup in terms of light needed and physical setup.

FWIW though, the "upside down" part is remedied by using a small external monitor turned upside down, and some LCD monitors can scale an image vertically to "shorten" a squeezed image.
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#6 Dorian Soracco

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 01:52 AM

I mostly want to use anamorphic lenses for the horizontal flares as well as the distorted bokeh. I do understand that all anamorphics are unique. It might be tough. I was checking out Clairmont's set of primes, they seem reasonably priced, any thoughts on this? It's probably just a matter of shooting a lot of tests. Also, as you mentioned, I want to be able to shoot 2.40 with minimal pixel loss. What, then, would you recommend to someone who wants to shoot 2.40 on an HVX with a lens adapter system?

As far as practicality in the physical setup goes, the whole idea might be more trouble than it's worth. I'm wondering if anyone here has actually tried this setup and has anything to say about it.
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#7 Bill Totolo

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 10:46 AM

Dorian,

You've probably already considered this but I'd put as much effort into testing adapter systems as lenses. You'll need the fastest, sharpest adapter out there.
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#8 Phil Gerke

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 03:52 PM

Can someone comment on the distorted bokeh? I am aware of the horizontal flares, but not the effects on the bokeh. Also, thought I have no experience with the redrock, I found that I liked the Brevis quite a bit and considerably less light loss, but cannot comment on sharpness between the two.

Thanks!
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#9 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 05:11 PM

Out of focus artifacts start to become stretched vertically, since as you move the lens elements around, you end up with objects which are not at the focal plane "seeing" a different amount of the cylindrical element (the one that does the squeezing). This is visible on many anamorphic films as a tendency for out of focus people to get slightly taller, but the most archetypal artifact of it is defocussed points of light. On a spherical lens they become circles; on many types (all types?) of anamorphic lens, they become a 2:1 vertical ellipse.

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#10 Phil Gerke

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 07:58 PM

Ah ha! I thought that was it. I was watching Heat the other night and noticed some out of focus lights in the background that were quite oblong I thought.

Why is it that flares go horizontal and the out of focus stuff goes vertical?

Thanks!
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#11 Chris Keth

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 09:01 PM

Ah ha! I thought that was it. I was watching Heat the other night and noticed some out of focus lights in the background that were quite oblong I thought.

Why is it that flares go horizontal and the out of focus stuff goes vertical?

Thanks!


Out of focus stuff goes oblong because the 2x squeeze factor only applies to the place that is in focus. The squeeze factor changes the further an object is from whatever is in focus.

The blue horizontal flares are a strange thing. I believe they only happen on lenses with the anamorphic element in front and, particularly, on panavision lenses because of how they are coated.
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#12 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 09:37 PM

You can get filters which do a semi-reasonable job of those blue flares. From what I understand there's actually only a few lenses that really do it to any noticeable degree - to me, it's an 80s-American-movie thing, Ghostbusters era, so just look up whatever anamorphic lenses were considered hot property then.

P
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#13 Michael Nash

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 12:26 AM

From what I understand there's actually only a few lenses that really do it to any noticeable degree - to me, it's an 80s-American-movie thing, Ghostbusters era, so just look up whatever anamorphic lenses were considered hot property then.


That would be a "Panavision thing." I'm not the resident anamorphic expert, but the Panavision C- and E-series seem to be the most popular for this look. The Primo anamorphics will flare blue also, but in general are less prone to flaring. In any case, it's not likely you're going to get a Panavision mount for a 35mm lens adapter. Non-Panavision anamorphics will have their own unique qualities.

Some related viewing:

http://www.claudiomi...com/Alpine.html

http://www.claudiomi...Alpine75mm.html

http://www.claudiomi...alpinemute.html


Part of what gives anamorphic photography its signature look is the sharp, grainless image due to the sheer size of the negative. With the softening of the HVX+adapter you're not going to get that. It's hard to say what the best route would be to get an anamorphic "look" from an HVX+adapter system, because it depends on which artifacts "feel" right to you. It would certainly be easiest and probably give the sharpest results to stick with spherical lenses and crop the 1.78 image to 2.40, using streak or blue-streak filters for key shots. But you'd really have to test different techniques to see what seems right to you for your project.
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#14 Dorian Soracco

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 12:38 PM

It would certainly be easiest and probably give the sharpest results to stick with spherical lenses and crop the 1.78 image to 2.40, using streak or blue-streak filters for key shots.


Thanks, Michael. Could you comment a little on these streak filters? I'm definitely planning on researching them for this project. I've heard of them being used to augment or alter flare patterns. Is this their only use or do people use them for other purposes? Are different manufacturers known for having different results? This is obviously a testing issue, but I like to go into a test with as much knowledge as possible.
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#15 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 03:26 PM

That would be a "Panavision thing." I'm not the resident anamorphic expert, but the Panavision C- and E-series seem to be the most popular for this look. The Primo anamorphics will flare blue also, but in general are less prone to flaring. In any case, it's not likely you're going to get a Panavision mount for a 35mm lens adapter. Non-Panavision anamorphics will have their own unique qualities.


I've been watching some TohoScope movies. The horizontal flares are red and not as intense as on the older Panavisions. Back then Toho was using an anamorphic attachment.

Also watched a B/W HammerScope movie, also an attachment, though made by Jan Jacobsen.
The horizontal flares on that were also quite light.

Makes one wonder if Panavision's "variable astigmatiser" isn't the culpret.
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#16 Max Jacoby

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 07:19 PM

Makes one wonder if Panavision's "variable astigmatiser" isn't the culpret.

That's what I've been told, it's the prisms. You don't really get such a blue flare from other front anamorphic lenses that I know of.
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#17 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 08:21 PM

Can someone with better contacts than me please phone Panavision and ask them?

We should get some tests to put this issue to bed once and for all - this keeps coming up.

Phil
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