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Sony EX-3 Shooting 2:35:1 Anamorphic


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#1 john frost

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 04:09 PM

Hello all,

I have a few questions about shooting on the Sony EX-3

I'm doing a short film and I was wondering if it is possible to get the Pro35 and adapt anamorphic lenses onto the camera.

If I did such a thing, would I be shooting 2:35:1 just because of the lenses? Or, would I have to frame for anamorphic using the lenses and then crop or matte in post?

Thank you for your time,

Regards,

John
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#2 Kevin Verelst

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 06:18 AM

Hi there,

I'm also planning to shoot in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio for a short film I'm planning to shoot in Marocco, but we have opted for a different working approach. We decided to use a regular 35mm lens system on our EX1 and to crop the image in post for mostly practical reasons. Here are some things to keep in mind.

- If you shoot anamorphic it becomes quite difficult to judge your images on set, not even mentioned you still need to edit and view anamorphic images which is not supported by any FCP or Avid system natively, you would have to transcode every shot to see and work natively in HD in Post-Production.

- Our TVLogic displays we will use on the set have built in safety markers which can be put to 2.35:1 so this makes things more convenient for the director and crew to watch the picture natively on set.

- Cropping in Post also gives you about 12% headroom above and below your image to fix perches and/or slighty alter the composition if needed.

- You don't need to deal with anamorphic lenses which have sometimes strange artifacts like vignetting and distortion, not even mentioned the prices to rent or buy them.

- Using this approach there are offcourse 2 problems...

First the camera LCD you'll need to find a way to add safety markers for this aspect ratio, still no clue how to do this using only the standard camera, but I hope to find out. Adding an external LCD display which has this option on top of the camera might be the best solution.

And offcourse you use 25% vertical resolution which is actually no issue since we plan outputting mainly for HDTV and DVD/Bluray which crop from 2.35:1 to 16:9 HD image anyway.


If I were you I would not go for anamorphic lenses, they are a pain to work with and I think many will agree.



Kind regards,
Kevin Verelst

Edited by Kevin Verelst, 25 December 2008 - 06:21 AM.

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#3 James Martin

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 02:04 PM

I believe this was touched upon by the above poster, but anamorphic lenses are designed for the "big boys". I know there was a few lenses for the PD150/170 which converted them to 16:9, but you're talking about DV. I would second the crop it down recommendation. Unless you're going to film out, I doubt you'd notice a difference. If you are going film out, what have you got an EX3 for? :D

Best.
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#4 Chris Durham

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 02:08 PM

Oh, there could be plenty of reasons to use an EX3 or something in class to go to film out, but it's certainly not an obvious choice.

The term anamorphic refers to squeezing the image down in the horizontal dimension with the intention of re-expanding it. Because a lot of prosumer cameras do this electronically on a 4:3 chip, the term "anamorphic" is often used to refer to widescreen, although that's not strictly true.

So, if you were to, say, get a 35mm adapter with a PL mount and score a crazy-expensive anamporphic lens, you would end up with a pinched image in your 1.78:1 viewfinder. In post, you would then stretch that back out to 2.35:1. I wouldn't do this with anything less than a 1920x1080 like the EX cams so you have enough horizontal resolution to work with.

The advantages of doing this are that you don't cut off any vertical pixels like you would with a crop, and that you get genuine anamorphic lens flares that can look amazing. The disadvantage is cost and complexity.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 03:12 PM

So, if you were to, say, get a 35mm adapter with a PL mount and score a crazy-expensive anamporphic lens, you would end up with a pinched image in your 1.78:1 viewfinder. In post, you would then stretch that back out to 2.35:1. I wouldn't do this with anything less than a 1920x1080 like the EX cams so you have enough horizontal resolution to work with.

The advantages of doing this are that you don't cut off any vertical pixels like you would with a crop, and that you get genuine anamorphic lens flares that can look amazing. The disadvantage is cost and complexity.


Since 99% of the 35mm cine anamorphics out there have a standard 2X squeeze factor, you'd end up cropping the sides if you put them onto a 16x9 HD camera in order to get a final 2.35 or 2.40 image, because 1.78 x 2 = 3.56 : 1. So it's a wash in terms of resolution -- cropping the sides of an anamorphic image versus cropping the top & bottom of a spherical image.
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#6 Chris Durham

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 05:20 PM

Good to know David. So then are Anamorphic lenses used mostly on full-frame instead of super 35?
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 07:54 PM

Good to know David. So then are Anamorphic lenses used mostly on full-frame instead of super 35?


Anamorphic cine lenses are mainly designed around the 4-perf 35mm anamorphic camera aperture, which is basically Academy width but Full Aperture (Super) height and roughly 1.20 : 1, so the 2X squeeze gives you an image that is roughly 2.40 : 1 once unsqueezed by the anamorphic projector lens.

But you could use them on any 4x3 (1.33 : 1) format since 2.66 : 1 can easily be trimmed to 2.40 : 1. In fact, CinemaScope was originally meant to be shot 4-perf 35mm Full Aperture (1.33 : 1) to get a 2.66 : 1 image, with the soundtrack run separately using an interlocked mag track.

Trouble with putting 2X anamorphic lenses on 35mm digital cameras like the RED and the Genesis is that they are only the height of 3-perf and this naturally have a 16x9 shape -- so the 2X squeeze gets you an image that is too widescreen, and the shorter height of the sensor means that you have more lens cropping and thus have to compensate by using shorter focal lengths.

The ARRI D21 in data mode uses a sensor area that is closer in height to 4-perf 35mm, and so does the Phantom HD camera, and thus the sensors in both cameras are more square in shape and thus a better match for 2X anamorphics than 16x9 cameras.

I hope these new 1.33X Hawk anamorphics catch on and become more commonplace, along with the monitoring and viewfinding options to deal with that squeeze ratio.
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