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Is red 4k anamorphic worth it?


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#1 Antonio Cisneros

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 12:01 PM

Hey All

I have a shoot coming up in May where we are considering Red 4k Anamorphic. We are either going to use Elites, Hawks, or JDC lenses. I would love to hear differing opinions because the Red is really designed around spherical lenses and plus you are not using the full chip. This makes me nervous. I've seen great digital anamorphic on the Genesis but not the Red. Also we will be finishing back onto HD.

If anyone has references I could see or tell me about their experiences with this set up that would be great.

Would love to hear all opinions.

Thanks
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#2 Saul Pincus

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 02:25 PM

Acquiring in 4K anamorphic with the Red One and anamorphic lenses gets you a 2764x2304 image. HD is only 1920x1080 - so if anything you're well covered, even of you should decide to blow an image up slightly in post.

The result can look great.
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#3 Peter Milanov

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 04:40 PM

I´m prepping a short at the moment and I´m also looking into the option of shooting anamorphic with RED. Here you can find a commercial for Nescafe shot on this format.
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#4 James Martin

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 05:10 PM

When you say anamorphic, do you simply mean cropping the image on the RED chip, or using an actual anamorphic lens?

It's my understanding that for anamorphic to work correctly on the RED, you would need a so-called "soft-anamorph". I've not shot anything anamorphic before, so someone with more experience please correct me if I'm wrong!
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#5 John Sprung

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 05:16 PM

Acquiring in 4K anamorphic with the Red One and anamorphic lenses gets you a 2764x2304 image. HD is only 1920x1080 -

Apples and oranges here -- Red counts Bayer masked photosites, HD uses pixels. Pixels are co-located tri-color data sets. Bayer masked photosites and the raw data from them are one color per location. That being said, Red does make mighty fine HD.





-- J.S.
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#6 Jeremy M Lundborg

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 09:56 PM

Shot a student short with RED + Todd AO Anamorphic lenses.

To be clear I have not shot film + anamorphic, but have shot RED and film + spherical lenses.

My main qualm was the lenses were quite old and didn't match very well, especially past 50mm. It was a creative decision to go with them, but the set available was finicky.

In terms of the package, I was impressed by the quality recorded. We haven't been in to post and to be honest I haven't even seen much of the footage. From what I have seen I am very happy considering the price of the package.

Haven't heard of a 'soft anamorph' need.

The majority of the film was shoot in broad desert daylight and the camera responded well with the usual compliment of ND + IR cut filters.

I was happy with the response to tungsten at night in a fairly low-light scenario. I haven't seen all the footage but most of the shots shot a little under came out with great range shot at 2.0, especially considering the sweet spots of anamorphics at 4.0-5.6.

Much of the film was shot with heavy hand-held work and I have a feeling some of it may have a problem considering all the responses about the rolling shutter. Most of the footage I've seen doesn't have this problem. Fingers crossed.

Build 18 came out the night before our first day and after a quick test we opted to utilize it specifically for the in-camera de-squeeze for anamorphic. As it turned out build 18 wasn't ready and we quickly rolled back to build 16, and as DP/operator I was NOT happy about framing with the squeeze. We had one down-converted monitor desqueezed, but that was a luxury afforded the director(and rightly so). I believe these issues have been fixed but I have also heard RED ditched anamorphic support altogether(?).

I'm sure this has been discussed endlessly but you also must crop the 4K ANA image down to 2.40, so technically you are using a bit less of the quoted resolution the camera claims to record. I found this wasn't a problem as long as my compositions were as intended(but as I said irritating with the in-camera squeeze), and that I was willing to part with the thrown out portion of the frame data.

Please find a work in progress (lacks any post work) quick edit semblance of a trailer for the short here:
www.jeremymlundborg.com/Ephemera/METAL_BOX.mov

There are some tech issues involved: a hot mirror reflection, imbalanced lenses(specifically the 100mm which can been seen in what looks like underexposed pastel-ish two shots - but that is a condition of this specific set of Todd AOs), the infamous RED dot in the sun, etc.

I'll attempt to note the progress in post and my thoughts.
I'm sorry I can't be insanely technical about this, but if you have any more specific questions feel free to ask and I will do my best to answer.

Jeremy
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#7 Mike Williamson

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 10:18 PM

One issue that comes to mind for me is that since you're cropping the images, all your lenses effectively become longer. So if you want a wide lens, you're forced into using a really wide lens which is not where anamorphic lenses excel (particularly in terms of distortion). Did this issue come up for you, Jeremy? I'm curious what the conversion factor becomes and whether this makes shooting anamorphic with a Red camera excessively difficult.
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#8 Jeremy M Lundborg

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 05:41 PM

One issue that comes to mind for me is that since you're cropping the images, all your lenses effectively become longer. So if you want a wide lens, you're forced into using a really wide lens which is not where anamorphic lenses excel (particularly in terms of distortion). Did this issue come up for you, Jeremy? I'm curious what the conversion factor becomes and whether this makes shooting anamorphic with a Red camera excessively difficult.




Mike,
The widest lens I had in my package was a 28mm, effectively a 14mm horizontally. In the trailer you can see its use in a wide shot where the three characters are framed in thirds, heavily towards the bottom, in the desert.
In build 18 I was very comfortable with the anamorphic conversion because the anamorphic crop in the RED is VERY close to the horizontal(left and right) edge of the full chip, but in comparison cropped severely from the vertical(top and bottom) edge of the chip. Therefor the crop is made appropriately for anamorphic lenses.
Be aware that in Build 16 the crop is reversed because it is squeezing like it would on film, but you loose out on the width of the chip instead of the height.
In comparison this is nothing like the large crop you experience when going from 4k to 2k.

In fact if I recall the shots of the little girl in the beginning of the trailer are done with as spherical 300mm RED lens and the eye shot with a spherical macro. This was simply shot in 4K 2:1 and cropped appropriately later on in post.

I would state there is no conversion factor beyond what a normal anamorphic requires in determining both focal lengths.

Please find an image attached taken by the still photographer off of the main monitor during a blocking rehearsal. You can see the effective crop from Build 16 noted by the available image and cropped by the opaque square. This is obviously the squeezed image and what one would frame for using Build 16 and anamorphics.


Jeremy
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#9 Mike Williamson

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 07:18 PM

Perhaps I didn't make my point clearly, but the comparison I'm making is between the size of a 35mm anamorphic negative and the effective size of the Red camera's sensor when shooting anamorphic for a 2.40 image.

When shooting 35mm anamorphic, the vertical height of the negative is 18.59mm tall. The height of the Red camera's sensor is 13.7mm tall, assuming you're using the full height of the sensor (which you should be unless I'm mistaken). So compared to shooting anamorphic on a 35mm camera for which all the lenses were designed, your lenses effectively become 1.36 times longer when used on a Red camera because the target size is reduced. That's not a massive conversion factor, but it could be a problem in certain shooting situations or if you're going for a wide lens look. I get the impression that it wasn't a big deal on your shoot which is good to hear.

I'm not sure I'm following your explanation of the difference in anamorphic cropping between Build 16 and Build 18. Are you talking about how it displays in the viewfinder? Because I can't imagine that it would change how you're cropping the image to produce a 2.40 aspect ratio, but perhaps I'm confused here.
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#10 Jeremy M Lundborg

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 04:08 AM

Mike,

Thanks for clarifying. Yes, that conversion would occur. Although it is something you have to live with considering the difference in size of the negative/Red sensor.

The important note here is the location in which I was shooting(wide open desert). There was no concern with available space as I imagine there would be in tighter quarters.

In terms of the differences between 16/18, I was talking specifically about the image in the viewfinder. Which as I stated was my main concern.
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#11 Emmanuel Lariviere

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 02:34 AM

Jeremy, you did a great job on that project. This is the first time I've seen the "famous" anamorphic flares on digitally shot footage.
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#12 Olivier Martinez

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 06:25 PM

What do you thing which solution is the best for getting an anamorphic masterneg? Shooting with anamorphic lenes and using the whole sensor? Or shooting sperical with a 2:40 crop and squeezing it in post?
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#13 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 06:40 PM

What do you thing which solution is the best for getting an anamorphic masterneg? Shooting with anamorphic lenes and using the whole sensor? Or shooting sperical with a 2:40 crop and squeezing it in post?


You can't use the whole sensor with a standard 2X anamorphic lens because the image becomes too widescreen for 2.40.

Generally, the main technical reason for anamorphic lenses in film is to use the whole height of the 4-perf 35mm negative and thus gain negative real estate compared to cropping Super-35, and thus get less grain and to some minor extent, more detail.

Of course, there is also the aesthetics wrapped up around the optical distortions and artifacts of anamorphic lens photography too.

So if ALL you want is a 2.40 image on a digital camera, generally you're better off using the best spherical lens you can find and cropping vertically to get 2.40 compared to using a 2X anamorphic lens on a 16x9 digital camera and having to crop the sides to get back to 2.40.

But if you want the optical characteristics of anamorphic lens photography, then using anamorphic lenses make sense.

As for getting ahold of the rare 1.33X anamorphic Hawks and using that on a 16x9 digital 35mm camera to get 2.40, versus cropping to get 2.40, in theory you'd have a little more resolution by using the 1.33X anamorphics over cropping.

In terms of filming-out to a 35mm anamorphic IN, you don't have to do anything particular to your cropped spherical image -- the laser recorder just writes-out every horizontal row of pixels twice to create a 2X squeeze.
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#14 John Sprung

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 07:27 PM

... -- the laser recorder just writes-out every horizontal row of pixels twice to create a 2X squeeze.


I'd think they might do something a little more sophisticated and interpolate every other row for a smoother look.




-- J.S.
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#15 Olivier Martinez

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 10:38 AM

You can't use the whole sensor with a standard 2X anamorphic lens because the image becomes too widescreen for 2.40.

Generally, the main technical reason for anamorphic lenses in film is to use the whole height of the 4-perf 35mm negative and thus gain negative real estate compared to cropping Super-35, and thus get less grain and to some minor extent, more detail.

Of course, there is also the aesthetics wrapped up around the optical distortions and artifacts of anamorphic lens photography too.

So if ALL you want is a 2.40 image on a digital camera, generally you're better off using the best spherical lens you can find and cropping vertically to get 2.40 compared to using a 2X anamorphic lens on a 16x9 digital camera and having to crop the sides to get back to 2.40.

But if you want the optical characteristics of anamorphic lens photography, then using anamorphic lenses make sense.

As for getting ahold of the rare 1.33X anamorphic Hawks and using that on a 16x9 digital 35mm camera to get 2.40, versus cropping to get 2.40, in theory you'd have a little more resolution by using the 1.33X anamorphics over cropping.

In terms of filming-out to a 35mm anamorphic IN, you don't have to do anything particular to your cropped spherical image -- the laser recorder just writes-out every horizontal row of pixels twice to create a 2X squeeze.



Very helpful, David. Thanks again!

Olivier
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#16 Clayton Haskell

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 12:16 PM

Some of my favorite "Shot on RED" projects originated from anamorphic glass and I have seen countless hours of RED footage. The new beta build 18 supports 4k anamorphic and you now can see the image un-stretched in the RED LCD, has anyone shot anamorphic on this build and care to share your experience with it?

Also I have partnered up with a new company in NYC and we just acquired a new set of Hawk anamorphic lenses if anyone is looking for them then don't hesitate to send me a PM or email me.

cheers.

C.H.Haskell
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