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Anamorphic lenses on DSLRs


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#1 daniel mahlknecht

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 06:22 AM

I have one big question abouth that.
Appearently some people are using anamorphic lenses on DSLRs, but my doubt is, if these cameras record video in 16:9 aspect ratio full HD, than to obtain a 1:2.35 ratio I will have to crop the image, loosing the fullHD resolution.
Also the CANON 5D has a sensor that is more the size of a Vistavision format than that of a 35mm 4perf anamorphic gate, so most lenses should not cover the image area?
I own a LOMO round front anamorphic set, has anybody used therse lenses on DSLRs?
Are there DSLRs where the aspectratio can be set, or do they all yust 16:9?
As far as I understand also the Panasonic 101 and the Sony F3 only record in 16:9, so also these cameras are not suited for anamotphic 1:2 squeeze factor lenses.

thanks
Daniel
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#2 Chris Burke

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 08:44 AM

I have one big question abouth that.
Appearently some people are using anamorphic lenses on DSLRs, but my doubt is, if these cameras record video in 16:9 aspect ratio full HD, than to obtain a 1:2.35 ratio I will have to crop the image, loosing the fullHD resolution.
Also the CANON 5D has a sensor that is more the size of a Vistavision format than that of a 35mm 4perf anamorphic gate, so most lenses should not cover the image area?
I own a LOMO round front anamorphic set, has anybody used therse lenses on DSLRs?
Are there DSLRs where the aspectratio can be set, or do they all yust 16:9?
As far as I understand also the Panasonic 101 and the Sony F3 only record in 16:9, so also these cameras are not suited for anamotphic 1:2 squeeze factor lenses.

thanks
Daniel



check out youtube and vimeo, there are literally dozens of examples. I guess there is a lot of cropping. No current anamorphic lens except Hawk V lite 1.3, are made for a 16:9 image. Lucky you owning your own set. Eventually, there probably will be more 1.3x squeeze lenses, but in the mean time, it is all about cropping. Weird how the world is all going widescreen, yet anamorphic lenses to suit are a rarity. A good idea is at the flick of a switch, say one labeled anamorphic, you can access the full sensor or at least more of it so the 2x lenses can be used. Any four three chip camera, automatically crops to sixteen nine for video mode.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 11:23 AM

Since most anamorphic lenses have a 2X squeeze, you use a 1.20 : 1 area of the sensor to get a 2.40 : 1 image. On a FF35 sensor (36mm x 24mm) that would be a 29mm x 24mm area. I suspect most medium-to-telephoto anamorphic lenses just barely cover that but probably the wider-angle ones will vignette.

The HD from a Canon is barely HD in the first place, since the resolution is 750 lines or so before aliasing takes over, you can think of it as 1280 x 720 HD resolution in a 1920 x 1080 package. And, yes, you'd be cropping that on the sides if the image had a 2X squeeze.
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#4 Bruce Taylor

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 07:31 PM

I have had people rent my Lomo anamorphics to use with the Canon 7D and 5D. They crop in post to get the proper size/aspect ratio image. It never really works out, as the 60D/7D is 16x9 in video mode and the Lomos for the most part don't cover the huge 5D frame (compared to the 35mm anamorphic film gate). I have been looking into getting one of the Canons myself to try out my anamorphics, but either sensor size doesn't really work with the 2x squeeze. There were some interesting experiments done by someone in Australia with the 5D and Lomo roundfront anamorphics I believe, you might check the archives at www.konvas.org for that. The results looked great on my computer screen-- I don't know about anything bigger or higher resolution. Also, I think Hunter Richards on this forum was doing some experiments with his 5D and Lomo anamorphics and posted some results. The Lomos have the anamorphic artifacts people are looking for.
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#5 John Kilderry

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 11:10 PM

Since most anamorphic lenses have a 2X squeeze, you use a 1.20 : 1 area of the sensor to get a 2.40 : 1 image. On a FF35 sensor (36mm x 24mm) that would be a 29mm x 24mm area. I suspect most medium-to-telephoto anamorphic lenses just barely cover that but probably the wider-angle ones will vignette.

The HD from a Canon is barely HD in the first place, since the resolution is 750 lines or so before aliasing takes over, you can think of it as 1280 x 720 HD resolution in a 1920 x 1080 package. And, yes, you'd be cropping that on the sides if the image had a 2X squeeze.

I never knew that about the limitations of Canon's resolution and aliasing. Thanks, David, for that disturbing, yet need to know information.
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 11:22 PM

I never knew that about the limitations of Canon's resolution and aliasing. Thanks, David, for that disturbing, yet need to know information.


Well, that said, it doesn't look half-bad, sharpness-wise, you really have to shoot your own tests. Compared to a decent digital cinema camera or 35mm, it probably is going to look a bit soft, but by itself, it may look fine even on a decent-sized screen. So do your own tests.

I just shot a crash scene with three Alexas and two Canons, one was my 550D T2i Rebel with the kit 18-55mm zoom, the other was a 7D with a PL-mount using a Cooke S4 lens -- I was surprised at how much better the 7D looked than my 550D even though the sensor is similar and the recording format is the same, I guess the better processor in the camera and the better lens in front helped a lot.
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#7 John Kilderry

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 12:45 AM

Well, that said, it doesn't look half-bad, sharpness-wise, you really have to shoot your own tests. Compared to a decent digital cinema camera or 35mm, it probably is going to look a bit soft, but by itself, it may look fine even on a decent-sized screen. So do your own tests.

I just shot a crash scene with three Alexas and two Canons, one was my 550D T2i Rebel with the kit 18-55mm zoom, the other was a 7D with a PL-mount using a Cooke S4 lens -- I was surprised at how much better the 7D looked than my 550D even though the sensor is similar and the recording format is the same, I guess the better processor in the camera and the better lens in front helped a lot.

I have a T2i myself that came with the 18-55mm kit lens. In a move toward a future 7D purchase, I got myself the EFS 17-55mm. Wow! What a difference.

In any case, this thread caught my attention because I was interested in shooting 2.35:1 and cropping in CS5, then the anamorphic option came up. Anything I do in the immediate future will be on the small screen, so I'm thinking that cropping is the obvious decision. If I'm understanding this correctly, I'm not altering the resolution, but just making the picture smaller in one direction.
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 01:03 AM

I have a T2i myself that came with the 18-55mm kit lens. In a move toward a future 7D purchase, I got myself the EFS 17-55mm. Wow! What a difference.

In any case, this thread caught my attention because I was interested in shooting 2.35:1 and cropping in CS5, then the anamorphic option came up. Anything I do in the immediate future will be on the small screen, so I'm thinking that cropping is the obvious decision. If I'm understanding this correctly, I'm not altering the resolution, but just making the picture smaller in one direction.


Yes, if you don't alter the size to compensate for the cropping then technically the resolution is the same other than it being a shorter picture.
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#9 Hal Smith

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 03:11 AM

I have a T2i myself that came with the 18-55mm kit lens. In a move toward a future 7D purchase, I got myself the EFS 17-55mm. Wow! What a difference.


AMEN! The EF-S 17-55mm F2.8 is my 7D's weapon of choice. Canon came very close to "L" series quality with that design.
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#10 Bruce Taylor

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 08:19 PM

Anything I do in the immediate future will be on the small screen, so I'm thinking that cropping is the obvious decision.


That's an important consideration, always, how will the images ultimately be presented. On the small screen the visual impact of the anamorphic artifacts will likely exceed the resolution loss from cropping.
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#11 Brandon Ruiz

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 03:04 PM

I own a LOMO round front anamorphic set, has anybody used therse lenses on DSLRs?

Callan Green uses round front lomos with the 5d. Check out his blog.
http://anamorphic5d....morphic-5d.html

Like Mr. Mullen mentioned, these cameras don't have much resolution to begin with. Consider a 1.5x anamorphic adapter like the Iscorama if you want to avoid cropping/resolution loss.
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#12 M Joel W

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 03:39 PM

I was surprised at how much better the 7D looked than my 550D even though the sensor is similar and the recording format is the same, I guess the better processor in the camera and the better lens in front helped a lot.


At what ISOs and focal lengths were you shooting? The consensus among web tests seems to be that the t2i and 7D have the same image quality, but I too have noticed that the 7D seems to have better image quality and maybe a stop less noise, even with the same lenses. I'm scared to repeat that belief since it goes against the conventional wisdom. I've used them on the same set but never shot tests side-by-side. Also, what picture style were you using on each? Imo, neutral with highlight protection is the best for video, far better than standard (too much sharpening, resulting in halos and aliasing) or the custom ones online (which are generally too flat and result in bad tonality and weird saturation issues in the highlights, shadows, and skin tones while actually delivering no additional latitude).

Oddly, I have found the kit lens to be rather good optically, but only toward the wide end. It's less impressive zoomed in, but at 18mm it's unexpectedly good.

Edited by M Joel Wauhkonen, 03 April 2011 - 03:41 PM.

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#13 Ryan Glover

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 12:36 PM

We're in post on our feature that we shot on a hacked Panasonic GH1 with Lomo 2x anamorphics.
A 2.4:1 final image will mean cropping and squeezing to 1296x540.

It's definitely not a crisp, fullHD image, but that's fine by us and we got the look we were after: HILLS GREEN teaser
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