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The Birds


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#1 Michael Schroers

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 11:12 AM

Hi !

Does anybody know which lenses were used in 'The Birds' ?

I Think It were the Super baltars, but which focal lenght was used in which scene ?
Was the Super Baltar 20mm used in that film too ?
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#2 John Holland

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 12:16 PM

Iam sure the person who can answer that would be Robert Burks ASC , but he has been dead for a long time !
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#3 Michael Schroers

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 01:09 PM

Iam sure the person who can answer that would be Robert Burks ASC , but he has been dead for a long time !


Yes, OK . . . .

But the lenses which were used were the Super Baltars, weren't they ?
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#4 Tom Jensen

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 02:01 PM

More thank likely they were. What's the point of your question? If it is a look you are trying to achieve, the film was shot in Technicolor so that had a significant impact on how the film turned out. Focal length, to me, is insignificant because, you can watch the film, take screen grabs and just try to match the picture with whatever lenses you have.
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#5 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 05:13 PM


But the lenses which were used were the Super Baltars, weren't they ?


Production stills I've seen show rack over Mitchells being used, BNCs, NCs & standards.

They were probably using the older Just Plain Baltars, the shortest of which was 25mm.
They could have been using S35R/MkIIs, which would use Super Baltars, but not for dialogue scenes.
Any lens shorter than a 25mm on the BNCs would not have been a B&L lens, most likely a Cooke or Angie.

It was shot in Eastman Color, processed and printed by Technicolor.
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#6 Tom Jensen

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 06:02 PM

Production stills I've seen show rack over Mitchells being used, BNCs, NCs & standards.

They were probably using the older Just Plain Baltars, the shortest of which was 25mm.
They could have been using S35R/MkIIs, which would use Super Baltars, but not for dialogue scenes.
Any lens shorter than a 25mm on the BNCs would not have been a B&L lens, most likely a Cooke or Angie.

It was shot in Eastman Color, processed and printed by Technicolor.


You are probably right. I remember Technicolor for some reason but now that I think about it, I do recall that is was not shot in Technicolor. All my old ASC magazines are packed away so I can't look to see if there is an article on it or not. I misspoke. Thanks for catching that.
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#7 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 05:41 PM

You are probably right. I remember Technicolor for some reason but now that I think about it, I do recall that is was not shot in Technicolor. All my old ASC magazines are packed away so I can't look to see if there is an article on it or not. I misspoke. Thanks for catching that.


The last 3-strip Technicolor movies were made in '54 or '55.
But it stayed on as a lab processing orig negs and making release print.
"The Birds" probably had had Technicolor IB prints.

Some of the 3-strip cameras were later used for FX work, shooting traveling mattes, sodium vapor and infra-red.

Ub Iwerks & the disney optical department did the traveling matte work on 'The Birds'.
Disney used the sodium vapor process with a Technicolor camera.
What ran through the camera was a strip of ECN and, I think, a strip of Plus-X neg for the matte.
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