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2.35:1 films - are they always shot with anamorphic lenses?


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#1 Jana Slamova

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 02:44 PM

Topic title says it all - are 2.35:1 films always shot with anamorphic lenses, when using 35mm film stock, or more often they use just cropped field?


Edited by Jana Slamova, 17 November 2013 - 02:46 PM.

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#2 Rudy Velez Jr

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 04:55 PM

I am curious to know the answer to this question myself


Edited by Rudy Velez Jr, 17 November 2013 - 04:57 PM.

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#3 John Holland

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 05:33 PM

No not all shot anamorphic ,Super 35 cropped to 2.35 same with Digital cameras like Alexa and Red.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 05:48 PM

The majority are shot with spherical lenses and crop to achieve 2.40.
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#5 John Paul Palescandolo

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 06:48 PM

Shooting anamorphic will use the most amount of your negative. This was a bigger concern back when film stocks were grainier and not made as well the ones today. Shooting Super 35 and then cropping to anamorphic will get you more footage from the same roll of film, but you'll be making your anamorphic print from less of an exposed area. However, now that film stocks are of much higher quality, cropping from Super 35 to anamorphic is less of an issue, especially with DI's.


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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 12:27 AM

If you shoot 4-perf Super-35, you're using the same amount of footage as when you shoot 4-perf 35mm anamorphic -- it's only with 3-perf and 2-perf that you see savings in stock, or increased shooting times, compared to 4-perf 35mm anamorphic.

 

4-perf 35mm anamorphic uses a larger negative area to achieve a final 2.40 image than Super-35 cropped to 2.40, so there is generally a bit less grain and more detail / less enlargement, assuming you are using the same film stocks either way, not using a slower-speed stock on Super-35 for example.  But spherical lenses, especially at wider apertures, are generally sharper, less distorted, and have a more even field of focus compared to anamorphic lenses, so in low light levels, Super-35 may actually look sharper than anamorphic photography.

 

The grain issue is a bit moot these days since so many people are shooting digitally, and 35mm stocks are pretty fine-grained too, and there are digital post tricks to reduce grain, etc.

 

Also in digital, there would only be less cropping with anamorphic lenses if you are shooting and recording a more square sensor area, since a 2X anamorphic lens uses a 1.20 : 1 area to achieve a final 2.40 : 1 image.  Therefore on a digital camera with a 16x9 sensor, you'd only be using a square-ish area in the center of the sensor for 2X anamorphic photography and wasting/cropping some of the sides, compared to using spherical lenses and cropping top & bottom to achieve 2.40.  This is one reason why the Alexa with a 4x3 sensor is popular for people shooting with 2X anamorphic lenses on a digital camera.

 

Another option is to use the less-common 1.3X Hawk anamorphic lenses, which would squeeze a 2.40 image onto a 16x9 sensor (or 3-perf 35mm frame).


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#7 John Paul Palescandolo

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 10:14 AM

Thanks for expanding upon what I'd written, David. Speaking of 4-perf Super 35, does anyone really shoot that anymore, compared to regular 4-perf 35mm? I just had some scanning tests run on my thesis film from grad school. One of the labs who was running a test called me and asked how my film was shot, so that it could be properly set up on the scanner - 4-perf Super 35 or standard 4-perf 35mm. I actually had no idea, so I sent them a screen capture from the original NTSC transfer and they determined it was 4-perf Super 35.

 

I've never done any anamorphic work, but one thing I do remember people saying is that anamorphic lenses distort easily, so it's best to shoot tests with them first against brick walls or graph paper to measure the distortion.

 

Regarding the Alexa, I've never used it, but I was under the impressesion it was had a 16x9 sensor - do they make 4x3 sensors for it as well?


Edited by John Paul Palescandolo, 18 November 2013 - 10:15 AM.

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#8 Steve Zimmerman

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 01:27 PM

At school in the 90's, we had a 35mm camera  with the lens centered for normal 35mm, the ground glass was also normal matted 1.85, but the aperture gate on the film was full aperture, exposing picture in the soundtrack area.  As a class trip we saw our film transferred at the lab (this was still the standard def era sadly). When we first saw the image we said: "Like wow, look at all the extra image on the side".  So we had the colorist frame that part in too.  We didn't realize that the framing would be screwed up by this.  Centered compositions were now to one side.  We discovered our mistake later but it was too late.  Another reason why shooting a framing chart is a good idea.  It was a good learning experience.
 


Edited by Steve Zimmerman, 18 November 2013 - 01:29 PM.

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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 10:40 PM

More people probably shoot in 3-perf instead of 4-perf anything because if you are shooting for a 1.85 or 2.40 release with spherical lenses, there is not much reason to shoot 4-perf unless you are doing a lot of visual effects.  But anamorphic photography is generally 4-perf, though I've noticed that Stuart Dryburgh shot both "Emperor" and "Secret Life of Walter Mitty" in 3-perf with 1.3X Hawk anamorphics.

 

The Alexa sensor is physically a 4x3 sensor, but the basic Alexa is limited to only processing a 16x9 area, the other Alexa models allow recording the full 4x3 height.


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#10 Jana Slamova

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 11:01 AM

Thank you all for great discussion full of interesting informations and knowledge!! I have learned a lot!!


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