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Setting 35mm cameras up for Standard/Super35/Anamorphic


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#1 Shahid Malik

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 05:22 PM

Hi Everyone,

 

I'm new to this forum so just wanted to say it's a fantastic resource for us filmmakers so cheers guys!

 

I have some questions about setting a 35mm camera for Super 35, Anamorphic or Academy.

 

Can one achieve a 2.40/2.35/2.39:1 image by shooting with anamorphic lenses through a standard gate?

Does one need to lengthen the height of the gate in order to accommodate the slightly taller gate required for the anamorphic process?
Is a standard gate matted to produce a 1.375:1 Academy ratio image or does the standard gate natively achieve this? I was under the impression that Academy ratio 1.375:1 was a project aspect ratio which was achieved by masking the image.

 

 

A side question: Do many productions shoot anamorphically on a Super 35 frame and then in the DI crop the sides to achieve a 2.35/2.39/2.40:1 aspect ratio? With the advantage of scanning these days I wonder if this is a viable option.

 

Many thanks, :)

Shahid Malik


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#2 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 06:55 PM

This should help you out

640px-Super35_and_Techniscope.png


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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 08:55 PM

Most 4-perf 35mm cameras have Full Aperture gates; only a few older ones have the smaller / shorter Academy Aperture gate installed. I don't know what you mean by a "standard" gate.

 

So the only issue with 4-perf 35mm cameras with Full Aperture gates is whether the lens is centered for Academy/1.85/anamorphic (i.e. shifted to the right for the placement of the optical track on the left eventually) or centered for Super-35.  You need the lens to be centered for those sound projection apertures if you plan making a contact print with a soundtrack on it.

 

In this day and age of D.I.'s, it is probably more convenient to leave the lens centered for Super-35 and just shoot a framing chart for when you are extracting 1.85 or 2.40 spherical or 2.40 anamorphic from that.


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#4 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 11:49 PM

In this day and age of D.I.'s, it is probably more convenient to leave the lens centered for Super-35 and just shoot a framing chart for when you are extracting 1.85 or 2.40 spherical or 2.40 anamorphic from that.

 

The problem with shooting anamorphic on a camera set up for Super 35 (outside of the question of contact printing) is the fact that scope groundglasses are always (in my experience) marked for Standard 35, so you'd be framing and then extracting off-centre from the lens axis. Which could cause problems with zoom tracking or lens distortion being more apparent on one side than the other. Swapping between Super and Standard on Arris and Moviecams is very simple though.


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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 12:02 AM

Obviously you'd have to get some special ground glass made up where anamorphic is centered on Full Aperture.

 

If this camera is a rental then just get it set-up for standard 35mm anamorphic in terms of centering and GG, but if this camera is for purchase and you plan on mixing anamorphic with spherical in the same project, I'd just leave it centered for Super-35 and get ARRI to make you a special GG.


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#6 Shahid Malik

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 03:27 AM

Hi David and Dom,

 

Thanks for your helpful replies. I guess it was simpler than I imagined.
I am indeed looking to purchase a Moviecam.

The word 'standard' was used by one of the guys at Arri and I wasn't sure what he meant so I thought I'd ask it here to clarify the whole thing.

 

As you've guessed, I want to set the camera up to have the freedom to shoot spherically and anamorphically, but also want to make it as easy as possible to make a print. Does making a print with fewer steps in between - i.e. contact printing - prove cheaper than say shooting anamorphic on Super35 then either going the digital root or lab route to achieve 2.40?

 

And Dom, I was told by Arri that I could change the centering of the camera myself from Super 35 to Standard 35, but I wouldn't be able to check the depth.

 

Thank you so much for all your help!

Shahid


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#7 Shahid Malik

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 04:29 AM

Also, to shoot anamorphically for 2.40 with the intention of making a contact print would one need to use a format mask to ensure that the soundtrack area is unexposed or can that be done at the time of printing?
And just to double check, if you centre the camera for Academy (without masking) could you also shooting anamorphically without things being off-centre? What I mean by that is: is the frame the same size and are they both centered the same?

 

I hope I am making sense!

 

Thanks! 


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#8 Shahid Malik

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 04:32 AM

I looked it up and it seems that centering for anamorphic is the same as centering for Academy. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Thanks,


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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 12:02 PM

Yes, Academy/Anamorphic/1.85 all have the same off-center placement on the negative and the print.  

 

Doesn't matter if you expose the Full Aperture, the soundtrack area is not exposed when making the print with an optical soundtrack on it.  You usually make workrpints and silent answer prints that have the Full Aperture printed and just let the projector mask it to the sound aperture.

 

If there is any chance you'll need to make contact prints with a soundtrack for projection, then use I guess what ARRI calls "standard" (sound aperture), not "Super" (silent aperture / Full Aperture).

 

There are only two "centerings" for the lens mount relative to the gate -- (1) Silent / Super / Full and (2) Sound / Academy / Anamorphic / 1.85 (matted widescreen projection).

 

There is nothing cheaper than just making a contact print off of the negative -- a D.I. is much more expensive.  On the other hand, most people distribute a digital copy and it's hard to only have a print to show people.  But shooting in standard 35mm anamorphic for making contact prints with sound (aka composite print) doesn't preclude you from also doing a D.I. so if both are possible, then don't mess with Super-35 with anamorphic lenses and be forced to doing a D.I.


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#10 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 04:18 PM

 And Dom, I was told by Arri that I could change the centering of the camera myself from Super 35 to Standard 35, but I wouldn't be able to check the depth.

Shahid

Changing the centering is simply a case of removing the mount and turning it 180 degrees. If you're careful the flange depth shouldn't change. I always checked it after a conversion as a professional routine, and it never changed enough to be out of tolerance, but all it takes is some contamination like a sand grain or a shim to get bent and fold over itself. If the mount distance changes, the ground glass distance changes too, so you'd hopefully notice that the lens focus scale was then a bit out through the viewfinder. But ideally you use a depth gauge and a backing plate in the gate to check the flange depth every time the mount has been undone.
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#11 Shahid Malik

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 05:56 PM

Thanks for all the responses guys you have both been really helpful!

 

David, Cinelab and iDailies and few other places scan in your film (although as you say grading and whatnot is not a cheap affair) for relatively affordable prices here in London so I think getting prints from them and getting them to scan in the film for digital copies might be a better option than limited myself to digital as you have suggested. I am a big fan or film prints so I want to keep that option open!

 

Thanks Gentlemen!

Not sure if I'm allowed to do this on here, but David if you ever need a runner let me know! (Although I'm sure you're not in short supply) I will hop on the next plane to LA.


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#12 Mathew Collins

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 01:27 AM

Yes, Academy/Anamorphic/1.85 all have the same off-center placement on the negative and the print.  

 

Doesn't matter if you expose the Full Aperture, the soundtrack area is not exposed when making the print with an optical soundtrack on it.  You usually make workrpints and silent answer prints that have the Full Aperture printed and just let the projector mask it to the sound aperture.

 

If there is any chance you'll need to make contact prints with a soundtrack for projection, then use I guess what ARRI calls "standard" (sound aperture), not "Super" (silent aperture / Full Aperture).

 

There are only two "centerings" for the lens mount relative to the gate -- (1) Silent / Super / Full and (2) Sound / Academy / Anamorphic / 1.85 (matted widescreen projection).

 

There is nothing cheaper than just making a contact print off of the negative -- a D.I. is much more expensive.  On the other hand, most people distribute a digital copy and it's hard to only have a print to show people.  But shooting in standard 35mm anamorphic for making contact prints with sound (aka composite print) doesn't preclude you from also doing a D.I. so if both are possible, then don't mess with Super-35 with anamorphic lenses and be forced to doing a D.I.

 

David, couple of questions:

1. What is lens is centering?

 

2. Could you explain

'You usually make workrpints and silent answer prints that have the Full Aperture printed and just let the projector mask it to the sound aperture.'

 

3. How to make  'contact print off of the negative'


Edited by Mathew Collins, 09 June 2015 - 01:27 AM.

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#13 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 12:21 PM

The optical center of a lens can either be lined up laterally equally between the vertical rows of perfs (Super-35 / Silent / Full Aperture) or be shifted slightly to the right to be centered with the projected area on a print with a soundtrack stripe on the left (standard 1.85, anamorphic, 1.37 Academy).

Contact printing means that the negative and the print stock are run in contact with each other, emulsion side to emulsion side, with a light shining through to expose the image of the negative onto the print. This as opposed to optical printing in which the negative image is projected through a lens onto the positive stock using an optical printer.
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#14 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 12:29 PM

This should help you out

640px-Super35_and_Techniscope.png

 

Hey Kenny...where did you grab that image from?


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#15 Valter Jaakkola

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 03:03 PM

The image is from Wikipedia:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_35

 

 

Valter


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#16 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 05:09 PM

Thanks, Valter.


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