Jump to content


Photo

Is there a "normal," go-to, or if-i-had-only-one focal length for anamorphic?

anamorphic lenses cinematography focal length normal

  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 Andy Zou

Andy Zou

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
  • Director
  • New York

Posted 30 September 2015 - 12:30 PM

I am playing around with anamorphic adapters, and obviously am limited by what sort of taking lenses I can use.  I wanted to use a Zeiss 35mm but found it vignetted very slightly, so I moved up to a 50mm.  This is on a GH4 with a Speedbooster, so fairly fairly close to simulating a Super35 sensor.  Also shooting 4:3.

 

For Super 35, ~35mm-ish seems like a standard for a "normal" fov on spherical and 50mm seems a bit tight, better for close-ups (imo).  But since the 2X anamorphic stretches the horizontal focal length, I am a little unsure of what should be a go-to focal length for anamorphic.  I myself usually compose based on the vertical size of the frame, which doesn't change, but obviously I wouldn't want so much more negative horizontal space so I'd probably move backwards to compensate.

 

I don't have many other great primes that will take the anamorphic adapter, so I am trying to avoid too much trial and error by seeing what others think.  


  • 0

#2 Satsuki Murashige

Satsuki Murashige
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3510 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 30 September 2015 - 01:47 PM

A usual 2x anamorphic set would be 35, 40, 50, 75, 100. 35mm would be very wide. 50mm is moderately wide, I think most would consider that their normal lens. 75mm is about where you start seeing the classic anamorphic bokeh and would be good for isolating single characters.
  • 0

#3 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19650 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 30 September 2015 - 05:20 PM

You have twice the view horizontally so a 40mm anamorphic (which Wes Anderson used for the bulk of his shots in his anamorphic movies) is like a 20mm spherical lens horizontally and thus is considered a wide-angle lens.

The first CinemaScope lens used for all of "The Robe" was a 50mm.

So I'd say that the 50mm anamorphic is the most practical focal length if you could only choose one. Faces might look a bit distorted if you get too tight though. But keep in mind that I'm talking about the field of view when it is on a 35mm movie camera, roughly a 22mm x 18mm area.

Most of Woody Allen's "Manhattan" was shot on a 100mm anamorphic as a frame of reference. I think a lot of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" was shot on a 40mm anamorphic.

A 75mm anamorphic feels the most "normal" in terms of view and lack of distortion but it might not get you the wide shots you need.
  • 1

#4 Leon Liang

Leon Liang
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 90 posts
  • Student
  • Sydney

Posted 13 October 2015 - 09:48 PM

Why do so many 2x anamorphic lens kits lack the 60mm anamorphic? It's approximately equivalent to the 32mm or 35mm on Super 35 which I know cinematographers such as Roger Deakins consider to me the "normal" range.


  • 0

#5 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19650 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 13 October 2015 - 10:58 PM

Most anamorphic sets in general are not as extensive as spherical sets, it's partly just an economic reason, there isn't a big enough anamorphic market to justify sets with lots of "in-between" focal lengths.  Most anamorphic sets have a 50mm and a 75mm and then a 100mm, in other words, one focal length halfway between two lenses that are half or double the view, so there is less of a priority to build even more subsets.

 

But you are right that a 60mm is useful -- I used to carry the 60mm C-Series anamorphic when I shot with the Primos and E-Series.  It was a rare beast that wasn't always available but I found it useful for doing close-ups when they had to be on a Steadicam.


  • 0



Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Ritter Battery

Visual Products

Metropolis Post

Technodolly

rebotnix Technologies

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Willys Widgets

Aerial Filmworks

Tai Audio

FJS International, LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

CineTape

Wooden Camera

CineLab

Glidecam

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

The Slider

Paralinx LLC

Abel Cine

CineLab

Rig Wheels Passport

Abel Cine

Glidecam

The Slider

Wooden Camera

rebotnix Technologies

Willys Widgets

CineTape

Aerial Filmworks

Ritter Battery

Tai Audio

Visual Products

Technodolly

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Metropolis Post

Paralinx LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

FJS International, LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc