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1970's - 80's circular lens flare

Lens flare effects lenses visual effecs anamorphic

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#1 Justin Roose

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 02:08 PM

So there's this particular type of lens flare that I've been meaning to try to recreate without having to use post-production editing (all in camera). While we all have a general idea of what one of the more common generic anamorphic lens flares look like (basically has the two long horizontal star points along with varying degrees of elements depending on the camera and lenses, but this one has always been the most appealing. You may have seen it from some movies mostly in the 70's and 80's. To give you an idea, I've myself have seen it in Dirty Harry (1971), Magnum Force (1973), Aliens (1986), Jurassic Park (1993), Encounters With The Third Kind (1977), Blade Runner (1982), and the first Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979). While it is generated from numerous light sources, including direct and reflected sunlight, it is often mostly associated with flash lights/torches (I've often called it the flashlight flare, though it may already have been pre-established as something else). While I will provide some example photos, its general shape is round with bright center (obviously) and with a thick outer rim that is colored, sometimes having various number and size of star points which i'm guessing is determined by the lenses aperture and number of blades. But the most dominating feature is a colorful ring around the whole flare (the whole thing often takes on an orange/reddish color when associated with flashlights). I'll leave a link to a mediafire folder containing the pics. If it doesn't work I'll embed a few in the page. I also have included a video recorded on my iphone of a similar flare but not exactly the same.  Anyone have any idea how this particular flare is made?

 

closeencounters9.jpg

 

https://www.mediafir...r73u/lens_flare

 

also if you can access the mediafire, I've also included a still from E.T. The Extra Terrestrial that is a shot of what im guessing is a certain area/suburb of Los Angeles, to which I've noticed is quite a common view used in many movies and I've reason to believe it is a common tourist site.  Anyone know what that view/spot is?


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#2 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 02:19 PM

I think you'll want to test out a bunch of vintage lenses to reproduce that flare. It's the result of internal reflections inside these lenses that their vintage lens coatings (or possibly some internal uncoated elements) are not able to suppress.
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#3 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 02:20 PM

You might want to start with Cooke Speed Panchros, Zeiss Standard Speeds, and other lenses of the era.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 02:49 PM

You see it in "Diva" as well -- I used to think Zeiss Super-Speeds had that ring flare but I've never had it happen in the Zeiss Super-Speeds that I have used. Same goes with C-Series Panavision anamorphic, it seems to no longer happen, it comes from some uncoated element so maybe over the years people have gotten the coatings changed to get rid of the effect. I did get something close to that effect using the old Ultra Speeds at Panavision.
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#5 Wiliam Cardoza

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 05:04 PM

summicron.JPG

Taken with my 1960's era Summicron R

 


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#6 Justin Roose

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 07:20 PM

I seem to have found a solution to this.  I'm finding that many of the old M42-mount Pentax Takumar lenses seem to have this particular lens flare, which is good news for me as i intend to use M42 lenses for my super 8, 16mm and dslr cameras. 

http://tesselator.gp....5/_1030504.jpg


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#7 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 07:38 PM

The Asahi Super Takumars are more likely to show this, rather than the later SMC M42 lenses. They're also cheaper, which helps...


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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 08:11 PM

Both "Blade Runner" and "Close Encounters" mixed 65mm spherical and 35mm anamorphic, and in some scenes, you get both types of flares, like this one in "Close Encounters":

 

65mm

closeencounters17.jpg

 

35mm anamorphic

closeencounters18.jpg

 

The 65mm camera angle has no visual effects work done to it -- this may have been a case where they were doing a stunt with a helicopter and Spielberg decided to roll his 65mm camera on it alongside his 35mm cameras.

 

The thing to remember is that the red ring is a circular flare in both formats, it's just then when the image is expanded horizontally by 2X to get rid of the anamorphic squeeze, the red ring becomes a flattened oval.


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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 11:12 PM

There's a pretty cool Todd-AO 35 anamorphic flare in "Logan's Run":

 

logansrun1.jpg


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#10 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 24 July 2016 - 11:24 PM

 i intend to use M42 lenses for my super 8, 16mm and dslr cameras. 

 

Remember that M42 lenses were manufactured for full frame 35mm cameras, and so the focal lengths will tend to be longer than you might want, especially for Super 8. I believe the widest Takumar lens was a 15mm f3.5 and it's pretty rare and very expensive. Even the more common 17mm f4 is still probably going to cost you a couple of hundred dollars (US) and is going to be at best a standard lens on 16mm and telephoto on Super 8, while also being slow. The build quality and glass is often excellent on these old lenses, but they are much better suited to APS-C or Full Frame cameras than to small formats.


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#11 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 02:07 PM

Same goes with C-Series Panavision anamorphic, it seems to no longer happen, it comes from some uncoated element so maybe over the years people have gotten the coatings changed to get rid of the effect.


From what I can gather, the C-Series (and Panavision scope lenses in general) are so popular with big feature DPs that the lenses are constantly getting re-worked, re-built, and re-coated project-to-project to suit that particular cinematographer's requests for certain types of flare or other artifacts. Dan Sasaki must be very busy!

I'd be curious to find out how much of their glass inventory is still unmodified from the 70s and 80s. I would guess if they are now down to modifying B-Series and Ultra Panavision glass, not much is left.
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#12 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 25 July 2016 - 02:08 PM

On the plus side David, you could probably go over and have a set modified to your own taste for a big project!
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