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Cooke Anamorphics


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#1 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 10:38 AM

Has anyone shot with the Cooke Xtal Express anamorphics. How do they compare to the Hawks, primos, e and C series?

Do they get the characteristic streak that older panavision ones get?
Do they warm or cool down scenes
Are they softer (assuming cooke glass) - and better for beauty shots?
How does the 18mm and the 100mm handle?

Any other issues or notes?

thanks

Rolfe
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 10:54 AM

I only used a set on an HD music video, so I can't really say anything about how they would look projected. Yes, all front anamorphic element primes create the horizontal line from a bright point of light.

I actually found that the anamorphic flaring with the JDC lenses wasn't as pronounced as with the Panavision anamorphics BUT the spherical flaring & veiling was somewhat worse than with a Primo or E-Series -- basically that older Cooke low-con look. Attractive in its own way...

The set wasn't as uniformly designed and built as a Primo set (but those only go up to 100mm anyway, after which you're on C's and E's) or the Hawk sets. You always find with anamorphic that you're working with some odd-sized lenses.

The size of JDC lenses was manageable, more like C-Series or Hawk Compacts. They have a small 35mm now that is tiny compared to the Primo 35mm anamorphic.

Someone told me that they had some issues attaching a couple of the JDC lenses (maybe the macro ones) on an Arricam Lite, hitting the eyepiece.
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#3 Ernesto

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 01:44 PM

Spherical flaring?

David, could you explain what is the difference between that and anamorphic flaring?

thanks
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#4 Max Jacoby

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 02:35 PM

For my last film we compared the 75mm Hawk V-Series to the 75mm Cooke Xtal Express from Panavision. It was a test designed solely to find the right lens for the look of the movie (black and white, lots of bright windows in shot, no wide shots, mostly close-ups), so we didn't really shoot any sharpness or color-reproduction tests.

The Cooke was lower in contrast than the Hawk and flared faster. In the end we picked the Hawk, because it had better contrast, better mechanics (great close-focus, larger focal scale) and most importantly because these are modern lenses that are color-matched and where there is hardly any variation from lens to lens. With the Cookes, which are adpated from old Cooke S2 and S3 lenses you will find that each lens looks different. Just looking at a film like 'The Interpreter' which was shot with Cookes from JDC and Technovision, one really notices the lens changes, making some shots look softer and lower in contrast than others. Unless you really can tests the Cookes inside out to find a matching set, I think you'd better off with modern anamorphics, be they Panavision, Hawk or Elite.
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#5 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 09:57 PM

Thank you very much for the replies.

Max - could you detail what you did in your tests?

Panavision are recommending using an anamorphic converter on the Video Assist and keep the optical viewing system on spherical (it is an older camera)- any ideas

David - was this the athlete video? - if so I will check it out on the RSA reel

thanks

Rolfe
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 August 2005 - 11:50 PM

You can see it at these places, but the quality is somewhat fuzzy & compressed-looking:

http://www.virgin.ne...tourist_hi.html
http://www.athlete.mu/

It's about half anamorphic lenses on a Varicam (using the P&S Pro-35 adaptor) and half 25P DVX100A Mini-DV. Some shots I had to time to look like the other (a few POV shots that should have been the distorted DVX100 imagery was taken from the Varicam footage, and a few DVX100A shots were corrected to look more like the skip-bleach look of the Varicam footage.)

I didn't shoot the DVX100 footage, which was shot simultaneously while I was trying to shoot in a working airport in one day with a puppet...

You'll note that the Varicam footage is 2.35 but looks slightly squeezed still. We had a 2X squeeze on 16x9 HD, which we unsqueezed partially to get a 2.35 : 1 image rather than unsqueezing completely and getting a 3.54 : 1 image. The DVX100A was shot in 16x9 squeeze mode and cropped top & bottom to 2.35.

You can't really tell if the JDC anamorphics were low-contrast since I added contrast in the camera menu and then in the color-correction for more of a skip-bleach look. You can see some vignetting, which happens since the Pro-35 groundglass basically is the size of 35mm Full Aperture. I had hoped they would budget to let me reframe some of it to crop out the vignetting but it never happened. There was a very short turnaround time on the post.

I thought all Panaflexes had the switch to unsqueeze anamorphic in the viewfinder...
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#7 Max Jacoby

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Posted 05 August 2005 - 01:57 AM

Max - could you detail what you did in your tests?

We basically just shot close-ups. To see how the contrast on faces looked, as well as the out-of-focus background. Some had a bright window in the background as well, to see how the contrast of the lens changed. Obvioulsy in close-ups there wasn't much difference between the lenses, especially sicne we shot black and white, which is a softer and grainier than modern color negatif anyway.

I once worked with a focus-puller who tested the Cookes from Technovision and he found his 100mm to be quite crappy looking. He then asked to see Vitorio Storaro's 100mm lens and there was a difference of night and day, just lookinjg through the viewfinder.

The Cookes are PL mount, so I guess you are not using an Arricam, 535, Moviecam Compact and SL or 435 to shoot with them, since allt hese cameras have anamorphic viewfinders available
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#8 Peter Martin

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Posted 05 August 2005 - 05:45 AM

Vantage is introducing a new attachment to create controlled blue horizontal flares - very comparable to the streaks produced by Panavision Primo Anamorphics. It is a sophisticated glass attachment carefully build in Germany and named PV-Effect®. There is a patent pending. It will be available for shooting along with Hawk Anamorphics. More information in September at www.vantagefilm.com/news

Peter Martin
Lens Design - Hawk Anamorphic
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#9 Max Jacoby

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Posted 05 August 2005 - 06:37 AM

Hi Peter

Will one be able to use this attachment with spherical lenses as well?
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#10 Peter Martin

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Posted 05 August 2005 - 08:55 AM

Yes, it had beed used already on a commercial shot on S4s and the Hawk 10-24mm zoom.
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#11 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 05 August 2005 - 11:26 AM

tell us who and when it is in the UK and I will go check it out. Sounds exciting!

thanks

Rolfe
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#12 coolbreeze

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Posted 05 August 2005 - 03:43 PM

Will it be availble through Arri in the UK?

Is there a stop loss when using it? How big/heavy is it? Will it be available for sale or as a rental item only? Could you post a photo of it and a frame grab of its effect on an anamorphic and a spherical lens?

Edited by coolbreeze, 05 August 2005 - 03:45 PM.

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