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Can I use Cinemascope lenses like Hawks with the Mini35?


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#1 Adam Paul

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 09:32 AM

Can I use cinemascope lenses like Hawks or Lomo with the Mini35 if I shoot with a XL2?
Will I get the 2.35 aspect ratio, even though the XL2 has 16:9 chips? I mean, will the anamorphic scope Hawks or Lomo squeeze the 2.35 in there with all the resolution?
Will I lose any resolution as opposed to shot with normal spherical 35mm lenses? How much added distortion? Do you think it?s worth it?
Thank you.
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#2 Adam Paul

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 09:53 AM

Or am I better off just letter boxing my 16:9 footage in post to 2.35?
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#3 Matt Irwin

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 12:11 PM

Well, masking in post will definitely knock down your resolution. Getting 2.35 optically will at least preserve your horizontal res.
I believe you will want to be in 4:3 mode on the camera to get 2.35 from those lenses. Also consider the additional amount of light required from using anamorphic lenses, not to mention the weight...

If you can afford it, rent one or two anamorphic lenses and one or two spherical lenses and see what works best for you/ what looks better to you. I wish I could be of more help, but I don't have experience with the mini35/anamorphic combo...
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#4 Joseph White

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 01:01 PM

i would say take your xl-2 and adapter to clairmont (or wherever you're getting anamorphic glass from - although if you're in LA i can't imagine going anywhere else besides panavision) and ask them to put up some hawks or, possibly better yet, clairmont anamorphics as they are considerably smaller and somewhat less expensive (although comparable in terms of speed). plus you don't need to worry that much about more light as hawks and clairmonts are pretty fast - you can shoot most hawks at a 2.8 and the clairmonts at like a 2.8/4 or even a 2.8.

bring a monitor and play around - or use one of theirs. i'd also suggest bringing a laptop and maybe importing a little footage into whatever editing program you're using and seeing how it holds up. anyhow, most rental houses are cool with you testing some gear on their floor as long as you have some sort of relationship with them or if you are planning to rent from them.

best of luck
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#5 Adam Paul

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 01:50 PM

Thanks. I'm actually thinking about buying some Lomo square front anamorphic primes, after I found out they go for pretty cheap.
Are you sure I should shoot in 4:3 mode? Because I would be losing resolution since the camera has native 16:9 CCDs.
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#6 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 02:43 PM

Remember that trying to add a 2x squeez lense to a 4:3 (1.33:1) camera will get an aspect ratio of 2.66:1, not 2.39:1, which is what you really want. (1.33 x 2 = 2.66, add the 1 and you get 2.66:1). When shooting anamorphic in film, you are actually recdording a taller aspect ratio than 4:3 (1.33:1).

Personally, I would suggest adding a 1.33x squeez lense (available widely I think) that will fit as an adapter, and when shooting in 16:9 (1.78:1) mode, adds a 1.33x squeez to that,giving you 2.36:1, which is much closer to 2.39:1 than that anamorphic 35mm lenses...

As to shooting the XL2 in 4:3 mode, you will loose resolution. The camera, unlike most think, does NOT have native 16:9 chips. The actual chip I'm unsure of, but that it uses a special process that actually uses a smaller area of the chip in 4:3 mode than in 16:9, unlike most camera. Shooting in 4:3 mode, not only are you lossing resolution, but usng smaller area of the chip, you are also loosng more of your shallow DOF than in 16:9 mode, among other loses.

Edited by Landon D. Parks, 27 October 2005 - 02:52 PM.

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#7 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 02:50 PM

Thanks. I'm actually thinking about buying some Lomo square front anamorphic primes, after I found out they go for pretty cheap.
Are you sure I should shoot in 4:3 mode? Because I would be losing resolution since the camera has native 16:9 CCDs.


---The anamorphics have a 2x squeeze. In the 16/9 mode you'll get a 32/9 image, about 3.55:1 aspect ratio.
With 4/3 mode, you'll get a 2.66;1 aspect ratio.

An Iscorama attachment has a 1.5X squeeze. With 16/9 you'll get a 2.66:1 image.
The Iscorama needs to be used with a backing lens. However, you'll only have to focus the Iscorama, the backing lens set at infinity.

!.33X attachments don't focus. they're set at a hyperfocal distance for wide angles.
a 1/3" CcD is the same size as regular 8mm.

---LV
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#8 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 02:55 PM

Problem is, I dont think you can use the 1.33x adapter with the mini35... so it looks like your either gonna get the 2.66:1 ratio,then have to crop some of the sides off to get 2.39:1 OR shootin with flate lenses, instead of anamorphic OR skip the mini35 and use a 1.33x adapter to actually get more od the aspect ratio you want.
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#9 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 03:12 PM

Problem is, I dont think you can use the 1.33x adapter with the mini35... so it looks like your either gonna get the 2.66:1 ratio,then have to crop some of the sides off to get 2.39:1 OR shootin with flate lenses, instead of anamorphic OR skip the mini35 and use a 1.33x adapter to actually get more od the aspect ratio you want.


---That's right. It's meant for small formats, thus short focal lengths with lots of depth of field.

Century has a focusing model, but you'll have to focus both the attachment and the backing lens.
Not easy.

If you absolutely need anamorphic & a Mini35, Iscorama would be the best setup.
But the two of them make for a big heavy rig which negates miniDV's strongest feature a small camera rig.

---LV
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#10 Adam Paul

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 04:44 PM

I never heard of this Iscorama attachment, but I did a research and it seems to be something for Super8? Is it of good sharpness? Can I use it over the normal Lomo spherical? Is there a model number I should look for to fit the Lomos? The only used I found was a 42 MC.

Landon, if I crop some of the sides, wouldn't it be the same as shooting in 16:9 and cropping for 2.35:1? It seems I would lose resolution anyway.
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#11 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 01:15 PM

I never heard of this Iscorama attachment, but I did a research and it seems to be something for Super8? Is it of good sharpness? Can I use it over the normal Lomo spherical? Is there a model number I should look for to fit the Lomos? The only used I found was a 42 MC.


---Iscorama was originaly used for 35mm slides. Cinema Products at one time was going to bring out a system for making 1.85/1 blow ups, using the Iscorama-54 as an alternative to super16. It was called
Todd-AO 16. But they dropped the project. Probably due to lack of interest, this was when 16mm was still referred to as spaghetti. & Super 16 was not as ubiquitous as it is today.

The Iscorama-54 is the largest. all of the models screw into the filter threads of the backing lenses.
There are varios adapor rings. 77mm is the largest thread for the 54, with the proper step down ring it will fit on the XL2's zoom.

I was told by someone from CP that it worked on the Cooke 9-50 down to 16mm. So the widest you could use the Canon zoom would be around 8mm.

Myself, I prefer deep focus. So see the Mini35 as rather pointless & adding useless bulk to a miniDV camera.
I would use the Iscorama on the camera's zoom and a 2/ aspect ratio.
But that,s me.

---LV
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#12 Jay Gladwell

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Posted 30 October 2005 - 08:31 AM

Myself, I prefer deep focus.


Wow, Leo, in a world where everyone is screaming "shallow focus" you prefer deep focus. How refreshing!

I'm curious as to why this is your preference. Do not misunderstand, I'm not trying to bait you. I'm truly interested in your thinking. I can remember reading, and talking with other young filmmakers many years ago, how we longed for deep focus. Now that we have it, most want shallow focus.

Go figure!

Jay
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#13 Adam Paul

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Posted 30 October 2005 - 09:29 AM

Please do not hijack my thread. Let's keep on topic.

Leo, have you hear of the Iscorama 42 MC? How much of a hassle is it to work with the Iscorama and different primes on set. Would it slow the shot down considerably?

Edited by Adampaul, 30 October 2005 - 09:32 AM.

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#14 Max Jacoby

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Posted 30 October 2005 - 10:32 AM

All I'm thinking is how funny it would look if you put a 250mm Hawk lens on a XL2. The size of the lens is in no relationship to that of the camera...
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#15 Jay Gladwell

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Posted 30 October 2005 - 11:25 AM

No one was hijacking anything. The man made a statement in the course of the conversation and I was interested in hearing his thoughts.

Jay
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#16 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 30 October 2005 - 01:09 PM

Just remember that the scope lenses have a 2X squeeze, which is non-standard in video. If the final result is for video, you'd have to convert the image in post at some point to some standard squeeze (like 1.33X for 16x9 standard def) or no squeeze at all (for 4x3) and use a letterbox either way as well. Plus you may be trimming the sides if you want a 2.35 image instead of a 2.66 image (4x3 video with a 2X squeeze gets you 2.66 when unsqueezed and letterboxed.)

So the ONLY reason really to use 2X anamorphic lenses in video is IF you want anamorphic lens artifacts (stretched out-of-focus points of light, shallow focus, blue horizontal lens flares). If you just want a 2.35 image, just letterbox spherical photography and save yourself a lot of expense and headaches.
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#17 Adam Paul

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Posted 30 October 2005 - 03:02 PM

David, all I want is a 2.35 image to be projected digitally. I just thought an anamorphic lens would be the best way to go and not lose resolution. So you think just letterboxing my 16:9 image to 2.35 is a better option? I wouldn't have thought so since I would be losing resolution.
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#18 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 30 October 2005 - 09:48 PM

David, all I want is a 2.35 image to be projected digitally. I just thought an anamorphic lens would be the best way to go and not lose resolution. So you think just letterboxing my 16:9 image to 2.35 is a better option? I wouldn't have thought so since I would be losing resolution.


Well, the question is "what digital format are you going to project digitally? What digital projector are you going to use?" Most digital projectors don't achieve 2.35 by using standard 2X anamorphic projector lenses.

DLP-Cinema projectors have the OPTION of using 1.9X anamorphic projector lenses. The 1.4K DLP projectors have DMD chips that are about 1.25 : 1. So if you are using a 16x9 source material like an HD recording, then either the 16x9 image gets squeezed to fill the 1.25 : 1 chip and a 1.5X anamorphic projector lens is used, or the 16x9 image is letterboxed onto the 1.25 chip and a spherical projector lens is used. For scope material, either it can be a 2.35 letterboxed image onto a 16x9 recording, in which case either of the two methods mentioned can be used, or a special HD version where 2.35 is stretched to fill 16x9 HD with a 1.33X squeeze is created. This then gets further squeezed to fit onto the 1.25 chip, and then a special 1.9X anamorphic projector lens unsqueezes this to 2.35.

This is how most first-run theaters using DLP-Cinema projectors handle scope movies. However, I've discovered from my own 2.35 HD movies that most big film festivals screening digitally won't get the 1.9X anamorphic projector lens. Therefore you have to submit a 2.35 letterboxed HD version to them, which is then either projected with the letterbox visible, or zoomed to fill a 2.35 screen with no visible letterbox, but a 33% loss of screen brightness (which still can be OK in small venues.)

In other words, there isn't any advantage to using 2X anamorphic lenses on a video camera, 4x3 or 16x9, if all you want is a 2.35 image. There would be some advantage if good 1.33X anamorphic lenses existed, but they don't yet, except for Canon's adaptor for 2/3" CCD camcorders. And even then, the only advantage to having a 2.35 image with a 1.33X squeeze filling a 16x9 recording is you plan on a transfer to film or can get the special anamorphic projector lenses needed for a digital projector.
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#19 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 02 November 2005 - 03:16 PM

Leo, have you hear of the Iscorama 42 MC? How much of a hassle is it to work with the Iscorama and different primes on set. Would it slow the shot down considerably?


---The numbers in Iscorama model names refers to the diameter of the rear element.
The 42 MC is the middle sized model. MC is multicoated.

The Iscorama screws into the prime's filter threads. The prime is set at infinity and all focusing done on the Iscorama.

The most convenient thing would be to have a set of primes with identical threads, such as Nikkors.
I don't think the LOMOs have a standardized thread size.

---LV
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#20 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 02 November 2005 - 03:44 PM

Wow, Leo, in a world where everyone is screaming "shallow focus" you prefer deep focus. How refreshing!

I'm curious as to why this is your preference. Do not misunderstand, I'm not trying to bait you. I'm truly interested in your thinking. I can remember reading, and talking with other young filmmakers many years ago, how we longed for deep focus. Now that we have it, most want shallow focus.

Go figure!

Jay


---Deep focus gives depth to the picture. Having something in the background gives a context to a close up.
It can comment on or reenforce the foreground action. That's the way to make wide screen close ups work.
Thus making widescreen work for small intimate dramas.

Even Eisenstein was a fan of deep focus. Look at 'Que Viva Mexico' and 'Aleksandr Nevskii'. A lot of "Ivan the Terrible' is staged in depth, & probably would have been shot in deep focus if it were not for war time electrical restrictions. In some essay, Eisenstein calls deep focus "in frame montage".
The "eisensteinian montage vs. bazanian deep focus" argument is a phoney academic dichomaty.

Think of all that amazing Orson Wells, Hitchcock and Kurosawa deep focus. & Kurosawa was using long lenses.

In minDV it's naturual to the format. The small cameras make it easy to fly to the camera like in 'i am Cuba' and be very inconspicuous. The mini35 throws that away. & shallow depth of focus does not eliminate digital artifacts.

---LV
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