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I just modified my Iscorama 36 for close focus


richg101
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I used one of Wide Open Camera's thicker zip tie gears and an Edelkrone FocusOne Pro. As as long as I was able to put support underneath and around Redstan's clamp, I was able to pull focus smoothly. But that was not the problem. The problem was the incredibly long focus throw, which made it very difficult to pull off a standard rack focus.

 

In terms of protecting the Iscorama, I bought a 72mm-85mm conical step ring and used it like a lens hood for a little extra protection.

 

But ultimately, I was too stressed out to really put such a rare and high-value lens through its paces, so shooting with it wasn't any fun and I sold it.

 

To be honest, I dont have interest in 1.5x

 

Having said that, I have been curious to why I haven't seen too much follow focus or pull focus with the Iscoramas. If indeed the throw is too much it kind of defeats the main advantage of these units.

 

Does anyone know if the rehousing modification improves this focus throw issue?

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No interest in 1.5?!

 

I have a 2x Kowa and Iscorama 1.5x and find the the 2x is too wide a viewing experience to be labeled anything other than "experimental" (for my tastes atleast). Of course you can crop it but that defeats quite a lot of the purpose of shooting with an anamorphic adapter. 1.5 gets me much closer to cinematic aspect ratios with out destructive trimming. Not to mention being able to stage without having to anticipate a crop later.

 

I'm curious what types of application you like 2x for?

 

I too am curious about follow focus with the isco, the focus throw is long, but honestly how often do you need pull focus from one end all the way to the other. Anyone else have experience using follow focus on an iscorama?

 

Cheers

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To be honest, I thought the whole idea behind scope is to get the same aesthetic as you see at the movies.

 

I dont know of many major movies shot in 1.33x or 1.5x anamorphic

 

I am referring to the burnt-in 2x compression, not the aspect ratio.

 

to me, and apologies if it upsets some people, 1.5x is literally only half way there.

 

As regards focus pulls in anamorphic, for example Jack Reacher has a handful of them, which I find distracting.during dialogue.

 

I suppose thats why I remember them :)

 

 

No interest in 1.5?!

 

I have a 2x Kowa and Iscorama 1.5x and find the the 2x is too wide a viewing experience to be labeled anything other than "experimental" (for my tastes atleast). Of course you can crop it but that defeats quite a lot of the purpose of shooting with an anamorphic adapter. 1.5 gets me much closer to cinematic aspect ratios with out destructive trimming. Not to mention being able to stage without having to anticipate a crop later.

 

I'm curious what types of application you like 2x for?

 

I too am curious about follow focus with the isco, the focus throw is long, but honestly how often do you need pull focus from one to the other. Anyone else have experience using follow focus on an iscorama?

 

Cheers

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2x is nice for the painted background feeling, oval bokeh etc and would be very usefull on proper 4X3 sensor with the ability to single focus. I think owning the isco for personal stuff with a kowa to experiment (my setup as well) is a good way to go. Then I know what im getting into when renting 2X anamorphics when shooting features I guess. If I could own a proper set of lomo's, kowas or beyond into the hawks I would but life hasnt thrown tons of money my way yet. I would absolutely love a 2X anamorphic version of the iscorama or similar an Id pay about the same price for it too, maybe 3k-5kish if it was really nice (those hawk 74's looked amazing)

 

Anyways my iscorama modded by rich is on its way back and I'll see how well I can get it to rack.

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Having said that, I have been curious to why I haven't seen too much follow focus or pull focus with the Iscoramas. If indeed the throw is too much it kind of defeats the main advantage of these units.

 

Does anyone know if the rehousing modification improves this focus throw issue?

This is probably the most misunderstood aspect of an Iscorama & is especially true of the 36/42.

Single focus system so you can rack!? 

No! Single focus system to make your life a lot easier when trying to focus!

Also, people go crazy about the 36 because its small & light (run'n'gun anyone?), but then they realise that the focus throw is stupidly long & they just can't get those shots that they want/thought they could get.

 

I think there's a vid on Vimeo with a guy racking (the whole scale) with his 42 & it takes him ages...

 

The mod will make it slightly bigger (with a gear) & so the throw might be a little better - but the mod is really about getting rid of that nasty plastic body (it looks really nice once its done).

The 54 is the only one that has a manageable focus throw - i can wrap one hand around it & go end to end.

This is the reason i cashed in on my 36 (& boy did i cash in!) & also the fact that the mod was too expensive. 

 

To the guy who asked could you have the same mod done to a 54, the only answer would be why?

Its got a metal body, not a plastic one & if you get an extra large gear you should be fine...

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Since I was already gonna ask a few questions to the guys at Van Dieme, I also asked about the 54. They said they're working on the design, but it might take a while. I'm not interested in rehousing the 54 (yet), for the reasons mentioned above, by Bioskop.

What would they do to it?

Make it slightly smaller & focus closer (with a gear)?

Seems a bit strange why they'd bother...& could they make it look any better!?

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anyone interested in a rehoused iso 54 is smokin crack.

 

total waste of time i have a variation of the 54 rehoused it is called a mesmerizer by kish.

the weight is 3kgs nice perfect for skate and ski and jumpin out of planes.

I here some of you guys are young and sporty best start pumpin iron get those arms ready.

you will have plenty of time waiting

6 weeks for a 36 rebuild 1 year if your lucky ; )

 

 

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Some great movies were shot in Scope in the 50s & 60s using double focus, so I don't think its a barrier to good production values.

 

Moving forward my favourite Scope movie is Chinatown, where I believe Polanski got everything right in the subtle use of the tool. I can't remember any focus pulls in that movie, so he just let the acting and story come through instead of having distractions like backgrounds changing shape. Also getting wider shots for tele lenses became a trend.

 

Everyone seems to be asking what is the widest focal length lens you can use with this or that scope, where perhaps they should be asking what is the fastest tele lens you can use with this or that scope, after all its all about the compression, surely?

 

If its not about the compression then just cropping the image would make life a lot easier and you then can pull & follow focus 'till the cows come home.

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Chinatown is one of the greatest films ever, and many of my favourite films are from this era. However the reality is that films from this era, along with being amazing almost uniformly have some issues in cinematography and editing (due in my opinion to difficult of the tools at the time), things that you would be crucified for by today's standards. For me I see being able to use a variety of taking lens as a plus, you can get shots, compositions and feelings with a 35mm that you cannot get with a 58mm. More freedom from your tools is a good thing, but I also agree that we should all work with what we have because people have done great things with far far far less.

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Everyone seems to be asking what is the widest focal length lens you can use with this or that scope, where perhaps they should be asking what is the fastest tele lens you can use with this or that scope, after all its all about the compression, surely?

 

If its not about the compression then just cropping the image would make life a lot easier and you then can pull & follow focus 'till the cows come home.

This is one of my pet hates too...how wide, how wide?!

It should be, what's the best lens for this particular shot?

& you can use the same lens throughout if you want (& have enough diopters).

 

I think its been said again & again, but i really do think that 58mm &/or 85mm lenses just look the best with anamorphics.

There's something about them that a wide angle doesn't have or come close to.

Oh & moving the tripod back a bit never hurt anyone...

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moving the camera back is not the same as using a wider lens. The barrel distortion and more importantly the treatment of depth feels totally different, and the treatment of depth is a tool for artistic expression, it plays a huge part in defining mood. Stanley Kubrick and Wes Anderson (anamorphic) both use extreme wide angle lenses for specific shots to the point of barrel distortion.

 

That said, one of Wes best films, Rushmore was filmed entirely on 40mm anamorphic.

 

I agree 58 and 85 are the sweet spot atleast for the poor mans anamorphics i've used,  and its easiest to get a nice looking shot with those. But 35mm anamorphic can be kind of interesting for wide static establishing shots, and also handy when the location is too tight to get what you want on 58.

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I think its been said again & again, but i really do think that 58mm &/or 85mm lenses just look the best with anamorphics.

 

 

4/300mm anyone?

Sometimes you need to get a big long shot without clipping the ovals ....

 

Meet Big Bob

 

IMG_4611.JPG

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  • 4 weeks later...

Anyone have any tips for getting the front ring off to do this mod? I cant seem to get mine loose even with rubber gloves.

 

Also Rich, if you are out there, could you elaborate on how you add a new stopper once the mod is complete?

 

 

Thanks!

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Getting the front ring off was tricky for me. I tried bare hands, latex gloves, and finally rubber-dipped gardening gloves. That worked perfectly. You just have to push into the ring and turn your wrist.

 

As far as adding a new stopper, unless anything has changed since Rich and I were talking about doing this, you can't really add one. It would stick out too far past the edge of the plastic to allow you to achieve infinity focus anymore.

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Hey, Rob bannister sent his off to rich and he apparently re-lubed, close focused and added a new stopper.

 

"I got mine relubed by by the guys at DSO, it was fast and their rate is fine but I got raped at customs for import they wouldnt recognize it was just being repaired....but its silky smooth and they did the close focus mod ith a new stopper while they had it too!"

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Getting the front ring off was tricky for me. I tried bare hands, latex gloves, and finally rubber-dipped gardening gloves. That worked perfectly. You just have to push into the ring and turn your wrist.

 

As far as adding a new stopper, unless anything has changed since Rich and I were talking about doing this, you can't really add one. It would stick out too far past the edge of the plastic to allow you to achieve infinity focus anymore.

 

 

I was lucky in that mine was very easy to unscrew, but seems to just depend on the lens.  As far as the stopper goes, after performing the surgery, I also could not see a way of implementing that without doing a whole redesign of the plastic housing as a whole.  This, and the fact that the whole front element can unscrew and pop off, made me not think twice about having the vandiemen mod done.   I've waited almost 4 years to get my hands on this bitch so waiting a couple more months doesn't really phase me..  

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