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Where did all the single focus solutions come from?

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Just a few years ago, there were no single focus solutions for dual-focus anamorphic lenses. Now all of a sudden we have the Rectilux, Focus Module and SLR Rangefinder. It seems that the physics of the lenses is relatively straightforward so why did no-one make / sell one of these things earlier than 2014? Is it simply demand?

 

 

 

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A little more about them here - http://www.tferradans.com/blog/?p=8462

I think it was a matter of insight (realizing that the focus solution didn't need to be associated with an anamorphic directly in a complete system, against the Isco patent) and time to develop. :)

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3 hours ago, Tito Ferradans said:

A little more about them here - http://www.tferradans.com/blog/?p=8462

I think it was a matter of insight (realizing that the focus solution didn't need to be associated with an anamorphic directly in a complete system, against the Isco patent) and time to develop. :)

Note, at the time the Isco patent was issued in 1970 the law was that the lifetime of a patent was 17 years from the date of issue.  When a patent expires the time-limited right of the assignee to a monopoly also expires, and the technology becomes part of the public domain.  So, its been completely legal to manufacture and sell Iscorama style systems since 1987, almost 30 years now!

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The main thing to consider is that there was almost no demand for a product like this pre indi anamorphic revival. 

The other thing is that this type of thing did exist before, just in a slightly different form. If you go online you can find many variable diopters for close up macro work, the thing being that these type of attachments were usually made cheaply and thus produced average results. I assume that many people thought that this meant that variable diotpers in front of lenses would be a bad idea just as a generalisation. It took John Barlow (Rectilux) to re-invision the idea and create something of worth, if it wasn't for this I'm sure people would still think it's a bad idea.

FM and SLR RF seem like solutions with many compromises, whilst Rectilux seems to deliver what everyone is after, the price difference speaks for itself.
 

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1 hour ago, Tito Ferradans said:

isn't there anyone making these?

This ^

I imagine it's largely a matter of financials: can someone (with the means and machines) create an Isco clone at a price that is both competItive and turns a profit.  My guess would be no, otherwise someone would have jumped on this by now.  Doesn't mean it couldn't happen in the future though...

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27 minutes ago, Bold said:

This ^

I imagine it's largely a matter of financials: can someone (with the means and machines) create an Isco clone at a price that is both competItive and turns a profit.  My guess would be no, otherwise someone would have jumped on this by now.  Doesn't mean it couldn't happen in the future though...

My guess is that Rich is doing exactly this

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2 hours ago, Bold said:

This ^

I imagine it's largely a matter of financials: can someone (with the means and machines) create an Isco clone at a price that is both competItive and turns a profit.  My guess would be no, otherwise someone would have jumped on this by now.  Doesn't mean it couldn't happen in the future though...

http://www.diehroptic.ch/essays/2016/03/rectilux-collaboration-for-a-x15-scope/

This is targeting in that direction.

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OLIVIA Scope was originally going to be a straight clone of an iscorama, just scaled up.  It soon became clear that in order to make something really groundbreaking we had to start out with a blank canvas.  Though OLIVIA Scope is operated in the same way as an Iscorama, because of the wide fov capability a racking adjustable diopter type 'untactful isco copy' focus mechanism would need a ridiculously over-engineered helical to provide shift of a big diopter element.      

 

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3 hours ago, tweak said:

The main thing to consider is that there was almost no demand for a product like this pre indi anamorphic revival. 

The other thing is that this type of thing did exist before, just in a slightly different form. If you go online you can find many variable diopters for close up macro work, the thing being that these type of attachments were usually made cheaply and thus produced average results. I assume that many people thought that this meant that variable diotpers in front of lenses would be a bad idea just as a generalisation. It took John Barlow (Rectilux) to re-invision the idea and create something of worth, if it wasn't for this I'm sure people would still think it's a bad idea.

FM and SLR RF seem like solutions with many compromises, whilst Rectilux seems to deliver what everyone is after, the price difference speaks for itself.
 

I think the death of anamorphic film projection and the resulting appearance of dirt cheap anamorphic projection lenses (e.g. Schneider Cinelux etc.) was also an important factor.  After all, the variable diopter part is easy, its the cylindrical lenses that are hard to make.  It will be interesting to see what happens once the supply of grossly underpriced projection lenses dries up.

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5 hours ago, richg101 said:

OLIVIA Scope was originally going to be a straight clone of an iscorama, just scaled up.  It soon became clear that in order to make something really groundbreaking we had to start out with a blank canvas.  Though OLIVIA Scope is operated in the same way as an Iscorama, because of the wide fov capability a racking adjustable diopter type 'untactful isco copy' focus mechanism would need a ridiculously over-engineered helical to provide shift of a big diopter element.      

 

If you're doing a wide angle Iscorama-style attachment with a large diameter front, then my statement about the variable diopter being "easy" obviously needs amendment, since the mechanics does become much more difficult.  Although I'm a big fan of big lenses, they tend to require exotic/expensive items like precision linear bearings to keep them moving straight and without play.

Maybe not entirely relevant here, but its interesting the the new Cooke anamorphics also use a pretty basic variable diopter focusing scheme, although the net power is negative rather than afocal:  http://pdfaiw.uspto.gov/.aiw?PageNum=0&docid=20140300973&IDKey=735679DAC5C4&HomeUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fappft.uspto.gov%2Fnetacgi%2Fnph-Parser%3FSect1%3DPTO2%2526Sect2%3DHITOFF%2526p%3D1%2526u%3D%25252Fnetahtml%25252FPTO%25252Fsearch-bool.html%2526r%3D5%2526f%3DG%2526l%3D50%2526co1%3DAND%2526d%3DPG01%2526s1%3Diain.IN.%2526s2%3Dneil.IN.%2526OS%3DIN%2Fiain%252BAND%252BIN%2Fneil%2526RS%3DIN%2Fiain%252BAND%252BIN%2Fneil

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27 minutes ago, Brian Caldwell said:

If you're doing a wide angle Iscorama-style attachment with a large diameter front, then my statement about the variable diopter being "easy" obviously needs amendment, since the mechanics does become much more difficult.  Although I'm a big fan of big lenses, they tend to require exotic/expensive items like precision linear bearings to keep them moving straight and without play.

Maybe not entirely relevant here, but its interesting the the new Cooke anamorphics also use a pretty basic variable diopter focusing scheme, although the net power is negative rather than afocal:  http://pdfaiw.uspto.gov/.aiw?PageNum=0&docid=20140300973&IDKey=735679DAC5C4&HomeUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fappft.uspto.gov%2Fnetacgi%2Fnph-Parser%3FSect1%3DPTO2%2526Sect2%3DHITOFF%2526p%3D1%2526u%3D%25252Fnetahtml%25252FPTO%25252Fsearch-bool.html%2526r%3D5%2526f%3DG%2526l%3D50%2526co1%3DAND%2526d%3DPG01%2526s1%3Diain.IN.%2526s2%3Dneil.IN.%2526OS%3DIN%2Fiain%252BAND%252BIN%2Fneil%2526RS%3DIN%2Fiain%252BAND%252BIN%2Fneil

Tell me about it! - the design and manufacturing of the focus mechanism for such a badboy has been a task.  it uses both a beautiful brass helical and a system of rollers / bearings to alleviate droop due to the weight of the huge pieces of glass.  

   

 

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28 minutes ago, richg101 said:

Tell me about it! - the design and manufacturing of the focus mechanism for such a badboy has been a task.  it uses both a beautiful brass helical and a system of rollers / bearings to alleviate droop due to the weight of the huge pieces of glass.  

   

 

That's *really* big!

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The variable diopter design is nothing new. It has been around since the 60s, and not just in Iscoramas. It was first used in Japanese anamorphic lenses, before being brought to Europe by Technovision and Joe Dunton, whose lenses both used optical component built in Japan.

Note the 'Made in Japan' logo on this set of 80s-era JDC Xtal Express lenses, as well as the familar variable diopter design visible in the front of the lenses.

I'm excited to see how Olivia-Scope performs. I do fear that with such massive optical components, it'll be difficult to hand-hold and will require a 6x6 matte box, which will make the camera even more front-heavy. A 150mm front is basically the same size as the front of the Hawk V-series lenses, as well as Panavision Primos and Arriscopes, all of which are some of the largest prime lenses ever built.

Here's hoping for a smaller, cheaper, more nimble version with a 114mm front. Doesn't need to cover wide angle lenses at T1.4.

967013_293380770798028_710160359_o.jpg

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6 hours ago, BrooklynDan said:

The variable diopter design is nothing new. It has been around since the 60s, and not just in Iscoramas. It was first used in Japanese anamorphic lenses, before being brought to Europe by Technovision and Joe Dunton, whose lenses both used optical component built in Japan.

Note the 'Made in Japan' logo on this set of 80s-era JDC Xtal Express lenses, as well as the familar variable diopter design visible in the front of the lenses.

I'm excited to see how Olivia-Scope performs. I do fear that with such massive optical components, it'll be difficult to hand-hold and will require a 6x6 matte box, which will make the camera even more front-heavy. A 150mm front is basically the same size as the front of the Hawk V-series lenses, as well as Panavision Primos and Arriscopes, all of which are some of the largest prime lenses ever built.

Here's hoping for a smaller, cheaper, more nimble version with a 114mm front. Doesn't need to cover wide angle lenses at T1.4.

967013_293380770798028_710160359_o.jpg

 

OLIVIA will indeed be more of a studio type lens rather than a hand holding affair.  what should be considered is that because the lens isn't actually that long, one could set up a red weapon 8k with a leica M mount and a set of M Summilux's from 35mm, 50, 75 and 90 and have a very short optical protrusion coming out of the front of the camera.  centre of gravity is closer to the camera body than with a typical 2x 25mm anamorphic from panavision meaning a well balanced shoulder rig is definitely possible.  The less than optimal focus mechanisms on rangefinder lenses (in motion picture terms) is no longer a problem since all focus is undertaken on the anamorph.  

6x6 filters will be a must for the lens if maximum fov capabilities are to be obtained. - as it happens I have Bright Tangerine on board supplying OEM matteboxes specific to Olivia

From the outset I was keen to go along the lines of a studio type lens - with so many manufacturers pandering to the gimbal crew, cutting weight and size, at the detriment of image quality, I see OLIVIA fitting into a production where traditional camera support is used.  And as such very little of the design considerations have been based on size or weight.

   

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11 hours ago, richg101 said:

Tell me about it! - the design and manufacturing of the focus mechanism for such a badboy has been a task.  it uses both a beautiful brass helical and a system of rollers / bearings to alleviate droop due to the weight of the huge pieces of glass.  

   

 

WOW! Yes that does look big - nice!

I love my 54, just because it is bigger & gives you the weight that you need to get steady shots handheld - under arm or over the shoulder. I feel this need for small is so counter productive - fixed shots on a [proper] tripod just can't be beat.

The only small attachment that i'll consider using (and am so glad I kept a hold of it) is the Widescreen 2000 - yes you can kinda focus through it (with practice), you do need diopters & you do need to stop down sometimes. All those sterile sharp cheap projector lenses just leave me cold - they really don't have anything to offer.

Rich, really stoked for you - I guess a lot of blood, sweat & tears has gone into the Oliviascope.

Does this mean that you'll eventually make some normal lenses?

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11 minutes ago, Bioskop.Inc said:

WOW! Yes that does look big - nice!

I love my 54, just because it is bigger & gives you the weight that you need to get steady shots handheld - under arm or over the shoulder. I feel this need for small is so counter productive - fixed shots on a [proper] tripod just can't be beat.

The only small attachment that i'll consider using (and am so glad I kept a hold of it) is the Widescreen 2000 - yes you can kinda focus through it (with practice), you do need diopters & you do need to stop down sometimes. All those sterile sharp cheap projector lenses just leave me cold - they really don't have anything to offer.

Rich, really stoked for you - I guess a lot of blood, sweat & tears has gone into the Oliviascope.

Does this mean that you'll eventually make some normal lenses?

indeed.  because the front sections of the trump lenses are so over engineered, they are just waiting for some refined main lenses to be used with.  it's looking like a 58mm biotar with an f1.4 widest aperture might be made this year - ultra clean, mc's, less of the biotar.  drop in to replace existing f2 glass in trumps.  it won;t be crazy good wide open, but will provide that extra stop to allow an f2.2 2x oval to be implemented.  a 1 stop advantage.  The 28, 38 and 88 attachments have been designed for 58mm/2 so when a 2x oval is used they'll be able to perform just fine.  and at f1.4 they'll not reduce transmission by a full stop, but more like around 1/2 a stop and they work great on a planar 50/1.4 so should be fine on a 58/1.4.:)

 

The only real disadvantage of OLIVIA Scope is that it'll likely only see popularity within the rental sector, due to the huge cost (compared to typical ownable lesnes like isco's and below.  However I'll hold rental stock here in Bristol for EU service, and there are a good number of indi rental houses signed up in the USA. a few in Japan and Australia.  I hope to be able to do a f2 - f2.8 unit later down the line which will be a bit more affordable, yet still not really a impulse buy.  problem is, there are so many options in this region.  The full size unit is an esoteric piece:)    

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Great thread!

Totally agree @Brian Caldwell, I'm so happy I can get such good deals on projection lenses compared to the price of some average but "rare" vintage spherical lenses :D.

@BrooklynDan, I also agree with you, I was just pointing out that the idea of constructing a VD as a seperate unit and selling it already existed before hand (all be it in Macro form).

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