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DirectorCH

Mumps with the Kowa 16h/8z/B&H

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I was just wondering if anyone had any information or opinion on the matter of anamorphic mumps specifically in regards to the larger Kowa 2x anamorphics.

Of all the countless tests and videos I have seen it seems to me that the Kowa B&H shows the most mumps when panning. I know everyone says that the 16h/8z/b&h are all basically the same lens and that may be true but for some reason it seems to me that the B&H is the worst, which seems funny since everyone says that is the best one. Maybe I am going crazy, or maybe there are other factors at play (like close focus, or diopter use) between the samples that is throwing me off.

Just curious if anyone had some insight into this. I don't own any of the lenses, but I am looking to grab one of them. I love the Kowa look but want to get the one that has the least mumps (if that is possible)

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"Anamorphic Mumps" occur when you're doing a close up of, say, a person & was a common feature of early  Cinemascope lenses, which was later fixed in some makes, but not all. The Mumps doesn't appear at longer distances. It's basically to do with the fact that at closer range, you loose the x2 squeeze ratio & when you go to desequeeze in post you get the mumps.

What @ken, said is probably correct - the fact that they were also projector lenses would have meant that they would hardly have ever been used to project at close range. Don't know if one Kowa branded adaptor is different from another, but am guessing that they won't be - I was always led to believe that the B&H branded ones just had better QC on the glass used.

So, I'm guessing user error/misunderstanding is to blame for the examples of the mumps that you've seen on the B&H, rather than one example being worse than another. This is common when people start to use anamorphics & is compounded even more by people using wide angle lenses with these attachments to do close ups. So many quirks, not enough time or energy to explain everything.

The mumps is summed up best thus:

"The Problem and the Fix... The problem was called "CinemaScope Mumps", in which the center of the image received less horizontal squeeze when the lenses were focused at short distances. When projected, the center of the image was expanded more than its original compression. In the early days of anamorphic photography close-ups were avoided. When they were deemed necessary, the actor was placed either to the right or left of center where the inconsistent squeeze would pose no problem. It is easy to see what Gottschalk and his team at Panavision were able to accomplish. The upper image is a close up taken with an early Bausch and Lomb CinemaScope lens and the lower image is a 35mm reduction print taken from the newly developed M-G-M/Panavision process. We can thank Panavision that this beautiful woman and all others photographed with anamorphic lenses don't look like broadcaster Cokie Roberts. This promotional photo was produced by M-G-M to promote the new system.

The difference between the two photos is at the same time accurate and deceiving. While the system did yield a CinemaScope compatible print without the distortions of contemporary Bausch & Lomb lenses, in fact the low anamorphic squeeze factor of 1.25x would never have created such distortion had it been applied to the B & L design. By the same token, the prismatic anamorphic design would also never create the distortion even if it was 2:1."

(above quote taken from) http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/widescreen/wingup1.htm

And David Mullen's explanation:

"I don't know the exact mechanics but the squeezed bokeh is actually the byproduct of fixing a problem with early CinemaScope lenses, called the "anamorphic mumps". Basically what happened was that as you focused near minimum, like for a close-up on a 50mm anamorphic (the first focal length made for CinemaScope), the squeeze ratio dropped below 2X. But the unsqueezing is always a consistent 2X by the projector, so the end result was that faces looked slightly fat in CinemaScope.

Panavision solved this with some cams in the lens barrel that compensated as the lens rotated towards minimum focus so that the object in focus is always squeezed consistently by 2X -- but the side effect was that objects out of focus now got squeezed more than 2X and thus look skinny when unsqueezed by 2X during projection.

John Hora explains it in the ASC Manual. It has something to do with the fact that the vertical plane of focus is spherical and thus focuses at a different point than the horizontal plane of focus which comes from the anamorphic elements. Using two astigmatizers and counter rotating the anamorphic elements when focusing, Panavision kept a constant 2X squeeze on the subject but caused out of focus objects to get more than a 2X squeeze. So the squeezed bokeh effect is more obvious as you focus closer and when shooting at wide apertures, which is why the lens breathes as you rack focus."

(above from) http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?99606-ANAMORPHIC-ARTIFACTS-amp-SQUEEZE-RATIO-QUESTION/page2

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Awesome insight everyone.

@Bioskop.Inc I imagine you are right about the user error and misunderstanding being to blame for some of the exaggerated mumps online. It is interesting though because if the mumps mostly show on close focus, it seems like this should be negated by using a variable diopter since you are setting your lenses to infinity. Seems like a lot of these mumps examples are using a HCDNA setup. I also wonder how much focal length and crop factor play a roll.

I know my specific question was in relation to the Kowas but there seems to be minimal information regarding mumps on this forum, so this is an important discussion. It certainly seems like some brands are more susceptible then others.

 

@Liszon that plugin looks like it works really well. It looks like Tito created a free version of that plugin: 

 

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15 hours ago, DirectorCH said:

Awesome insight everyone.

@Bioskop.Inc I imagine you are right about the user error and misunderstanding being to blame for some of the exaggerated mumps online. It is interesting though because if the mumps mostly show on close focus, it seems like this should be negated by using a variable diopter since you are setting your lenses to infinity. Seems like a lot of these mumps examples are using a HCDNA setup. I also wonder how much focal length and crop factor play a roll.

I know my specific question was in relation to the Kowas but there seems to be minimal information regarding mumps on this forum, so this is an important discussion. It certainly seems like some brands are more susceptible then others.

Anamorphic adaptors work best with longer focal length lenses, there's just no competition. In all the time I've used AA's, wide angle taking lenses produce the worst image because they are complex in their lens recipes & then you're adding another extreme angle complex lens on top of this, which is then trying to squeeze a distorted image onto an already distorted lens - it's a recipe for disaster, as you've got 2 special effect lenses trying to work together but failing. We've been saying for years now that AA's like simple recipe lenses (e.g. Helios 44-2, for example) & it is to avoid, as much as possible, the mumps - so 40/50mm & above is your best option. Also, X2 lenses will be worse than other lenses simply because they are trying to squeeze more information down.

Diopter's can alter the image as well, which is why you should try to get a good quailty doublet diopter, instead of a singlet - look how curved a singlet can be & just imagine what that is doing to the whole image? So the HCDNA is just adding another layer of complicated lenses in front of an already complex AA & then if your taking lens is a wide angle, then you are just adding one thing on top of another - so no wonder people are getting the mumps!

As far as the 2 videos above, I'm not seeing anything worth worrying about, because Anamorphic lenses & Anamorphic Adaptors are full of quirks/flaws/distortion simply because it is such a complex lens to build. I just used the example of a close up of a person, as it'll be more noticeable & something that no one wants to see - it's the worst case scenario. The most important thing about using AA's or proper Anamorphics is that you'll have to change the way you film things - breathing when you rack focus, image distortion when you pan from left to right etc.

Start to look at some of the older films that used anamorphic lenses & you'll see all sorts of things going on - cinema history is littered with examples & by history I really do mean that you're going to have to look a little further back than the 80s.

A recent great filmed with anamorphics is Lynne Ramsey's You Were Never Really Here - very simple, but effective.

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18 hours ago, DirectorCH said:

 

@Liszon that plugin looks like it works really well. It looks like Tito created a free version of that plugin: 

 

 

 

Yes, that method is good too but you can only use it in After Effects. I don't trust Dynamic Link so I prefer Premiere, others probably want Resolve, the Distortion Unit does both.

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19 hours ago, ken said:

Believe or not, Moondog lens for iphone is the least distortion lens and widest too I have ever used.  

 

Yep, small & no moving parts.

Never seen any distortion with the Isco Widescreen 2000 or it's smaller counterpart the Isco S8/X2 - again, small lenses & no moving parts, as they're fixed focus.

Just got to remember that Anamorphics are completely different from spherical lenses - for the most part, you just aren't going to get this lovely pristine look. Most people who turn to anamorphics tend to like & want all the imperfections, what is normally described as a lens having character. They're not for everyone, that's for sure. If you just like the flares, then there are plenty of options out there - blue streak filters etc. Same goes for Oval Bokeh - you have options now.

IMHO it's sacrilege to want to make these lenses fit into a prescribed look. They have their own look, which a lot of people love & you adjust yourself for the really serious distortions (like the big fat heads in close ups). It's like that Lens thread that has been overtaken by certain people posting examples of newish lenses, which you can find examples of all over the net - it kinda ruins the whole point of why that thread was started in the first place. Love the vintage look, gotta love the imperfections.

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