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Aligning anamorphic on camera


lthanlon
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I've owned an Iscorama 36 for many years -- long, long before its DSLR popularity -- and have enjoyed using this anamorphic on a Nikon F2A, Nikon Pronea S and, with adapter, on my Canon EOS 20D. Now that I've just acquired a Canon EOS 6D, I'd like to shoot some video with the Iscorama.

 

I hope longtime forum members won't think I'm asking a stupid question, but how do you precisely align the anamorphic element so that the compression factor is absolutely level? Based on my experience shooting stills, I occasionally need to correct the image slightly in Photoshop. 

 

I've been observing a lot of anamorphic movies lately and am wondering whether using a anamorphic handheld vs. on a tripod makes any difference. I'm guessing it doesn't, since the compression/decompression is constant regardless of camera tilt, right?

 

I've also noticed in a number of anamorphic films that background out-of-focus point light sources occasionally are skewed significantly off vertical, even though the in-focus foreground elements are correctly rendered. 

 

I'm wondering if maybe I should put the lens on the camera, put the camera on a tripod, level the tripod and then view a circle on the wall and use that as a basis for alignment rather than the indicator triangle on the lens barrel? In another topic here, there was a suggestion to shine a flashlight into the anamorphic and check whether horizontal flare aligns with a camera's grid lines. That's a good idea, but isn't the 36's element likely to shift during the course of a day's shooting?

 

Here's an example of an image that I was sure had been taken with the anamorphic element aligned properly, but clearly looks slightly off.

 

[attachment=588:garage.jpg]

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^^^flashlight. the great thing about it is that you can do it anywhere, the camera doesnt have to be level on a tripod in a controlled environment,... as long as you can get the flare horizontal, then you're good. 

 

when out and about i'll put the flashlight between my feet and and align that way,... yes i look very very stupid doing that :D

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