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SLR Magic anamorphic prototype V3 - Part 2 - The footage


Andrew Reid

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For me the importance of oval bokeh actually out ways the need for severe horizontal flares. Stretched bokeh is something impossible to do in post and is what truly makes a 'Kubrick-stylie' cinematic image in my opinion. I can't wait for this lens to be released, I have trawled for years looking for a reasonably priced iscorama 36 with no luck!
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I'm having a difficult time thinking of any Kubrick films that were shot anamorphic.  He's more known for 65mm and deep-focus, spherical 35mm.  In fact, many of his films are in the more squarish 1.66:1 "widescreen" standard that was favored in the UK.  A quick google shows that he may have only ever done one film using an anamorphic process, Sparticus.

 

Anyway, @wondo is reacting to the reality that stopped down there is very little that distinguishes anamorphic photography from cropped spherical photography of the same field of view if you don't have a lot of z-space parallax.  You won't get to see any distorted bokeh unless you stack the ND to get to a larger aperture (ala Killing Them Softly).  

 

However, he's being short sighted in the fact that opened up, night photography is patently useless for determining whether the adapter is no different than currently available options when it comes to sharpness (particularly at the edges) and chromatic aberration.  Dull charts would say definitively how good the lens is but charts don't tell the whole story and so I appreciate Andrew shooting in a way that would have highlighted these defects while giving a sense of the lens's overall character in situations where the shooter isn't purposely under-exposing.  His footage is rich in surface detail and texture, from edge to edge.

 

Really oval bokeh with a 1.33x adapter will be mostly reserved for close-ups because you need a CU diopter to get them.  The Tokina doublet sharpens up close and midrange shooting but it's not really good for wides, does virtually nothing for bokeh and stronger diopters aren't useable at all for wides.  So, for instance, you're not likely ever going to be able to achieve something like a Tony Scott wide, shot with a 200mm a block away, with really stretched, oval bokeh for deep foreground and deep background.  Lots of folks here shoot almost everything anamorphic with telephoto taking lenses either out of naivete or because they have no other option but it's not a realistic representation of how real motion pictures are made.

 

You can't have everything.  Slap on a Kowa or Sankor or Moeller and you can get that but you'll have to lock your camera down and can't do it while dollying forward towards your subject like Tony Scott might have, or track with them as they walk towards camera.  You can't have everything.

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I tend to find 2x too wide on 16:9 sensors. 1.5x could have been interesting on an adapter like this, but 1.3x is good enough.

 

Like a few others here, I think it'd be interesting to see what a lens like this could do with a lens like the trump with oval aperture. Then you could shoot 2.35:1 out of the camera and yet have something close to a 2x bokeh.

 

For the flares, blue or orange flares is the ones I find the most beautiful. As it is now with no coating it of course flares too much. I'd like this lens to flare quite subtly. Max two stripes, and quite blurred ones, not as sharp as now. A multicoated version with almost no flares wouldn't be totally uninteresting either as an option to me.

 

As long as the flaring isn't more than an Iscorama I think the lens is very nice. Seems sharp enough. Just like Andrew says, the key point with this lens is that it is actually a lens that is easy and quick to handle (since the sharpness and optics seem to be just fine!), not too much time wasted on double focusing, diopters etc.

 

Those are my 10 cents.

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If we are just talking about flare just closely match the ones we already love. I vote for the Lomo 50mm 2X roundfront. Here is a small sample, under stronger light it also shows a small rainbow hoop close to the light source but I really fell in love with the way this lens flares instantly.

 

http://vimeo.com/74545928

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I gotta agree with everyone else, I wouldn't bother with 1.3, too mild.  But 1.5 would be nice for a decent amount

of anamorphic effect in the bokeh. With camera resolutions going the way they are, even a 2x would

be fine as you can just crop. Not to mention 4:3 sensors probably won't be that far away.

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I know I'm probably just going to come off as a hipster for saying this but... I really love the look of early anamorphic cinema lenses and this lens has non of that. For my tastes, it's far to clean and clinical. Yes, the edges are so clean and sharp but that's what i'm looking for in anamorphic. It has a kind of personality that doesn't exist in this lens. It looks more like a nice lens that's been cropped and an effect added to it for the flares. It's like if someone saw that Holga cameras are selling again and said, "We going make a new Holga type camera but ours is going to be better; No light leaks and plastic lenses! Ours will be perfect." ;-)

 

But, even saying all that, I'm sure I represent about .0001% of the people who are looking to buy anamorphic lenses. I'm positive it is just the hipster in me saying all that. I'm sure history will remember this lens as one of the "Good" ones. So, carry on SLR Magic. Carry on. ;-) 

 

Oh and Yes, I agree with all those who have been asking for a 2x. 

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Depending on the price, this is going to really tempt me . . . even if I personally prefer a 2X squeeze and the amazing bokeh that accompanies it. As for flares, I guess I voted blue, but in reality, what Id like to see is a deep navy blue extremely stretched oval directly from the light source with a teal blue (almost green) streak opposing flare (the one not by the light source). iIf you can pull those two things off in good saturation, the correct selection of a taking lens will fill in the gaps (rainbow, blue/green ovals, even yellow or gold ovals, which are my personal favorite when mixed with the blue streaks).

 

Have you given any thought to a neutral density component (either within the anamorphic itself, or as an accessory for inbetween the anamorphic and taking lens)? One of the big challenges Ive faced while shooting anamorphic is that a ND on front reduces the anamorphics response to flare. I almost always still opt to use one so that I can shoot without stopping down, but if I could have both Id be extra happy. 

 

If the flares are too thin, spindly or unsaturated . . . . just suppress them. Another bane of the current 1.33X lenses seems to be this problem as well. 

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It definitely has the advantage of being able to use more economical ND filters, going between the ana and taking lens.  But my initial thought was wondering what, if any, impact this might have on IQ.  Is that fear unfounded?  I don't have any 52mm filters to check on my Century Optics to see if it matters.

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Finally downloaded the video.   It looks like it's a big step up from the Century.   The sides of the Century really degenerate badly... this seems very clear by comarison.   Bring on the night shots!

 

  From a practical standpoint, it looks promising.   I've been shooting a music video on a hacked 50d/Bolex 1.5 this last weekend, and it really is a pain in the ass.  (it does look great, though.)   That's a three minute video:  Shooting a full length feature with that setup would be a nightmare.    I really look forward to the relase of the SLR adapter.  Even if it is 1.33 :)

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