Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Jonesy Jones

Anamorphic noob question

Recommended Posts

So, for starters I have to admit right off the bat that I have not purchased and read the EOSHD Anamorphic guide. I have thought about getting it, but it kinda depends on the answer to my question. 

 

Recently I have been watching No Country For Old Men and The Matrix, two of my favorite films ever and I'm just so impressed by the look and feel of those films. They're both shot using the anamorphic process and it got me wondering if that look is ONLY achieved with anamorphism, or if it can also be achieved with a spherical system. Let me clarify what I am speaking of. I have NO interest in cool lens flares and almost no interest in oval bokehs. There does seem to be an interesting texture (if I may call it that) that comes with anamorphic lenses, but that still is not really what interests me. The thing I am interested in is the field of view. 

 

Is the field of view that is produced with anamorphic lenses IMPOSSIBLE to achieve with spherical lenses, or is it just EASIER to achieve with anamorphic? I can't help but think that I can just slap on a wider lens and move in closer (and of course chop off the top and bottom of the frame in post... gasp), but I've yet to really conduct a thorough test of this. I plan on doing a test in the next couple weeks when I have some time, but I thought maybe someone here already knew the answer. I'd really love your input, and if anyone has seen any tests on youtube or vimeo I'd love to check them out.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

 

jonesy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

first post! ;)

 

Jonesy,

in my experience it's the opposite...

with anamorphics you get wider shots so in essence you almost always are using a longer focal length

so to simulate the look you have to compress the depth a little using longer lenses and moving back...

 

;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sorry but correct me if im wrong.
no country was not shot with anamorphic lenses.
its just cropped to 2.35.
deakins never shoots anamorphic any more as i know.
its not true anamorphic, instead it's just spherical cropped to cinemascope

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, thanks to everyone for your help. I just recently discovered this forum. Man, where have I been hiding?

 

"sorry but correct me if im wrong. 
no country was not shot with anamorphic lenses."

"By the way, neither "The Matrix" nor "No Country For Old Men" was shot with anamorphic lenses."

 

This I guess is just my mistake. I thought for sure they were anamorphic. I guess they were just printed to anamorphic for distribution? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0133093/technical?ref_=tt_dt_spec

 

"in my experience it's the opposite...

with anamorphics you get wider shots so in essence you almost always are using a longer focal length

so to simulate the look you have to compress the depth a little using longer lenses and moving back..."

 

You might be right. Thinking about what anamorphic lenses do makes my brain hurt. I'm looking forward to testing this out. But for some reason I'm still leaning toward thinking it's wider that I'm going for. But we'll see.

 

"Short answer - use a spherical lens and crop top and bottom" This is what I was thinking.

 

"Yes. Impossible." Are you referring to the look of anamorphic lenses, or the field of view? I'm not too worried about the look so much, just the field of view. And I don't really understand why the field of view would be impossible to replicate. Your just squeezing an image and then stretching it out again. But again, thinking about this makes my head hurt. I need to try it out to grasp it.

 

Thanks again everyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing many people ignore is anamorphic storage makes more effective pixel available, whatever lens, film or digital storage.  The vertical resolution is twice high in lens.  To people's eyes view, vertical resolution is more important than horizontals.  If you know video development in recent years.  I.e, not difference from SVCD and DVD.  Even now, the digital TV 1080i, 16:9, but storage is still 4:3 effective pixels.   Horizontal pixel 1920 is expanded by 1440 effective pixels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been giving this some thought myself and here's what I've come up with.  It's largely about focusing the viewer's attention.  Lets use the film Alien as an example.  Alien was shot anamorphically as was Blade Runner as Ridley Scott used to shoot his films in this format.   Anamorphic lenses give shallower depth of field for a comparable field of view in spherical thus allowing you to ( or forcing you to) separate the subject matter from the background more effectively.  In still photography terms refer to old hollywood portraits by the likes of George Hurrell who are in my opinion unmatched in elegance by any form of celebrity portraiture since.  He was shooting with an 8x10 camera with hot lights and usually had razor thin depth of field.  This made for intensely beautiful images when used properly.  I feel the same is true of anamorphic in Alien, Blade Runner, etc.  In alien the shallow focus really helps to create mood and probably made the sets look even better by blurring them out more.  On the director's commentary track Mr. Scott even notes the difficulty of the shallow depth of field and points out a shot in which the focus was lost for a moment.  I used to instinctively assume that it was better to have all the characters in frame in focus but have since learned that that's not necessary and can often clutter up the shot.  I'm constantly surprised now as I watch favorite films shot anamorphically at characters that are out of focus that I never noticed the first few viewings.

 

The smeary effect in the out of focus areas when using anamorphic is also a strong part of the look that I feel most movie lovers probably unconsciously associate with CINEMA.  I certainly do...although it's more of a conscious association now.  The flares can also be a nice touch but I feel they are best suited to science fiction.  Shooting with anamorphic lenses slows you down but the results can be worth it...if you have the time and budget.  I also think that the added difficulty of shooting anamorphically forces the D.P. to work in a way that insures better results.  It's easier to cut corners with spherical.  Ridley Scott shoots spherical now and I personally don't appreciate the look of his films as much as I used to.  He can still make an incredibly effective film like American Gangster with spherical but it didn't have quite the magical visual element(s) that anamorphic adds.    Anamorphic isn't necessary for me to enjoy a film but I do appreciate when a production uses it.  This is of course just my opinion and I'd love to hear what others here think.  I'm guessing most of you on this forum will agree but perhaps you have a different take on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The smeary effect in the out of focus areas when using anamorphic is also a strong part of the look that I feel most movie lovers probably unconsciously associate with CINEMA.  I certainly do...although it's more of a conscious association now.  The flares can also be a nice touch but I feel they are best suited to science fiction.  Shooting with anamorphic lenses slows you down but the results can be worth it...if you have the time and budget.  I also think that the added difficulty of shooting anamorphically forces the D.P. to work in a way that insures better results.  It's easier to cut corners with spherical.  Ridley Scott shoots spherical now and I personally don't appreciate the look of his films as much as I used to.  He can still make an incredibly effective film like American Gangster with spherical but it didn't have quite the magical visual element(s) that anamorphic adds.    Anamorphic isn't necessary for me to enjoy a film but I do appreciate when a production uses it.  This is of course just my opinion and I'd love to hear what others here think.  I'm guessing most of you on this forum will agree but perhaps you have a different take on it.

This is exactly why I love shooting anamorphic.  It gives such a different look and feel to shots.  I also rue the day Ridley went spherical, maybe his creativity went with it too sadly enough.  Was just watching Blade Runner again last night, just love that film!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

with anamorphics you get wider shots so in essence you almost always are using a longer focal length

so to simulate the look you have to compress the depth a little using longer lenses and moving back...

 

 

 

This may be common practice for amateur anamorphic enthusiasts but it's not true for most cinema.  There's a variety of reasons for it...guessing, not doing research and then the mechanics of adapting lenses designed for much smaller cameras than they're using, which are, even in the case of the 5D, shooting to a format that's smaller than that used by a cinema camera when paired with anamorphic lenses (unless you're shooting ML and to a 4:3 format you're cropped and shooting to a smaller format than anamorphic 35mm).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...