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Old February 19th, 2002, 09:15 AM   #1
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Anamorphic Adapters Aspect Ratios?

I posted a question in the GL1 pages but was just thinking that it's not exactly GL1 related.

Basically I'm wondernig if anybody knows what the exact aspect ratio is for the anamorphic adapters that are out there. I was looking at the ones specific for the GL1 so in that sense it is GL1 related.

Do the anamorphic adapters create a 2.35:1 aspect ratio video or 1.85:1 or something else?

Wondering because widescreenTV's are in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The TV that I have will use the full heighth and width if a video of 1.85:1 is played (you'll lose very little on the top and bottom). But if I play a 2.35:1 video I still get small black bars on the top and bottom so that nothing is lost.
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Old February 19th, 2002, 10:12 AM   #2
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As far as I know all anamorphic adapters create a 16:9 aspect
ratio! You can cut this down to 1.85 or 2.35 in post if you want.
I have written a piece earlier on this board about which three
choices you have when shooting anamorphic, all with pros
and cons. Try to find it using the search feature of this board.
I'm not sure if it will be 16:9 only since I have never used
any of these things myself. The term anamorphic just means
that the signal is squashed (if I am correct here). I think all
video anamorphic is 16:9 (like canons own electronic anamorphic
which they call 16:9)....

anyone else on this?
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Old February 19th, 2002, 10:52 AM   #3
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Thanks. I would think that they would produce true 16x9 (1.78:1 aspect ratio). Anybody here that uses them that can tell me for sure?

Reason I asked is because I came across this guy's website where he talks about the different ways to produce 16x9. Anyway, he talks about the anamorphic adapters but labels them as 2.35:1 which I'm hoping he's wrong about. The sites that sell the anamorphic adapters don't say anything about ratios other then 16x9.

http://members.macconnect.com/users/b/ben/widescreen/tech.html

I believe Anamorphic is the process or terminology used to describe 16x9 video that is squashed or encoded in such a way that when you play it on a 16x9 television, no image resolution is lost. DVDs that are recent and new are usually encoded in anamorphic widescreen.

The electronic stretch that some cameras (like the canon gl-1, sony vx2000, etc...) say they do is actually a fake anamorphic thing. I haven't tested this myself as I don't have any of those cameras to test with (yet).

If you do the in-camera electronic stretch you still lose some resolution in the image when played on a 16x9 TV. I'm so baffled by this. Why do camera makers even bother to have this feature if it's almost the same as having a letterboxed video and blowing it up on the your widescreen TV. It's almost the same thing. Why even bother to do the electronic stretch. Serves no purpose.

I don't think any camera out there has a true in-camera anamorphic ability. I don't even know if that's possible.
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Old February 19th, 2002, 11:29 AM   #4
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Yes, actually there are video cameras that produce "true" 16x9 images but they're outside the realm of consumer or prosumer rigs. All of the new HD cameras ($60,000-$110,000 w/o lens), for example, output 16x9. There are also some SD (ENG) cams that can produce native 16x9. My understanding is that the CCD, or HAD, blocks of these cameras are manufactured for this aspect ratio. Ex: Sony's DSR-500W and the newer DSR-570W, which will run you anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000 depending on lens selection.

For an exercise in drool take a walk through Sony's HD CineAlta site:
http://www.sonyusacinealta.com

JVC ans Panasonic have similar sites.
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Old February 19th, 2002, 12:06 PM   #5
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DOH!!! And in 1080i too. Damn, can you imagine owning one of those cameras and one of those players. And just using it for fun and not even professionally. Showing like your friends wedding in 16x9 widescreen and 1080i. That would be insane.

Let's put technology in fast forward please!! Who knows, we may be there soon. My widescreen TV that I bought less than a year ago has already dropped in price. I can buy a TV about 10" larger for about the same price I bought mine for back then.

I think once there are more widescreen TV's in people's living rooms then you'll start seeing other things that can utilize the full features of that (at a consumer level price).

Hopefully this will happen soon!
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Old February 19th, 2002, 12:48 PM   #6
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Howdy from Texas,

<< I came across this guy's website where he talks about the different ways to produce 16x9. Anyway, he talks about the anamorphic adapters but labels them as 2.35:1 which I'm hoping he's wrong about. http://members.macconnect.com/users/b/ben/widescreen/tech.html >>

Actually that particular page was written by Ben Syverson and is considered to be one of the best, most accurate explanations of how all this stuff works. In other words, he's not wrong. See also Adam Wilt's DV FAQ extry about 16x9 shooting, at:

http://www.adamwilt.com/DV-FAQ-etc.html#widescreen

<< I don't think any camera out there has a true in-camera anamorphic ability. I don't even know if that's possible. >>

Certainly it's possible; you just have to pay for it is all. Currently the least expensive DV cameras with native 16x9 CCD's (they're all of the 2/3rd-inch size) are the Sony DSR500, the JVC GY-DV700 and the Panasonic AJ-D610. Expect to pay in the neighborhood of $20,000 for one of these cameras plus a decent Canon or Fujinon lens. Hope this helps,
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Old February 19th, 2002, 01:59 PM   #7
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Been reading over some of the web pages and it's just a little over my head. Can't quite understand some of it.

But it started to make me think that how can it be 2.35:1?

I mean I still don't quite understand what the anamorphic lenses do technically.

But DVD movies seem different in that they are filmed in a certain aspect ratio...usually 2.35:1 and then either kept that way or opened up to 1.85:1...then transfered from film to digital then encoded in anamorphic. If it's 2.35:1 and anamorphic you will still see some small bars when displayed on 16x9 TV to keep the aspect ratio and not lose any resolution.

Now if you have the adapter. Damn, I still can't quite understand how the adapter works. Can somebody fill me in...in easy to understand terms?

For example after the image passes through the adapter and then recorded to tape...what do you get on tape? If you take one frame from your video, What do you see in that 4:3 frame on tape?

1) Do you see a distorted image throughout (tall skinny image)...or
2) do you get the same distorted image but with some black bars on top and bottom?

If the image seen is #1 and it's supposed to be 2.35:1 footage, then you are still going to see some distortion when played in regular widescreen mode on a widescreen TV. Because 16x9 is a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Your image is still going to look tall and skinny although not as much. If it's #2, then you'll probably be okay. You'll still have small bars on top and bottom but it'll be widescreen and use most of the widescreen TV with no loss of resolution. If it's #1 but it's actually 1.78:1 or 1.85:1 footage then you are also okay.

Damn, I'm confusing myself I think.

Can somebody that has actually used an anamorphic adapter tell me what the final image looks like in 4:3
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Old February 20th, 2002, 02:45 AM   #8
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It will be recorded distorted... (tall people)... about aspect
I cannot help. Perhaps you can e-mail one of the retailers
like ZGC.COM?
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Old February 20th, 2002, 02:47 AM   #9
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It will be recorded distorted... (tall people)... about aspect
I cannot help. Perhaps you can e-mail one of the retailers
like ZGC.COM?

Black bars on your image will always be a loss in resolution!
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Old February 20th, 2002, 03:19 AM   #10
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What's the consensus from the veterans out there on the future anamorphic shooting? I've read somewhere that they expect "most" TVs produced in 5 to 7 years will be widescreen.

Any thoughts on that?
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Old February 22nd, 2002, 01:35 PM   #11
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16x9 is here now

most TV movie's/shows produced TODAY that are shot on film are framed for BOTH 16x9 & TV ... when they shoot they protect the 16x9 area and the TV safe area ...

well hate to bring it up but the normal 35mm frame is really 1:33 ( 4x3 = the frame takes up 4 perfs vertical ) ...and when you go to see a MOVIE in the therater the projector gate only allows it to show an area eqaul to 3 perfs of the frame ( so it is centered for 3 perfs = so projection cuts a little off from top /bottom of the original frame of 4 perfs )
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Old February 22nd, 2002, 10:58 PM   #12
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The post above is correct, but only for "flat" films projected at 1.85 aspect ratio. For "scope" films that have a 2.40 aspect ratio, the entire 4 perforation frame is used, coupled with a 2X anamorphic lens to "unsqueeze" the picture. The end result is a much brighter and sharper end result and the larger image area coupled with a longer prime lens on the projector also provides greater depth of focus on the projector, so if the projectionist doesn't quite have the focus set just *perfectly*, it will still look sharp.
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