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Old June 18th, 2007, 01:27 AM   #1
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Anamorphic Lens for HVX

I've just purchased a redrock adapter (Nikon) for my HVX with plans to purchase or rent an anamorphic lens for a project I'm shooting this summer. The lens isn't a necessity but more for the desired look of the piece.

I've read to achieve true anamorphic 16:9, a camera requires the use of a 35mm anamorphic adaptor, etc, etc. Is this true?

I'm curious to see if anyone has experimented with something like this or has advice as to what products or solutions I should be looking into. Cost is also a factor.

Thanks
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Old June 18th, 2007, 08:50 AM   #2
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This camera is native 1080p 16:9 you don't need a lens for that.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 04:28 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Douglas Villalba View Post
This camera is native 1080p 16:9 you don't need a lens for that.
To get scope (2.35:1) you would, or crop it.

In the past we've had customers use the Panasonic anamorphic adaptor (for the DVX100) on the Sony FX1 to get scope on the FX1. The same thing should work with the HVX200. As long as you follow the focusing rules with the adaptor.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 04:36 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Neil Krug View Post
I've read to achieve true anamorphic 16:9, a camera requires the use of a 35mm anamorphic adaptor, etc, etc. Is this true?
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Originally Posted by Marcus van Bavel View Post
To get scope (2.35:1) you would, or crop it.

In the past we've had customers use the Panasonic anamorphic adaptor (for the DVX100) on the Sony FX1 to get scope on the FX1. The same thing should work with the HVX200. As long as you follow the focusing rules with the adaptor.
He is not talking about 2.35:1, He thinks that he needs a 35mm anamorphic lens adaptor to achieve 16:9.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 11:48 PM   #5
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Actually I'm referring to scope. I just forgot the correct terminology when I posted.

Thanks for the advice! Just the answer I was looking for!

Thanks Marcus
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Old June 19th, 2007, 01:20 AM   #6
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You know, it's funny, I called so many guys at Sony and places like Century Optics, and they all said, "Nobody uses anamorphic lenses with these cameras -- why would you want anamorphic with 16x9 chips [referring to my HVR-Z1U]??"

After I finally got through to them that I wanted scope, one guy calls his friend who was a DP on the film Collateral, which was shot in HD and presented in scope, and he says they just cropped it from 16x9.

Though, I guess a lot of film is shot in 4x3 and then cropped (or so I've heard)...

Anyway, I wonder if there is something that I could use for an HPX500 to get scope as well? Anybody know of any anamorphic adapters for the lenses on the HPX500?
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Old June 19th, 2007, 08:47 AM   #7
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Though, I guess a lot of film is shot in 4x3 and then cropped (or so I've heard)...
Film is a native 4:3 aspect ratio; a frame of 35mm movie film is 24 x 18 mm.

It actually gets rather silly; they take the full film frame of 24 x 18, and then crop off some of the side to make room for the soundtrack area, bringing it to 22x18. Then they crop off the top and bottom to make a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, so it ends up at around 22 x 12. Then for the television release they crop that again to 4x3, so you end up with a final frame on TV of 18x12, or using only about 50% of the film frame!

For anamorphic 35mm, they start with the original 22x18 and use a 2:1 anamorphic squeeze, giving it a 2.4:1 aspect ratio.

For Super35, they start with the original 24x18 and crop it down to 2.35:1, throwing away about half the film.

Quote:
Anyway, I wonder if there is something that I could use for an HPX500 to get scope as well? Anybody know of any anamorphic adapters for the lenses on the HPX500?
You'd need a 1.33:1 anamorphic for that. Canon makes an anamorphic adapter for 2/3" cameras IINM.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 09:05 AM   #8
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I have two questions.

SD format has the anamorphic setting. How would you watch anamorphic HD?

Why would you want too do anamorphic?
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Old June 19th, 2007, 04:26 PM   #9
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Anamorphic is a term used to describe the widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio. Simply put, Anamorphic is 'real widescreen', So when you shoot on a camera that has a native 16:9 chip set you are shooting Anamorphic.

The other option is 16:9 letterbox which a number of the small older SD 4:3 cameras could shoot, ie the PD170/DVX100. This is basically shooting within a 4:3 frame with black bars top and bottom to 'fake' the 16:9 aspect ratio.

Anamorphic HD refers to (im im not 100% sure here) certain Codecs like HDV, DVCPROHD and HDCAM which all shoot a frame size of 1440x1080 (ignoring how the cameras ccd's get the picture to that size for a second) and then stretch the picture to get the 16:9 aspect ratio and the frame size of 1920x1080 - 1080i/p's native frame size.

Like i said, im not 100% sure on that final paragraphic,, so im sure someone will correct me.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 10:46 PM   #10
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You'd need a 1.33:1 anamorphic for that. Canon makes an anamorphic adapter for 2/3" cameras IINM.
The Canon ACV-235. Thanks.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 10:49 PM   #11
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...Coming out of lurk mode here. Just wanted to add a few things, not really corrections, but clarifications.

Shooting anamorphic and delivering or displaying anamorphically are two different things. In the film or cinema world there's more than one reason to shoot anamorphically. Most anamorphic cine lenses provide a 2:1 horzontal squeeze. As Barry pointed out, this is useful for producing a 2.40:1 for 35mm or 2.35:1 for super 35mm -- scope formats. They are printed to film with the horizontal squeeze and then projected with an anamorphic lens on the projector to stretch the image to the proper horizontal width. Few films these days are truly shot and projected this way. And with the shift to widescreen / HD displays for home theatre systems, we're actually seeing a small movement in the film industry to move to 16:9 (1.78:1) HD aspect and 1.85:1 aspect. These are most effectively achieved on film by cropping the frame to the desired size.

Anamorphic cine glass is desired by many though for feature film production, but not because of the actual anamorphic squeeze effect or any enhanced resolution (you don't get that exact benefit from it). But Anamorphic glass produces flare and bokeh properties of the image that you don't see with conventional lenses. Like Horizontally stretched, blue-shifted lens flares, exaggerated elliptical flares, etc.. Same with bokeh in relation to distance and the amount of anamorphic compression. This can't be reproduced entirely if you're not using anamorphic lenses. I should add that anamorphic adapters like the 1.33X Canon and the 16:9 converters for DV systems like the DVX100 don't really produce anamorphic image characteristics either. The horizontal compression isn't that dramatic as a full 2:1 and these adapters tend to "cheat" a little bit. You will get some barrel distortion and other characteristics to the image that aren't typically properties found with a high-grade 2:1 anamorphic cine lens. Some of the bokeh and other image properties can also be lost as the anamorphic squeeze isn't within the primary lens element itself, but within a chunk of glass that sits in front of the lens.

Anamorphics become increasingly less effective when shooting with a wide-aspect camera. When the sensor is already 16:9 (HD and many new cinema systems, RED, Viper, etc..). Or even wider like the 2.40:1 Dalsa Origin. The Viper can do 2.37:1 in a "spherical" mode. This has some interesting properties of its own and can replicate some of the effects of shooting with anamorphic glass. The recent flim, Zodiac, is a good example of the Viper used in this way. While anamorphics can be used to shoot in scope, these days they are more desired for the optical properties. Especially since most everything is going digital or DI finished and currently most happens at 2K resolution -- easy enough to crop scope from a digital cinema frame without the use of anamorphic glass. 4K cameras from Dalsa or the upcoming RED as well as newer 4K DI systems will up the bar and further reduce the demand for anamorphic glass. ...This was a topic of discussion just recently in the RED forums. It will also be interesting to see what happens with Dalsa -- they have that 2.4:1 sensor so using anamorphics to shoot scope is essentially pointless. But they are producing customized anamorphic lenses for their cameras to give filmmakers the anamorphic optical properties, or at least some of them and possibly some other benefits, but we don't know just what they have in mind just yet.

Those of us in the digital video world also find anamorphics useful for the horizontal squeeze as it relates to vertical resolution. As we all know, we can use an anamorphic lens adapter on a DV camera to squeeze 16:9 into a 4:3 frame, stretch in post and keep the entire frame pixel data, effectively giving a lot more vertical resolution than if we had cropped the image, at a small expense on the horizontal. Getting into delivery formats, DVD also works this way as it is by standard a 4:3 format at 720x480 (non-square pixels). 16:9 "anamorphic" DVDs still use the same 720x480 frame, but the image has a different pixel aspect, meaning that everything is squished horizontally. You tell the player what format your TV is and then player can then provide other display options like letterboxing it or zooming, etc..

What it really comes down to is that anamorphic literally means improper shape... It's a term that is used to state that the image being recorded or displayed has an aspect ratio that does not conform to the medium on which it is recorded or displayed from. So a 720x480 DVD with a 16:9 aspect image squeezed onto it is "anamorphic". A 1920x1080 carrying a 16:9 image is not "anamorphic". The term is also used somewhat loosely, or even improperly, at times. Technically, all DVDs and DV video is "anamorphic" because it has a non-square pixel aspect ratio.. However since these video standards are specifically intended to have a non-square aspect ratio and place a 720x480 raster into a 4:3 frame, that becomes the standard and a 16:9 frame for that same raster becomes "anamorphic".

Anamorphic HD is a grey area and depending on which segment of which industry you work in, it can mean different things. Some people consider formats like HDCAM, HDV, DVCPROHD, etc.. to be "anamorphic" because they have a pixel raster and pixel aspect that does not conform to the 1:1 pixel ratio and raster of the HD standards. Others don't consider this anamorphic, it is instead just viewed as what it is... An image that was shot with a native 16:9 imager and presented with a 16:9 format, it just has a lower-detail raster than the full standard and hence an altered pixel aspect. I don't think either way of looking at it is incorrect, but it does cause some confusion.

One common misconception is that 16:9 implies anamorphic or vice versa and that's not necessarily true.

Sorry for the novel, hehe...
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Old June 20th, 2007, 07:50 AM   #12
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Very good explanation. Thanks

I personally don't see a benefit of using an anamorphic lens on an HVX level camera.
Furthermore I don't see how it can be displayed on a 16:9 TV since there is no way of stretching it as you could on a 4:3 to 16:9 TV.

Is this correct?
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Old June 20th, 2007, 08:24 AM   #13
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Very good explanation. Thanks

I personally don't see a benefit of using an anamorphic lens on an HVX level camera.
Furthermore I don't see how it can be displayed on a 16:9 TV since there is no way of stretching it as you could on a 4:3 to 16:9 TV.

Is this correct?
I agree, with the HVX I'll matte to 2.35:1 rather than deal with the anamorphic adapter issues Jeff mentioned.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 09:44 AM   #14
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I agree, with the HVX I'll matte to 2.35:1 rather than deal with the anamorphic adapter issues Jeff mentioned.
Another thing to consider with a camera like the HVX is the pixel raster being used. We're already dealing with a 960x720 raster stretched by a factor of 1.33X to 16:9 instead of the full 1280x720 -- or 1280x1080 (1440x1080 PAL). If we shoot with a 1.33X anamorphic converter to gain a 2.35:1 aspect, we're only gaining 180 lines of extra vertical information while cramming even more in horizontally. There's a good chance we will actually be losing detail or will see a stretching and softening effect horizontally as we would be stretching that 960x720 DVCPROHD raster to about 1700x720 and we would probably have to further up-scale that and matte it on a 1920x1080 frame. Why not just shoot 1080 and crop? (frame rate features, etc.. unique to 720p mode not considered) If you shot 1080 with the same sort of anamorphic adapter, we would still be in the same situation, only with a larger raster to deal with in post and a down-rez necessary for most delivery methods.

IMO it's a lot of brain damage to go through for very little gain. Especially when a 1.33X front-mounted converter isn't going to give the same optical properties as a full-on 2:1 anamorphic cine lens.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 10:27 AM   #15
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Hm. Those are some good points concerning anamorphic. Something I don't care for are the way the lens flares look. I was watching Die Hard (1988) the other night (catching up before the latest one comes out), and was noticing all the funky looking lens flares all over the place. Didn't like them one bit -- but I don't think they really tried to avoid flares; looked almost like a style.

Anyway, the Canon adapter for HPX type cameras is as much as the camera itself, so maybe I'll just drop it and plan on cropping. If you're gonna lose some resolution either way, I'd rather not introduce artifacts as well.
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