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5D Anamorphic Panavision Feature


Chris Saul
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I bought one of those PV size blue streak filters from Stan Wallace of the Filter Gallery and have been extremely pleased, its like the blue-vision filter but actually affordable enough to buy ($26k vs $800). Gets some really pretty flares, I would even use it on an anamorphic lens if you wanted a little something extra.

 

The iscorama is really cool as its a 1.5x adapter and quite sharp, but being a sorta older SLR "gimmick" lens, its hard to use for cinematography; the horizontal compression is difficult to get exactly right and can come out of alaignment, the close focus is only 6ft w/o modification or diopters, and I think it would be hard to follow a subject with one.

 

Does anyone else think it funny how much we are willing to sacrifice for oval bokeh and horizontal flares? ; )

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All this to the side, the 5D is a remarkably good camera for the price, and as I mentioned elsewhere, Panavision Auatralia are actually renting 5D production kits, so they might be able to offer some advice on this subject.

 

You can't get more resolution than what you originally recorded.

WHAT?!!!!

MR MULLEN!!!

I'M Flabbergasted and appalled!

You have in one sentence smashed, obliterated, besmirched, mutliated and generally ground into the dirt like a discarded cigar butt the hopes, dreams, ambitions and cherished beliefs of countless millions of poor Joes. The regular guys, the battlers, the slaves to a meagre minimum wage paycheck, who but for the obscene and century-long tyranny of resolution, have had any hope of seeing their lifelong vision of cinematic excellence, scripwriting brilliance, their sharp, cutting dialogue - (eat your heart out PG Wodehouse!) - the breathtaking photogenic allure of their family or girlfriends, (or both), the heart-gripping splendour of their nephew's Casio-composed musical soundtrack,

all damned to you-know-where by thoughtless throwaway soundbite statements, (like this one) :D

 

Seriously folks, I have a constant running battle with suppliers of surveillance cameras and the like who take great issue with me insisting that the packaging should show the true resolution, a convoluted process which involves finding the distance that gives the best focus and then printing up a custom resolution chart that just fills the field of view at that distance. One I had recently struggles to produce 120 lines horizontally, (and everything above that was a mess of aliasing and noise) but they were adamant that it produces 640 x 480, you know, indistinguishable from what you used to get out of an NTSC SP Betacam camera!

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This is hearsay that I heard in Panavision NYC recently, but there was a scope movie shooting in Canada that was 4-perf. They said that scope is in big demand at this time of year. With the smaller number of scope lens sets compared to the number of sphericals that Panavision has, in periods of high demand the lenses get gobbled up by big productions.

 

 

So maybe this has more to do with it than Panavision having some policy that you have to use one of their bodies to rent out the lenses.

 

It makes sense that they are more inclined to rent out a set of lenses to a production with $XX,XXX,XXX than a production with $xx,xxx to spend on rentals.

 

 

 

But I'm sure in times of low demand, they'd happily rent out a set of scope lenses for money :-D It'd be best to call Panavision DIRECTLY rather than listening to speculation and gossip. It all depends on which location you're looking to rent from and other production schedule.

Edited by Karl Borowski
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The Panavision lens has a 2X squeeze to it. It looks like the 75mm Primo anamorphic managed to fill the 16x9 HD recorded area of the 5D sensor, which is great. However IT HAS A 2X SQUEEZE TO IT.

 

What does this mean? It means that you recorded more side information than you can use. If your recording is 16x9 (1.78 : 1) and your image has a 2X squeeze to it, then unsqueezing (by doubling the horizontal information) would create 3.56 : 1, not 2.35 : 1.

 

Conversely, if you want to end up with a 2.35 : 1 unsqueezed image, then the original 2X squeezed image has to be 1.175 : 1. In other words, you need to crop the sides of your 16x9 1920 x 1080 recording (with the 2X optical squeeze) to 1269 x 1080 first, and then double the horizontal to 2538 x 1080 in order to get a normal-looking 2.35 : 1 image. And remember you are losing resolution by cropping but you are not gaining resolution by enlarging.

 

But what you did was take a 16x9 (1.78 : 1) recording with a 2X squeeze to it and expand it by only 1.32X horizontally to get a 2.35 : 1 image that is still squeezed-looking. That file is not 3800 x 1080 because that would be a 3.51 : 1 shape and it's a 2.35 : 1 shape (I measured the screen with my ruler) but with some squeeze left in (look how skinny the actor looks).

 

All of this is ignoring the bigger picture, which is whether the image is sharp enough to hold up on a big screen.

 

You have to remember that 2X anamorphic lenses were designed to be used on a 4-perf 35mm camera where the negative area is fairly square. To round up, if the final projected image is 2.40 : 1 when using a 2X anamorphic projector lens, the negative is 1.20 : 1 with a 2X squeeze in the image. But your HD recorded area is not 1.20 : 1, it's 1.78 : 1. So a 2X squeeze is more than you need to get a 2.40 image.

 

Here is an old chart I drew back when blow-ups to 2.35 were done optically. It shows the advantage to anamorphic over cropping Super-35:

anamorphic3.jpg

 

But anamorphic only gives you more resolution when it allows you to get a 2.35 image without cropping. In other words, if you had used a 1.33X anamorphic lens on a 16x9 camera, you would be squeezing a 2.35 image onto the whole recorded area and not need to crop to achieve 2.35 -- compared to shooting 16x9 with a spherical lens and cropping top & bottom to get 2.35. But if you put a 2X anamorphic lens on a 16x9 camera, you have too wide an image once unsqueezed by 2X, 1.78 becomes 3.56 and you have to crop the sides to get back to 2.35. In that case, you haven't gained any resolution over shooting spherical and cropping the top & bottom to get 2.35.

 

 

Thanks David for the great information and for saving me from making a big mistake!

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