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Will Kowa Anamorphics Cover RED Dragon 6K ?

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Hi All,

I'm shooting a live music session with a number of cameras in the next couple of weeks, and initially had Alexa Mini's pencilled, along with some rehoused Kowa anamorphic lenses. I've just found out that the rental house I'm dealing with can offer me RED Dragon 6K's as an option instead.

I've loved all of the tests I've done with this camera, and really like the size of the sensor (being close to FF). Unfortunately, I've only tested sets of spherical lenses with it so far, and so I'm not sure if the Kowa's that I've got pencilled will cover the Dragon's sensor area.

I know you can crop and shoot in a lower resolution, but if possible I'd prefer to make the most of the height of the sensor.

Final delivery of the sessions is likely to be HD, and I know you can shoot desqueezed proxies in 2K ProRes, but I'd prefer to work with the RAW for the sake of the grade.

If anyone has any experience with this combination, that would be really helpful.

Many Thanks,


Lewis Jelley

T: +44 (0)2920 251 255 M: +44 (0)7929 174 457


13 Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff, CF10 5EE

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Don't compare the sensor sizes for spherical, as they're used in different ways when shooting anamorphic. The Alexa mini has a full height 4:3 sensor which it can use all of to achieve the anamorphic ratio. The RED's sensor is larger than S35 for spherical, but not as tall as the 4:3 so it can only achieve the correct frame shape by cropping off the 'sides' of the sensor and using a smaller area in the middle.


I can't vouch for the quality of this video test, but at least you can see how there more 'crop' with the RED, i.e. the lens on the Alexa appears wider:

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I believe if you work at 6K 2:1, then you will use the whole/mostly all of the sensor. If not you can drop down a little and still get proportional coverage. If your anamorphics are 2x, read the second link, where it particularly talks about modes and settings on EPIC.





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Shaeden, 6k 2:1 is a spherical format on the RED which uses nearly all the sensor but crops off a little at the top and bottom.


If you use anamorphic lenses like the Kowas with a 2x squeeze you'll end up looking at a 4:1 frame once de-squeezed. Obviously you can then crop either side in post to get your 2.40:1, but IMO you'd be best off using one of the anamorphic options, 6k anamorphic is 6:5 ratio if I remember correctly which will only use the useful 'centre' part of the sensor in the first place (and give you a correct de-squeeze for monitoring).


My point was that the Alexa sensor is closer to the correct size and shape for anamorphic than the RED, being almost the size of s35 4-perf film. So I wouldn't have thought that the OP would get any benefit from cancelling his order of Alexas and changing for REDs.


When shooting spherical, there is indeed a significant benefit to the RED at 6k over 16:9 Alexa, if what you're after is a larger 'format'. Provided your lenses will cover the extra sensor area without vignetting, many cinema lenses don't.

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