Jump to content

What are some older movies shot on kowa prominar anamorphic lenses?


Edith blazek
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello, I see for some vintage lenses you can easily see online what movies were made in the era the lenses were made, like the Bausch and Lomb super baltars have the Godfather parts 1 and 2, the Cooke speed panchro have Casablanca and The Sound of Music, the Canon k35s have Aliens and Barry Lyndon, so on and so forth. But one I don't really see having older movies shot with them are the kowa prominar anamorphic lenses, like whenever someone asks about what movies were shot on them, you always here modern movies like Moonlight, A Star is Born, First Man, No Sudden Move, etc.... But never movies that were shot in the time period the lenses were made, so if anyone could give me examples of that, that would be great.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Edith blazek said:

modern movies like , A Star is Born

Eh?

1937, 1954, 1976 or..........?

Really, decades ago there probably wasn't this modern fixation on lens types. I wonder if, 'Scope aside, whether they could have made much difference when the entire film-to-print process was completely standardised, with one OCN, one process and one print stock.

I also wonder if it's now because, with the uniformity of digital imaging, the only way to get any differentiation is with the choice of glass.

Edited by Mark Dunn
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Madame White Snake, a Shaw Brothers movie from 1962 was shot with the then new Kowa anamorphics. Probably a bunch of others filmed in Shawscope.

They were no doubt used on a multitude of low budget movies over the years that couldn’t afford or didn’t have access to Panavision lenses. Many countries and studios had their own anamorphic trade names, such as Franscope, Hammerscope, Tohoscope, Shawscope etc. Some used copies of the original CinemaScope lenses, or cobbled together their own versions. Kowas would have been used on some of these productions. There was a Kowascope, but I can’t find much info about the movies shot on it.

To give you a sense of how many different scope systems there were, here’s a list of widescreen films from the 20s to the 90s that gives the format trade names:

http://www.redballoon.net/ws.txt

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Dom Jaeger said:

To give you a sense of how many different scope systems there were, here’s a list of widescreen films from the 20s to the 90s that gives the format trade names:

http://www.redballoon.net/ws.txt

Wow.

Former Kowa 'Scope user in Super-8 here. I let it go a few years ago during one of the periodic lens crazes to finance a replacement DSLR. It did that, but didn't really keep up with inflation. Still have a couple of 'Scope 50ft. reels for some unrealised 80s epic. Of course now I could desqueeze them in Lightworks.

Edited by Mark Dunn
Link to comment
Share on other sites

37 minutes ago, Mark Dunn said:

Former Kowa 'Scope user in Super-8 here. 

I assume that would be using a Kowa projection lens mounted in front of the Super 8 zoom? That’s somewhat different to the Kowa Prominar lines of complete, single-focus anamorphics the OP is talking about, though you are in good company: according to The Cine Lens Manual some of Kurosawa’s anamorphic films (The Hidden Fortress, Yojimbo) were shot in an early version of TohoScope which utilised a front anamorphic adapter made by Kowa. 

The Cine Lens Manual doesn’t list any early films using the Prominars, but it does mention that in the 90s Clairmont had a set that was used in conjunction with other anamorphics on various films, including Body Snatchers (1993), Scream (1996) and Blade (1998).

 

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Dom Jaeger said:

I assume that would be using a Kowa projection lens mounted in front of the Super 8 zoom? That’s somewhat different to the Kowa Prominar lines of complete, single-focus anamorphics the OP is talking about, though you are in good company: according to The Cine Lens Manual some of Kurosawa’s anamorphic films (The Hidden Fortress, Yojimbo) were shot in an early version of TohoScope which utilised a front anamorphic adapter made by Kowa. 

The Cine Lens Manual doesn’t list any early films using the Prominars, but it does mention that in the 90s Clairmont had a set that was used in conjunction with other anamorphics on various films, including Body Snatchers (1993), Scream (1996) and Blade (1998).

 

Kowa made a 2x anamorphic designed for use on super 8 cameras; both an adapter-style intended to be attached in front of primes, and also an actual synchro-focus lens (13mm f1.9).

adapter:

babykowa4.jpg.827e75d80f4d8fabebd4050b06

 

Synchro lens:

w410359863.2.jpg

 

Here's the synchro-focus lens mounted on a Super8 Kowa Kallo:

maxresdefault.jpg

I owned the adapter-style for a time...easily the smallest 2x adapter in existence. Also quite a performer too, especially for such a tiny piece of glass.

The synchro-lens is quite rare but they pop up from time to time in japan.

Edited by James Coleman Rogers
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Dom Jaeger said:

Thanks for the info James, I hadn’t heard about that synchro-lens. Is it branded a Prominar?

Is it a D mount? Pretty sure that wind up camera is Standard 8, not Super 8. Very few Super 8 cams had interchangeable lenses.

The picture seems to show a bayonet mount possibly?  Interesting lens.  When new back then I would have given my eye teeth for it.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had the 8Z adapter type, on a rotating locking mount so it still worked with a rotating filter thread. It vignetted below about 15mm. on a short zoom so yes, primes would have been better. Still not very convenient, and I only ever shot a few carts with it.

The last time I used it was for some stills to advertise it on ebay. It was quite decent, with well-controlled flare.

Now, of course, I'd probably just crop down a wide angle. That's Techniscope, right?😉

Edited by Mark Dunn
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Dom Jaeger said:

Thanks for the info James, I hadn’t heard about that synchro-lens. Is it branded a Prominar?

Is it a D mount? Pretty sure that wind up camera is Standard 8, not Super 8. Very few Super 8 cams had interchangeable lenses.

you're likely right, probably standard 8.

Yes, branded Prominar. pretty cool piece of anamorphic history.

I think the mount was a strange little bayonet mount, not d-mount...makes sense given the need to make sure the anamorphic was aligned properly.

Edited by James Coleman Rogers
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The 8Z adapter for my super-8 camera... something I had to have when a Dutch dealer in the early 1990's made it available. It was fun, but results were always a bit soft in my experience. Later, when I got into film projection professionally, I always felt that this was just the 16H 16mm projection anamorphic with a different name on it to sell it to the super8 filmmaker. On YT there are a few videos that compare the 8Z and the 16H, differences in sharpness are found, but I still guess this has to do with the calibration of the individual lenses instead of being the result of a different design. They simply look too exactly the same 🙂

A YT video shows they come with either blueish or yellowish coating, and that makes a difference for sure in lens flare color.

I once encountered the same lens also as part of a cheaper 35mm film projection combination: a quick google shows this must have been the "Sankor Anamo-Prime".

I think too the professional anamorphic taking lenses from Kowa must have been completely different things...

kowa002.thumb.jpg.3830adaaa4d692c4683757444a2aeb4a.jpg

Link to comment
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.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  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.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...