Jump to content

Anamorphic 16mm vs Techniscope

Recommended Posts

I realize that many experienced cinematographers may view this is a somewhat redundant or pointless question (though in my view this forum is best for getting great answers to these kinds of questions), but what would you say the visual, technical, financial, and practical differences would be between shooting something anamorphic on 16mm as opposed to on Techniscope. The difference in frame size would be (17.976mm x 7.49mm) vs (22mm x 9.166mm), and I'm also wondering how much or how little such a change in negative area would affect the image. Thanks. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also following.

You can do the math for film cost pretty easily by comparing film stock prices and using a footage calculator for 2 perf vs 16mm:


But that excludes the cost of rental. 2 perf packages and S16 anamorphic lenses alike are scarce. 

I feel like with modern lenses 2 perf would have a significant advantage in resolution. But the trend with 2 perf seems to be more toward shooting older lenses to get more character, which would narrow the gap. 

The only S16 anamorphic lenses that are viable imo are the Hawks and Panavision, which are around 1.33X stretch. Neither is an inexpensive rental but you could get a quote and compare it with a 2 perf package. I had almost put together a working solution with a 16mm MK1 standard speed and an old Iscorama. But it seems like such an involved endeavor you'd want to avoid DIY. It got to the point where I was looking into filter thread converters from 0.5mm to 0.75mm threads or something and was just like: why am I trying to solve this problem? That said? It could work....

Edited by M Joel W
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Premium Member

Surprisingly enough, 2 perf 35mm does have a lot more real estate. Remember, just because you can squeeze a wide screen image onto 16mm, doesn't mean the negative is that large. You're still dealing with larger grain structure, less resolution, less stability and not as much depth of field. Anamorphic lenses also have their issues, many of them, including distortion, softness and speed.

Spherical lenses are faster and crisper, so a 2 perf image will be much crisper. The other thing of course is that, when you're using a studio camera like an Arricam to shoot 2 perf, you also have much more stable image, with less grain, more resolution and in the end it's much easier to get shallow depth of field. 

Where I'm not a fan of 2 perf, there is really no comparison. The finished image is still nearly 3x larger than the Super 16 anamorphic version. You can see that on screen. 

There are inexpensive 1.5X anamorphic lenses these days as well, for sure a possible use for S16, close enough, just slow. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Obviously you would need to test to see how the 16mm anamorphic looks on a big screen but I've heard it said that 16mm anamorphic can look a bit soft unless the absolutely sharpest and best lenses are used such as the Hawks. 2-perf seems a more practical choice to me. The other possibility is Super 16 spherical, cropped top and bottom if you want a wider aspect ratio. That comes out looking pretty good on a big screen though not super sharp. It's grainy but some people like that look. I think if I was shooting a picture on 16mm I'd be inclined to avoid anamorphic unless I had the use of the best possible lenses.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...