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Three best focal lengths for shooting 2-perf Techniscope?

Owen A. Davies

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Let’s say that I’m shooting a project on 2-perf Techniscope and I’m limited to the use of three prime lenses. If I wanted a wide, medium, and a closeup, which three focal lengths would you recommend? I’m leaning toward 25mm for my wide angle seeing as it’s the wisest lens I can use out of my selection. If I were to use a 25mm for my wide, which focal lengths would you recommend for my medium and my closeup? The focal lengths at my disposal are 25mm, 30mm, 35mm, 40mm, 50mm, 75mm, 100mm and 150mm.

Edited by Owen A. Davies
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Remember the Techniscope frame is smaller then Super 35mm in width as well. So not only do you have massive height restrictions compared to 3 perf or 4 perf, but you also have width issues. So shifting to wider lenses, seems the most logical. Just look at the 2 perf westerns, their wide shots distort on the edges in most cases, so they aren't using a 24mm, they're probably closer to 16 or 18mm I bet. I haven't shot a 2 perf film yet, but if I were going to, I'd test a lot first. I'd go to a rental house and just start with 16mm and go all the way up. If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say 18mm is probably a good happy medium for "wide" on 2 perf, maybe 20mm. Even with S35mm, I feel 24mm isn't quite wide enough.

Edited by Tyler Purcell
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This is really a matter of taste. The horizontal field of view of 2-perf Techniscope is the same as 1.37 Academy and standard 1.85, but much shorter in vertical view. Because of the shorter vertical view, there is a tendency to compensate by going with a wider horizontal view.

Sergio Leone shot a lot of his Westerns on a 25-250mm Angenieux but this was an era where movies generally did not use super wide-angle lenses.  However, I'm sure he carried a few lenses that were wider than 25mm, like an 18mm.

You could also think about the fact that the go-to wide angle lens for 4-perf 35mm 2X anamorphic is the 40mm, which is equivalent to a 20mm in 2-perf Techniscope.  So I would probably carry an 18mm or 20mm for my wide-angle shots. But it also depends on your locations, if you're going to find yourself in small rooms.

I think you're better off carrying five focal lengths than just three unless you can commit to a generally wide-angle look, like a 20mm, 28mm, 35mm.

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