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Carl Nenzen Loven

S16 Anamorphic - On a budget

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Hi there,

I believe that this is probably something that has been discussed before. But I hope there are some new things that can be brought up with this question.

I have an upcoming project in the fall, and the director and I have decided that we want to have the anamorphic look for a short we will be making. Now the flares are not the most important thing, but rather the vast image that we are going for. The problem is how to achieve it.

First idea would be to use my own S16 Eclair ACL, with an PL adapter, and we were considering renting pure 1.33x anamorphics. But as far as I know, the only ones to rent at the Hawk's, and they would cost us pretty much the complete production budget to get a set.

Second idea we had is to use a R16 Arriflex SR and put Kowa 2x on it. The real issue here would just be the wider shots, since we basically loose all the width in the image.

Third idea is to invest in a Panasonic AG-LA7200 adapter, with a 0.25 diopter, and use B4 lenses on the ACL to get the image we are going for.


I also have a person that can make a M4/3 adapter for the ACL, so any M4/3 solution would work as well, but honestly I am open to any ideas you might have.


And yes, both me and director are 100% set on shooting on film stock.

C

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check this out. It is a bit high, but way more affordable than Hawk 1.3x

https://www.lensrentals.com/rent/slr-magic-anamorphot-cine-1.33x-three-lens-set-pl

 

I own an Aaton LTR and XTR Plus, I use a 1.33x 58mm thread adapter in front of a prime lens, 16mm or longer. I get rather good results, It can get a little soft at the widest angles.

 

There is this also, which might be the most bang for the buck, except focusing won't be as easy as it is with the Slr magic primes

https://www.lensrentals.com/rent/letus-anamorphx-adapter-w-high-flare-single-coating

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check this out. It is a bit high, but way more affordable than Hawk 1.3x

https://www.lensrentals.com/rent/slr-magic-anamorphot-cine-1.33x-three-lens-set-pl

 

I own an Aaton LTR and XTR Plus, I use a 1.33x 58mm thread adapter in front of a prime lens, 16mm or longer. I get rather good results, It can get a little soft at the widest angles.

 

There is this also, which might be the most bang for the buck, except focusing won't be as easy as it is with the Slr magic primes

https://www.lensrentals.com/rent/letus-anamorphx-adapter-w-high-flare-single-coating

 

Got any footage to show? I would love to test this out but spluring 1 grand for a filmtest is pushing it :)

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Third idea is to invest in a Panasonic AG-LA7200 adapter, with a 0.25 diopter, and use B4 lenses on the ACL to get the image we are going for.

 

 

I've had one of these. I think you may find the quality lacking, but you should try it. Cheap anamorphic lenses are difficult to work with and keep in focus. You can always just sell it if you don't like it.

 

I think I made an adapter by removing the glass from a variable ND then finding a step-up size adapter. I was using it on a Canon Scoopic.

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Have you heard of a non-anamorpic 16mm hybrid system called UltraPan8? eg

 

Uses the optical center of standard 16mm optics. Technically utilizes the full 16mm width of 8mm film with 8mm pulldown. Doubles the run time to 5 min per 100 ft rolls compared to standard 100ft roll of 16mm film. Same perf dimensions as regular 16mm. Native aspect ratio is 2.8 and can be cropped to Cinemascope 2.4.

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You could just crop instead of shooting with anamorphic lenses. Unless you get the Hawk 1.3x lenses on s16, working with 2x anamorphic lenses on 16 is problematic in my opinion, and is not worth the hassle. I wouldn't shoot s8 of any kind if the intention is to get that 16/s16 look. I would only shoot s8 for its aesthetics. I love the s8 look but don't think it is not nearly sharp for professional work other than weddings etc maybe.

Edited by Giray Izcan

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You could just crop instead of shooting with anamorphic lenses. Unless you get the Hawk 1.3x lenses on s16, working with 2x anamorphic lenses on 16 is problematic in my opinion, and is not worth the hassle. I wouldn't shoot s8 of any kind if the intention is to get that 16/s16 look. I would only shoot s8 for its aesthetics. I love the s8 look but don't think it is not nearly sharp for professional work other than weddings etc maybe.

 

Yeah I am not after the crop either, I want the anamorphic feel.

 

I will probably just rent and test.

 

C

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Then, I would just rent a 416 with hawk 1.3x lenses. They are pretty amazing. Check out Machine Gun Preacher. It was shot with those lenses on s16.

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Then, I would just rent a 416 with hawk 1.3x lenses. They are pretty amazing. Check out Machine Gun Preacher. It was shot with those lenses on s16.

 

 

Yeah, well if it was up to me. But I don't think production budget can afford spending 1500 dollars on just lenses sadly :(

 

C

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Sounds like you don't really have the budget to 'do it right', as Giray suggests. So you'll have to make a compromise somewhere.

 

Option 1: get an Iscorama, Rectilux, SLR Magic, or other single focus anamorphic attachment and find a way to rig it to your existing spherical lens and camera. You'll probably not be able to use wide focal lengths due to vignetting, but that could be mitigated by adding a wide angle attachment to the front of the anamorphic lens. That would also add some funky distortion and loss of sharpness. But you would end up with a true anamorphic image on film.

 

Option 2: have some cheap stills lenses adapted with a fixed oval aperture (Waterhouse stop), like the work done by Richard Gale Optics in the U.K. You would not get an anamorphically squeezed image, but you would have vertically stretched bokeh. Again, wide angles would be a problem, since there aren't many cheap, fast, stills lenses in the 8-12mm range. And you would also not be able to easily change the aperture while shooting, so you would have to control exposure just with ND filters.

 

If neither of these options sound appealing to you, then it might be necessary to reconsider some of your requirements. Or perhaps try to raise more money for the project, so that you can afford the right tools.

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Sounds like you don't really have the budget to 'do it right', as Giray suggests. So you'll have to make a compromise somewhere.

 

Option 1: get an Iscorama, Rectilux, SLR Magic, or other single focus anamorphic attachment and find a way to rig it to your existing spherical lens and camera. You'll probably not be able to use wide focal lengths due to vignetting, but that could be mitigated by adding a wide angle attachment to the front of the anamorphic lens. That would also add some funky distortion and loss of sharpness. But you would end up with a true anamorphic image on film.

 

Option 2: have some cheap stills lenses adapted with a fixed oval aperture (Waterhouse stop), like the work done by Richard Gale Optics in the U.K. You would not get an anamorphically squeezed image, but you would have vertically stretched bokeh. Again, wide angles would be a problem, since there aren't many cheap, fast, stills lenses in the 8-12mm range. And you would also not be able to easily change the aperture while shooting, so you would have to control exposure just with ND filters.

 

If neither of these options sound appealing to you, then it might be necessary to reconsider some of your requirements. Or perhaps try to raise more money for the project, so that you can afford the right tools.

 

 

Indeed you are right. If it was really up to me, shooting this on the Hawk's would be the only choice. And forcing this project back into 1:85.1 crop from a S16 would probably be ideal, but the director is being a bit....well. A bad word. :rolleyes:

 

So I do really want to do some testing to show him why we should not save money on this, or just scrap the idea completely. Then again, personally I was very curious on how the Panasonic adapter performed on Nikon-still lenses mounted to a S16 camera, on film that is.

 

C

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Not the most ideal test, I used a Nikkor 28mm ƒ3.5 with Century Optics 1.33x anamorphic adapter. Old Fuji F250T. Super 16. It can be sharper with better glass and the Panasonic adapter that you want to use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Film is awfully costly stuff to waste if something does not work quite right. My personal preference would be to use purposed anamorphic lenses. I have not used anamorphics on a film camera

I have had a play on the SI2K with anamorphics on front of CPUltraT* lenses, the Century Optics flavour for PD150 4:3 video cameras and the Proskar anamorphic 16mm projection lens. They were really only satisfactory on the 25mm lens. The Century was the version which fits to the bayonet mount which the lens hood attaches to the PD150 camera. I made an adaptor with 52mm filter thread for the CP Ultras and some Nikon lenses. The CPs have PL-Mounts on them. Natively they had the CP or ARRI standard mounts on them. Ken Hale sold me some PL mounts he made in stainless steel for the CPs which attach directly.

Here are a couple of samples.

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You will observe, especially near the left edge, some chroma artifacts.

With the Proskar lens, you may find you cannot achieve infinity focus. The attachment thread on the rear of the Proskar lens is not a standard 0.7mm filter thread but a finer pitch. You would have to get a lens engineer to remake the rear section of the Proskar lens with the correct thread.

With this sort of improvisation you will find focus pulls near to impossible, in fact actually impossible with lenses which have a rotating front barrel as the anamorphic stretch will rotate as you focus with some lenses.

If your director is just after arty flares, then you might try stretching a spiderweb fine piece of fishing line in front of the lens when there is strong street illumination.

Nikon 35mm stills lenses are going to be softer and adding the anamorphic adaptor will make the image softer still. My best Nikon against a chart returns 62 sharpness numbers on the SI2K camera. The best of the CP Ultra T lenses gave 115 under the same lighting conditions.

It is going to be a pity to waste 16mm film plus the processing on a mediocre result.

Edited by Robert Hart

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For curiosity sake, I tried the Century Anamorphic on a Nikon lens which itself was attached to a Nikon F-Mount Metabones Speebooster focal reducer for the BMPCC camera which I modified to fit the SI2K IMS-Mount. Via a focal reducer, the Nikon lense return excellent sharpness numbers to the SI2K.

Ignore the colour saturation in this clip. I adjusted the image in DaVinci Resolve which was learning at the time. The Speedbooster method to sharpen 35mm stills lenses will not be an option for an S16 reflex film camera bcause the Micro 4/3 mount flange-to-focal plane distance is 19.2mm. Because of the shutter mirror, there is not enough workspace for any modification to be done to the ARRI camera.

You might with a Micro4/3 to C-Mount adaptor get it to work on a Bolex H16 RX or other C-Mount non reflex camera. You would need a seriously skilled camera tech to collimate the whole thing but with the Bolex, you would at least retain a reflex finder.

Edited by Robert Hart

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Then again, personally I was very curious on how the Panasonic adapter performed on Nikon-still lenses mounted to a S16 camera, on film that is.

C

 

Sorry I don't have any samples posted, but I can tell you that it was not very impressive. That lens adapter was designed for an SD video camera...everything was very soft in my opinion. Nothing wrong with giving it a try but it is nothing like the Hawks.

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Carl - you'll end up cropping the S16 neg on the sides just as much as you would if you did a spherical 2.40:1 extraction from it, almost. A 2x anamorphic squeeze on the 1.66:1 neg will make it 3.32:1 wide. That a serious letterboxing. So you'll have to chop off the sides a lot getting to 2.40:1 (throwing away more than a third of the negative), further exasperating the problem that you're already not going to be very wide with anamoprhics. I've done it back in the days, but it was not something that lends itself to anything on a tight location etc. For big exterior vistas it can work, where you can move back. But in a tight bedroom, you're looking a very tight field of view.

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What of any experiences have people had with the SLR Magic 1.33x PL mount primes? I've wanted to rent one and may do so soon.

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Anecdotal, but The Wall (Doug Liman) that takes place entirely in the Iraqi desert, entirely shot on super 16 anamorphic with the Hawk V-Lite 1.3x and the 50D stock looks good although it is very soft, I actually found it softer than The Wrestler, or the super 16 portion in Steve Jobs or some of the best super 16 footage out there with a 2:40 extraction. Close-ups can look surprisingly good, and the 50D (blown up on a big screen) yields minimal grain but some medium close-ups and the wides really look soft.

Edited by Manu Delpech

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Experimenting is always good but the reality is that anything short of the Hawk anamorphics is going to be soft. Definitely play with it; it may give you exactly the look you're looking for, but you may also be frustrated in the end...I know I was.

 

Have you thought about maybe trying 35mm 2-perf? Film costs approach Super 16 and it would be much easier to shoot and way sharper.

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