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    What are the best practices in simulating anamorphic with spherical lenses?
    #1
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    There have been a few posts on anamorphic and simulated anamorphic, which has got me thinking about trying to simulate anamorphic for fun.

    I've seen mods that replace a prime's aperture with a laser-cut ellipse aperture, but I'm wondering if that method creates any issues with a zoom lens, as I was thinking about trying it on a Tokina 24-40m f/2.8. Would adding in a 0.71 focal reducer create any issues with that setup?

    Here's my current plan: fishing line or streak filter + ellipse aperture lens + 0.71 focal reducer + VashiMorphic40 distortion + cropping to 2.35:1 = hopefully convincing simulated anamorphic.

    Do you see any issues with this setup?


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    How much is the cost of the mods vs. the cost of an adapter to go in front?


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    A streak filter costs <$20, I haven't priced laser cutting the ellipse aperture yet; Tito Ferradans sells ellipse apertures on eBay for $12, but my lens isn't on the compatible list.

    By adapter, do you mean something like Vid-Atlantic bokeh filter or a SLR Magic Anamorphot-50 adapter?

    I see your point though, no sense in spending more on a DIY project than than it would cost to buy a commercial product.


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    If you are going to open a lens and replace the aperture, that's not going to be especially cheap, or maybe I misunderstand.


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    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    Isn't it kind of funny the lengths that people go to to re-create what are actually lens defects?


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    Senior Member Grug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Run&Gun View Post
    Isn't it kind of funny the lengths that people go to to re-create what are actually lens defects?
    I'm not sure "defects" is quite the word for it, they're just optical properties.

    I'm a bit of an anamorphic junkie, but I've never been able to bring myself to put up with the complexity (and ergonomic nightmares) of the hodgepodge dual-focus, projector anamorphic rigs that people have started making up. And anamorphake seems like a lot of effort to go to unless you absolutely need some spherical shots to cut in more seamlessly with actual anamorphic shots for some reason.

    With cheap anamorphics like the Atlas Orions now in wide-spread circulation, I struggle to understand why people would put up with all the pains of DIY solutions, since you can now rent actual scope lenses for little more than a set of cheap spherical primes would cost.


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    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grug View Post
    I'm not sure "defects" is quite the word for it, they're just optical properties.

    I'm a bit of an anamorphic junkie, but I've never been able to bring myself to put up with the complexity (and ergonomic nightmares) of the hodgepodge dual-focus, projector anamorphic rigs that people have started making up. And anamorphake seems like a lot of effort to go to unless you absolutely need some spherical shots to cut in more seamlessly with actual anamorphic shots for some reason.

    With cheap anamorphics like the Atlas Orions now in wide-spread circulation, I struggle to understand why people would put up with all the pains of DIY solutions, since you can now rent actual scope lenses for little more than a set of cheap spherical primes would cost.
    Maybe unintended artifacts/characteristics would have been better? I'm not sure if oval highlights and 'blue streak" flares were ever originally intended in certain anamorphic lenses or if they were just side effects of the design. But became both characteristics that people came to like, for various reasons and became associated with anamorphic lenses/shooting. And now people try to mimic/replicate those characteristics mostly for vanity(to make people think they are shooting on "expensive anamorphic lenses").

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking anamorphic. I like it. But most likely if you're going through all of that trouble to make a spherical lens appear to have those tale-tale characteristics of an anamorphic lens without the actual benefits, you're just trying to fool someone. Like people that wear a fake Rolex.


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    Senior Member paulears's Avatar
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    Forgive me but what exactly are we trying to achieve here? The 'look' of a wide image squished into a narrower one, or the expansion of a narrow one into a wide one? Perhaps somewhere in between, or what. I can't figure out what we're talking about here. Surely we're talking about distortion of geometry. Is there something else I've missed going on? As you can compress or expand in just a horizontal plane electronically, surely the lens is only one way, or are we saying that the optical process has nice distortion, like in audio where tube distortion is sought after by a few with golden ears?

    This is something I just don't get. What is this topic about?


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    Senior Member Grug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulears View Post
    Forgive me but what exactly are we trying to achieve here? The 'look' of a wide image squished into a narrower one, or the expansion of a narrow one into a wide one? Perhaps somewhere in between, or what. I can't figure out what we're talking about here. Surely we're talking about distortion of geometry. Is there something else I've missed going on? As you can compress or expand in just a horizontal plane electronically, surely the lens is only one way, or are we saying that the optical process has nice distortion, like in audio where tube distortion is sought after by a few with golden ears?

    This is something I just don't get. What is this topic about?
    "Anamorphake" is about modifying spherical lenses to present certain anamorphic optical characteristics - namely oval bokeh, and horizontally streaking flares.


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    Senior Member ahalpert's Avatar
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    Sometimes unintended consequences are nice. I loved the opening of Mandingo, which had a very pretty, soft, low-contrast feel. Then the opening credits ended and the picture became sharper and more contrasty. Clearly, the optical printing process (or whatever) had degraded the footage and the effect was unintentional. But it was prettier than the rest of the movie, which was also garbage for other reasons.

    Why not use the same process to intentionally achieve the effect, if you were so inclined? Plenty of experimental filmmakers rephotograph their film in some manner (shooting the video screen with a super 8mm camera for example) to screw it up a bit and give it a texture, particularly a consistent texture.

    I just watched an episode of the animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks that just aired where they had a movie-within-a-movie sort of parody of the Star Trek films. The aspect ratio cropped to 2.35:1 from 16:9 and they also added a little film grain. They're not going to fool anyone that it was shot on film, that's not the point. It's just a nod to the characteristics of the films they're emulating.

    But - separating my conscious understanding of the film grain, its meaning, and how it was applied - it was nice to have that bit of random texture disrupting such clean, consistent colors/imagery. I've never been one to add film grain to a video, but I think it can be nice, just like a bit of pleasant noise.

    Which is all just to say that if you like something about the effect of an anamorphic lens or an anamorphake effect, even if it's just the associations that it conjures up, I say go for it. But you certainly don't want it to look like s*%t in the pursuit of something cool.

    I think Grug has a good idea - renting the Atlas Orions and a GH5 or BM Pocket or something that can record 4:3.


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