Cinematography Mailing List - CML

Red Anamorphic and High Speed

Dear all,

I've just got a job in shooting a internet viral for a large spirit brand. We want to shoot anamorphic for various aesthetic reasons.

90% is at normal speed (25fps) and at 4K. However, a couple of shots we need to shot high-speed at 2K. My question is concerning the relative value of shooting those in anamorphic vs spherical? Are there any pitfalls in general with 2k anamorphic? Am I better off shooting the high speed stuff spherical and framing for 2.35? We're delivering for the internet - (until they turn around saying they want them in the cinema, sometime after completion...)- so I'm not massively concerned about resolution but...

Many thanks,

Mattias Nyberg - DOP - London

Hi Mattias,

I would suggest that you go for the spherical 2K option.

There are two reasons for this :

1. Quality. The pixel count of RED 2K anamorphic (4:3) is 1536 x 1152. Taking into account the bayer pattern this probably works out at about 1K resolution, or about the same as standard def. My feeling is that you will notice the quality drop on the high speed shots, particularly if you're shooting tungsten-lit interiors.

2. Field of view. The active sensor area in RED 2K anamorphic is 8.3 x 6.2mm, or about 20% smaller than standard 16mm film. If you need to match a 50mm anamorphic field of view in 4K, you will need a 24mm lens, which won't be part of a standard set and will be expensive. And don't forget that 35mm anamorphics are designed to cover a much larger film negative area than RED cropped sensor (about twice the area in Cinemascope), so a 50mm lens in Cinemascope is equivalent to a 35mm lens on RED anamorphic 4K, which is equivalent to an 18mm lens in 2K. As far as I know there aren't any 18mm anamorphic lenses.

The other option is to use the new Hawk 1.3x anamorphic glass and shoot 16:9 for both 4K and 2K. This is the best option from a quality point of view, but may not give you the look you are after. The other downside of this is that you won't be able to desqueeze the picture in the viewfinder, and it may give you problems in post as it's a non-standard format.

Good luck with it.

Richard Bradbury
Focus Puller / Digital Acquisition Supervisor
London, UK

Richard Bradbury wrote :

>> The other option is to use the new Hawk 1.3x anamorphic glass and shoot 16:9 for both 4K and 2K.

Don't forget the 3rd option: shoot 3k 16:9 up to 50 fps...

+++ Florian Rettich +++
+++ Vision Control / D.I.T / D.F.T / Buttonpresser +++
+++ Munich, Germany +++
+++ +++

Thanks Richard for your explanation, it makes sense. I will shoot 2k spherical for any high-speed shots.

There is an 18mm anamorphic lens - I know - I'm using it! Cooke Xpress T2.3/8 has an 18mm. Lovely set of lenses. Slightly warmer and softer that most other sets.

Thanks again,

Mattias Nyberg - Director of Photography - London
+44 (0)7970 718 896

Quite right. I remember having a look at the Xtal Xpress set the last time I was at Panavision London. The 18mm must be incredible for big landscapes, particularly in 'scope. Not the kind of work I do a lot of...

Just to correct an error in my previous math’s, the specs for RED anamorphic format are as follows:

4K ana: 2765 x 2304px - 14.9 x 12.4mm
3K ana: 2074 x 1728px - 11.2 x 9.3mm
2K ana: 1382 x 1152px - 7.4 x 6.2mm

Richard Bradbury
Focus Puller / Digital Acquisition Specialist
London, UK

An 18 is rare one to find. a 22 or 24 are much easier to find. I need a 22 to add to my set but they get bigger the wider a lens and my 35 is bigger than a Optimo 12:1!

With my LOMOs and Build 18.2 never go to 2K but prefer 4K or 3K for any off-speed work.

Good luck,

Dane Brehm
Cinema Data Tech / IA600 DIT
Phantom | Red | S.Two

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