EOSHD Releases Anamorphic Shooter's Guide for DSLRs
Not everyone can afford to rent Panavision anamorphic lenses -- in fact, only the largest Hollywood films can -- so what happens if you want to shoot in a wider aspect ratio than the HD standard of 1.78:1 (aka 16:9)? Like, say 2.35:1, also known as CinemaScope? You can always mark some frame lines on your viewfinder and crop the image in post, or, if you want to get creative, you can delve into the world of anamorphic adapters. Andrew Reid at EOSHD has been covering anamorphics for quite some time, and he's just published a guide about adapters, lenses, diopters, Final Cut Pro post-production, and other issues for using anamorphic lenses with DSLRs.
One of the reasons people like anamorphic lenses -- other than the aspect ratio -- is the elongated flares that anamorphics produce. Here's a quick example, which might remind you of Blade Runner or the more recent Star Trek reboot:
Here's an example Andrew gives of a 2.35:1 Panasonic GH1-based anamorphic shoot:
Andrew's guide also includes a post-production method for keeping vertical resolution at 1080 and producing a pseudo-4K image (instead of what would result from simply cropping a 16:9 image to CinemaScope, which is 1920x810). He's done a lot of research into the feasibility of using anamorphic adapters with DSLRs -- probably more than anyone else online -- and he's asking $19.99 for the guide. Here's Andrew's pitch:
I've extended my anamorphic lens collection hugely whilst writing the most comprehensive guide to anamorphic lenses on DSLRs that exists on the web, including all the best buys like the Iscorama, LOMO, Kowa, Sankor and LA7200 lenses and pulled all the info together into one place. If you already have an anamorphic lens this guide will help you to pair it with the most suited prime lens, secure it in the easiest way, and optimise your workflow for a big gain in image quality. After this you can be done with searching forums and eBay, because you will already know the score! All 2 years of my knowledge on anamorphic lenses, editing and shooting has been poured into this and now it can be your knowledge too.
I've been interested in anamorphic lenses for quite some time, as I'm hoping to shoot my first feature in 'scope. One of the interesting things about anamorphic lenses, however, is they were designed to fill a 4:3 35mm frame. Now that the RED, ARRI ALEXA, Sony F3, and other cinema cameras have 16:9 sensors, a traditional 2X anamorphic lens will in fact produce a much wider picture than CinemaScope (a ridiculous 3.55:1). Thus 1.33X anamorphic lenses make sense, as they create a perfect CinemaScope image from a 16:9 sensor (though your oblong bokeh and lens flares will be less-pronounced). If you're thinking about dipping a foot into the anamorphic world, this is certainly something to keep in mind.
Finally, as seen on EOSHD, here's a fundraising trailer for the short film Pinball (NSFW language). It was shot on a Canon 5D Mark II with a few shots using the Panasonic AG-LA7200 anamorphic adapter: