February 28, 2011

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:


Your Comment


I would like someone to tell me why anamorphic lenses are wanted? I know people like its lense flares, but I also think people like 2.35 aspect ratio and I can figure why.

February 28, 2011 at 1:00PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


* I cant figure why...

February 28, 2011 at 1:02PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


Well, some people like the Bokeh, it is more of an elipse thather than a circle. It's a creative choice really. 2.35:1 really makes wides look SUPER wide, and close-ups REALLY close.

March 3, 2011 at 3:58PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

David Fulde

Yea.. 1.85:1 seem's to be the most I'll crop off my footage.. anything 2+:1 has seemed a bit too tight.

February 28, 2011 at 2:17PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


With real anamorphic processes though you're not "cropping off" - you're adding information to the width, not removing it from the height. It's not the same as taking DSLR footage for web distribution and cropping it to end up with a 2.35:1 1920x816 video.
There can, however, be reasons you might want to fake the look by just cropping the top and bottom even though you're losing pixel real-estate; a more dramatic or cinematic look, more focused framing etc. I've certainly experimented with it.

March 3, 2011 at 5:48PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


The 2:35 love probably comes from loving movies from an era that reveled in superwide and superclose aesthetics. I adore old westerns, for example. For a lot of folks its just a creative choice to emulate a look.

March 4, 2011 at 9:04AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

SH Cone

Another Ozzy film with Nida actors being unbelievable and displaying another try hard hard core Ozzy film.

July 28, 2011 at 5:19PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


Anyone else notice how embarrassing the cinevate ad is on this page with the glaring spelling mistake... "HDLSR" (instead of HDSLR)

August 11, 2011 at 5:57AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM


Ha, good catch James. I'll let them know.

August 11, 2011 at 1:15PM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM

Ryan Koo

LINK to this guide is...MISSING. PAGE NOT FOUND.

May 8, 2012 at 1:37AM, Edited September 4, 10:54AM