October 30, 2014 at 3:16PM


Wes Anderson Anamorphic Lens?

Hey everybody.. I am trying to do a Wes Anderson styled short film for fun and I am trying to figure out what kind of lens he uses. I know he uses anamorphic lenses for his films..but does anybody know what kind? I want that kind of fisheye look that he has. Also..is there a cheaper way of doing this? I am on a micro-budget. Thanks!


Maybe yo can do in postproduction. More cheap than that ompossible :D:D And stand like professional.

October 31, 2014 at 1:17AM

Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director

Wes Anderson is known for commonly shooting with a 40mm anamorphic and occasionally a 27mm spherical. The fisheye is probably something close to 15mm sperical. These are all on Super35 film, so the FOV might be different for you with a different size sensor. The AbleCine FOV calculator can help you if that's the case.

Keep in mind that anamorphic has something like twice the width of spherical lenses of the same focal length, so, if you're going to crop, anticipate shooting on a much wider lens. For instance, if you end up shooting on a C100 with a Super35 sensor, shooting with something like a 21mm and then cropping would give you a similar FOV as a 40mm anamorphic, without the anamorphic artifacting, though (i.e. oval bokeh, horizontal streak flares). Just make sure that 21mm is relatively distortion free, or you'll have issues.

When going for the Anderson look however, much more important than FOV and aspect ratio is production design, especially when it comes to colors and sets. These are things no lens or color grading suite can provide, so I'd put the budget there and try to make due with the best lenses you can manage, or just rent for a few days. Vintage lenses or softening filters (Pro-Mist and the like) and a good color grade can help give you the soft, saturated look many of his films are known for.

All that said, the anamorphic look is too costly for me to recommend, and the cheapie lenses and adaptors never do the job quite like a cinema anamorphic. But even on spherical lenses, wides are quite expensive to buy. If you've got the money, pick up some old vintage SLR primes, or try to rent a Zeiss ZF or EF 21mm (just make sure to Pro-Mist filter that thing (1/8 or 1/4), the contrast is wonderful and punchy, just not what you need at all).

If all this is too much money still, I'd say screw the special lenses and use what you have, just focus on writing, actors, angles, and production design. That's where the style will really come through, wide lenses are but the spice to the stew. DON'T try to do it in post. If there's one thing that shows the micro budget, it's unnecessary post work.

October 31, 2014 at 3:52AM

Jacob Floyd
Writer / Videographer

Panasonic added a true anamorphic format to the GH4 with firmware version 2.2. You will still need to shoot with anamorphic lenses and then de-squeeze your footage in post...

Shooting 4K Anamorphic and V-Log with Panasonic’s GH4

September 10, 2015 at 1:01PM, Edited September 10, 1:02PM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

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