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Anamorphic sucks. Discuss.
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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2022 9:20 pm    Post subject: Anamorphic sucks. Discuss. Reply with quote

I feel I've reached a point in my life - with a minority of years left to care about what people think - where I can speak what I've only dared think, or whisper, previously. For instance:

- I don't like the look of anamorphic.

There. It's out in the open. I don't like the flare. I hate the bokeh. Everything we've been told is desirable looks unnatural and wrong to me. TV lensed without it often looks better than big-budget movies with it. I think it's a fad, and a bad one. I predict the price of anamorphic equipment will plummet and that many current and recent films will age badly as future generations of filmmakers consider that we ruined potentially fine movies by subscribing to this foolish, overpriced fashion.

Am I alone?


PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2022 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are not alone.

I really dislike the bokeh and flare.


PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2022 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well that's good to know. That is the purpose of forums, after all.


PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2022 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just you and me, though, Mark. We'll be vindicated one day . . .


PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2022 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anamorphic doesn't suck at all.

What sucks is the cheesy use of the artifacts introduced by anamorphic lenses by hacks like JJ Abrams.

However, go look at some of the 50s and 60s widescreen classics and you will see how anamorphic can produce absolutely stunning imagery.


PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2022 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's all about the ratio, not the squeeze . . .
Anamorphic presents the dilemma of better resolution v horrible distortion + flare.
We have enough resolution now. We should move on.


PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2022 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For instance - Blade Runner: great film. In fact, heretical to diss it [sound of rattling cages].

But isn't the bokeh distracting and unnatural? For me, it's a prettier film shot with spherical lenses.



PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2022 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iangreenhalgh1 wrote:
Anamorphic doesn't suck at all.

What sucks is the cheesy use of the artifacts introduced by anamorphic lenses by hacks like JJ Abrams.

However, go look at some of the 50s and 60s widescreen classics and you will see how anamorphic can produce absolutely stunning imagery.


I think it may depend on the particular anamorphic lens' construction, esp. with regard to the position of the aperture relative to the anamorphic/cylindrical elements. Probably, some anamorphic lenses will result in stretched bokeh /elliptical bokeh balls after projection, other anamorphic lens constructions will leave the bokeh looking normal with round bokeh balls once projected. To my eyes elliptical bokeh balls after projection are a complete no-no, but that's an personal aesthetic preference.

I think for anamorphic lenses with normal looking bokeh you need the aperture to be in front of the anamorphic/cylindrical group, so that the bokeh on film is stretched and therefore rendered normal again during projection. If the aperture is behind the anamorphic group then the bokeh on film will be "spherical" and will therefore look elliptical once projected.

I'm not a cinematographer though, so I don't know for sure if there is just one configuration or whether both exist...


PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2022 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.rogerdeakins.com/camera/anamoriphic-lens/


PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2022 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Elsewhere on Roger Deakins' site he says with reference to lensing Blade Runner 2049: “I have never shot a film where I think anamorphic would have been preferable.” When I watch the original Blade Runner, I know exactly what he means.


PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2022 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But is three people enough to start a movement?!


PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2022 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

16:9 wrote:
Elsewhere on Roger Deakins' site he says with reference to lensing Blade Runner 2049: “I have never shot a film where I think anamorphic would have been preferable.” When I watch the original Blade Runner, I know exactly what he means.


He prefers to shoot full frame and crop to the preferred aspect ratio. Sensible.


PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2022 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think anamorphic can look good, or it can look bad, it's just a matter of how you use it.

Sweeping vistas where you employ deep depth of field and mise-en-scene compositions, anamorphic works fine

Indoors in low light or at nighttime where you have a shallow dof and bright oof highlights, there you get funny looking bokeh and blue flare lines - JJ Abrams love this shit, Star Trek Discovery is absolutely crammed with it and looks so cheesy