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# Newbie widescreen question - sony pdx10 16x9 plus anamorphic adaptor = 2.35:1???

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 Newbie widescreen question - sony pdx10 16x9 plus anamorphic adaptor = 2.35:1??? by Rushmoreon May 29, 2003 at 6:04:12 pm

hi. I've been told by various people that if I used a pdx10 set to 16x9, along with an anamorphic adaptor, that i would have an unmatted image that is roughly 2.35:1. I have never seen this done, so I'm curious if it is true. Can anyone here confirm or disconfirm this info?

 Re: Newbie widescreen question - sony pdx10 16x9 plus anamorphic adaptor = 2.35:1???by ICExpoon May 30, 2003 at 1:13:09 am

Well, it's sort of true. Yes, the image that gets recorded will be in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio (1.33 x 1.33 x 1.33 = 2.35). The question is, how do you intend to display it? Widescreen TV's can compensate for one level of 16:9 conversion, but not two. If you're using a video projector you'd have to find one in 16:9 mode, and then add an anamorphic lens to it. You could rescale it in post but you'll be losing resolution to do so, and at that point it would probably be easier to just shoot flat and matte it.

The thing with video, different from film, is that when you shoot for 2.35:1 in film, the picture actually gets wider. But when you compose 2.35:1 for video, it just gets shorter.

 Re: Newbie widescreen question - sony pdx10 16x9 plus anamorphic adaptor = 2.35:1???on Jun 6, 2003 at 2:33:48 am

This has been kicked around a bit over at dvinfo.net, see this thread http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?s=&threadid=8841. You're right about the problems displaying any footage shot this way. And there's also the issue that you'd be stretching the camera's 530 lines of horizontal resolution over a pretty wide area.

But with the 37mm century anamorphic adaptor going for \$320 at B&H, it might be fun to play with. I'm doing a project where we'll be projecting on a 40' wide screen with a 12,000 lumen DLP projector which is native 1280x1024. I could take the 720x480 anamorphic 2:35 and render at 1128x480, then output via QuickTime to the projector. I've done this with 16:9 by rendering at 854x480. This doesn't look too bad, but it's true that you're just stretching what's been recorded on the tape.

For an example of 16:9 images that have been scaled to 854x480 check these out: http://www.greenmist.com/nature

Just for fun, I tried stretching one of them out as 2.35:1. It wasn't really shot with the anamorphic lens, it's really a 16:9 shot, but I was curious what it might look like to stretch 720x480 to 1128x480. You can have a look here: http://www.greenmist.com/nature/235.jpeg

You know, it isn't all that bad... hmm, gonna have to think about whether I should order one of those lenses... ;-)

Boyd Ostroff
Director of Design and Technology
http://tech.operaphilly.com

 Re: Newbie widescreen question - sony pdx10 16x9 plus anamorphic adaptor = 2.35:1???on Jun 7, 2003 at 1:32:12 pm

I'm in the end stages of postproduction on a feature film shot using the double16x9 method. The reason for shooting this way is to get minimum loss in a blow up to a 720p HD master. Our master image composited in AE with Magic Bullet deinterlacing is 1280 by 576 pixels. This means we have 0 vertical loss in the blow up to HD and the regular blow up loss horizontally. It looks much better this way and is a great way of saving money. It's like shooting HD with SD equipment.

You can view a short teaser at http://www.campslaughter.com

It should be said here and now; The anamorphic attachments for DV cameras SEVERELY limits your optics. Focusing is a bitch. And you get vast amonts of flaring.

 Re: Newbie widescreen question - sony pdx10 16x9 plus anamorphic adaptor = 2.35:1???on Jun 7, 2003 at 2:46:08 pm

Martin,

I remember that you posted this trailer before somewhere and it impressed me. Very nice work. As I recall, you used a PD-150 with built-in 16:9, plus the anamorphic lens... right? There are a couple advantages to doing this on the PDX-10. First, it is "real" 16:9 and therefore offers better vertical resolution (see some comparisons I did at http://www.greenmist.com/pdx10/chart). The other reason is of course cost. The PDX-10 with an anamorphic adaptor is around \$2,300 vs \$3,700 for a PD-150. Of course the PDX-10 has a few shortcomings compared to the PD-150 as well, but the resolution should be significantly better for blow-ups.

Anyway, those little Quicktime trailers of yours look terrific! How do they look when blown up full size? Would love to see some full res frames. Your comments on the anamorphic adaptors agree with others that I've read. That's why I decided to get a PDX-10 instead of the anamorphic lens for my VX-2000. But with the Century 37mm adaptor going for about \$300, I'm tempted to pick one up and experiment on the PDX-10 since I also like that widescreen look.

Thanks for posting the link to your project again, I was trying to remember the name of the movie!

Boyd Ostroff
Director of Design and Technology
http://tech.operaphilly.com

 Re: Newbie widescreen question - sony pdx10 16x9 plus anamorphic adaptor = 2.35:1???on Jun 7, 2003 at 7:58:03 pm

Very interesting Martin. Would you care to post additional information regarding the "double 16x9 method," for those of us not familiar with the technique? Also, I am curious why you are blowing up to HD? Do you plan on doing any additional work on the footage in HD? What will be your final release?

Thanks for sharing.
Wayne

 Re: Newbie widescreen question - sony pdx10 16x9 plus anamorphic adaptor = 2.35:1???on Jun 8, 2003 at 6:18:36 pm

The double16x9 method is simply putting a 16x9 converter on a camera that is set to capture 16x9 at the same time. This produces a 2,35:1 aspect ratio anamorphically compressed onto the 3x4 source tape. This image has to be adjusted to it's correct aspect ratio in post. Either as 720x346 SD (PAL, don't know what the equivalent in NTSC is) or 1280x576 HD (again from PAL). The benefit is that yopu don't crop the source at any time. Every pixel of information is used. The downside ist that putting glass in fron of glass on a camera with a very small CCD is tricky and creates problems.

I've posted some web compressed images on our site. These are Jpegs. The original frames is 2,2MB (and to large for me to post as raw source).

You can find them at http://www.campslaughter.com/double16x9.html

Boyd: The PDX-10 seems to be a fine solution. Haven't tried it myself yet. I really like the size on that camera.

 Re: Newbie widescreen question - sony pdx10 16x9 plus anamorphic adaptor = 2.35:1???on Jun 8, 2003 at 7:06:42 pm

Thank you for the concise explanation, Martin. I still am perplexed why you are using going to HD, rather than a more economical choice. Do you feel you will improve picture quality? How so?

I am very impressed with your lighting scheme. Would you care to supply some info regarding your lighting and grip package? And anything else you would care to share. Also, general camera set-up notes. Did I forget anything? ;-)

TIA
Wayne

 Re: Newbie widescreen question - sony pdx10 16x9 plus anamorphic adaptor = 2.35:1???on Jun 8, 2003 at 7:47:07 pm

The film we are making will be in circulation for a number of years. In a couple of years a lot of us will have HD-DVD players in our homes and watch HDTV. That's why we are blowing up to HD. By doing it this way we don't have to crop out lines and pixels (and we get to work in a ratio we like).

I use very standard equipment. Nothing fancy. PD-150P, Optex 16x9 adapter, red heads and blondies, a four bank of flourecents and maglites. I use a filter box (mattebox) from Chroziel that hosts ND grads and clear protection filters. My grip is a Cartoni V-16 head and spreaders. I use something called an E-track for quick setup dolly shots (1,5m). The signal from the PD-150P is fed via Y/C to a monitor. I also feed a PowerBook the image via FireWire for continuity snapshots in BTVPro and vectorscope checks. Here's an image of the setup: http://www.thefilmset.com/gallerix/03/0303/opera/images/P9070110.jpg

 Re: Newbie widescreen question - sony pdx10 16x9 plus anamorphic adaptor = 2.35:1???on Jun 8, 2003 at 8:08:50 pm

Wow, those are some beautiful stills Martin. I'm really impressed that you get such a nice blowup from the PD-150P 16:9. It looks like you've used some sort of mist filter either on the camera or in post to soften the image and make the anamorphic stretch less harsh. Bravo!

Boyd Ostroff
Director of Design and Technology
http://tech.operaphilly.com

 Re: Newbie widescreen question - sony pdx10 16x9 plus anamorphic adaptor = 2.35:1???on Jun 8, 2003 at 9:37:08 pm

It's a combination of not lighting the way you're supposed to when shooting video and color correction and grading in After Effects. Everyone tells you not to light video in a harsh way. To light it evenly. I'm not a believer in that. Todays DV has about the same exposure lattitude 35mm used to have in the 40's. And the 40's is synonym with Noir lighting. Of course I'm losing information in blown out whites but if used right that can be a strength - not a weakness - of the medium.

 Re: Newbie widescreen question - sony pdx10 16x9 plus anamorphic adaptor = 2.35:1???by Rushmoreon Jun 9, 2003 at 4:34:34 am

So I guess this does work. Martin - those stills look amazing, especially with the 2.35 aspect ratio. You just convinced me to get the anamorphic adapter.

 Re: Newbie widescreen question - sony pdx10 16x9 plus anamorphic adaptor = 2.35:1???on Jun 9, 2003 at 6:12:26 am

Keep in mind that this is PAL footage. I've never tried it in NTSC.

 Re: Newbie widescreen question - sony pdx10 16x9 plus anamorphic adaptor = 2.35:1???on Jun 9, 2003 at 11:03:47 pm

The math should be valid for both PAL and NTSC to produce a 2.35:1 image (actually I ran the calculations the other day, and it really worked out to about 2.37:1). But of course you have the advantage of more scan lines with PAL, and 25fps.

Of course the real issue will be what you're going to DO with the footage, for those of us who don't want to upconvert to HD like Martin is doing. Another approach might be to send it to a projector directly from quicktime. However you should consider all this before shooting. If you're just going to letterbox the image to fit a normal screen, it will be much less trouble to shoot native 16:9 on the PDX-10, then crop to 2.35:1 in post.

But it's a tempting prospect.... I have no doubt that I'll pick up the anamorphic adaptor and experiment around myself at some point :-)

Boyd Ostroff
Director of Design and Technology