What Is Anamorphic Lens
The word ” anamorphic ” is derived from the Greek words meaning “formed again”. Therefore, it is a technique of distortion (such as reflection, refraction, etc) in which things appear different than they actually are. Differing from a linear perspective, it relies more on angular rather than spatial relationships.
Anamorphosis can be defined asl the art of projection or presentation of a distorted image that appears normal when viewed from the proper angle.
Anamorphic lens, also known as “CinemaScope”, is a special type of photographic lens for creating strongly exaggerated perspective effects on film and other visual media in order to convey a spatially distorted but normal-looking (unsqueezed) image.
An anamorphic lens is an optical system that modifies the incoming light so as to make it conform to a pre-selected shape, such as an oval or a rectangle — which is called rectilinear — and magnifying it on the way out (increasing the size of the subject).
When Was It First Used
I hope You like war stories because this lens is a part of one. this lens first used in french battlefields during world war i. it was found that linear perspective is missing in pictures taken by battle field photographers who used standard lenses.
when french filmmakers, léon gaumont stumbled upon this idea of using anamorphic lens on the cinema camera for filming “la conquête du monde” (1914) also known as “the march of the human flag”, a documentary about French troops invading zeppelins. this process was firstly called “simplified anamorphosis” and later named as “anamorphic system”.
however, George events won a patent for the same idea in 1937. not only that but he also patented other types of distortion which he used to transform anamorphic system of lenses.
note: It is frequently, but erroneously, stated that the process was developed by Henri Chretien in 1902 during a trip to watch a solar eclipse. His patent refers only to a method for reproducing a scene of nature on a screen conveying an impression of relief using vertically extended lines.
however, Henri Chretien’s anamorphic lens was usedto enlarged a projected image to compensate for the difference between near and far focusing. this idea has no impact on the quality of the images captured by a camera, because it can’t provide a clear image when a person who is not equipped with special corrective glasses looks at it.
But Use In Cinema Was First Introduced By George W. Hill In 1916!
Henry Westphal, a french physicist, used the technique of anamorphic projection in his mirror-based photographic enlarging process before George events won his patent in 1937. This technique is still employed by large-format photographers but uses only one lens, not a pair.
However, the same technique was used for projecting images on a curved screen by french filmmaker Leon Gaumont in “la conquête du monde” (1914), which is the first demonstrated usage of anamorphic projection in film history.
Anamorphic Lens' Main Features Are:
1- Barrel Distortion
one of the effects caused by the anamorphic lens is barrel distortion. It appears in the form of a bulging out from the center to corners, resembling a barrel. Usually, it’s used for expansive views and undistorted side views.
2- Mysterious Curvature Effect
the anamorphic lens also causes the image to curve inwards, called the “mysterious curvature effect.” It may be used in arts and graphics but has no usage in cinema.
3- Unique Perspective
this characteristic of the anamorphic lens is different from other lenses because it gives a unique perspective. However, this feature also has several adverse effects such as:
– Distortion of the straight lines and long shots
– Blurry images when projected without using special glasses.
4- Wider Aspect Ratio
anamorphic lenses have a wider aspect ratio, which means they capture more horizontally than vertically oriented objects in the scene. However, this effect can be used for artistic purposes.
However, even though anamorphic lenses are not used for projecting images directly to the audience’s eyes using a device like an oculus rift, they are widely used in cinematography
5- Screens Higher Than Projected Image Vertical Resolution
this feature gives filmmakers an advantage in using higher screen resolutions to project their films.
However, anamorphic lenses are usually used with 35mm film analog cinematography systems with a standard vertical resolution of 2476 pixels per frame.
Why Should You Try Anamorphic Optics
1- Increased resolution in the film
2- Anamorphic lens has a barrel distortion which can provide wider angles or close shots along with unique perspectives.
3- It creates stunning effects in images captured by anamorphic lenses for cinematography.
4- Unlike other camera lenses, it gives the closest results to what you see in real life.
Therefore, anamorphic lenses can be defined as a particular type of lens used in cinematography to provide the closest-to-reality result to the audience. this way, they have become an important aspect of filmmaking.
However, for this reason, it’s been widely used by postproduction studios which allow filmmakers to adjust focus, color, and the size of an object during postproduction.
How To Use Anamorphic Lens
1- Before buying an anamorphic lens, you must consider the field of view and minimum focus distance.
2- Anamorphic lenses usually come in 2× and 1.5× magnifications.
3- It may be used with 35mm film analog cinematography systems with a standard vertical resolution of 2476 pixels per frame.
4- Usually, it’s used to capture objects in a widescreen format with a barrel distortion effect and unique perspectives and exaggerated proportions for artistic purposes.
5- Cinematographers may use anamorphic lenses and specific camera movements such as a push or pull focus to create certain effects.
6- Postproduction teams may be able to give a spherical effect to anamorphic footage using a plugin.,
7- It may help capture a wider aspect ratio of the film than anamorphic lenses, which are about 2x horizontally and 1.2x vertically, nearly double the resolution in height.
8- If you want to capture images with traditional cinematography methods, you need to use anamorphic lenses, which give the closest result to what we see in real life.
9- If you’re using anamorphic lenses for filming the video, you should consider different camera movement speeds and try to record various scenes with different ratios.
10- To get better results from anamorphic lenses, you should shoot the video with a wide aspect ratio.
11- You can enhance the performance of anamorphic lenses with traditional cinematography methods such as camera movements and stabilization of shots.
Anamorphic Lens Photography
1- It can take spherical panorama shots which are connected.
2- You can also get an oval or circular image by using this type of lens.
3- With it, you can take images with a wider aspect ratio than usual.
4- Generally, it takes spherical photos but may capture flat panoramic shots as well.
5- You can take photos with an aspect ratio of about 2x horizontally and 1.2x vertically, nearly double the resolution in height.
6- Anamorphic lenses are available for DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, camcorders, smartphones, action cams including GoPro devices, drones, or any other device with a camera built-in.
7- You can create spherical panoramas with the help of anamorphic lenses by using unique video editing apps which do not require any peripheral equipment such as a tripod.
Tips For Shooting Anamorphic
If you need a severe flare, try to keep the light source across from you. For a softer burst, you shoot from the side and light positioned to the side of the lens.
Lens flares are inevitable with anamorphic lenses by definition, so you need to find a way to make it work for your shots while traveling or shooting in public because it can be distracting.
Transition Your Lens Flares
If you plan on using anamorphic flares, it would be best to build some sort of transition into your shots. This helps the flare blend better with your footage so that it isn’t jarring.
The closer you are to your subject, the more perspective distortion you will get. It’s most noticeable around the edges of the frame or near the edges of your subject.
After looking at these tips, you will know what an anamorphic lens is and how to use it for the best results.
Anamorphic Focus fall-off: When the lens is focused on an object very close to the camera, out-of-focus objects are stretched. By using this effect, you can quickly get a dramatic “bokeh” or 3D effect.
Anamorphic Abberation: This effect may be used for artistic purposes to get eye-catching shots that are pretty different from the usual.
Anamorphic lenses are made for spherically shaped cameras. You can use them with camera movements such as a push or pull focus to achieve particular effects, but you need to be careful about their working distance range.
It shoots a widescreen picture on standard 35mm film by compressing the image vertically.
Anamorphic lenses are used to achieve a cinematic look in photos, videos, movies, TV shows, music videos, and any other forms of photography, including aerial shots that can be taken with drones. They are also great for shooting close-ups because they bring your subject to the center of attention.
Q: What Do I Need to Use Anamorphic Lenses
A: You usually need a specialized adapter or converter to mount an anamorphic lens onto your camera.
Q: Does the result of shooting with this type of lens look like a fisheye effect?
A: No, it doesn’t because there’s no fisheye effect when using anamorphic lenses.
Q: How can I fix the blurriness of my photos?
A: To get rid of the common issues that may appear during shooting with anamorphic lenses, you need to find a way to stabilize your shots. You can also change specific parameters like shutter speed to get rid of the blur more effectively.
Q: Which lenses can I use for recording anamorphic shots?
A: You can use any type of lens with a cylindrical element located in front of or behind its main optics. It’s possible to use various cameras, including compact cameras, mirrorless cameras, DSLRs, and camcorders.