Understanding Anamorphic Format: 4 Effects of Anamorphic Lenses
by Eguaogie Eghosa Nov 11, 2021 Views (214)
Cinematographers employ the anamorphic format to make a widescreen image from a regular recording medium like 35mm film or a digital video sensor.

How Do Anamorphic Lenses Work?
Anamorphic lenses squish a larger image onto the recording medium than would otherwise be possible. When an image is projected, it is de-squeezed, offering viewers a wide field of view and a widescreen picture that isn't deformed. Consider bending a sheet of paper between your fingers to create a convex curve. While the image on this piece of paper is distorting from side to side, the top and bottom remain unchanged.

A regular camera lens is combined with an extra attachment or embedded lens element to create anamorphic lenses. The lens compresses visual data while increasing resolution. Filmmakers and cinematographers have a wide range of options when it comes to depth of field, speed (light sensitivity), and focal length—from wide-angle to telephoto zoom lenses. When the image is finally presented, it must be stretched (or de-squeezed) to its original dimensions using a separate lens.

A Brief History of Anamorphic Format
Anamorphic lenses produce images with a larger format that are of high quality.

1. Spherical Lens:
Cinematographers tried widescreen pictures with ordinary spherical lenses (the typical lens shape) by bracketing off the top and bottom of the film frame, resulting in black bars at the top and bottom of the image. This method resulted in a bigger picture but at the sacrifice of some image quality since the useful space on the negative was decreased.

2. Periscope:
During WWI, the first anamorphic lenses were designed to allow tank operators to see a broader perspective than what was visible via the apertures in their armoured exteriors. This tactical edge was enabled by periscopes with anamorphic lenses.

3. Anamorphic widescreen:
After the broad adoption of television, anamorphic lenses, such as those introduced by Panavision under the CinemaScope trademark, were used to bring audiences back to theatres. Large, ultra-wide screens were used by Hollywood studios and exhibitors to provide an experience that could not be replicated at home. Full-height anamorphic, often known as anamorphic widescreen, generated a cinematic effect while keeping the original aspect ratio.

4. Anamorphic adapters:
Anamorphic technology has grown in popularity since the introduction of digital image-making technologies. Anamorphic lenses are made by many firms, including Arri and Sirui, and anamorphic-style lens mounts for iPhones are also available. These adapters are also available for newer DSLR cameras, or digital single-lens reflex cameras, which now have high-definition video capabilities.

These digital cameras' sensors—some of which are mirrorless, making them more compact with fewer moving parts—have extremely high pixel counts and latitude, making them ideal candidates for anamorphic adaptations.

What Is the Aspect Ratio of Anamorphic Lenses?
The length-to-height ratio of a picture in filmmaking is referred to as the aspect ratio. Anamorphic lenses will nearly always result in a picture with a 2.39:1 wide aspect ratio. Regular spherical lenses, on the other hand, frequently generate a 1.375:1 aspect ratio, sometimes known as the "Academy Ratio."

4 Features of Shooting With Anamorphic Lenses
The image may be slightly distorted when using anamorphic lenses. Some cinematographers and filmmakers consider these effects to be flaws, while others embrace the aesthetic and even recreate them in post-production. The anamorphic format has the following characteristics:

1. Anamorphic flares:
They are small bars or streaks of light that appear on anamorphic images from time to time. These bluish horizontal lens flares move in sync with the light in the frame, creating a striking effect.

2. Bokehs:
Bokehs are little regions of the frame that are out of focus. They're also known as "oval bokeh" because of their shape. The term "bokeh" is derived from the Japanese phrases "boke" and "boke-aji," which indicate "beauty in the unfocused parts of an image."

3. Distortions:
On the de-squeezed image, there are minor artefacts from the altering procedure. Some early anamorphic systems (such as CinemaScope) expand the image's centre, creating the sense of magnification. (Close-ups were difficult to achieve with these technologies.) The distortion was later addressed by technology, but the effect, which causes vertical lines on either side of an image to appear to curve outward, is a stylistic choice.

4. Wider field of view:
Anamorphic shooting is one of the most effective ways to achieve a larger field of view. Exterior shots in Western films, for example, can benefit immensely from anamorphic optics. A wider perspective can help convey a sense of grandeur and scale.

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