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2:1 Aspect Ratio (2 replies)

8 months ago
JhessPabalate 8 months ago


I just watched a recent series in Netflix titled "When They See Us" Cinematography by Bradford Young. I just wanna ask how he achieve a 2:1 Aspect Ratio while shooting with a anamorphic lens? because usually when shooting anamorphic lens you'll get a 2.35 image or depending on the squeeze factor by the lens. 

Leander S
8 months ago
Leander S 8 months ago

I don´t know which exact lenses were used on this show, but the squeeze has probably been 2x. 

The aspect ratio of 2.35 (or 2.39) is achieved, when filming in 6:5 (1.2 * 2x Squeeze). So when shooting 2.39 with Anamorphics, you are cropping the sensor size anyway (LF-Sensor is 4:3 in Open Gate and cropped to 6:5 for 2.39).

For the aspect ratio of 2:1, the recorded resolution choosen by Young was 1:1. This was propably his artistic choice. The standart which just proved itself was 2.39 but any other aspect ratio is possible as well.

8 months ago
dmullenasc 8 months ago

The aspect ratio is created by the area of the film or sensor you use for the final image. If using a 2x anamorphic lens, you have to factor in unsqueezing the image by 2x horizontally. So if the goal is a 2.40 : 1 aspect ratio and your lens has a 2x squeeze, then the area of the film or sensor used for the final image is 1.20 : 1.

The original anamorphic CinemaScope process had a 2x squeeze, and since the silent / full aperture of 4-perf 35mm film is 1.33 : 1, the image created once unsqueezed would have been 2.66 : 1.  Same thing with the half-frame (2-perf 35mm) Techniscope process, technically the negative for 2-perf Techniscope is 2.66 : 1 without any anamorphic process.  However neither CinemaScope nor Techniscope were 2.66 : 1 because the negative area was cropped horizontally, in the case of 4-perf 35mm, to make room for the soundtrack on the print.

Many people are using 2x anamorphic lenses on digital cameras that have sensors of different sizes, some are 1.9 : 1 sensors so quite a bit of the sides of the sensor isn't used because no one needs a 3.8 : 1 aspect ratio!

Some cameras allow you to record only the area to get you within the 2.39 : 1 ballpark (once unsqueezed), some record a larger area so more cropping is needed in post.

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