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Touch of evil lensing (8 replies and 6 comments)

Vanniyan
1 month ago
Vanniyan 1 month ago

Dear master roger i am watching touch of evil. I believe they were not using wide lenses for all players and all scenes. Here by i have attached police captain and a women conversation in the same scene. A police captain face little distorted and women face not distorted much. I think they have used slight long lenses for women's close up. Compare than police captain. Right?

https://www.rogerdeakins.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Screenshot_2020-05-31-16-11-53.jpg
Vanniyan
1 month ago
Vanniyan 1 month ago

Women's face

https://www.rogerdeakins.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Screenshot_2020-05-31-16-10-51.jpg
dmullenasc
1 month ago

Yes, looks like a longer lens on her, maybe a 50mm.

Roger Deakins
1 month ago
Roger Deakins 1 month ago

I think the lens used on 'Touch of Evil' was an Angenieux 18.5mm 2.2 lens. I think Orson Welles' owned it.

Vanniyan
1 month ago

Did they use only one lens(18.5mm) for whole movie. I don't think so

Roger Deakins
1 month ago
Roger Deakins 1 month ago

I believe they shot the majority on the 18.5 but I don't know if that close shot was made with something a little longer. I really doubt it was a 50mm.

dmullenasc
1 month ago

Maybe a 35mm then...

dmullenasc
1 month ago
dmullenasc 1 month ago

Looking through the movie, it seems that the close-ups of women are generally shot with less wide-angle lenses:

https://www.rogerdeakins.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Screen-Shot-2020-06-01-at-5.30.13-PM.png
https://www.rogerdeakins.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Screen-Shot-2020-06-01-at-5.20.24-PM.png
https://www.rogerdeakins.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Screen-Shot-2020-06-01-at-5.31.49-PM.png
dmullenasc
1 month ago
dmullenasc 1 month ago

Also, the rear-projected driving shots are longer-lensed than the car mount driving shots:

https://www.rogerdeakins.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Screen-Shot-2020-06-01-at-5.23.18-PM.png
https://www.rogerdeakins.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Screen-Shot-2020-06-01-at-5.22.35-PM.png
https://www.rogerdeakins.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Screen-Shot-2020-06-01-at-5.25.05-PM.png
dmullenasc
1 month ago
dmullenasc 1 month ago

You can see the difference more clearly in this intercut phone call scene -- the camera pushes in on the young man on the 18.5mm probably, but the other side of the call is not as wide-angle:

https://www.rogerdeakins.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/touchofevil_lenses1.jpg
Vanniyan
1 month ago

Yes that's what I did ask roger and you. I assume they weren't use wide lens for womens close ups!

dmullenasc
1 month ago

If you're careful about your lens height, you can get fairly close without too much distortion - it's even possible that Janet Leigh's side of the phone call was even as wide as a 25mm.

Roger Deakins
1 month ago
Roger Deakins 1 month ago

That makes sense but that phone is pretty distorted as it comes towards the camera. Is that rear projection image shot on a longer lens than the live action? That may be why the two don't sit so well together. It is interesting that it is not so easy to recognize a lens length simply from looking at a well composed still frame.

dmullenasc
1 month ago

I suspect it would have been hard to do rear-projection driving shots on stage with an 18.5mm, the screen would have to be much larger behind the car, the projector behind the screen would have to be farther, etc. The studios probably had their rear-projection stage set-up fairly standardized for shows coming in.

Roger Deakins
1 month ago
Roger Deakins 1 month ago

Yes, that makes sense. If the 18.5 was Orson Welles' lens it makes sense that there was not something equivalent for back projection or for shooting the plates either.

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