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What lens used for 1917? (8 replies and 12 comments)

Miles
3 weeks ago
Miles 3 weeks ago

Hi Roger. what is the lens you have used for 1917? is master prime or something else? for a strange reason for me it looked anamorphic at a certain shot from the teaser trailer and or shot with some vintage lens. I know you have mentioned earlier that you don't like to use filter much but I fail to understand how most of you film which shot on Alexa with master prime looks soft as if you have used some classic soft filter. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gq7KkyFHAw»

Roger Deakins
1 week ago
Roger Deakins 1 week ago

I would say the Signatures are a little closer to the Master Primes than the Leicas. Interesting about the bokah. I never noticed that.

Michael Lindsay
1 week ago

I am not so familiar with the Lecias Summilux's (as I am with the Master primes) so perhaps I am overstateing things and only focusing on a few , only interesting to me, parameters . I guess it was simply they don't seem to be so contrasty or zingy and they are even more free from axial CA than MPs . Overall they seem like a really useful full set of modern (for digital) cinema primes.

Also when I say they are softer I don't mean low res and when you compare them using the S35 center they are still very impressive. Also the wides are super impressive edge to edge and do seem to deliver 'more' detail (perhaps like the MPs?). From my limited focal length testing (18,21,25,35,47,75,125) it seemed the telephotos are a little more relaxed in character where as the wides a tiny bit more contrasty... I suspect this is a deliberate design choice and the motivation, if true, makes sense to me. Looking in the back of the lens the projected iris seems alway far away (a quick way to identify roughly the exit pupil position) This lends me to asume they are, as Arri claim, tending to telicentric and a very modern design.

Other things that I liked is that any veiling glare (if forced with 5600ish k light) tended to a non invasive faint blue rather than green (green is more obvious and harder for me to deal with in post as there is more green than blue in skin tones).

They are light (despite the size) and don't suffer from onion like aspheric grinding marks... all things which I like but may not be what others are looking for... interestingly I showed a young director friend of mine a short test I did about the material picture differences between some sperical lenses (he was looking at shooting with) and he laughed and thanked me as he never realised how little the diffence was... he had always asumed, partly due to internet based lens enthusium and people like me, the real picture differences were a far more significant.

Anyway looking forwards to seeing 1917 (irrespective of lenses used) early next year?

The Byre
1 week ago

Quote - "I showed a young director friend of mine a short test I did about the material picture differences between some sperical lenses (he was looking at shooting with) and he laughed and thanked me as he never realised how little the diffence was... he had always asumed, partly due to internet based lens enthusium and people like me, the real picture differences were a far more significant."

That's true in most fields and had me laughing out loud. I get it with audio - I bang on about this and that microphone or pre-amp and others don't hear the difference between some cheap kit and a signal path that costs more or less the price of a middle-class house.

Michael Lindsay
1 week ago
Michael Lindsay 1 week ago

Wow Miles... I am amazed you picked up from the trailer the change from MP lenses in RD work! I happened to have known previously it was the Signatures he used so saw the difference but being honest with myself would probably not have noticed otherwise. 

As I spent a fair bit of time testing MPs against Signatures I would note... The Signatures def seem softer but are actually very high resalution just not very shouty about it... Also the Sigs to tend to vignette the pupil a little more so at the edges of frame the bokah will cats eye more... and the combo of this elongation of bokah and potentially shallower DoF (if, and only if, the lighting stop etc isn't diffent) may contubite to the partial anamorphic cues you where getting.... just a thought?

I don't think in general the Signatures look very vintage as they are just very clean.. epsecialy with ref to Axial CA. I think they look a little like FF Leica summilux-Cs but a tad warmer etc

Anyway irespective of lenses used I am excited to see the Film!! 

Mike
1 week ago

Michael, are you related to Peter Lindsay, the lens specialist. Only interested.

Michael Lindsay
1 week ago

Sorry not that I am aware...

Mike
1 week ago

Thankyou. Not to worry.

Krishan
2 weeks ago
Krishan 2 weeks ago

Just out of curiosity: for the full-frame format what became your go-to lens?

 

You previously mentioned that, while you use the most appropriate lens for each shot, you frequently choose the 32mm Master Prime, which would translate to the 47mm T1.8 Signature Prime (closest to the FoV and DoF of the 32mm).

Roger Deakins
2 weeks ago
Roger Deakins 2 weeks ago

Yes, Alexa LF Mini. 

The Byre
2 weeks ago
The Byre 2 weeks ago

Alexa LF - Mini, regular or both?  (Or is that still subject to NDA?)

Zippy
2 weeks ago

The Mini for sure. I've seen behind the scenes pictures.

Roger: What VFX resolution will "1917" have 4.5K as well?

Roger Deakins
3 weeks ago
Roger Deakins 3 weeks ago

I love the format. It really worked well for this particular project. More to follow upon the films release!

Vanniyan
2 weeks ago

I believe You have well experienced with signature prime for 1917 whole movie. Why did you just stop use mater prime for this movie. What is the advantages of signature prime lenses.

Roger Deakins
3 weeks ago
Roger Deakins 3 weeks ago

Signature primes and we were using the Alexa LF. No coating removal or shutter angle adjustment and no filtration either, other than internal/external NDs.

Bigglesworth
3 weeks ago

Oh cool! How was it shooting on the larger format?

The Byre
3 weeks ago
The Byre 3 weeks ago

In 'Saving Private Ryan' Kamiński used de-blued lenses to get a softer and vintage look, because without blueing the lights reflects inside the lens.  He also used 'bleach-bypass' on the film to reduce colour.  Maybe Roger did something similar.

David W
3 weeks ago

I also heard Kaminski took off the protective coating on the lens and toyed around with the shutter angle for a choppier look that reflected the cameras of the time.

Mike
3 weeks ago

On the ‘D’ day landings the US army used handheld Bell and Howell 16mm and 35mm with the new type Taylor Hobson Cooke lenses. These lenses had lens coatings but nothing like today, The British army used BH 16mm and Newman Sinclair camera’s with the early Taylor Hobson Cooke lens with mild lens coatings as they were cheaper. If you rubbed off the lens coatings you will get a distorted anaemic image as light rays will get excited and will be bouncing around inside the lens barrel. You will get a washed out “look”. They also changed the shutter angles to make explosions more realistic. Some lenses in SPR were intentionally scratched as well to give it a ‘raw’ feel. Add the special processing and various post techniques and you get the authentic “look”, very effective in the running sequences in the film. As you all know, the beach landing was shot not far from Waterford Ireland and the French village was built at the old De Havilland aircraft factory north of London, which was demolished and the rubble used to great effect.
(Band of brothers) used the same facilities. Another 2 pence worth!

The Byre
3 weeks ago

That's right - he reduced the shutter angle, thereby reducing the exposure time, to give the film a slightly 'strobed' feel on the action scenes.

I think it was Angénieux that took a set of lenses apart, de-blued them and put them back together for that movie.

Mike
3 weeks ago

Same technique used in the machine gun dance scene in “Chicago” musical,
Very effective imo.

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