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Australian Image (Ray)

Anamorphic vs Spherical Lenses

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This is just a navel gazing exercise where I've had this impression that anamorphic lenses are something special and desirable but, recently, had a metaphorical veil lifted. From many forums etc I've had this impression that anamorphic lenses are the de rigueur when it comes to film making, notably feature films; however, from watching this video from this incredibly informative chap, I now realise that there are major film makers who actually prefer spherical lenses for their work.

I understand how anamorphic and spherical lenses work, and that you can achieve a 'similar' wide screen look from both, but there are naturally some significant differences in the final results. To be honest, when I see some anamorphic lens use, such a JJ Abrams and his Star Trek stuff, I cringe because I really hate the constant lens flare (as well as his descent into darkness style). In fact, when I now watch any movie, this lens flare becomes almost a distraction, like some presenter with a twitch or affectation that takes your attention away from what they are saying.

So I just find it interesting that so many who don't make feature films own, or dream of owning and using, anamorphic lenses to make whatever it is that they make. What do others think, or not?

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