Author Topic: Century Optics 16:9 Adapter  (Read 5082 times)

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matt35mm

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Century Optics 16:9 Adapter
« on: March 27, 2004, 01:17:49 PM »
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I just got this yesterday.  It's kinda neat.  I use it with my GL-2.

Basically, it optically squeezes a 16:9 image onto the 4:3 CCD chips.  That gives you full widescreen image without comprimising resolution.  Then I can output it as a 16:9 image without black bars at the top and bottom.

Like I said, neat, but JEEZ it cost me $712!

I can only zoom half way (about 10X, I think) before it starts screwing up the picture.  There is also a slight "fish-eye" effect... which is actually kinda neat.  The image quality is great; it's the next best thing to having  16:9 CCD chips (which costs too damn much money).

I just thought I'd post that little bit for anyone who might be interested in that lens.  I still gotta test it out some more, but overall I am pleased (except for the zoom thing, but that's not too big of a deal, I guess).

Jeremy Blackman

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« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2004, 01:28:06 PM »
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I think most cheap Sonys do that.
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Ghostboy

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Century Optics 16:9 Adapter
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2004, 01:33:26 PM »
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They do, but it's an electronic squeeze that results in loss of image resolution and color saturation. Using a lens to do it cancels that problem...but that's a hefty price tag! I'll just stick to letterboxing in post for the time being.

matt35mm

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Century Optics 16:9 Adapter
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2004, 01:37:09 PM »
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There's a big difference between cropping to 16:9 (what consumer cams do), electronically stretching to 16:9 (a feature on the GL-2), and optically squeezing to 16:9 (what this lens and what all anamorphic lenses do, with varying aspect ratios).

The first two ways use only 75% of the alotted resolution.  Only with the lens do you get a full resolution widescreen image.

The only other way is to buy a camera with built in 16:9 chips, but the cheapest these go for is, I think, over $10,000.

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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2004, 02:00:32 PM »
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Quote from: Ghostboy
They do, but it's an electronic squeeze that results in loss of image resolution and color saturation. Using a lens to do it cancels that problem...but that's a hefty price tag! I'll just stick to letterboxing in post for the time being.

I've never tried bringing squeezed 16:9 footage into post... by resolution loss do you mean actual pixelization?
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matt35mm

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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2004, 02:06:44 PM »
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Effectively, yes.  Because the camera captures the image, and then that image is digitally stretched to cover the 4:3 chips.  This allows you to output without letterboxing, but the resolution is the same.  Basically the areas that you would be masking by letterboxing go to waste, and this lens allows you to use them, so you get those extra top and bottom pixels for you image.

The digital stretching is like a digital zoom.  After you optically zoom in, the digital zoom takes over and zooms in on the actual pixels.  In the same way, the camera would digitally stretch the pixels vertically.  That = bad.

Ghostboy

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« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2004, 02:10:10 PM »
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It doesn't get pixelated, but it is noticeably softer. Like Matt said above, it cuts down on about 25% of the picture's standard resolution.

Redlum

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« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2004, 03:10:53 PM »
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But isnt the main advantage a wider field of view? I mean however you stretch the footage, even on a 16:9 CCD, your still using a standard lens.
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Century Optics 16:9 Adapter
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2004, 03:59:28 PM »
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Quote from: ®edlum
But isnt the main advantage a wider field of view? I mean however you stretch the footage, even on a 16:9 CCD, your still using a standard lens.


You are confusing a wide angled lens and an anamorphic lens, which can also be wide angle.

Hard matting, Soft Matting, Open, Matting, Anamorphic.

Maybe look those up..

Basically on film if you soft matte, you are filming on the entire 35mm film cell, and then in post adding the black bars.. This allows you some flexability when adding those bars, because it still gives you the opportunity to vertically adjust the picture.

If you are hard matting, you are putting the "black bars" on the film when you shoot, by placing a filter between the camera lens and the film.

You loose some precious film space when you do that... Soo...

When you use an anamorphic lens, it is actually taking the image and squeezing it onto the film(optically) thus using the entire frame.  Later the "black bars" are present because of the unsquezing.. No matting would be nescesary.  This is a great method because you get to use the entire frame, and have a higher quality image.  The only "downside" to this method is that images that are distant from the lens appear to be taller than they are. (Watch some magnolia night shots... all of the out of focus street lights and such wont be circles, they will be tall ovals.)

All they are saying that when you use a sony cam to do this 16:9 shooting.. the camera is just digitally stretching the image, and is allowing for a lossy image.
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Redlum

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Century Optics 16:9 Adapter
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2004, 04:23:41 PM »
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Thanks for clarifing...although Im a little confused now. I thought all wide angle lenses were anamorphic. I guessed that on professional set ups the lens combination would be more complicated but on consumer cameras I cant understand this.

Is this the item in question?
http://www.digitalfotoclub.com/sc/main_item.asp?id=964587561#fs

Because this taks about "a full 33% wider angle of view". This is classified as a 'wide-angle anamorphic' lens, right?
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matt35mm

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« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2004, 07:08:53 PM »
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Yeah, that's the one I got.

When the ad says "Wider field of view," what it really means is wider image, as in widescreen.

This lens squishes everything to make it tall and skinny.  That's how it looks when I record it.  When I put it onto my computer, I stretch it back out to the correct shape.  So now, it's the same height (and since video goes by horizontal resolution, it's the same resolution), but wider.  So you get a bigger image with the same resolution (or if you squish the image down like a DVD player automatically does, it's the same size but higher resolution).  If you have 500 lines of horizontal resolution, and you make the picture wider (for widescreen), you still have 500 lines of resolution, but a bigger picture.  So it's kinda like more bang for your digital video buck.

(sigh)... I get the feeling that I'm not making things clearer, sorry.

Wide-angle lenses are for purposely distorting the image.  Anamorphic isn't.  Although anamorphic lenses do distort the final image, but that's more of a side-effect.

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Century Optics 16:9 Adapter
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2004, 08:57:17 PM »
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Explain this to me...I have a digi 8 Sony handicam that has a widescreen feature.  When I look thru the view finder, it has black bars...but when I output (to imovie or tv) the black bars are gone and the objects on screen are tall and skinny.  So, it's like the opposite of what you are explaining..I think.  I'm guessing that if I viewed on a widescreen monitor, it would be wide screen?  How do you get Imovie to recognize it has widescreen...or does imovie just not have that feature?
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Redlum

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« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2004, 07:19:52 AM »
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It would appear to be the same as other 16:9 features, except it kindly displays the image in its correct proportions to help with framing.

Im still a little unclear on the lens side of this though. Is the £120, official canon, wide angle lens for the GL2 not anamorphic?
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pete

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« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2004, 08:22:09 AM »
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u r LOADED.
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matt35mm

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« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2004, 03:50:06 PM »
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Quote from: ®edlum
Is the £120, official canon, wide angle lens for the GL2 not anamorphic?


No.  Canon does not make an official anamorphic lens.  This is an adapter lens from Century Optics.

Quote
u r LOADED.


No, I'm not.  I'm an 18 year-old boy with a part time, minimum wage job, who just happens to have an enormous dedication to making his movie.  I've been saving up for over a year and now I'm busting out the cash.

$700 is a lot for just an anamorphic picture.  However, I can't afford 35mm, and don't know how to operate a 35mm movie camera... but I still give a shit about quality.  So buying this was just my way of compensating the difference between DV and 35mm.  It gives me a better picture.  If I can't get 35mm, then I'm sure as hell gonna try to get a better DV image than most!

 

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