Cooke Optics will introduce 1.8x Anamorphic/i Full Frame Plus lenses at IBC.
Les Zellan, Cooke Chairman, calling from the far side of the world, explained, “As soon as we introduced S7/i Full Frame Plus spherical primes, users asked for Full Frame anamorphics.”
It’s always been this way—ever since Richard Burton marched into The Robe (1953) in what the ads proclaimed as “The Tremendous Spectacle that Launched Cinemascope. With a mighty cast of thousands! You see more because there is more on the film to see!”
Not content with a mere 35mm negative whose 1.33:1 silent aperture anamorphically stretched to 2.66:1 — MGM released Ben-Hur (1959) in big MGM Camera 65 format (65mm Ultra Panavision). Its 1.25x squeezed anamorphic image on 65mm negative desqueezed to a spectacular 2.76:1 aspect ratio on 70mm projection film (the extra 5 millimeters were for the sound track).
The circle of life in formats and aspect ratios continues.
Cooke Optics presents a 50mm T2.3 Full Frame Plus 1.8x Anamorphic/i lens at IBC. The core set will be 40, 50, 75 and 100 mm, all T2.3. Front diameters will be 110 mm. They will be similar in size to the Cooke S7/i Full Frame Plus lenses.
These will be followed by 32, 135 and 180 mm.
All these lenses will cover the Full Frame image area of 36 mm wide x 24mm high (image diagonal of 43.27 mm).
The anamorphic squeeze ratio is 1.8x. Why?
Les explained, “If you do the math, to get 2.39:1 desqueezed from a 1.5:1 Full Frame image, you’d have a 1.6x ratio. But to us, that’s not a very interesting anamorphic look. It’s like being half pregnant. The classic oval bokehs are missing.
“If we did a traditional 2x squeeze, there would be a lot of wasted space and pixels lost in cropping (1.5:1 x 2 = 3:1). So we arrived at 1.8x, which keeps the classic look and oval bokehs. Also, a 2.39:1 image squeezed to 1.8x benefits from covering over 90% of the Full Frame sensor area.”
The math is good. 1.5:1 x 1.8 = 2.7:1. This is close to the classic, original anamorphic ratios. In this era of streaming and aspect ratio independence, we are no longer limited by projection lenses and 2.39:1 screens. These words may send various companies and committees into paroxysms of parrying prose, but perhaps creative freedom and aspect ratio agnosticism will prevail.
Another advantage of the 1.8x anamorphic squeeze is that it benefits from the full resolution of the camera’s full picture height.
Of course, the new Cooke 1.8x Anamorphic/i lenses also work on S35 cameras and Full Format cameras with 1.89:1 sensor aspect ratios: Canon C700 FF (38.1 x 20.1mm) and RED MONSTRO 8K (40.96 x 21.60mm).
The new Cooke 1.8x Anamorphic/i Full Frame lenses will have the familiar Cooke look of their Super35 cousins: horizontal streaks when flared with a light source, beautiful bokeh and smooth skin tones.
What cameras support 1.8x desqueezed viewing? Sony announced support in Version 3.0 for VENICE.
ARRI will have an ALEXA LF SUP 4.0 beta version at IBC that already supports 1.8x de-squeeze, as well as 1.65x de-squeeze for the Panavision Ultra Vista Anamorphics.
At IBC 2018, Cooke will also present the Panchro/i Classic 65mm Macro and 21mm lenses for the first time, as well as various lenses from the S7/i, miniS4/i, Anamorphic/i and Anamorphic/i SF families.
Visitors to the Cooke booth at IBC in Hall 12 (12.D10) will see demonstrations of /i3(/i Cubed), the latest version of its /i Technology metadata system that now provides distortion mapping—not just a theoretical measurement of all lenses of a particular focal length, but of the specific lens in use. New deliveries of S4/i, 5/i, and S7/i lenses from October 2018 will include /i3 functions.