Thread: Todd-AO Anamorphics

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  1. #1 Todd-AO Anamorphics 
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    Been searching for Todd-AO's for a long long time & having zero luck.
    Anyone have any suggestions or is it an impossible task?
    If found, what would one expect to pay for them?
    David McMillian
    dmcmillprods@gmail.com
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Adrian Jebef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David McMillian View Post
    Been searching for Todd-AO's for a long long time & having zero luck.
    Anyone have any suggestions or is it an impossible task?
    If found, what would one expect to pay for them?


    This is basically an impossible task. Not a lot out there. Only conceivable bet would be to contact the few rental houses that own sets and ask if they would be willing to sell. Highly unlikely but you never know...
    Adrian Jebef
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  3. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Jebef View Post
    This is basically an impossible task. Not a lot out there. Only conceivable bet would be to contact the few rental houses that own sets and ask if they would be willing to sell. Highly unlikely but you never know...
    Besides Camtec & Keslow (who I know won't sell) who else has them worldwide?
    What do you think they would cost, how much they would ask for?
    I can't find any history of previous sales.
    David McMillian
    dmcmillprods@gmail.com
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  4. #4  
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    never work with these so wanting to know is todd-ao anamorphic a good image quality?
    why are these so rare in finding?
    is cost a lot of money to buy?
    Respectfully,
    Javier Banos
    banosjavier71@gmail.com
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  5. #5  
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    These are beautiful, rare and awesome Optics.

    There are a variety of different models in the same focal length - from a variety of time periods...

    They are also always found in a variety of conditions depending on the maintenance and life experience of each lens, so its very much a case by case basis.

    I recommend renting some from Camtec to give them a try and see if they meet your expectations. I think that there is also a set at LensWorks Rental.

    Some use a similar focus system design as early Panavision as far as I'm aware. If you haven't tried Elite Anamorphics or ArriScope Iscos that might also be worth your time trying.

    Best Regards,

    Dan
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member Ignacio Aguilar's Avatar
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    These anamorphic lenses were an attempt to compete with Panavision from Todd-AO, the company behind the first 5-perf 65mm developed in the 1950's.

    There were two different series of Todd-AO 35 (as opposed to 65mm) lenses. The true 65mm productions had the credit "produced in Todd-AO" while the anamorphic 35mm were just "filmed on Todd-AO".

    The first series of lenses was designed by Dr. Richard Vetter (who also was behind the Dimension 150 process used in "The Bible" and "Patton") and were introduced in 1971. I believe they were first used by DP Gilbert Taylor ("Star Wars") on Roman Polanski's "MacBeth". They were based on Cooke Speed Panchros as the taking lens with a front anamorphic cylinder and the more common focal lenghts were 38-50-75-100mm if I'm not wrong opening up to T2.3 or so. These were manufactured in the USA. I'd say they are on par with the Panavision anamorphic glass of the 60's and early 70's (B & early C-Series).

    The second series were based on Canon high speed aspherical glass, FD's or K35's, and were introduced in the late 70's. If I'm not wrong they were manufactued in Japan. Some people say Cineovision made them and put the Todd-AO brand in the Todd-AO sets and Cineovision in their own sets (lenses were identical if this is true). The focal lenghts were 24-35-55-85mm, all T1.4. Gilbert Taylor again used them on "Flash Gordon" (1980) and also on "Conan" (1982), but he was replaced during the shoot by Duke Callaghan. The second generation was an improvement over the first one, once again comparable with the Super High Speed anamorphics that Panavision made in the 1970's, at least in terms of performance (sharpness, contrast, resolution) but I would have to check about the focus movement and breathing (Panavision's lenses only breathe on the vertical axis, which makes them very special).

    Dino De Laurentiis used Todd-AO 35 lenses quite a lot, but after "Dune" (1984), he switched to JDC anamorphic lenses. After that, Todd-AO's weren't used for any major production for a long time, both Technovision and JDC took the non-Panavision anamorphic market during the 80's, joined by Vantage (Hawk anamorphics) during the 90's. The Todd-AO's were probably used first with Mitchell and Cinema Products cameras in BNCR mount and later with the lighter ARRI BL's.

    Todd-AO also adapted the old Angenieux 20-120mm T2.9 for the anamorphic format, labeled as the Todd-AO 35 40-240mm T4 anamorphic zoom. Most of "Hurricane" (1979) and "Dune" used that lens alone and avoided the primes for some reason.
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  7. #7  
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    Bump - anyone else have any ideas where to find?
    Or is this just a pipe dream?
    David McMillian
    dmcmillprods@gmail.com
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