jueves, 3 de septiembre de 2020


My last article about the Iscorama system is almost the "bible" of this anamorphic system, published in currently number of the luxury printed magazine "SilverGrain Classic". The editors, Marwan Mozayen and Charys Schuler, fully devoted this issue to widescreen photography and cinematography. 
The title of my article is a tribute to the Cinerama system. 
conserve fresh in my memory the first feature that I enjoyed  in real Cinerama using three projectors: “This is Cinerama”, in 1972 or 1973, when I was twelve or thirteen years old. 
Primera página de mi extenso estudio sobre el sistema Iscorama
At that time, a circus type carp settled in my city during the winter in which the Cinerama organization projected all the famous documentaries made specially for the gigant curved widescreen system: “This is Cinerama”, “Cinerama holiday”, “Seven wonders of the World”, “Search of the paradise” and “South seas adventures”. 

The company projected all the Cinerama documentaries but, unfortunately, not the two Cinerama features with real stars:  George Pal´s  "The wonderful World the Grinn brothers" nor "How the west was won". 
This is Cinerama (1952) - Trailer from Flicker Alley on Vimeo.
The beginning of “This is Cinerama” is the most cinematic experience that never I experimented . The film began with a short documentary, in black and white, Academic format 1,37:1 and monophonic sound in which Lowell Thomas told us as Fred Waller had developed the Cinerama system. Suddenly, Thomas exclaim to the audience “…and this is Cinerama”, and began the projection in I.B.Technicolor and complete screen, with the three projectors at same time and the seven independent channels of sound, of the famous roller coaster sequence.
EBC 10 X Fujinon with Iscorama 54. Camera: Fujica ZC1000

The Cinerama was a spectacular widescreen system whose magic today can solely be admired, in Europe, in the National Film Museum of Bradford, in England.
Those projections in authentic Cinerama were the seed in which germinated my hooking  by the cinema in widescreen with any system, but especially in S8 with the Iscorama system.
More than 3 kgs. in your hand!

  • Anamorphic lenses, which ratio is the best one?

The  Iscorama 54 has has a magnification ratio of 1.5, horizontal of course. This means that, filming in S8, it provides a format of projection of 2:1
The 2:1 format is very pleasant for ciné shows, because it is very similar to commercial 1.85: 1 format, used in the theatres for the called  Widescreen films. In fact, Isco originally developed the Iscorama system for the professional cinema. 
Leitz Cinegon 10 mm with Iscorama 36. Camera: Fujica ZC1000
The Widescreen 1.85  format sacrifices, between frames,  a good percentage of emulsion with a  black mask, in order to obtain the 1.85 format from an 1.37 frame. The idea of Isco with the Iscorama system, in those times called Iscovision,  was to film with the full academic frame, but using the special Isco anamorphic of only a magnification ratio of 1.5 , instead of 2; so, the final projection could be done in 1.85 format but with a greater definition and light, taking advantage of use the complete the size of the frame.

Unfortunately, the quality is not the main consideration of the professional cinema industry, so the Iscorama 1.5 x anamorphic system did not prevail. However, it was adopted with certain success in the world of the audio-visual presentations of slides, in early eighties. In England, British Leyland made very pretty audio-visual  35 mm slides shows photographed with Iscorama to promote Jaguar cars.
Leitz Cinegon 10 mm with Iscorama 36. Camera Fujica ZC1000

Later, Isco introduced several Iscorama lenses  for super8 filmmakers. 

Iscorama 42 con el Pentax f 1.0.  Cámara ZC1000, en slider CBD
To know all the secrets about this system, you will need to buy issue 8 of SilverGrain Classics here: https://silvergrainclassics.com/en/ 

  • Sample of Iscorama using Super-8 (Single-8), with the Fujica ZC1000 camera and mostly Fujichrome Velvia stock, shot for Costa Cruises in 2011


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