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Panavision Creates the World's Lightest Variable Anamorphic Attachment, An Achievement With Many Exclusive Features in Techniques and Optical Design

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: FILM DAILY 18 MAR 55. Prepared for in70mm.com by Brian Guckian, Dublin, IrelandDate: 20.12.2015
PANAVISION. Inc., Robert. E Gottschalk, President, manufacturers of the Super Panatar variable anamorphic lens, announces the immediate availability and delivery to theaters of the new Ultra Panatar. Radiant Manufacturing Co., Chicago, will continue as sales representatives for Panavision on Ultra Panatar.

Ultra Panatars will sell for $495 per pair.

The announcement comes less than a year since Panavision first announced its entrance into the field of anamorphoses with the Super Panatar. Since that time the company has sold in excess of 1500 units, more than 35% of all the makes of projection units sold around the world for use in CinemaScope projection.

There are many new features about the Ultra Panatar. It is, according to Gottschalk and Executive Vice-President John R. Moore, the world's lightest variable anamorphic attachment, weighing under five pounds. This light weight lens has been made possible by advanced magnesium die casting techniques and more efficient optical design. Because of the Ultra's extreme light weight, it was designed to be mounted onto the prime lens of the projector which eliminates the need for mounting brackets and supporting mounts.

A new, exclusive feature, of the Ultra Panatar is the one knob control, doing away with image shift and the necessity of moving the projector to the center of the image. No focusing, according to Gottschalk, is necessary since the lens conies equipped with a corrector lens, which is selected for each installation, eliminating all anamorphic astigmatism. When the Ultra Panatar is attached to the prime lens, it becomes part of an optical train, which is completely sealed against dirt and dust.

“CORNING GLASS, which supplied the optical units for the observatory of Mt. Palomar," said Gottschalk, "provided all of the glass for Ultra Panatar, as it did for the Super Panatar. For this reason, optically this is the finest possible unit yet developed for variable anamorphic projection. The William I. Mann Go., the largest glass grinders in the West, polishes the glass to our requirements.

"Exhaustive studio tests have shown that the Panatar lenses are the sharpest edge-to-edge anamorphic attachment now available. We have sold to almost every major chain of theaters in America and many independent theaters.

"The new low price of the Ultra Panatar will make it possible for every theater in America to take advantage of the box office benefits of CinemaScope.

"We of Panavision, with the efforts of Radiant Screen, the selling organization, will see the day when every theater in the world will be equipped to show CinemaScope or any other of the wide screen processes."

With Radiant as the national sales representative, sales are handled through established theater supply houses, including Westrex, National Theater Supply, and others.

PANAVISION. manufacturers of Ultra and Super Panatar, started delivery to the industry in March, 1954, although experiments leading to Super Panatar had then been underway for almost three years. The development program was accelerated by the announcement by 20th Century-Fox of CinemaScope in January, 1953. Because of the company's rapid growth, an expanded building program is scheduled for the future, according to Gottschalk. first completed is a unique pressurized, dust-free room for use in assembling Super and Micro Panatar.

"Sales in individual areas will continue through established outlets," Gottschalk said. "These include National Theater Supply and National Theater Supply Export, Westrex, International Variety, B. F.' Shearer and Dominion Sound of Canada, among others."

The Super Panatar division of Panavision has grossed in excess of $3,000,000 in the months since March, 1954. The original price to theaters was $895.

Final stimulus for product development in 1955 will be in the field of taking attachments. The ApoPanatar, into which a tremendous amount of research and development effort has been placed, will be formally announced. Thus Panavision adds photographic taking with ApoPanatar to the fields of projection and printing, Gottschalk stated.

"VistaVision and all other wide screen and anamorphic techniques are compatible with all of the Panavision products," said Gottschalk, "and we will continue to build and develop for maximum efficiency and economy within the entire industry from producer to exhibitor."

Robert Gottschalk Defines Ultra, Super, Micro

Definitions by Robert Gottschalk, President of Panavision, Inc.:

Ultra and Super Panatar: Prismatic variable anamorphosers for projection of an-amorphosed film. An attachment for projection machines for the showing of CinemaScope or any other squeeze film process.

Micro Panatar: An optical unit for the conversion of anamorphic negative to conventional prints, or for the conversion of conventional negative to anamorphic prints in the laboratory.

THE VISION OF TWO YOUNG MEN made possible the Panavision Corporation of today. President Robert K. Gottschalk and Vice-President John R. Moore (left to right in the photo above), friends and business associates for many years, entered the area of theater and projection anamorphics through the back door of their interest in and knowledge of cameras and optics with all of the complex techniques and paraphernalia related to both fields.

In developing a camera for use in 16 mm. underwater photography, which they were developing for the making of sports films, they found it necessary to develop an optical system that could combat the light refraction qualities of the water under the surface. A wide angle lens was the best answer. But that was not sufficient. Gottschalk, through his knowledge of the technical aspects of lenses, knew that a "squeeze" lens, using anamorphosis was the answer.

IN DEVELOPING THIS "TAKING" LENS for his 16 mm. system, his experiments led him into the necessity for a variable projection lens, adaptable to all aspect and squeeze ratios. From that work came the Super Panatar 100; now in use in more than 4,500 theaters. Continuing experimentation led to the new Ultra Panatar, lighter, more economical to purchase, combining all of the finest features of the Super Panatar with the addition of many new, exclusive ones.

Moore and Gottschalk, friends in and out of the office, were imbued with the spirit b/ the competition in the motion picture industry and for that reason have determined to build the best and only the best in anamorphic photographic equipment, an ambitious goal in which they already enjoy notable achievements.

More in 70mm reading:

Panavison Large Format Motion Picture Systems

The Importance of Panavision

Super Panavision 70
Ultra Panavision 70

Ultra Panavision 70 Lens

Internet link:

"The Motion Picture Projectionist"

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Updated 21-01-24