Is it possible (even likely) the 35mm anamorphic elements used for the VFX work were not stored with the spherical elements and were unavailable to the TNG-R team so they upscaled (and perhaps enhanced as necessary) these shots? The workprint for "The Child" shows that entire 'scope frame was included in letterboxed form for screening purposes prior to the VFX work, but has it been confirmed that the elements were actually available after being used by the VFX house?
That's a very interesting hypothesis, I too would be interested in hearing if this is what happened.
No, I'm pretty sure they were stored along with all the other spherical elements, no reason not to. The only thing that changed was what kind of lens was being used to photograph the scene. It's the same camera, the same film and so they probably scanned the same 2k Full Camera Aperture area as everything else, i.e. 2048 x 1556.
The Anamorphic Aperture area would be a slightly narrower portion of that, 1828 x 1556. But that was probably resampled to 1920 x 817 instead of expanding it out 2X to 3656 x 1556. This, in addition to the motion blur imposed by the panning and the fact that they often used an even more zoomed-in area to make the pan last longer or move diagonally, is probably what's behind the lack of sharpness in these shots. CBS-Digital probably just doesn't have the hardware and software pipeline to deal with what would essentially be 4k size video files. Everything they have is set up for 2k work.