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SLR Magic 2x ANAMORPHIC lens
  • Dear All,

    We have received 4 email requests from members of this forum on the possibility of designing an Anamorphic lens. We had this thought for the past year and did a lot of research. There is one common request which is to have horizontal flares. The others requests did not have any common grounds. We came up with an idea for a 25mm f/3.2 1.35x or 35mm f/3.2 1.35x Anamorphic lens for micro four thirds. Shooting at 16:9 would give a 2.40:1 anamorphic output. Just before we decided to go ahead with the project we had a second thought. 2 Years ago we asked openly on forum for what photographers wanted and the general consensus was our SLR Magic HyperPrime 12mm T1.6 lens.

    It did not fulfill the needs and wants of everyone but we made what most people agreed on by means of a discussion. It ended up being a popular lens that we still are having problems meeting demand and we think it had a big part to do with asking photographers. If we did not ask around we probably made a 12mm f/2.8 lens. As it turned out quite well last time we want to make our next lens an open discussion again.

    Here are some of the possible options we received and please feel free to throw in extra ideas. I hope people experienced with shooting in Anamorphic can also throw in ideas.

    Anamorphic Adapter (1.33x, 1.5x, 1.75x, 2x) Dedicated mFT Anamorphic adapter for reasonable size Anamorphic adapter compatible with FF lenses 50mm f/2.8 Anamorphic lens (FF, APS-C, or mFT) Expected MSRP (Sad fact but it as direct correlation to IQ)

    Kind rgds., SLR Magic Team

    P.S. We will be at Photokina 2012 and would like to welcome any cinematographers with Anamorphic lens ideas to drop by our booth for idea exchange! We will be in Hall 3.1 B059

  • 804 Replies sorted by
  • Would prefer 1.5 or even the wider 1.75. 2x is a bit too extreme (still like it). MSRP? Depends on quality for sure. Good Sankors go for round 400/500. Bolex Moller 1000, isco even more. If prize can compete with them I would get one.

  • For me If the adapter is 1.33 or 1.5x and can rack focus down to about 1ft to infinity with out using extra close up filter (not sure if its possible), ill be one of the first to buy one ..for me i rather it be an adapter rather than a fixed focal length anamorphic

  • @beeldlab what kind of anamorphic look are you looking for?

    When shooting at 16:9

    1.5x = 2.66:1 1.75x = 3.11:1 2x = 3.55:1

    Just a reminder, we do not need to stick to the standard 1.5x, 1.75x, or 2x. As we are making a new one from scratch any specification is possible (at least we can try).

    Thanks, Andrew

  • @sammy are you looking for 2.35:1 or 2.66:1 anamorphic?

    1ft is not quite possible for an anamorphic lens or anamorphic adapter. The use of close up filters would be the way to go. IQ is generally poor without the use of close up filters below 3m distance.

    The advantage of an anamorphic adapter is universal usage. Disadvantage is compromised IQ and weak mounting solution. It would be held by the 2-3mm thread only. There is also a chance the adapter is not aligned properly due to user error and you do not get the best IQ. Users will also need to have a trial and error with which lens work well with the adapter.

    The advantage of an anamorphic lens is ease of use, sturdy lens, and expected results. Disadvantage is versatality of course.

    If we do make an adapter, what is your opinion towards a huge (77-95mm front diameter) FF adapter or a dedicated mFT adapter (maybe 52mm or smaller) in a smaller size?

    Thanks, Andrew

  • Would prefer 2.66:1 Use without an adapter would be great. Finally no problems mounting.

  • I really like the idea of 20 or 25mm anamorphic lens around f2.8-3.2 for m4/3 right now. Personally, I´d like to achieve 2.35:1 aspect ratio when shooting 16:9 (!). Don´t know if that would be possible.. We can crop the sides of 2.66 or 3.11 to get 2.35:1 in post after all.. but it would be really cool to have 2.35:1 right away..

    If there would be chance to do more focal lengths in the future I´d love to see 50mm and 35mm.

    I think it would be really cool to have m4/3 anamorphic lens - it´s good that there is someone trying to do it! :)

  • 1.5 is pretty nice, especially with a multi-aspect sensor. Quality is very important, and it seems very difficult to design an adapter for a multitude of focal lengths whilst retaining any kind of optical performance. Right now, most adapters work well with optics that would be on the tele side combined with a m43 sensor (slightly below 50mm and longer).

    Therefore I would suggest to design with one or a few different lenses in mind. If you could make an adapter that goes well with panasonic 12-35, it should cover some hard to get focal lengths in anamorphic shooting with a m43 sensor and you most likely will have other good lenses with the same thread (58mm) also working reasonably well with the adapter. You might also want to look at a clamp attachment solution.

    A different route would be to target focal lenghts of 20 and upwards to 50 on full frame lenses, but yet again a 58mm thread could prove pretty versatile.

    I think it would be crucial to study the best (isco-göttingen) in their anamorphic adapter optical designs.

    If you make dedicated anamorphic lenses there is a whole different emphasis on the entire package. You have to create lenses that are of very high quality but still available (in price) to the indie film-maker of today. In that case it would be smart to target s35 sensor size, but like stated above, target about 20-50mm focal lengths.

    That said, the quest for anamorphic filming is one thing, but there seems to be a huge demand for cine-like specs in an "affordable" zoom (around T2, constant aperture, smooth zoom action, parfocal, contained breathing). If you get into the trouble of solving that equation then you can also design an anamorphic attachment to go with it.

  • @MarkV a 1.33x Anamorphic lens or anamorphic adapter will give 2.35:1 aspect ratio. We had either that or 1.35x to give 2.40:1 aspect ratio when shooting in 16:9 in mind but we are getting a lot of requests for 1.5x or more.

    Could someone explain why we are getting more requests for 1.5x or more instead of 1.33x or 1.35x?

    Thanks, Andrew

  • Personally I´ve had very good close focusing abilities w. tele-macro like setups (w/o diopter). This was achievable with lenses that had very good close focusing properties.

  • @slrmagic

    1.5x is the most common squeeze ratio. It´s pretty versatile with a multi-aspect sensor.

  • @slrmagic We love it wide.

  • @RRRR An anamorphic with good IQ is already very difficult to design. To design one that works with different lenses in mind means compromised IQ for all focal lengths. I recently bought an anamorphic adapter from someone in this forum. It works with many focal length and formats but it means stopping down the lens to f/5.6 or more. Would we prefer to have a versatile anamorphic adapter that needs to be stopped down to f/5.6 or more for good results for use outdoors or with good lighting?

    We can make one that works for FF lenses but it is a compromise in size for smaller camera bodies.

    For now we are only making prime lenses. We will have a few lens announcements at Photokina.

    Thanks, Andrew

  • @RRRR Could you give some example on the versatility of the 1.5x ratio with the multi-aspect sensor? Could you say the same for the APS-C and FF sensors?

  • @beeldlab I did notice a lot of feedback wanted it wide. Usually the 1.5x and 2x anamorphic lenses are cheaper as they are more available and the 1.33x lenses are more expensive as they tend to be more unavailable and give the standard 2.35:1 ratio. Is the standard 2.35:1 ratio not that desirable now for some reasons?

  • Vtaliy, is the " initiator " of his thread real and verified authority from SLR-Magic ? Under the circumstances that big players in the lens industry can not afford to " RE START " production of their own designs this person appears to be playing with all kinds of possibilities like s/he is pulling olives out of the jar ! Re-tubing the existing and finished lenses is something - designing and building lenses in industrial level is something else. Add to that factor that anamorphic lenses are bent glass and only a few manufacturer were/are able to create them successfully.

  • Vitaliy, is the " initiator " of his thread real and verified authority from SLR-Magic ?

    Yep, of course.


    Considering all else. Chinese manufacturers of glass and lenses are making progress. Plus they have some access to Japanese guys.

  • @slrmagic 2.35:1 is the new 4:3 :-)

  • @slrmagic

    I think stopping down to 5.6 is what is expected with an adapter (at infinity).. Like I said above, if you make an adapter, target a specific lens - it doesn´t hurt if it´s a zoom like the panny 12-35 because it will then fit more options on the market. (btw in the extreme wide range - 12 mm - I would not expect good optical performance) You could also target their pancake primes if you want to create something which is truly small / slimmed anamorphics.

    If you can make the adapter focusable it will be possible to tweak performance at different focal lengths / for different uses although it´s not super-easy from a user POV.

    I think m43 users, especially those with any ambition towards producing anything more than home videos, are pretty accustomed to compromizing size for desirable optics, though.

    I assume your market for anamorphics is with video shooters, not stills photographers.

    If you decide to go the route of a complete lens (which is not a bad idea IMO) I strongly suggest to design for s35 frame and think about a mount with a long FFD, perhaps PL or m42 and plan for a lineup of 3 focal lengths initially. I realize this might be a big task, but the potential customer will be film-makers and the video enthusiasts and many will only use it if there is a range of primes with the same look. (20-35-50 mm) Here, my intuition would be to look for optical schemes w. good close focusing properties.

  • I'd say, going from personal experience and observations, that anamorphics are something we all flirt with. You could even say we rent them via eBay (selling them becomes the same thing).

    Building a single focal-length anamorphic lens would be a risky endeavour.

    I'd like a cheaper LA7200 with a set of square diopters in a kit. I'd like it coated (Yep, I'll give up flare for sharpness). I'll pay $US1000.00 and personally I'll keep mine & use it.

    My LA7200 may be up for sale.

  • I just got an email and had the suggestion why more than 1.33x. Reason is because by going wider the user can choose the format they want in post production by cropping.

    IQ decreases as you go up in squeeze so more is good for versatility but not necessary better in terms of IQ.

  • @slrmagic

    gh2 is a bit restrictive in video: 4:3 and 16:9 the only possibilities (I think that will change with time) so there are / will be some quite good options w. 1.5x. Sensor size has nothing to do with it. Only flexibility in terms of framing.

    Obviously, when it comes to squeezing an image, a certain squeeze will give a certain look regardless of the frame size and there 1.5x is a good balance between optical quality and "anamorphic look" (reasonably pronounced bokeh, flare, a.s.o.)

    By the way I´m with goanna for coating / restricting flare. It´s easy to fake / strengthen in post if you absolutely want it, impossible to remove.

  • @RRRR To have an anamorphic adapter to work with our 12mm T1.6 lens would mean having a front filter larger than 105mm in diameter to not have vignetting. In other words it does not make sense at all. As we are a small company we can only make one lens at a time. A M42 lens would look fine on a s35 FS-100 or FS-900 body but on the GH2 maybe a bit on the large end.

    I do agree on close focusing properties though. If it can't be built in we can think of a solution.

  • I don't know much about anamorphic adapters or lenses but I hope you guys follow through and make the lens, I would be very interested in your results! :-)

  • In Vitaliy we trust, therefore her is my 12bit input. LOL There has been a few discussions about how wide is too wide for a given viewing distance. ( I'm searching through my bookmarks on that ). The bottom line is for a common viewing distance in relation to the physical dimensions of the image, if viewer is using both eyes - images with wider proportions than 2.35:1 require sweeping the image left and right to collect enough visual information to be satisfied. In another word, in common viewing distances in relation with image size up to 2.35:1 proportions could be viewed with eyes in resting and at ease.

    For the construction of the adapter + taking lens why even ask around !? There is one hero in town and it's called the mighty ISCO-36. For the cherry on the top a matching high quality X0.4 achromatic doublets will provide close focus shooting.

    Sorry for doubting your abilities. Thank you Vitaliy for clarifications

  • @goanna I recently bought the LA7200 off @BobbyMcDonald just to have a feel of the IQ. Its designed for 1/3" CMOS sensors (4 times smaller than the 4/3 sensor) and IQ is compromised on the 4/3 sensor. IQ has a direct relationship with lens combination and by offering a single focal-length anamorphic lens can ensure the quality and prevent compromised matching (e.g. LA7200 with GH2). I understand why you feel a fixed lens is risky. I guess the discussion here would help!

    Thanks, Andrew

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