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Blog Comments - SLR Magic Prototype Anamorphic footage and feedback request

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Posted

[media]http://vimeo.com/53623079[/media]

[i]Above: A message from Andrew of SLR Magic[/i]

SLR Magic are stepping into the world of anamorphic lenses. Developed afresh, this will be a 100% new custom designed anamorphic lens for filmmakers but priced accessibly for DSLR filmmakers as well as pros. The footage above is from the early prototype and I have been speaking to Andrew about the early development of the lens.

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Posted

There's also this from our friend in Brazil. Apefoscope.

http://vimeo.com/52730117

Let me know your thoughts guys and gals...

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I'd like to see a century / optex style on steroids. designed for a m4/3 sensor. these type of lenses work well on m4/3 as is, focus close, allow very wide taking lenses, but need a bit of work to allow them to shine with a sensor bigger than little chip pd150 type cameras. whack a nice achromatic front element on there as standard which allows infinity focus like you get with an optex and a +0.4 tokina.

the prominent large area of the curved front element of the optex really gives that modern anamorphic flare.

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Posted

I actually prefer the look of the Apefos anamorphic. He's experimenting with different coatings so he'll be able to minimize that flare a bit.

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Im really not interested in an adapter, I'd like to se a set of prime animorphic lenses, 25, 35, 50, 85, 100. That would be great. save on the dual focusing issues I read about. Woul be a better option for SLR Magic I would have thought as well as customers are not just buying one adapter they would get several lenses.

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[quote name='EndCredits' timestamp='1353021759' post='21720']
Im really not interested in an adapter, I'd like to se a set of prime animorphic lenses, 25, 35, 50, 85, 100. That would be great. save on the dual focusing issues I read about. Woul be a better option for SLR Magic I would have thought as well as customers are not just buying one adapter they would get several lenses.
[/quote]

This would be a good idea, though each lens would probably be about £4000 so not accessible to most. But if they did, I bet the hire firms would take them on as hire stock. if the hire cost for a 35, 50 and 85 were the same as a set of 3 zeiss cp2's, every proper indi film could be shot in morph if required. A popular hire package in this market is the sony f3 and the cp2 package. I'd certainly hire a set of slr magic morph primes instead of the cp2's to run on a s-log f3 for a indi feature film.

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[quote name='richg101' timestamp='1353022398' post='21723']
This would be a good idea, though each lens would probably be about £4000 so not accessible to most. But if they did, I bet the hire firms would take them on as hire stock. if the hire cost for a 35, 50 and 85 were the same as a set of 3 zeiss cp2's, every proper indi film could be shot in morph if required. A popular hire package in this market is the sony f3 and the cp2 package. I'd certainly hire a set of slr magic morph primes instead of the cp2's to run on a s-log f3 for a indi feature film.
[/quote]

Good point. I would not be interested in buying all new lenses that's for sure.

I don't really know enough about anamorphic lenses to make any kind educated suggestion. What I know about them scares me to tell you the truth. 3 meter minimum focal distance, weird couplings, diopters, and, oh god, dual focus system?! Not to mention, the Massive/long lens tube sticking off the end of your lens coming out of a tiny camera looks ridiculous to me. No thanks. The results are amazing and I'm totally jealous of those who can afford to shoot that way but honestly, the only way I would consider this is if it was some kind of simple attachment that I could stick on the end of my existing lenses and didn't cost over $1000. But seriously, no dual focus.

This might be just my ignorance but what's wrong with the LA7200? It seems like it would work a lot better then all these goofy projector lenses?

One thing I can say for sure is that I'm all for the 2X squeeze. I don't see the point in anamorphic lenses unless you really feel it. A lot of the 2.33 footage lacks that really wide screen Cinescope feeling. If I was going to buy an anamorphic lens, I would want it to be as wide as possible.

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Posted

Adapter or not, it all depends on how usable it is! This dual focus thing is bothering me! For making movies, we MUST be able to rack-focus quickly and reliably on different subjects (which, 90% of the time, are not that far away from each other), as well as to follow their moves! This could be possible if one was able to setup a "usable focus range" with one ring, while using the second ring for pinpoint focus accuracy. If so, then I don't mind the idea of a generic adapter with dual focus rings.

The 1.33x ratio seems to be a good compromise, too. I'm not really fond of the idea of cropping-reframing my pictures in post to get a standard scope ratio (2.39:1). As long as we keep some of the following:

- Nice "panavision like" flares. Yours seems quite nice indeed. So, I guess this one is OK!
- Oval "Panavision like" Bokeh! Please! Some of yours seems to be circular, some not, which is a bit... odd...
- Some degree of "panavision smoothness", of cinemascope magic! Anamorphic shooting with a digital camera is always a pretty good way to get rid of this nasty "digital edge" we are used to live with since we got digital cameras... It's hard to tell, right now, how yours is, because your lighting condition is not very good (sodium HPS lights are the worst you could choose)! Could you please share with us some pictures taken during daylight?


All in all, this is really exciting! I'm looking forward for your product! You can count me in :)

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Posted

I'm impressed by the sharpness of the SLR Magic adapter at F2 and know the Century/Optex can't go there without a diopter. I wonder if this is the lower threshold for this particular adapter or if it could sustain even wider apertures without the need of a diopter.

Regardless, I'd be interested. Even though the Tokina is a very, very slight diopter we must contend with an already limited lower threshold at wider focal lengths with M4/3 as it is. I can do 18mm with my setup, and can live with that and make that work but there will always be a part of me that wishes I could go wider, particularly outside. It would be amazing if this adapter could be used on their own super-wide hyperprime.

I like Michael Mann and Peter Berg, who often live in the close-up realm for most of a picture. But I also like Sergio Leone and widescreen used for maximum effect, like it was originally designed to do.

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Posted

[quote name='galenb' timestamp='1353027228' post='21726']
This might be just my ignorance but what's wrong with the LA7200? It seems like it would work a lot better then all these goofy projector lenses?
[/quote]

I agree with you regarding the projector lenses. Dual-focus is a no-go for anything but the most patient of experimental filmmaker. It's for people who want the look more than they desire sanity, if they're actually shooting a film with actors and all kinds of people that are usually, already waiting on camera to be ready without such exotic toys in play.

I'm assuming (hoping) the SLR Magic adapter is focus-through as well. Dual-focus is a total deal breaker for me.

The problem with the LA7200 that this test already shows this adapter is an improvement on is sharpness at wider apertures without a diopter, and in the case of the LA7200 an even more rare, more expensive diopter than the venerable Tokina. I'm not sure what it's lower threshold is but with my Century I can't be tack sharp at any focusing distance open wider than F2.8 without a diopter (which affects FOV).

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We don't want focus through like LA7200, that doesn't work at fast apertures or with a shallow depth of field. We need the Iscorama style focussing method of prime at infinity and one focus barrel, no breathing. Agree dual focussing is a deal breaker (for me at least) and have made that clear to SLR Magic. I want them to package this as one lens with the prime and anamorphic focussing as one unit. Focus more important than having it as a stand-alone adapter in my view. Have a Kowa for that and don't use it because of the dual focussing.

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Posted

I think the adapter looks pretty great already. I'm hoping that they can make it with a fairly large thread size (77mm or bigger) so that it can fit a large range of lenses existing lenses, and also that they can make it with a standard round front so it's easy to fit into a matte box (unlike the LA7200).

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[quote name='EOSHD' timestamp='1353034256' post='21738']
I want them to package this as one lens with the prime and anamorphic focussing as one unit.
[/quote]
That's a nice idea but unless they want to make an anamorphic zoom, it's going to be too limiting to only have one lens. If they had that AND an adaptor so that you had the same coatings/quality then that would be ideal. And if that adapter has to be dual focus OR focus through and needing more light, I'll take that hit for consistency's sake.

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Posted

one lens 200 dollars the other 1200 i do not see 1000 dollars of difference between the 2 optics.

slr magic could of been shot on my optex that i adjusted the spacing on.
the century optex suffered from shoddy construction allignment.
neither lens is beating the panasonic yet that is the issue.
good beginnings : )

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The LA7200 is really soft at F2. This is nice and sharp. If they give us that image quality and an easy way to rack focus, it will suit me fine. If it is as nice optically as the Kowa 8Z but focuses like a normal lens then it will be amazing.

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the adjustments done on panasonic,optex and century where all configured for small sensor and zoom lens use with a distance calculation done to get infinity on camcorder.
if you adjust pana or optex fixed optic position you can get similar quality if the glass is good some of these mass produced optics had astigmatism because one optic was better finished than the other.
wave front errors etc.
the restriction comes from fixed optics usually sealed in the 8-16 feet position of the concave and convex anamorphic optic.
the flexibility of optex,century in the use of wider angle taking lens also create many issues.
the longer telescope optic to optic distance of the sankor design means you get much better c.a. corrections.
for the budget system the panasonic,optex adapter system is the economic way.
a system combining multiple dual focus cylindrical and taking lens in one sealed system is cheaper than an iscorama copy but still got to be over 2000 dollars.

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Okay so if they could make an adaptor like the LA2700 but have it still be sharp at wide open and be made with DSLRs in mind, we would be good? (that's what I would want)

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[quote name='galenb' timestamp='1353043078' post='21748']
Okay so if they could make an adaptor like the LA2700 but have it still be sharp at wide open and be made with DSLRs in mind, we would be good? (that's what I would want)
[/quote]

exactly. for a consumer/prosumer product I think this is the only option in order to get single focusing ring (via the taking lens) and a price point to suit the market. what they need to factor in is that once everyone can acquire anamorphic if they want, the demand will no doubt go down (even before they have sold to every potential customer). I invested in anamorphic because it was the cheapest way to take dslr footage one step past every other dslr with a 50 on it. an extra 1.5k on an isco + diopter set was worth it for me because I want to shoot a short with the nex5n but want it to stand slightly above and it be a step above the same level of production shot on very high quality primes. If this comes out and is accessible to all and makes the anamorphic shooting procedure an easy one, the edge of being able to shoot sharp anamorphic will be removed from the equation.

Be wary on your perceived potential market being imaginary. I can't see it beating or matching the iscorama 36 on a performance / current ebay price level and in which case eveyone willing to buy into anamorphic has already done so.

a matched set on the other hand (based on a nice T2.0 aperture) from 35, 50, 85 and 135 with sub 1m focusing at £4-5k a pop will be killer in the rental market. a £10million budget film cant afford to hire in panavisions, but could afford your lenses to go on a sony f3, f5, f55, epic, alexa etc. And would do so too! - if they required the anamorphic look.

Trying to appeal to consumers / 'prosumers' is a waste of time on this project IMO. lots of talkers. very few do-ers online. The ones like me who talk and do, spend the silly £400+ on optex and silly £1000+ on iscoramas. I don't think there aren't enough talkers who also are crazy enough to buy into it and make the effort to embrace the limitations. It's easier to market a 50mm f0.95 lens to these people.

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Hi, I've shot with the AGLA7200 and GH13 for a long time now and the sharpness and close focus is a issue for sure ! But I prefer this instead of a double focus barrel !
Anyway, I think I prefer a 2,66 ratio (like isco's 1,5X factor) which will make bokeh more oval and stretch also !
And I agree about the zoom lens. Why not build only one lens like a standard 28-70mm F2.0 or F2.8 ? I guess it's more complicated but at least we can zoom (an effect I miss so much) and keep on one bouying just one lens ? And then have a serie of standard 25-35-50-85 ?
But I also have their 12mm F1.6 and they sure work well :) So I kind of trust them but I'll be disappointed if I can't buy multiple lenses...

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[quote name='EOSHD' timestamp='1353019808' post='21715']
There's also this from our friend in Brazil. Apefoscope.

Let me know your thoughts guys and gals...
[/quote]

Where is the oval Bokeh ? The sharpeness isn't great at all and again ? Where is the oval Bokeh ?! Only flares aren't good enough. An oval and strong bokeh is definiteively needed ! Flares can be faked like with the Atlantic filter, but not the bokeh. That's what matter the most to me.

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I like 2.66:1 plus it makes longer waterfall and more oval background, but I'd not say no to a 1.33 with no dual focus.. Dual focus is a pain, just getting to play with a Moller 32 now, looks lovely but it's slow. 2x stretch is bonkers, but you can just crop the edges off.

Screw Iscorama's old patent, they should just that method and use the money for the patent case when they clean up. Same goes with Kodak optical reducer patent, I mean those guys are flogging all their stuff, someone needs to buy that patent too. ;)

The SLR magic has OK flares, the Apefoscope ones are just too too much at the moment. There are times when you want a lot of flare as an effect, but those are all over the place and pin sharp, great work on the project so far, kudos for doing it too! those flares need some serious taming in order to be aesthetically balanced though. Also waterfall style oval bokeh is pretty essential to the look of anamorphic, I'd say moreso than the flares, it's what creates the milky depth...

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[quote name='jgharding' timestamp='1353061277' post='21762']
I like 2.66:1 plus it makes longer waterfall and more oval background, but I'd not say no to a 1.33 with no dual focus.. Dual focus is a pain, just getting to play with a Moller 32 now, looks lovely but it's slow. 2x stretch is bonkers, but you can just crop the edges off.

Screw Iscorama's old patent, they should just that method and use the money for the patent case when they clean up. Same goes with Kodak optical reducer patent, I mean those guys are flogging all their stuff, someone needs to buy that patent too. ;)

The SLR magic has OK flares, the Apefoscope ones are just too too much at the moment. There are times when you want a lot of flare as an effect, but those are all over the place and pin sharp, great work on the project so far, kudos for doing it too! those flares need some serious taming in order to be aesthetically balanced though. Also waterfall style oval bokeh is pretty essential to the look of anamorphic, I'd say moreso than the flares, it's what creates the milky depth...
[/quote]

What with Schneider owning Isco (and its patents) I imagine they would be pretty hard to fight if a patent were breeched. A patent is a patent. Why should some new guys (particularly a chinese company who are already annoying a lot of established and well respected pioneers with release of price undercutting products) profit from some very hard work done 40 years ago? Why should such companies be allowed to profit from others' work while also putting in jeopardy the future of these proper companies and the likelihood of new products? Anyway it's hard to modify a concept like this without it being very easy to prove where patents have been breeched. Copying a dyson cyclone technique leaves a lot of variables as get out clauses. copying and slightly modifying a set of lens elements in series, with one rotating for focus is a lot harder to do without it being obvious.

If SLR magic come up with a fresh design themselves it will hopefully change my blighted opinion of Chinese manufacture and 'innovation' into something more positive.

I get sore about topics like this because when a consumer aimed company (SLR Magic) might start to interfere with the profits of the high end established firms they end up watering down the overall top end innovation - consumers need to be patient and wait for this to trickle down to their level. Stealing just 1 sale a month from Hawk, Panavision, etc is a lot more damaging than people would think, and would be horrible to see if that sale was gained from the illegal use of intellectual property.

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I wouldn't hold your breath too long for an Iscorama copy, regardless of the patent problems. It would probably be very expensive to mass produce in order to get it perfect e.g. no breathing etc...
Andrew's comment about it being a sealed unit with a taking lens is probably a hint at where they will probably be going with this lens - at best it will be a focus through type thing.
The SLR magic anamorphic is looking good, but what are their plans for it - what's the focus system & what's the market?

Not really seeing the problem with dual focus systems or even monobloc fixed focus lenses - i have a lens i can rack focus with & still haven't found an instance where this type of shot would serve me better than another alternative.
Still not sure where this obsession with 'Rack Focus' has come from - i've watched, studied & written about so many films over the years and it just isn't something that is used in abundance. The most common usage is to rack focus from one talking head to another, but most filmmakers will not abandon the 'shot-reverse-shot' technique since they are taking into consideration audience identification processes. There are numerous shot types out there, you need to get to know them & stop being hung up on a very minor one - 'John Fording' will never go out of fashion (this is a close up shot, where an actor moves into focus) & is so much more effective, and easier, thus less time consuming to set up, than following the actor whilst trying to keep them in focus.

More info is needed, please!

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[quote name='tony wilson' timestamp='1353039993' post='21746']
the adjustments done on panasonic,optex and century where all configured for small sensor
[/quote]

That's funny... I always look at LA7200, or the Optex adapter footage and think, "why are the edges so blurry all the time? These things look almost useless on anything under an 50mm on the gh2.." ...and then i remember they were designed for the old 1/3 inch sensors and such.. Lol. Seems like those 2 should be excellent choices for anamorphic, since you simply focus through...

I usually only bring 2 lenses with me which are a wide and a long. So if i were requesting here, that's what i'd like.. I love a 35mm on any sensor.. Don't ask me why, no matter the crop factor, it just looks like it hits the sweet spot. The other would be an 85mm, just simply for tight shots or dialogue... like a dialogue scene at night, locked down with a city backdrop where the oval bokeh can be pulled closer. Those 2 focal lengths are pretty universal..

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