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First footage shot with m43 SLR Magic Cine Anamorphics

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The comments so far seem very harsh.  Admittedly you could give Hugo a 550d and a 18-55 kit lens and he'd make something beautiful with it.  Add some artistic themes, a great soundtrack and a truly beautiful lady in a semi transparent top into the mix and as a sexist pig I'm gonna like it.  

 

Optically it looks like these lenses were being used in their sweet spot in terms of a scene.  subdued light, little opportunity for edge CA to become apparent.  I see the classic SLR Magic browny orange/blue CA mix going on which to me is undesirable.  LOMO's do CA properly.  In a lomo square you get CA which doesnt cause a harsh effect.  These look like they may suffer from the typical SLR magic CA which to me isn't nice.  

Positive thoughts are that these lenses really look anamorphic.  subdued flares are nice, nice defocus, barrel distortion isn;t too corrected (barrel distortion is one of the best features of anamorphics from yesteryear).  On a wide shot it draws your eye into the centre, and reminds the viewer they're watching a cinemascope movie.  The sheer number of elements in the optical pathway are showing themselves really nicely.

I'd still rather grab a rama 36, a tokina and a set of cheap 50, 85 and 135 lenses and shoot full frame 16:9, with 3 times the sensor area, and 3 times the shallowness of dof, with almost no CA, the perfect amount of distortion, and a German badge from 1970 on the front rather than a 2015 Chinese badge.   

  

   

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Thanks Hugo, appreciate the time and the energy you took. I agree with Rich, some comments were pretty harsh. Don't see why sharing is rewarded with flak; it only serves to push people away and thins the community. As to the footage (well shot and yes, controlled but fits the style of the piece). Would like to see some rapid focus pulling on the lenses (as well as speed shifts in the edit). I own their Anamorphot and the nature of that beast is that it needs a tape measure involved to hit the marks. Thanks again

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Try to step back from what's happening and just look at the image. There's no anamorphic beauty in there.

Normally you'd be preaching to the choir.  This time you're IMO plain wrong.    I can't imagine anything else that could make the gh4 4;3 mode look more anamorphic.  This looks more 'anamorphic' than most of the stuff I've seen from Hugo - including what he's shot on his Kowa B+H.  if Hugo had aimed the light in the background towards the lens it would have flared more.  instead he used the light to add some edge light to her to make her pop a bit more.

I'm not saying I love the optical quality, but I can certainly see some anamorphic beauty there.  The lenses have shaped the way Hugo has shot the piece.  He'd have shot it completely differently and it would have looked completely different if he'd used normal lenses and cropped.

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Great work put into it and all, but as far as a demo of these anamorphic lenses go it may as well have been shot spherical and cropped top and bottom!  Would have been pretty convincing compared to this, which is really not what you want when you spend all the extra time and $$$ shooting with anamorphics.

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Just so you know: I am never wrong. You are.

If you can't see the way the lenses render the defocus then you're blind.  Even with the rather deep field at the wider end, it's plain to see that the lenses are defocusing with the 2x anamorphic distortion as well as adding the classical anamorphic aesthetic.  

And seeing as you are being so harsh and demanding of the lenses and of Hugo's test, as well as quite pompous, please direct us to some work of yours which illustrates your experience with anamorphic lenses in general, as well as the work you'd produce if SLR Magic had infact made lenses that matched Panavision c's or Vantage 74's.   

 

 

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Hugo,

As always your short is beautifully shot & executed - no surprises there.

As a piece to show off the new SLR Magic Anamorphics, well you only go so far - but you wouldn't put crap shots in a lovely piece like this (its called the cutting room floor for a reason).

Also, using anamorphics isn't all about flare, shallow DOF or oval bokeh! And I assume that you were using these lenses at their sweet spot, which probably won't be to the taste of everyone, but looks very nice.

However, it would be good just to see where & how these lenses fall down - in the spirit of openess & all that, fellow consumers need to get the full picture & not just a pretty one.

So, any thoughts you'd like to share - pros & cons?

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First I have to say that it was such a pleasure to shoot with these lenses compared to shooting with other vintage anamorphics. No hassle, no aligning, no triple checking focus. Other lenses can give great results. Kowa, Bolex Möller, Sankor, Iscorama and other anamorphics all have their special character, beauty, disadvantages and solutions to be able to shoot in a proper way. But being able to shoot without lens clamps, rings, front lenses and other stuff feels so good. It’s just choosing the right focal distance, attach it and shoot.

Is it perfect? No. But I have to compliment SLR Magic because they are at least putting energy into anamorphic solutions and now even into native anamorphics.

When shooting wide open, which I tend to do and have done for this short film, some chromatic aberration can be visible, it disappears when stopping down. The 35mm mm has clearly some visible circular distortion in the edges. I tiny bit too much to my personal taste but i know many anamorphic lovers love the distortion. I am enthusiastic about the sharpness, the overall look and user friendly usability. These are the first ‘lower range’ anamorphics I would dare to take with me on a commercial job.

Color correction was done in Adobe Lightroom, not the most easiest and common way common way to color correct video but I love some tools that are available in Lightroom. I exported and color corrected every single frame as a tiff.

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I really don't get why people are complaining about these lenses.  This is some of the most "cinematic" footage I've seen come out of the GH4 yet.  And I think it looks better (in a purely subjective sense) than the mini Hawk tests.  Am I going to trade in my Iscorama for one of these?  Probably not.  But if I had to go on a shoot with this set, I'd be more than happy to do so.

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A great piece by Hugo as always, with clearly a lot of effort going into it, I love the look Hugo gets out of the GH4 even in dark environments where the GH4 doesn't excel.  I'd have preferred less nipple as that cheapens the discussion around the video itself.

Hugo makes a good point about the practically of a lot of anamorphics, trying to focus, clamp and then work with them can be a real hassle.  Putting together a native anamorphic which doesn't cost the Earth is an achievement in itself and so I'm looking forward to seeing more examples of SLR Magics in use.

Haters going to hate.

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