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Caleb Genheimer

Rangefinder Screengrabs

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Hi, All! 

Here are some screen grabs, from my first UHD video test with the new SLR Magic Rangefinder/Kowa 16-H/Konica 40mm/Samsung NX1.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums/72157659802564846/with/22182848755

I've done only small, simple corrections to these images, nothing drastic beyond a tiny bit of sharpening and levels tweak. This is more-or-less how this setup renders things straight to the camera. Hopefully some video will come soon, showcasing wonderful, easy focus pulls!

I did one test previous, (right out of the box of course, and it was not properly executed.) With some careful tuning of the "taking" prime lens' focus, I was able to get sharper results in this second test. The Kowa and the Rangefinder are nowhere near their max resolving power, that much is clear. The small Konica Hexanon 40mm pancake is unfortunately the culprit. Even at f4 (which all of these were taken at), it just isn't tack-sharp in the fine details. It's good enough to warrant UHD instead of HD, but it doesn't quite "pop" in the sharpness department (an attribute of good 4K that I've found very appealing.)

The Rangefinder is what is creating the prominent (large) blue "bokeh" flares, and in doing so, it robs the Kowa of some of its flare intensity. Not sure how I feel about that. Other than the change to flare characteristics, the Rangefinder leaves the image pretty much identical to what the Kowa and Konica do without it on front. It does breathe, but only a little bit, and I happen to like a touch of breathing on anamorphic. 

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

I don't like it. I think it's ugly.

 

I'm certainly going to be using a matte box next time in order to avoid the flares, as I agree with you completely. Again, this was a test. Better to be aware of the flares so I can take measures to avoid them when they're unwanted. It's a shame, really. The Kowa has wonderful horizontal flares, but there's no way to get them without also introducing the big blue blobs.

 

Flynn, the Kowas are from the 80s (most of them), so they're pretty much on par with lenses from that era. IMO they're the most versatile projection anamorphic. Not as "Zeiss clinical" as a Schneider, not as vintage as a Moller, but they can go the widest and tend to take on the character of whatever prime lens you use them with. KOWA FTW. The trick is finding a prime lens that they work well with. Pancakes and lenses with simple optics tend to work the best. Obviously, the Rangefinder is brand spankin new, and other than the blue flares, it really is wonderful. I'm also using a SmallHD AC-7, so I can now focus and de squeeze anamorphic as I capture it. Whole different ballgame and really, really gratifying setup to work with.

 

Yes, there are a few other "variable diopter" systems available right now, and I'm sure some of them have a slight edge over the Rangefinder. But pre-ordered for $400 with focus scale, this sucker is hard to beat bang-for-buck. I did find myself using the focus scale to rack focus consistently over multiple takes. With a better follow focus that might not be necessary, but I'm personally glad I got one with marks.

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Would love to see some tests on human faces.

 

Shots look nice. 40mm is really the sweet spot for me in terms of the FOV I expect from anamorphic. I'm shooting with a helios (58mm) and the images are nice, but it is too zoom-y.

 

Post some faces! (please)

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i don't know that this warrants a reply but I read that as "human feces" the first time. 

totally warrants a reply.

Would love to see some tests on human faces.

 

Shots look nice. 40mm is really the sweet spot for me in terms of the FOV I expect from anamorphic. I'm shooting with a helios (58mm) and the images are nice, but it is too zoom-y.

 

Post some faces! (please)

Too zoom-y, exactly. excellent terminology. I'm saving up for a Voigtlander . . . either the 40mm f2 pancake, or the regular 40mm f1.4. The Konica was given to me in a bag of old photo crap. Just happened to be a good pairing for the anamorphic, but it's high time to upgrade to something sharper. I feel like I'm SO close to having a very easy-to-use anamorphic setup. A few tweaks to the lens support system, and I'm there.

 

Edit: I've got a little video compilation of these clips almost ready, too. The magic comes alive with some motion.

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Thumbs way up. That's some of the sharpest, crispest anamorphic footage I've seen come from an adapter. It rivals anything I've seen come from a professional anamorphic prime lens, even fancy ones. You don't have any of the weird glitches, glares and uneven bokeh and stretch ratio that usually comes with screwing multiple lenses together. Just clean, crisp 'Scope material. Love it.

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Thumbs way up. That's some of the sharpest, crispest anamorphic footage I've seen come from an adapter. It rivals anything I've seen come from a professional anamorphic prime lens, even fancy ones. You don't have any of the weird glitches, glares and uneven bokeh and stretch ratio that usually comes with screwing multiple lenses together. Just clean, crisp 'Scope material. Love it.

Thanks! I think it's partly down to the fact that shallow DOF/shooting at max aperture is still a fairly popular thing. I'm gas guilty as any. I forced myself to stick to f4, and I have to say, the results are very evident. 40mm on S35 just feels very filmic.

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Probably. But keep in mind this is induced and worse-case (pointed directly/near directly at the freaking sun with no lens hood, neutral density or mattebox.) I think even a generic rubber hood would've blocked these out in most shots, and a proper mattebox should cut all flares save a direct light to the face.

i don't really mind the look of them, but it's very obnoxious and a little disconcerting that the "blue blobs" don't move much even with camera movement. They're very static and as a result, they almost come across as a fake overlay.

SLR Magic has something here that lives up to their name. I suspect that the Rangefinder has some fairly fancy, well-tuned optics to get results this good, and that usually includes lens coatings. 

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Here's my model shoot, shot with Kowa 2x + Rangefinder.  It's very sharp F4/F5.6.  And be prepared for lots of flares!  SLR Magic is always going for that Panavision look with blue flares and streaks.  It's their lens coating design.

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The Rangefinder does change the characteristic of the original taking lens combination slightly. Flares become slightly blue and you get the two extra spots of blue flare with strong lighting.

In the review here some flares were made intentionally with the phone led:

http://www.newsshooter.com/2015/08/15/review-slr-magic-anamorphot-2x-and-rangefinder-with-the-sony-a7r-ii-can-we-finally-shoot-anamorphic-for-factual-programmes/

It is a new look that takes time to get used to.

Would anyone here be at Photo Plus Expo in NYC next week? I would be there by the Panasonic booth. I could bring the Rangefinder along for anyone who wishes to try it. Pls email us ahead of time: [email protected]

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