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Apefos throws in the towel...

Sean Cunningham

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im not surprised.  he undertook the impossible and did quite well, but not well enough for the blood sucking forum community who showed huge support at the start, talking as if they will buy.  Then slowly get less interested as new stuff gets announced and they can talk about buying that instead.


Everyone told him about what they wanted or needed - I was blown away by his thread, and the amount of interest (views and comments).  Unfortunately his product never moved away from what looked like an initial mock-up made from pvc waste water piping and butterfly nuts.  I think if his optics were housed in a real body with some branding and a focus scale people would have been more likely to invest, though paying a company to cnc machine some aluminium bodies would have resulted in the lens costing more than an iscorama.  


Above all else he went about the whole visual/marketing/customer perception process in the complete wrong way and it never looked like a proper product, and this latest stunt seems to be a call out for help (trying to gain more exposure) - again lowering customer perception.  

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He also ultimately is ending with a 1.33X adapter with a wide angle floor of 35mm that isn't practical for anything but test shooting, music videos and experimental narrative.  Too much effort was really spent on flare-enhancement through designer coatings.  


It was shaping up to be a niche within a niche rather than a new product that addressed the concerns or realities of what the alternatives were.  Unfortunately.  

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as i said early in that thread it is really easy and cheap to make an anamorphic...
putting it together and getting it to look better than a 150 dollar ebay proskar is a mount everest for anyone even slr magic.
i called it the proskar equation.

listening taking advice from all the customers is also a big mistake : )
most people are nutters or mental defectives.

any chance i can have mine waterproofed.
i don't like blue flares can i have custom pink not red as i i hate red has to be pink or yellow with a green hue.
any chance you could put a light inside the lens so when i am in the countryside with cattle i can still have flares

maybe listen to one customer in 30 no in a hundred
also believing that the fan boys would really spend cash is another.
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The issue was I think that it wasn't an improvement over projection/DV anamorphics that are already available. It is dual-focus, and the widest compatible taking lens is 35mm on GH2. My Kowa is double-focus and can do 35mm. It can even eek out 28mm. The squeeze ratio thing seems to be more or less a personal preference thing. Some folks (me) prefer the look of 2X anamorphics. Others just want the correct aspect ratio of 2.35:1 without cropping, so they prefer 1.33X adapters. The Apefos did seem to possibly be sharper and flare more than the DV 1.33X adapters, which honestly might have been the one unique thing it had going for it. Even when compared to other 1.33X adapters, they probably have the upper hand overall, as the LA7200/Century/Optex are all focus-through and useable at wider than 35mm. 


Honestly, I think he ran into the technical walls of his lens design. He couldn't seem to get higher (2X) squeeze factors without a lot of barrel distortion, and he was having issues with the quality of lens grinding available to him. That, coupled with the fact that it was a dual-focus design were unfortunately the ultimate hindrances. 


If anything is to be taken away from this, it is that good anamorphic lenses are very complicated, even the dual-focus projection lenses are difficult to reproduce . . . let alone anything like a single-focus Iscorama. I still think there is a place for a new (expensive) 2X Iscorama-type lens if someone can figure out how to make one. 


I wonder where the Iscorama patents and designs are at. Even a new direct optical copy of the 36 would fetch a pretty penny. I've got to think that it is (if anything) more easily manufacturable in this day and age, what with CNC machines and everything. Sure, nothing is cheap to make, but it is just a metal housing and the right glass in the right place cut to the right shapes and coated correctly. The design as Apefos found out is the most difficult part, so why not bring back an older design like the 36 that is already known to be a brilliant design, even if it is something made to-order.

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I was really hoping for 1.5X option, since 2.67:1 is still a valid cinema aspect ratio.  I say "valid" only referring to the fact that this was the big gun anamorphic ratio for a period and widest standardized aspect ratio in the golden age of anamorphic systems.  I've seen plenty of 3.56:1 videos as a result of the 2X optics that were great looking.  I'm just not sure about sitting through a whole movie that wide.  It could be awesome for the right subject.


Just gonna have to keep looking for that elusive 16mm Bolex/Moller.

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It could very well mean that's all there is, apart from the Century and Panasonic.  Perhaps the SLR Magic lens will be enough of an improvement on these designs to warrant being a demonstrably better choice than they are, if you're stuck at 1.33x, for reasons besides not needing to rig adapters and overcome the Sony and Panasonic video mounts. 


As is, I'm happy to move forward on a new production with my Century.  I just look forward to one of these new camera options (or a future GH2 patch) giving proper 4:3 recording.  I never thought I'd ever be wishing for a 4:3 image ever again with the long overdue banishment of NTSC from the airwaves.

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