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Francesco Paciocco

Iscomorphot 8/1.5x Help

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Hi everybody! I've been following this forum for years and have learned so much from all the collective expertise shared here. This is my first time posting and I'm hoping to get some expert advice on what to do.

I've been researching anamorphics heavily over the past couple of months (thank you Tito Ferradans, Tony Wilson et al!) and recently acquired an Iscomorphot 8/1.5x from eBay that looks like this one:

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The listing said it was in good working condition but upon arrival there are a few things up with it:

  • It's making faint clinking noises like something is loose inside
  • Focus is quite stiff
  • There's some kind of a marking inside that I'm unsure as to what it could be--scratch from disassembly/fungus? (see attached pictures)

I brought it into Nippon Photo Clinic today (I'm based in NYC) which contrary to what Wikipedia says, does NOT service Iscos anymore. They don't know what to do with it and suggested it may or may not have fungus inside.

I have two weeks to decide what to do with it as eBay has buyer protection; I can work with it or send it back for a refund. I got somewhat of a deal on it compared to what other Iscomorphots are going for now on eBay so I'm hoping to hang on to it/find a way to bring it into tip-top shape. That said, if what I'm seeing are bad signs then I'll be sending it back.

What do you guys think? Are these quirks par-for-the-course with old anamorphics and if not, is it worth trying to salvage without spending an arm and a leg?

Much thanks!

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On 31/03/2017 at 4:51 AM, Francesco Paciocco said:
  • It's making faint clinking noises like something is loose inside
  • Focus is quite stiff
  • There's some kind of a marking inside that I'm unsure as to what it could be--scratch from disassembly/fungus? (see attached pictures)

Clinking could be a loose front element (diopter) - the retaining ring might not be tightly secured, causing noise from the loose optic.

Focus is often stiff on many lenses of this age. The grease has dried. Pretty easy to disassemble and clean...then apply fresh helicoid grease.

Marking appears to be fungus and/or separation. Not good.

 

If you paid over $200, I'd personally return it for a refund. You could disassemble the lens yourself to clean and attempt to remove the offending fungus - but those little lenses can be a pain to clean because they are so small (but not impossible). Have you tried removing the rear clear filter at the rear of the lens to check that the offending mark is not just on that? (hard to tell from your pictures...but there is supposed to be a rear protective clear filter screwed onto the rear of the lens...but yours might have already been removed before you bought it). It does appear to my eye that the fungus or separation looks to be on the inner lens block :(

Another option (since you are in NYC) is to send it to Bernie at Super 16 to work his magic on it. He is probably the best authority to judge if it is a lost cause or not (re: fungus removal and cleaning). He can give you a free estimate when it is in his hands, then it's up to you if the cost is worth it for you.

He is a wizard.

http://www.super16inc.com/

I've had a couple of these lenses myself in the past (repaired one in a similar condition to yours). They are ok - but not worth the crazy hype and inflated prices that they are listed for these days. Too much CA and highlight softness IMHO - unless using small sensor camera, and willing to stop the taking lens down to f4-f5.6 to get decent sharpness. It appears to be let down by it's front diopter - causing highlight smear and 'globs' at wide apertures.

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This anamorphic is my choice for quick and charracterfull shootings. It's size is so good paired with mirrorless body.

In this video I wanted image to look really dreamy and hazy. So this anamorphic was a good choice. 

So this lens definetly has it's places and some real charracter but many times it's just too much of charracter for the context.

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Thanks for the feedback, it's very much appreciated! I removed the rear element and it appears the marking is deeper within the lens.

I was planning on using this with a smaller sensor camera and imagined the Iscomorphot as a practical solution compared to some of the other exotic anamorphics out there. I prefer the more modest 1.5x crop and single focus...any other suggestions? 

Perhaps I'll need to bite the bullet and get a 2x with a Rectilux :)

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On 4/1/2017 at 6:24 AM, Hans Punk said:

Another option (since you are in NYC) is to send it to Bernie at Super 16 to work his magic on it. He is probably the best authority to judge if it is a lost cause or not (re: fungus removal and cleaning). He can give you a free estimate when it is in his hands, then it's up to you if the cost is worth it for you.

He is a wizard.

http://www.super16inc.com/

I've had a couple of these lenses myself in the past (repaired one in a similar condition to yours). They are ok - but not worth the crazy hype and inflated prices that they are listed for these days. Too much CA and highlight softness IMHO - unless using small sensor camera, and willing to stop the taking lens down to f4-f5.6 to get decent sharpness. It appears to be let down by it's front diopter - causing highlight smear and 'globs' at wide apertures.

Thanks for the info Hans.  I recently got this lens too.  The lens itself is optically good, but the focus is so stiff.  I'll check with Bernie and see if he can regrease it.

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