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Looking to buy Anamorphic lens

Matthew Marshall

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I am looking to buy an anamorphic lens. A few caveats, I have done some research however if anyone is selling feel free to reply here or send me a private message.


This is also a sort of feel out post as well see what everyone recommends. I havent used one myself however I have done research including getting the guide so I know what Im dealing with.


No projection lenses. Large and bulky, I dont need anything like that. My arm was damaged a few years back. MRSA took 60% of my deltoid. Need it small hopefully well smaller than a projection lens at least.


Not too picky on the squeeze ratio. Anamorphic is anamorphic, I mean the closer to 2:39:1 the better.


Lens flares are important. Want nice wide ones high quality would be fantastic.


Rack focus, definitely a must. Less adjustment on the lens itself the better. Have hard enough time freehanding while manual focusing one lens much less two XD.


Also in reference to the camera I have a Canon EOS 5d Mark III and a Mark II of the lenses I have 35 1.4L, 50mm 1.2L and a 70-200 2.8L IS II USM


I gather I may need an 85mm lens to take advantage of rack focus and an anamorphic lens with the full frame cameras. No problems there just feeling it out seeing whats available. If i can find the right lens that meets the specifications I need for a competetive price well im looking to buy thats for sure.


In any case let me know. I think I got most of my information correct. I would prefer under $4000. A comfortable range for me is $1000-2000 $3000 if its a top quality lens id say.

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If you must have rack focus your only option is an  iscorama (or higher). Better up your price range! Not sure what the single focus models are going for now but definitely in excess of 3k.


If you can live with out rack focus the Kowa is on par with iscorama in most other aspects, sometimes even better.

They are the last bargain of the anamorphic world at about 1k. Not sure what you are planning to use it for, i use

mine for narrative film and haven't really missed rack focus.



Good luck!

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If you can afford it go for the iscorama. But expect to pay a lot for it as they are on high demand. I'm only up on UK prices but I would expect to pay £1500-£2000 at least.
In Andrews words Isco's like it dirty so you may get better results with some more primitive glass than your L's.
If not the Century or Optex adapters (same thing) maybe a good bet, you should look to pick one up for £500-£550. They are not without issue though. You can't really get a sharp image without stopping down to f5.6 without a diopter. But the diopters are easier to find than they are for the LA7200. Should work fine with your L glass.
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Hmm not familiar with the LA7200.

Yeah diopter aren't a problem. So what I'm gathering is the Century / Optex are a good with diopters.

I mostly do live events and bands. Some weddings and such. I'm hoping to do some music videos and full movies in the future.

Ill have to keep a look out. Just hard stuff to find sometimes.
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True I forgot about century optics,  but the LA7200 is pretty natty around the edges and good luck finding a lomo diopter to even make it usable.


There's a thread on this very board with several diopter options big enough for the LA7200.  I'd likely find the diopter before buying the adapter though, to be safe, since you could turn right around and sell it for a profit if need be and the Panasonic anamorphic being more common.  I made sure I'd acquired a Tokina achromat before pulling the trigger on my Century Optics adapter.


The Century Optics can be plenty sharp wider than f/5.6 without the Tokina doublet, depending on where you need to focus and your taking lens.  Even with the cheap-o kit lens it's better than merely acceptably sharp at ~f/4 throughout the focus range at wider angles (18-24mm for sure).  On a GH2 at least.

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Yes, I read 5D at the top of the thread wasn't wanting to speculate how it would perform in that configuration.  My apologies, most of the negative comments I read regarding both the Century Optics or LA7200 adapter generally come across as blanket judgments, as if their famous deficiencies were simply a part of their nature no matter what camera or configuration and that simply isn't true.  


No simple answers with any of this stuff and I think that's what scares people who aren't really up for the challenge.  Any configuration with the 36mm sensor cameras is going to offer the most challenges.  I'd be willing to bet even that set of PL-mount LOMO on ebay just might vignette on a 5D because they and none of the other 35mm cine anamorphics needed to accomodate near that much coverage, vertical 35mm being a hair under 25mm at full-silent-app (21mm being the current standard for ana-35mm).

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The biggest 2 things I want is rack focus and lens flare. Clarity would be nice as well however I can sacrifice some clarity in general for rack focus and flare. Gives it more of a specific look then.

Hm this anamorphic is difficult surprised there aren't any lenses really made for it recently.
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Andrews anamorphic guide is worth reading as it answers a lot of your questions. Esp those regarding what lenses work well with what adapters and what the vignetting range is for the more popular anamorphics. It's well worth the money. An iscorama would give your rack focus and flare (if you get the non multi coated verson) but they are hard to find (i'm searching myself) and price and condition vary pretty wildly, be careful on ebay i have heard there is a lot of re-listing of dodgy iscos. As others have pointed out the LA7200 and Century optics would be cheaper single focus setups. In all cases you will need diopters to focus close.

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