Jump to content

Iscorama 54 Mounting


Recommended Posts

Hey guys,

Hoping for some 54 users to chime in. I'm about to upgrade from a kowa to a 54. I was wondering
what I need to mount it to m43 lenses.

I currently use redstan clamps for the kowa but i assume this size wont work with the 54 as it
is much larger at the rear. Would i be screwed for easy mounting/adjusting options? The pics I've seen it looks. Like people are stepping down the rear thread from 77m but I would have thought this would cause extra softness because it would make too much distance between the isco and the taking lens.

Also am I crazy going with a 54 over a 36? i'm all about narrative film so the weight/size thing probably wont be an issue, I like the character of the footage I have seen and also the idea of having a little extra room for wider lenses than the 36. But I am bugged by the talk of softness, I don't see it in the test footage

Any advice appreciated!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

EOSHD Pro Color 5 for Sony cameras EOSHD Z LOG for Nikon CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Just had this discussion with another forum member - lots of misinformation (or should that be not enough information) about the 54.

I hate the softness BS, it always seems to come from people who don't own a 54 (you got to ask whether they are just trying to convince themselves that they just bought a plastic lens, which isn't going to last forever, compared to a lovely metal one).

The sharpest Iscorama i've tested is a 42 - hands down no competition...

& Soft is a matter of opinion, but mines on a par with my Kowa B&H - is that lens soft?

It might be that some 54s are in better condition &/or need a service.

Also, if you are using a soft taking lens then the 54 isn't going to help you out at all - it'll show you what the taking lens is or isn't capable of. Got to think a bit more cinematically with the 54 too & i guess a lot of people just think shooting wide open is a sensible idea - wrong!


If you're not worried about weight, then no you're not crazy! I got rid of my 36 & bought a 54 - it just has that extra something that is missing from the 36, character.


Redstan used to do a back screw-in clamp for the 54 & it acts like a protective shield for the rear element, which protrudes a lot (go look in the forum's gallery section & there are some detailed pics of a 54). So unless you have a taking lens with a huge recess in the front, then you're never going to be able to just screw it onto a taking lens.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bioskip. Thanks for th info. I don't beleive the redstan clamps are available any more. Anyone know another way to mount? Would your kowa clams work in any capacity? ( i have some of those) I think the front thread of the kowa is 72mm and the read of the isco 54 is 77mm so probably not.


As I mentioned above I see some pics where people are stepping down the rear element from 77 to 67

presumably so they can use one of the readily available clamps like vid atlantics, but i assume this would degrade the iq.


This is the only thing holding me back from pulling the trigger on a 54, its not much good if i cant mount and

align it easily.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The rear element sticks out about 10-11cm above where the 77mm thread is, so you could use a few step rings or see if you could get an extra large one made. Front thread is 95mm.


Also, alignment isn't achieved by turning the whole anamorphic - it has a button on the top that when pressed rotates the front part of the anamorphic.


Again if you look here at some pics of the 54:



Picture 3 shows the rear element sticking out & the 77mm thread.  

Picture 5 shows the screw-in adaptor, which covers/protects the rear element & then allows you to screw it into the filter thread of a taking lens - not a clamp at all, more an extension piece (like a step ring but much bigger).


Always worth asking Stan, as he might have a few knocking about in a draw!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ahaa, thats what I was missing, the alignment is different to the kowa, having a button is MUCH nicer. On the kowa you have to attach and then undo the clamp screws, align and re screw.


Seems like you could just use a chunky step ring (or a couple clumped together) to protect the rear element as long as you have it on rails and supported.  I'll try Tony but it seems like redstan are no longer selling them.


Thanks for the info!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

     The Iscorama 54's were made with a rear screw on adapter that covers the protruding element and provides a 62mm mounting thread.  Another option I use is three empty 77mm filter rings or two 77mm's and a 77-72 step down to connect the 54 to lenses with larger front elements.  As mentioned, the anamorphic alignment is done by pushing a button and rotating the front of the adapter.  In my experience the locking mechanism often slips so I always use black paper tape to keep the ring from moving once I've adjusted it.  

     I have done some extensive tests with my 54 and compared it to just the taking lens without the 54 and in many instances I could not even tell the difference.  Both were equally sharp.   Where it's character will really come through is with very out of focus backgrounds...and of course flaring if you have a non multi-coated version.  It will mount to a 50mm on full frame (I'm using a Canon 5D Mark III) but the edges do tend to display more compression than the center which becomes apparent on pans if you look for it.  For this reason I would recommend using a slightly longer taking lens for this type of work.

      I had it mounted to my Canon 24-70 f2.8 at one time but do not recommend this as my lens needed servicing soon after.  I always used a lens support but I suspect that the incredible weight of the beastly 54 was too much for the Canon lens.  That particular lens moves forward and back so it's not a good choice for a heavy add on anyways.  

     I have found a way to support the 54 that I like.  It involves using a Cavision lens support (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/750371-REG/Cavision_R15_LS25100M_Lens_Support_with_Metal.html

).  I prefer this to just a cradle style lens support because even thoughthe focusing ring on my 54 is smooth, it does have some tension and when using a follow focus I find it best to have the 54 locked in position to prevent movement.  If you decide to use the Cavision support the trick is, the rear ring that comes with the 54 is a bit too small to work comfortably with the Cavision.  RedStan did in fact make a rear ring for the 54 that gives it a 67mm thread and has a slightly larger outer diameter...perfect for mounting with the Cavision support, particularly when built up with a very thin layer of cardboard like those found in a packet of printer photo paper.  And the last time I inquired...Alan still had some stock of those rear rings laying around.  Of course changing the lenses while shooting is challenging with the 54 mounted with the Cavision so you will want to figure out your own quick release method, or just use a zoom lens that only moves internally.   I have my own quick release method but don't have the time to illustrate it now.  

     There have been questions as to mounting the Tokina achromat to the 54 and it can be done but quite frankly, the 54 is a much sharper optic than many others and the achromat's usefulness won't be as apparent as it is on say the baby Berthiot.  When mounting any filters to the front that are smaller than the 95mm front element be prepared for the possibility of a slight reduction in exposure and circular ghosting around the edges in certain circumstances depending on the focal length of your taking lens.  

     I also notice that my footage with the 54 is smoother than without it, when using a shoulder mount.  I attribute this to the added weight.  The rolling shutter on the 5D is not good though and seems to be accentuated by the use of anamorphic lenses.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

YESSS! Super post! Thank you very much Mr. Cineman1. Just bought a 54 with the orignial adapter but lens support is unfortunately needed. it is a pity: Even the 36 is too heavy an bulky for my taste. Best thing for me is the Möller8/19. Since I own this one I don't

use any other anamorphics any more. And this leads me to the question "Why did I buy a 54?"

In my case: Boystoys... always the same: Like pimping your car, model railroad... 

Thanks god my wife is a broad minded women  :wub:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

I still dont have the adapter so i dont know what its diameter is. Will this one.do the job?


The official diameter that was written on the box stated 102.5mm.

In my experience, because of its weight, you do need some sort of clamping support in order to keep it steady (just in case).

So if the clamp you showed has the right diameter capabilities, then yes, that's the type of support you need.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • EOSHD Pro Color 5 for All Sony cameras
    EOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs
    EOSHD Dynamic Range Enhancer for H.264/H.265
  • Create New...