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Anamorphic Prices


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I've been watching ebay and seriously considering burning a bonus on a very nice anamorphic like the Bolex 16/32 (already have a Sankor 16d which I like).


The prices seem to be moving into the ridiculous right now.  ($2200 for a Bolex 16/32?) I guess it depends if you really need one on a shoot that pays well enough.


Burning that kind of cash you might as well start looking into Lomo's.   If nothing else you could rent a professionally maintained set of 3 Lomo's for two weeks at that price.


My plan is to practice with my Sankor and move up if I can, but rent some Lomo's when I must.  Or if someone with really deep pockets is footing the bill, Hawks.  (I can dream, can't I?)


Anyone know any better options?





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Hi eris, you are right: Prices are often very high and sometimes ridiculous but on the other hand that offers chances.

I started with a Sankor 16F which I also liked very much and meanwhile I had many different anamorphics. 

I am often looking on ebay (like probably most of the guys here) and I was several times very lucky and could buy some

nice glass after selling the ones I don't like for a good amount. Patience is the key and of course mostly luck.

But honestly paying more than €1,000 for an ugly Pany... that is in my eyes ridiculous but the same amount for a Möller...

that is an investment! 

I recently bought a not so expensive Isco 54 altough I don't need it because it is very heavy. I just could not resist.

Not long ago I had the chance to buy an Isco 36 for 1,300 € but I already have one... That was stupid - could have

sold it immediately for twice the price. Just want to say there are chance (at least in Germany I am living not so far from

(Isco-)Göttingen and Wedel/Hamburg (Möller) is 20 minutes from my house...  :blink:

Good luck!


My point: do practicing and be patient. Check the net for sales constantly. And dreams do very often come true. I was dreaming about Iscoramas and now I have two and Möller 8/19 which is for me one of the best ever. 

Lomos might be great but for me too heave and impractical (this is not my profession!)

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For me, there is no alternative than grabbing the ones I can and get them shipped home. I would dare to say most anamorphic lenses in Brazil are placed inside my house - and I'm not kidding about it. hahahaha.


I've only found ONE local set for rental, it's badly damaged, veeeery old, and has an overpriced day fare ($1000/day).


I've also made some good money selling back the lenses I wouldn't need, and buying whenever I get the chance. After a while you see it's possible to get some good deals.

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Just want to throw out my personal opinion on hawks :

For some reason in the anamorphic community, hawks have gained this god like top dog on the podium position, and professionally I have no clue why. To me it seems to be nothing more than an unattainable price tag, yielding almost no one ever actually using them. People tend to think the best is the most expensive. This is so wrong. I worked on a feature that used hawks latest and greatest anamorphic prime set, and let me tell you.... They (in my opinion) suck. Not only are they a trillion dollars, they are soft wide open, certain lenses edges are soft, and they have over engineered them to the point where they completely lack any sign of character. No flares, no interesting optics, nothing. On top of all that, if you really do your homework, look at X-rays they've taken of a brand new hawk lens next to a 1970s lomo lens, and you won't find but one difference in the optics or mechanics. The whole reason I'm part of this community is because I've seen so much done with so little.. Finding weird lens combinations, or trying lenses that were not supposed to be used in some manner, that's what's its all about. Price tag means nothing. Experience is everything. I recently had the privilege to test out arri's new anamorphics set along side with cookes new anamorphic set (still in development). After talking with the guys who made them, and then actually getting my hands on them and trying them out for myself, there was one huge difference between them. Arri had spent so much time engineering the lens to be "perfect" that it lacked (in my opinion) the most important part of the lens, character. When I talked to the Cooke rep he said they were specifically designing the lens with old anamorphic characteristics in mind, no multi coating etc. that's what you want, reguardless of its price tag. Don't believe the hype before you get your eye in that viewfinder.
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rcorrell is right here i am not talking about expensive lenses that cost as much as a down payment on a 4 bedroom house but everyday ebay anamorphic, i got my self sankor 16c paid 400 bucks for it another 50 for gas to get it, but just yesterday got my self Bausch and Lombbig big ass lens 50 bucks i think it was made in 1980s but the look is awesome and its dam sharp, me personally love it specially the fell and the size over the sankor. Andy ideas on a rig for this lens guys.
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Great advice. How would you rate the hawk, arri, cooke's in comparison to your iscorama?



Well many comparisons can be drawn, but you have to consider certain factors in when comparing a consumer product from the late 1960's to modern day professional cine lenses.


For what the Iscorama is:


By itself, its a gem of an anamorphic lens, no question.  It's tack sharp, good edges, great optics and saturation, beautiful flares (if you have a single coated version), an of course, out of all the old lenses, the best patented focus system..


For what the Iscorama is not :


It was made in 1968 as a high end projection attachment, so in part it's really not a stand-alone lens, it is an attachment.  We keep comparing it to actual lenses.  The housing of the lens in complete plastic, is to say the least, it's very dangerous and doesn't protect the optics at all, and if the lens was to encounter any kind of harsh weather conditions etc. it would completely fail.  And as far as the focus goes, although one of the best for what it is, it's still a projection lens so close focus becomes somewhat of a process that you just would not encounter on any proper cine lens.  And ultimately, because it is still an attachment, you will run into only being able to use a set amount of focal length primes, which depending on the cinematographer or certain shot, is a no go..


In General Comparison :


The Isco has GREAT optics. I've managed to pull images from that lens that look better than some of the most expensive lenses I've ever used.  But like I said above, price tag means nothing.  Great example of that is the helios 58mms.  They are one of the sharpest lens I've ever used, and dirt cheap.  The big expensive lenses are kind of like buying a rare sports car.  Beautiful to look at as far as engineering and build, but more or less afraid to use it. Afraid to "take it out of the garage" and put millage on it if you will..  Personally, when I'm using Arri's or Cooke's, anything thats over 50k in glass, I get a $1,000,000 issuance policy when shooting with them.  Too risky if not, if so much as a nat lands on the lens, I start to worry, so thats my personal way around dealing with stress of rentals and or price tags.  BE SMART!  




I think for what most of us are here to do : Get the best image possible with tools we've researched and perfected, but for a personally attainable price.


It is a fantastic option, and no doubt ONE of the best, if not THE best, for the price.  I currently don't have 40K to throw down on a set of OCT-19 square or spherical anamorphic sets, but if I did I would go that route.  They are built like tanks, and the optics have so much character.  BUT they are big, heavy, and expensive cine lenses.  They are not fit for lightweight run-and-gun situations.  I still to this day see many top notch lens companies copying the Lomo system for anamorphics, so that usually means they we doing something right if 50 years later the top dogs or still trying to produce their design and look.


At the end of the day there are so many factors that go into getting "a good image".  A lens ultimately is just a tool to help achieve the look you are going for, nothing more.  Storytelling, lighting, good characters, and proper operation of the camera are the KEY components of filmmaking.  I don't care how much your lens costs, or how rare it is...  If you just make another cool-looking vimeo lens test, your not a filmmaker, nobody really cares.  No story=no substance  


You could shoot a short film with your iphone about a bird you found on the street that is dying, and if it's emotional enough and people care about that bird at the end of your video, then it's good.  No lens can do that.  Thats filmmaking.

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