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hi all

getting interested in anamorphic, i've read a few about it and i am still learning.

first i thougt it was really anoying to shoot anamorphic, double focus, weight, rig ...

then a friend showed me the optex adapter and then it gets interresting.

but not perfect.

the optex has no oval bokeh :(

so need your help finding what could be best for my use and budget.

as of now i have a fuji xt3, so apsc with no 4/3 mode yet 'maybe fuji will implement it in a future fw), but i am thinking about getting a bmcc in the future.

i love to shoot hanheld, don't often shoot on a tripod.

so i would love an adapter as convenient as the optex but with oval bokeh and the ability to use wide lenses, i love wide angles lenses. and of course nice flare.

double focus, don't know it, neved used but i guess it would be a pain for me as i like to shoot handheld and in movement sometimes.

so where do you think i should look at in terms of adapter(s) ? guess i am looking for what's everyone is looking for too 😄

thanks for the help

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

Everyone will have a slightly different opinion on this, but I would pretty much say if you’re after anamorphic in 2019, it is for the stylistic optical idiosyncrasies historically associated with Hollywood’s long-standing use of 2X squeeze factor lenses. 

1.33X squeeze factor lenses will get you a very mild/watered down version of that look, and in most cases will end up being almost as expensive as 2X options, or will be poor quality optically. 

1.5X lenses can be great, but there were never many made, so they fetch a high price.

Good 2X adapters are well-regraded at this point, and you’ll be hard pressed to get one for a truly “budget” price. But there are still a decent quantity of quality examples floating around. All this being said, they are priced as they are because the resulting look is absolutely worth it, and they are still priced low enough that they are accessible.

Your best compromise is probably a smaller 2X, for example, a Sankor or Kowa 16-s. You won’t be able to use as wide of back lenses without vignetting, but the image quality is still top notch. 

If you decide to jump right in, the top dogs would be the Kowa Bell and Howell, Kowa 16-H, and the Isco Ultra-Star. If you are seriously shopping, get the @Andrew Reid anamorphic guide, and watch @Tito Ferradans YouTube channel. 

To use these projection scopes reliably, you need good clamps. Redstan are top of the line for Kowas, and HTN has a great locking front replacement lens body that gives you standard threads while also locking the focus.

The budget variable diopter is the SLR Magic Rangefinder. It resolves excellently and increases vignetting minimally, but the coatings produce flaring that some find difficult to work with. The king of variable diopters is the Rectilux Hardcore DNA, but it is priced accordingly and is only made in small batches with a waiting list.

You are going to want one of these two. Double focusing is a pain and almost impossible to get perfect. It can be the last item you buy, and you can get used to anamorphic without it, but you will need one.

Expect to spend at least $1500 by the time you have a scope, clamps, variable diopter, and a prime taking lens that plays nice with your scope. That’s scraping the bottom of the barrel and getting lucky, but as lens prices go, that’s really not crazy money. $2500 or maybe a couple hundred more should be enough to get you into a good Kowa with a desqueezing monitor and all the extra goodies. 

There is a new line of 1.8X primes coming out that’s running just over $3000 per lens. I’m planning on transitioning to a set of those, but they’re for m4/3 sizes sensors.

There’s a certain economy about the projection adapters, considering the same anamorphic block can be attached to your prime lens of choice for the various focal lengths, but at a certain point, dealing with countless clamps and adapters can get tiresome, and the lens rigs can get long and heavy. Ultimately, projection scopes are not well-suited to a truly professional style production. They’re perfect for passion projects and style-centric work like music videos, short films, etc.

A crafty person who has good problem-solving skills can absolutely DIY some of these things and potentially save a little bit of money, but as I’ve pointed out, there are tried-and-true solutions already on the market for reasonable prices. I for one would say you’re lucky, even if the prices are now higher on the actual scopes.

when I got into it, Redstan was the only good clamp option even though they didn’t have support brackets back then, and variable diopters weren’t even a thing. There were no affordable monitors with anamorphic desqueeze.

now you can pick up a SmallHD Focus (which I would highly suggest you do), and it will serve you well in all your production, not just for anamorphic desqueezing.

If I have one serious piece of advice, it is that cheap clamps will make your experience miserable. Get a lens clamp that can clamp down to 15mm rods. Sloppy loose lens rigs make for unusable footage with jolts in it, and clamping to rails ensures that, once aligned, your anamorphic will remain aligned. No “parallelogrammed” footage.

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thanks for that very complete answer !!

thing is i cannot get the new lenses as they are for m43 and i have S35 sensor. so i guess the 1.33x is good for me. as i long as i keep shooting with the xt3, but not if i also have a bmcc4k

my problem is that i don't really know most of the lenses you tell me to look into but looks like most of them are double focus. and i don't want to go there at the moment.

same for wide angles, don't want to change the way i work over technique and i love to shoot wide angle.

for dessqueezing i have the ninja v that i am sure can do it.

maybe @Tito Ferradans will come visit this thread and tell me what my best options are ;)

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SLR Magic Anamorphot 1.33x Compact 40 is your best bet for that stretch. The problem is there isn't much budjet anamorphic adapters at all for single focus.

Most people these days just attatch single focus rangefinder optic to the front of anamorphic adapters go make them "single focus". 

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Thanks zeek

Will look into It

What i am afraid of with the double focus and thèse kinds of setups Is that it cannot really be used handheld.

Am i wrong ?    

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If you want to look at some handheld setups, this thread is a good start:

It can weigh a little (around 1 - 1.5 kg), but if you don't mind the bulkiness, there is no reason you couldn't handhold it.
I sometimes wish I had a third arm (one is used to support the rig, the other for operating the camera), which I could use to focus, but I guess it's a matter of experience.

 

As did others, I highly advise against double focusing.
Even if you do get used to it, it's very time consuming.

 

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The top dog 2X projection scopes will give you the widest angle. You have to remember that you double your field of view horizontally. 1.33X/1.5X scopes may be compatible with similarly wide lenses, but they don’t increase your field of view by as high of a factor. On M4/3 with my Kowa I can go as wide as 28mm. That’s 28mm vertically. Horizontally it is 2X factor, so almost a 14mm. 

If there was something wider I would have bought it by now. The SLR Magics definitely aren’t. 

If it is the stylistic aspects of wide angle that you enjoy, rejoice! Anamorphic does similar things at all focal lengths. Slight barrel distortion, curved focal plane and bokeh field distortion. 

As others have said, don’t sweat the “single focus” crap. All anamorphics become single focus with a variable diopter. I run and gun mine all the time with an SLR Magic Rangefinder in front. The focus throw is long like a cinema lens, but that makes for smooth focus pulls. 

You are of course free to try a 1.33X lens, but in my experience they disappoint. They will not give you pronounced oval bokeh and always have thin flares. AKA what even is the point?

It remains that if I need an ultra-wide lens for a specific shot, I just shoot spherical and crop the top/bottom to 2.39:1. I rarely need to go wider than my anamorphic allows though.

Part of the beauty of anamorphic is that vertically it can be a portrait lens (50mm), while horizontally being a wide (25mm). They’re essentially a big hot mess of both at once. If you’re really in love with a spherical wide look, anamorphic might not be for you. It almost always looks “portrait-y,” even if the field of view is quite wide. The exception maybe being if you’re focused to infinity with nothing out of focus in the foreground, but in that use-case you would be hard-pressed to spot the difference between anamorphic and a spherical with some barrel distortion.

I guess one question I have is, what is this “wide” you are in love with? What focal length on what size sensor? Wide is a general category of lens focal length, and can vary as much as anything.

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3 hours ago, Caleb Genheimer said:

The top dog 2X projection scopes will give you the widest angle. You have to remember that you double your field of view horizontally. 1.33X/1.5X scopes may be compatible with similarly wide lenses, but they don’t increase your field of view by as high of a factor. On M4/3 with my Kowa I can go as wide as 28mm. That’s 28mm vertically. Horizontally it is 2X factor, so almost a 14mm. 

If there was something wider I would have bought it by now. The SLR Magics definitely aren’t. 

If it is the stylistic aspects of wide angle that you enjoy, rejoice! Anamorphic does similar things at all focal lengths. Slight barrel distortion, curved focal plane and bokeh field distortion. 

As others have said, don’t sweat the “single focus” crap. All anamorphics become single focus with a variable diopter. I run and gun mine all the time with an SLR Magic Rangefinder in front. The focus throw is long like a cinema lens, but that makes for smooth focus pulls. 

You are of course free to try a 1.33X lens, but in my experience they disappoint. They will not give you pronounced oval bokeh and always have thin flares. AKA what even is the point?

It remains that if I need an ultra-wide lens for a specific shot, I just shoot spherical and crop the top/bottom to 2.39:1. I rarely need to go wider than my anamorphic allows though.

Part of the beauty of anamorphic is that vertically it can be a portrait lens (50mm), while horizontally being a wide (25mm). They’re essentially a big hot mess of both at once. If you’re really in love with a spherical wide look, anamorphic might not be for you. It almost always looks “portrait-y,” even if the field of view is quite wide. The exception maybe being if you’re focused to infinity with nothing out of focus in the foreground, but in that use-case you would be hard-pressed to spot the difference between anamorphic and a spherical with some barrel distortion.

I guess one question I have is, what is this “wide” you are in love with? What focal length on what size sensor? Wide is a general category of lens focal length, and can vary as much as anything.

thanks caleb. i am learning things and that's great. didn't realized that it gets wider with anamorphic.

i like to shot 24mm on ff so that's about 17 on my fuji. i have a 17mm 3.5 from tokina and i like it. i don't often shoot with it but it happens and kinda want to keep that option.

i think 1.5x is the right way to go on 16/9 sensors, 2x is too stretched to me.

and you're also right saying that variable diopter is a good solution.

2 hours ago, keessie65 said:

I have X-T3 and before Samsung NX1. Both APSC format sensors. I always filmed with 1.5x stretch scopes. Works perfect, only sidewise a bit cropping. vimeo.com/keeswaque

what do you mean by cropping ?

what lenses do you use ? can i have pros and cons ?

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An important thing to understand with anamorphic is that you ALWAYS have to stretch the footage by the multiplication factor of the anamorphic for it to look right, regardless of sensor size or sensor aspect. 

After stretching, to achieve specific aspect ratios, you crop the image. That is, unless by stretching the footage, you hit your target aspect (which is rare). For example, on the P4K, I am always recording in 16:9 (aka 1.78:1). When I stretch the footage in post by 2X (because I have a 2X lens), it yields a 3.56:1 aspect ratio image. If I want my final video to be 2.39:1 (standard CinemaScope), I have to crop the sides off to achieve this.

It is important to note that this cropping is not a negative thing! In fact, you need to understand it if you are going to get the most out of your scope. You see, I don’t care if the lens I’m using vignettes into the sides specifically because I know that I am cropping them off anyway. That’s how I can use a 28mm lens behind my Kowa. If I look at my direct sensor feed, there are large black sections on the left and right sides of the image. But on my SmallHD monitor, I have it set to de-squeeze and then crop to 2.39:1.

In theory, this sounds scary, like you are throwing away precious pixels and information. In practice, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Your vertical line count of resolution is still exactly the same, because all the scaling happens only horizontally, so the perceived sharpness is the same. I would also argue that on compressed codec cameras, the black areas take a load off of the image processing, allowing more of the algorithm to be dedicated to a quality image in the center of your sensor.

The vignetting is caused by the scope’s limitation, and correlates to a specific angle of view, regardless of sensor size. Mine would be approximately 28mm M4/3, 38mm S35, 56mm Full Frame. Those are the widest without vignette that the scope allows on each sensor size, without vignetting, when the final target is 2.39:1 aspect. And if shot side by side, they would appear as essentially identical/equivalent  focal lengths. You can’t make any scope wider by changing sensor size.

And remember: it is a 28mm lens in the vertical axis, but horizontally it is closer to a 14mm. 

It’s kinda one of my pet peeves when people say that 2X is “too stretched,” to be honest (though I understand you’re just learning how it all works.) 

That’s just not even a real thing if you understand how scope lenses work. 3.55:1 is obviously too wide a ratio to be using, but you just crop it. It’s as simple as that. You don’t loose anything by cropping, and in fact (as hopefully I’ve explained decently), you actually gain angle of view. You gain out of focus compression. You gain robust flares. You gain character. Because you crop more off the sides with 2X, you can shoot with more vignette and then completely get rid of it.

Of course, if you are shooting with a 4:3 camera, that ends up as a 2.66:1 image when stretched, and to arrive at 2.39:1, you don’t crop off very much at all. But as I already ran through with focal lengths, you will arrive at the same maximum angle of view regardless of what size or aspect of sensor you shoot on, and you will always stretch it by a factor of 2. Cropping doesn’t impact that. 

There are some 1.5X lenses that get equivalent angle of view to the top dog 2X lenses, but guess what? Those are going to be the top dog 1.5X lenses like the Iscorama 36, and other even rarer lenses. The really good 1.5X lenses are much more expensive than the 2X ones, so if you’re on a budget, best of luck. 

The variable diopter allows you to take incredible blocks of vintage anamorphic glass and use it for filmmaking. It doesn’t matter that the glass is originally for projection, in fact, the image quality expectations for projection are, if anything, a higher bar. Some people see the dual-focus thing as an instant non-starter, but they are missing out on a look that otherwise only exists inside rental houses for very high day-rates. The new anamorphics are good, but not the same. A Kowa, Elmoscope, Moller, Sankor, etc. built in the 1980s just does that “thing” that made anamorphic famous in the first place. Those lenses are cut from the same cloth as all those lenses that shot (and still shoot) our favorite films.

You should see if there is someone local to you that would meet up and let you test drive their 2X lens rig, so you can take the footage home, and play around with it. It’s much easier to wrap your head around all this by just using it, versus trying to explain it. It’s a wide angle adapter, but only horizontally. Vertically it has no angle change. 

To give you numbers that relate somewhat to your system, my Kowa with a 38mm lens on your S35 sensor camera, would horizontally be about a 19mm lens. Not quite the 17mm you are referencing, but not far off either. If you have a 19mm spherical lens and add black bars top and bottom in post so that it is 2.39:1, you’d see very close to what I see with my setup. 

Someone else can enlighten me if I am wrong, but I specifically have my lens because it gets as wide if not wider than pretty much every other projection scope out there. 

Genuinely not trying to be a downer, but scopes don’t go quite as wide as you’re hoping... at least not for prices that mortals can afford. 

They still go satisfyingly wide though, and at super wide angles with deep depth of field, the differences between anamorphic and spherical footage are hard to spot. Just shoot spherical and crop it to 2.39:1 if you need a specific shot that wide. There are flare filters, oval bokeh filters, and distortion in post if you really need your spherical shot to look the part. 

It is far more important to compose a good shot that serves the story you are attempting to tell, than it is to fret over exactly what pieces of glass you are shooting it through.

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there is an eiki sankor 16f for sale close to my place. around 420€ with redstan mounts.

thing is i don't find many informations about the F one, lots about the D or C but F...

what do you think ?

this footage looks pretty sharp

 

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Join Anamorphic Shooters group on Facebook and look for more info there.

Almost every question of yours have already been asked and answered many times.

 

420€ for Sankor 16F (even with front and rear Redstan clamps [which, by the way, are the best clamps possible]) is a bit pricey.
I wouldn't pay more than 300€ for this combo.

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13 minutes ago, heart0less said:

Join Anamorphic Shooters group on Facebook and look for more info there.

Almost every question of yours have already been asked and answered many times.

 

420€ for Sankor 16F (even with front and rear Redstan clamps [which, by the way, are the best clamps possible]) is a bit pricey.
I wouldn't pay more than 300€ for this combo.

ok but it takes so much time to search into groups.

i see there is a 16f without the clamps for sale at 400$ on that group. but it is brand new

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calebs given you some good advice, as i understand it 1.33 anamorphics are kinda made for your 16.9 format.  there is less stretch so less cropping required on a 16.9 format to get the desired 2.39.1 format.  2x scopes are more suited to 4.3 format, that being said the only issue is what you have to crop at to get to your final desired aspect  ratio.  which depends on your anamorphic stretch . If your coming from a photography background and you see the word cropping. Your first thought is probably that you will lose resolution however this is not the case with anamorphics. The only other concern is the visual differences between 2x and 1.33  the bokeh is nicer on 2x and stronger flares as well i think. One other consideration is flare colour most anamorphics flare blue, not  many flare gold or orange as i understand it . if i shot a lot of sunsets or had enough money for another projection lens that eiki sankor 16f would be on my short list as it has amazing flares for sunsets but that might be just me.

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41 minutes ago, leslie said:

calebs given you some good advice, as i understand it 1.33 anamorphics are kinda made for your 16.9 format.  there is less stretch so less cropping required on a 16.9 format to get the desired 2.39.1 format.  2x scopes are more suited to 4.3 format, that being said the only issue is what you have to crop at to get to your final desired aspect  ratio.  which depends on your anamorphic stretch . If your coming from a photography background and you see the word cropping. Your first thought is probably that you will lose resolution however this is not the case with anamorphics. The only other concern is the visual differences between 2x and 1.33  the bokeh is nicer on 2x and stronger flares as well i think. One other consideration is flare colour most anamorphics flare blue, not  many flare gold or orange as i understand it . if i shot a lot of sunsets or had enough money for another projection lens that eiki sankor 16f would be on my short list as it has amazing flares for sunsets but that might be just me.

i kinda like the 16f flares too, not so blue it seems. looks sharp too.

but i really don't know all lenses that is also why i am asking here for advices.

yes, i've been in photography (it is my job) for 20 years so cropping is something i am not a big fan of, but depends on what the final result has to be. i don't mind cropping if the picture ends up medium size on a website, i do mind if it is for big prints.

shooting 16:9 at the moment so 1.5x seems ideal, but who knows, fuji might implement 4:3 firmware some day and i might get a bmpcc in the future so 2x might be a good option.

and i can set the aspect ratio i want into resolve and crop the sides as mentionned.

just have to figure out how it works with the ninja v to see if i can really see what i am framing and set the aspect ratio i want

one thing for sure is that i would like to stay as compact as possible.

i also wonder why everybody is using vintage lenses ? i have some but would like to keep using modern ones too

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cropping anamorphic is not a bad thing its just something that has to be done. cropping to a desired aspect does give you some leeway to frame what is important in your footage as well. Newer 1.33 or 1.5  or the isco reds and ultrastars may give you a more clean or clinical look, any older 2x anamorphic you buy will have more character i think but its a very personal subjective  thing. check out as much footage as you can before you make a decision.

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