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New SLR Magic prototype anamorphic lens footage surfaces


Andrew Reid
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1.33x is fine for me. 1.5x would be cool but I already have a sharp Kowa 2x solution, and the bokeh can be stretched further using diopters or something like a DSO-style modified lens. So for me, the ideal feature set for this product is:

 

-Single focus mechanics

-Nice blue oval flare: see Scott's Alien

-Works with fast lenses (f2/f2.8) at a 50mm equivalent focal length

-under 1200.00 USD. If I wanted to pay more I'd pony up for an Iscorama or Lomo squarefront.

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...

 

sure 1.3 with 16:9 will result in a perfect 2.35, but so will just cropping your footage... whats the point of anamorphic if you are not getting the bokeh/burnt in stretch?  

 

Oval bokeh with 1.33x adapter...

 

nqyeyu.jpg

 

...using a close-up diopter, like you would be having to use with most 2X cinema anamorphics for close focusing and to sharpen up the image not being stopped down.

 

1088u9g.jpg

 

...more with a Century Optics 1.33x adapter and CU diopter.  The SLR Magic lens is already demonstrably sharper at faster apertures, meaning the potential for at least two stops more dramatic ovals.

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sure 1.3 with 16:9 will result in a perfect 2.35, but so will just cropping your footage... whats the point of anamorphic if you are not getting the bokeh/burnt in stretch?  

 

Using a 1.33x anamorphic adapter gives you increased resolution when compared to cropping the image, since you're using more lines, and the effect is still there. The louder it is the more you risk it becoming a distraction, it's a matter of taste really, but I'm not that keen on 3.5:1 aspect ratios on longer narrative work.

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Yes you can get oval bokeh with close up shots. this specific composition in the above examples has been re-created a million times, and these ones look really nice, but all the above have focus issues even in stills. Try getting your actors to stay in focus when in motion with dof this shallow. Not very practical for my tastes.

 

 

I agree it's a matter of taste. My preference would be for a 2x, single focus, no flares or super subtle.

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Rich, my experience is the opposite, the longer I've had my 36 the more I use it, total workhorse. 1.5x is a nice sweet spot, some bokeh without massive cropping on 16:9 sensors, on my gh2/gh3 I'm shooting as low as 25mm and up to 115mm, giving me a full range of shots  all with rack/single focus and clean optics. And with your mod I'm focusing down to 3.5 feet without diopters so I rarely need them.

 

The only lens in this bracket I can think of that compares/exceeds in terms of quality and versatility for real world narrative use is the centavision. (or a full range range of dso when they're ready)

 

sure 1.3 with 16:9 will result in a perfect 2.35, but so will just cropping your footage... whats the point of anamorphic if you are not getting the bokeh/burnt in stretch?  

I think my wording wasnt very clear.  I don;t see this lens as anything that will replace an iscorama.  My point was that anamorphic in general isn't as important to me as it was a year ago.  - since i started cheating with oval apertures.    I'm certainly in the camp of 1.5x for an anamorphic being used on a 16:9 sensor.  the aesthetic gain is worth the cropping of sensor information IMO.  But to be honest i'd just leave it at 2.66:1 since I think this is a best aspect ratio.

 

if a crop were to be applied to some gh2 footage it certainly wouldnt be a crime since the gh2 is incredibly detailed to start with.  the cutting away of sensor information isnt an issue.

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It's fine aside from those horizontal flares. They're far too sharp and bright, the same problem apefos has.

 

The flares need diffusing and moving toward either orange or blue.

 

Great work so far, good to see people tackling the lack of supply.

 

Let's just hope the pricing isn't too greedy.

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Oval bokeh with 1.33x adapter...

 

 

 

...using a close-up diopter, like you would be having to use with most 2X cinema anamorphics for close focusing and to sharpen up the image not being stopped down.

 

 

 

...more with a Century Optics 1.33x adapter and CU diopter.  The SLR Magic lens is already demonstrably sharper at faster apertures, meaning the potential for at least two stops more dramatic ovals.

 

 

Wish I bought that Century Optics from you.  I can't really get that with my LA7200, maybe it's because I use it for wides rather than closeups.  I have all ranges of diopters too but the LA7200 needs small apertures of at least F5.6 killing any low-light possibilities really.  Well I hope the SLR Magic lens works out well because I'm interested.  I'll wait for the final production version though.

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Wish I bought that Century Optics from you.  I can't really get that with my LA7200, maybe it's because I use it for wides rather than closeups.  I have all ranges of diopters too but the LA7200 needs small apertures of at least F5.6 killing any low-light possibilities really.  Well I hope the SLR Magic lens works out well because I'm interested.  I'll wait for the final production version though.

 

Hmmm, that must have been someone else here as I've had mine for a little over a year now and have never been tempted to sell it.  

 

Did you find that the Panasonic needed f/5.6 regardless of focal length?  I was able to work out on my Century Optics that f/2.8 was the cutoff for 24mm without diopter, corresponding to an 8.571mm opening.  Consistently, as I worked my way up through my lenses I had to stop down to get as close as I could to being at or smaller than this 8.571mm opening in order to have serviceable focus that I could then improve with the Tokina.  

 

The lens experts here would likely be all, "well duh," but I can't say that I've ever seen this phenomenon expressed as more than a generality and the need to be "stopped down" which is generally true for anamorphic outside some of the 8mm and 16mm adapters that have their own laundry list of caveats, many of which preclude them from being interesting to me outside the novelty of having one.

 

So for my 35mm it was f/4 and 50mm it was f/5.833 but at f/5.6 plus the Tokina I was okay.  That definitely feels restrictive.  On MFT you can get a very decent looking CU and MCU with a 50mm but being that stopped down means weighing the aesthetic pros and cons of facial distortion + background control versus flatter CU but less depth separation.

 

The pre-production SLR Magic lens is focusing without a diopter at f/2.8 on a 35mm which is very encouraging.  At worst it points to at least offering one extra stop without diopter.  Hard to tell at this point but it looks like it could be sharper and cleaner at the edges than the Century as well, though I'm not bothered at all by a little fringing since you can find non-linear edge performance in Panavision Primo photography in the right/wrong set of circumstances.  I'm a fan of "dirty" anamorphic, full of flare and dreamy, the look of KILLING THEM SOFTLY being an extreme example.  It works for all the genres I really care about.

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...Try getting your actors to stay in focus when in motion with dof this shallow. Not very practical for my tastes.

 

 

That's actor experience (and the talent of your AC).  Believe me, I know.  You have to either alter your desired aesthetic to allow them to be spasmatic and overly-animated or you make them do it again.  I've noticed if they do a lot of stage and live performance or if that's where a majority of their experience is at you're going to have problems with them hitting marks in any composition.  The good ones know, however, small moves read and are what is appropriate for film.

 

They know instinctively when you put that CU lens on and they crave their CU.  Hinting that you may have to stick with wider in your coverage of them because they just can't hit their mark or appropriately scale their performance and odds are they're going to work on improving their craft.

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I agree, screen actors know to keep it contained in CU, but that isn't what i'm talking about. The pictures above have the actors nose in focus and not his eyes and so on in every single shot. If the DP cant even get the actor's face in focus for a still, it's not the actors problem.

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Hmmm, that must have been someone else here as I've had mine for a little over a year now and have never been tempted to sell it.  

 

Did you find that the Panasonic needed f/5.6 regardless of focal length?  I was able to work out on my Century Optics that f/2.8 was the cutoff for 24mm without diopter, corresponding to an 8.571mm opening.  Consistently, as I worked my way up through my lenses I had to stop down to get as close as I could to being at or smaller than this 8.571mm opening in order to have serviceable focus that I could then improve with the Tokina.  

 

The lens experts here would likely be all, "well duh," but I can't say that I've ever seen this phenomenon expressed as more than a generality and the need to be "stopped down" which is generally true for anamorphic outside some of the 8mm and 16mm adapters that have their own laundry list of caveats, many of which preclude them from being interesting to me outside the novelty of having one.

 

So for my 35mm it was f/4 and 50mm it was f/5.833 but at f/5.6 plus the Tokina I was okay.  That definitely feels restrictive.  On MFT you can get a very decent looking CU and MCU with a 50mm but being that stopped down means weighing the aesthetic pros and cons of facial distortion + background control versus flatter CU but less depth separation.

 

The pre-production SLR Magic lens is focusing without a diopter at f/2.8 on a 35mm which is very encouraging.  At worst it points to at least offering one extra stop without diopter.  Hard to tell at this point but it looks like it could be sharper and cleaner at the edges than the Century as well, though I'm not bothered at all by a little fringing since you can find non-linear edge performance in Panavision Primo photography in the right/wrong set of circumstances.  I'm a fan of "dirty" anamorphic, full of flare and dreamy, the look of KILLING THEM SOFTLY being an extreme example.  It works for all the genres I really care about.

Sorry I thought it was you.  But yeah I have to use F5.6 without a diopter to get focus.  If I use a 0.5 diopter I get maybe another stop at F4.  This is for most lenses, I think the russian lenses are worse and have to be F8.  Helios is OK at F4-F5.6.  This is for sharpness overall although the edges never really get sharp.  That's why I look at this new one and I think it looks good edge to edge.  Being able to focus at F2.8 is another bonus.

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Paulio, those are likely just two of the guys that are part of Riot Unit, not actors.  They make music videos and this isn't part of any of their work they were simply proving a point.  They have done some anamorphic projects but most aren't.  Whether or not focus like this is good or bad is also an aesthetic call.  You may not like it but there's a long line of folks who wouldn't be down for a 2X adapter with no flare.

 

Though it's not terribly necessary on an NEX they might have been trying the CU focusing technique employed by Harris Savides on ZODIAC where, due to the 2/3" sensor size of the Viper, he purposely focused in front of the actors with their faces skirting into the rear portion of in-focus volume.

 

We don't know any specifics besides camera, lens, adapter and diopter power, only that the point of these pictures is to prove that an oval bokeh is possible with a properly kitted 1.33X adapter.

 

 

edit: given that they were hard stopped to f/5.6 if any of these were actually taken at the 70mm end of the zoom, I'm of the opinion that they are definitely focusing in front of the actor if their eyes and nose are at different levels of focus.   They're likely trying to overcome how awful that Nikon zoom is for doing what they're doing.

 

edit2: It could also be that the diopter is too powerful for the distance they're shooting and needed to maybe stack a +1 and a +.5 or something.  Even a junk set of CU diopters seriously sharpens things up, ovals up the bokeh but it does put new limitations on workable focus distances.

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