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SLR Magic Anamorphot + LA7200

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Got my SLR Magic Anamorphot set yesterday and ran out the door to get some video.  I really like the new SLR Magic Anamorphot.  Great solid metal build and heft.  Easy to adapt, with threads on the front for diopters.  I shot this comparison with the Panasonic LA7200.  I wish I had a proper wide like the Panasonic 20mm, but I'll get one soon enough.  The widest for the SLR Magic Anamorphot is 20mm MFT, but the Panasonic is 14mm.  That is the only real advantage of the LA7200, the wide shots.  Otherwise the SLR Magic is just worlds better in terms of usability, size, and the ability to use diopters and ND filters.

 

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In my second test I used different prime lenses.  The main problem, whether it's full frame or micro 4/3rds, is that focusing at F2 at night is really hard on a tiny GH3 LCD screen.  I wanted to be discreet yesterday, so no external monitor.  Of course it really helps to have one, but anyway this is my very first attempt with the SLR Magic Anamorphot.

 

I believe the prime lens is the main factor.  I couldn't open the Helios or Jupiter all the way open, otherwise the image was just too soft.  And the Jupiter was worse even at F2.8.  If I used F4 or F5.6, I think the image would have been much sharper with less coma.

 

Just like any new lens I'll have to adjust to it and test it some more.  Still I do like the image and I think the flares are very well controlled, in fact the LA7200 flares always seemed "blocky", the SLR Magic Anamorphot has a real organic feel.  I really like the SLR Magic and I'll be doing more tests soon.

 

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The SLR Magic Anamorphot works well with the SLR Magic 35mm T1.4 CINE II but it does not necessary work well with any taking lens. It is more likely for the SLR Magic Anamorphot to work with prime lenses with a front element diameter smaller than 50mm (not filter thread diameter). If the front element is larger than 50mm you either need to stop down or it may not even work at all. The lens is also more likely to be compatible with prime lenses.

 

So far this is what we know that works from user feedback:

 

Blackmagic Pocket MFT camera only

SLR Magic 17mm f/1.6 @2.8

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 @2.8

 

MFT cameras

 

Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 @1.7

Voightlander 25mm f/0.95 @0.95

SLR Magic 35mm T1.4 CINE II @2.8

Canon EF STM f/2.8 @2.8

Contax 45mm f/2.8 @2.8

Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 @2.8

Contax 60mm f/2.8 @4.0

Leica Summicron-R 90mm f/2 @5.6

Contax 100mm f/2 @5.6

Prakticar 135mm f/2.8 @5.6

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Yeah I think the LA7200 looks great actually - I think it's a matter of personal preference but I much prefer the LA7200's flares - and something else I can't quite put my finger on - I think i'd have to see the full res footage. But the first film with artist Andy Lee is the best stuff I've seen from the SLR Magic so far.

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The LA7200 always works well with Micro 4/3rds GH2 or GH3.  It's when it's on Full Frame like the Canon 5DmkIII that you see the ugly smearing.  I'll take some footage later today.  But if you see my previous NYC test, you'll see how bad it can get:

 

 

I think the SLR Magic really shines for closeups.  The Andy Lee video I didn't even use a diopter.  However it takes a little getting used to the Near/Normal focus.  It's almost like a dual-focus setup, so I'm used to that.  The only thing is there isn't a distance scale to the dial, and it works differently depending on the taking prime lens.

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Thanks for the test!

i like the flares on LA7200, but bokeh to my eye looks better on Noktor, well, 'better' to my eye of course; I'm getting this one for sure, but I'll keep my LA7200

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Hi folks,

I have a question to ask and this seemed like the best place to ask it. I have a BMPCC. This has paired up nicely with my lens collection but looking ahead I want to invest in some specific kit. I am looking at the Anamorphot (hence why I ended up here), the Metabones pocket Camera speedbooster and the Sigma 18-35. However, I am also the content owner of an SLR Magic 35mm T1.4 (mark 1). I don't have unlimited funds and want to get the best possible image out of my kit. What way to go? Appreciate any of your thoughts. I do understand that the mk2 is the recommended lens to pair with the Anamorphot (just dont know if it will work with the mk1 to an acceptable degree). Thanks

Lee

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With the SLR Magic 35mm T1.4 MK 1 you need to pair with lens support. However, a typical lens support kit will cost you more than the SLR Magic 35mm T1.4 MK1 and MK2 (CINE II) combined. Not sure why they cost so much. Maybe due to Econ 101 supply and demand!

 

Some have tried the Sigma 18-35mm at f/2.8 and it works like a charm on BMPCC. Does not work with the speed booster though due to angle of view.

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I'm curious to see the tester's results. Is 20mm been the widest people have been able to go with on the SLR Anamorphot. I'm a big wide angle guy, but for the BMCC I'd like to be able to use the 17.5mm Voigtlander just to have a 35mmish equivalent.

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17mm is rated as usable on S16 size sensors but the lens design itself will be a factor.  There is more air between the front element of the taking lens and the rear element of the anamorphic than I expected.  You might expect, based on a visual inspection, to get even wider performance than they're rating each sensor size but you really must test each lens.  

 

For instance, the Lumix 14-42mm will surprisingly vignette at wider than ~25mm on the GH2, even though 20mm is the recommended lower threshold.  SLR Magic do not recommend zooms, however, and though the front element of the Lumix lens is quite small its optical design means that at each step along its range it's not as optimal for this application as a prime lens will be.

 

When shooting anamorphic the conventional calculation of finding equivalent FOV isn't terribly meaningful unless you do the extra maths involved in the compression.  With the 17.5mm Voigtlander, after compression, you would have the equivalent FOV to ~30mm focal length on a 36mm sensor if you're concerned only with horizontal FOV.  

 

I'm now starting to think that, when shooting anamorphic, it is the vertical FOV and vertical sensor size that is more important when selecting a lens for a particular task, since it is the vertical dimension that actually determines the composition of talent.  Sliding them left or right to strike a Golden Section composition is more of a secondary concern.  

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I've long since sold my GH2, but with the GH3 it is 20mm (40mm FF).  I have the 14-42mm too, it's too sterile an image.  I'm going to get a 20mm pancake and try it out.  I wish I could use 17.5mm (35mm FF) since I love that wide look - not super wide but not "normal" either.  If you try the Anamorphot with the 25mm Leica Summilux, you can use F2 although it's a soft image but great bokeh.  I'm going to try the Anamorphot with the 12-35mm X lens when it comes in next week.  I hope that at the wide F2.8 the image still has great bokeh but just enough sharpness.  I'm worried though, only the 25mm Leica has great bokeh.  All the other Panasonic lenses just are too sterile - too sharp, too much DOF.

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This might be off topic but do you think wide footage can be spherical and just be cropped?  I want to have wide Anamorphic footage, but usually shooting at F8 to get a lot in focus, at 1.33x it looks just like regular spherical footage.  I think for medium, tight and closeup shots Anamorphic is fine.  It's just the wide shots.  I figure a 35mm shot spherical daytime at F8 or F11 can just be cropped and mixed seamlessly with Anamorphic closeups.  I also just saw Basic Instinct and they shot it all with Anamorphic (except maybe the car chase scenes).  I think they blended the shots very well.

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We discuss mixed format subjects often with shooters and editors. It's usually fine to mix spherical with anamorphic now a days. It used to be a big NO WAY. Scott Pilgrim vs The World and Spring Breakers come to mind as 2 recent big budget projects that did a lot of mixing. 

 

Scott Pilgrim:

 

Spring Breakers:

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This might be off topic but do you think wide footage can be spherical and just be cropped?  I want to have wide Anamorphic footage, but usually shooting at F8 to get a lot in focus, at 1.33x it looks just like regular spherical footage.  I think for medium, tight and closeup shots Anamorphic is fine.  It's just the wide shots.  I figure a 35mm shot spherical daytime at F8 or F11 can just be cropped and mixed seamlessly with Anamorphic closeups.  I also just saw Basic Instinct and they shot it all with Anamorphic (except maybe the car chase scenes).  I think they blended the shots very well.

 

Yeah, once you go sufficiently stopped down you get fewer cues that funky optics are involved, in the sense of a still image.  I still think you get a different sense of perspective and spatial relationships between objects that's different than that of a spherical lens though, revealed through Z-axis movement.  I think the cues end up "feeling" different even if you were to match horizontal FOV with an equivalent spherical lens.  

 

I haven't tested this theory out though.  Yet.  I think to do it right you would have to use something like a 5D with spherical lens compared to a smaller format camera with an anamorphic lens, matching FOV and comparing both the still composition as well as depth cues from the camera dollying forward.

 

But, yeah, anamorphic and spherical are mixed in big motion pictures.  You have a better than 50/50 chance that any film with heavy visual effects the photography containing the effects will be spherical, either shot on Super-35 or VistaVision.  Most facilities don't like working with anamorphic plates when adding visual effects, unless a filmmaker mandates that no spherical photography is used even for effects plates.  

 

This goes back to Star Wars at least.  One of the first things Luc Besson was convinced to do at the beginning of The Fifth Element was to shoot spherical.  Unfortunately.  Nowadays with disc and RAM and CPU like we have there is less of a worry because working with the higher resolution imagery isn't a big deal and you can do optics compensation for tracking.

 

The Dark Knight Rises is another example of mixed photography, with anamorphic 35mm for most of the regular narrative parts of the film and 65mm for the big action set pieces.

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We discuss mixed format subjects often with shooters and editors. It's usually fine to mix spherical with anamorphic now a days. It used to be a big NO WAY. Scott Pilgrim vs The World and Spring Breakers come to mind as 2 recent big budget projects that did a lot of mixing. 

 

Scott Pilgrim:

 

Spring Breakers:

 

 

Though I agree spherical can be mixed with anamorphic, I don't think your two examples are ones really capable of fortifying the argument.  Big budget or not,  Neither one of these examples appear to have had any real care put into the tactful and artistic elements of the shooting process - in the same way the majority of modern pieces appear the same.   Spring Breakers has a little more of an artistic feel but more in an annoying hipster way where a dop has tried to meet the demands of a tattoo'd prat in charge or art direction rather than in a careful Kubrick fashion.  

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