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Andrew Reid

SLR Magic Rangefinder converts "dual focus" anamorphic (aka Kowa) to single focus - and more

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I have just received my SLR Magic Rangefinder which is a groundbreaking concept. It transfers focus away from the main lens focus ring onto a dedicated buttery smooth geared 240 degree cinema lens focus ring and attached to the main lens like a screw on filter.

With the main lens set to infinity, focus is done purely through the SLR Magic Rangefinder.

This means that the awkward to focus Kowa 2x anamorphic lenses are now as usable as an Iscorama.

It means Nikon glass can finally focus the 'right' way!

It also gives closer focussing abilities for lenses that have a long minimum focus distance (like the 2m of an Iscorama anamorphic) and prevents the focus breathing inherit in all non-cinema photographic lenses.

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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

Weird. Never heard about this before.  I look forward to seeing some videos.  The focus breathing thing sounds too good to be true as well.  It would be good to see a focus rack before and after.  Can it work on any focal length providing the front element is flat?

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Very interested in this. Still looking for the most affordable / best / most convenient (not bulky like the FM module) way to get a single focus anamorphic lens.

Would be perfect if it had a non rotating front, so I can use my variable ND filter - this one does rotate I suppose?

Also, I'd love a baby version for my mini petit cinevision anamorphic.

 

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Front thread is 82mm and yes it does rotate so you would need to put on a normal ND filter not a variable one.

The front of the Iscorama, etc. rotates anyway though so it's not a step back from the top-flight anamorphic solutions. Definitely a step up and I can't wait to see what the Kowa is like with it. Kowa 8Z is easily a match for an Iscorama for image quality and character.

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This could be huge! I've been collecting a lot of old Nikon glass, so this certainly would help with the breathing problems I've found with them, as well as the focus direction problem.

I'm a little confused about a couple things. First, how do you attach it? Does it attach via step up rings to a fixed filter thread? Also a bit confused as to how it prevents focus breathing on lenses that otherwise have it. 

Also, does it similarly create a long focus throw quality to focus-by-wire lenses?

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I have one arriving today via UPS. Eager to see how it stacks up. My understanding is it have a 77mm rear filter thread and an 82mm front filter thread. So yes, it would attach with step-up rings. And the focus ring is a 240° turn.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

It focuses optically, has lens elements. So it can actually, theoritically modify optical characteristics like breathing as claimed, and it can be used to give a fully manual focus ring to all those lenses without one, like stills glass, and most importantly of all, those fly by wire lenses. With this attached, you set focus on the Fly-by-wire lens to infinity for ever, and focus manually with this. So many opportunities and ideas if it really has no optical disadvantages:

 

1 -Give stills lenses with narrow jerky rings a 240° cine focus ring + fix breathing 

2 -Gives fly-by-wire lenses (Basically fixes alll Sony FE lenses and all Samsung lenses) a real mechanical cine focus ring + fix breathing 

3 -Make electronic fly-by-wire lenses adaptable to passive adapters (like STM lenses (10-18mm) to M43s/e-mount, Canon 85mm 1.2, and all those lenses we needed active adapters to run the focus rings) as focus has no need for electronics with this + fix breathing 

4 -Reverse Nikon stills glass directions, give it cine focus ring + fix breathing, practically breathing life into all Nikkor Ai/Ai-S glass for cinema applications.

5 -Eliminate need for dual focus anamorphic setups, just infinity and focus with this. 

6 -Eliminate the need for getting stills lenses expensively rehoused to get cine focus rings + fix breathing 

7 -Eliminate the need for getting ''each'' still lens rehoused as it can be attached and detached to another lens in seconds like a filter + fix breathing 

8- Fix non-linear focusing lenses (that changing focus pulling according to speed) and turn them into linear focusing lenses + gives them a cine 240° focus ring + fix breathing 

LOTS of applications for this and it's a huge product, just needs to: 

-Have no degradation on image quality of the lenses 

-Hit the claimed price 

It's really refreshing to see new inventions, it sparks creativity and peeks my mind. Like the speed boosters, DPAF, and this...

 

 

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I haven't gotten into anamorphic but I'm very happy someone is staying on top of this topic.  Is there any other website even committed to this technique?  It's strange that there are billions of people on this planet and millions of websites but this is the only place that reliably reports and analyzes this stuff.  I would have no clue about this if it wasn't for EOSHD.

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I have one arriving today via UPS. Eager to see how it stacks up. My understanding is it have a 77mm rear filter thread and an 82mm front filter thread. So yes, it would attach with step-up rings. And the focus ring is a 240° turn.

​So would putting a 77mm ND filter BEHIND this thing be a valid move?  Sorry for my ignorance I am a total anamorphic noob.

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Also a bit confused as to how it prevents focus breathing on lenses that otherwise have it. 

 

​I could be wrong but it seems you don't focus the lens.  You set the lens to infinity and then do the focusing with this adapter... I think.

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Thats cool. Is it mainly for those AF stills lenses that have a tiny throw? Giving it more of a cine lens focus mechanism?

​Yes those too and anamorphic are main uses. But really it could get up to all sorts of tricks. Depends on the user.

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​So would putting a 77mm ND filter BEHIND this thing be a valid move?  Sorry for my ignorance I am a total anamorphic noob.

​i don't know what kind of effect that would have. i think it would be okay. but i wonder if adding extra distance between the rangefinder and the lens might have any undesirable results.

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It focuses optically, has lens elements. So it can actually, theoritically modify optical characteristics like breathing as claimed, and it can be used to give a fully manual focus ring to all those lenses without one, like stills glass, and most importantly of all, those fly by wire lenses. With this attached, you set focus on the Fly-by-wire lens to infinity for ever, and focus manually with this. So many opportunities and ideas if it really has no optical disadvantages:

 

1 -Give stills lenses with narrow jerky rings a 240° cine focus ring + fix breathing

Yes correct.

2 -Gives fly-by-wire lenses (Basically fixes alll Sony FE lenses and all Samsung lenses) a real mechanical cine focus ring + fix breathing 

3 -Make electronic fly-by-wire lenses adaptable to passive adapters (like STM lenses (10-18mm) to M43s/e-mount, Canon 85mm 1.2, and all those lenses we needed active adapters to run the focus rings) as focus has no need for electronics with this + fix breathing

Yep and gives them hard stops as well. Canon L lenses stand to benefit a lot from that!

4 -Reverse Nikon stills glass directions, give it cine focus ring + fix breathing, practically breathing life into all Nikkor Ai/Ai-S glass for cinema applications.

Correct.

5 -Eliminate need for dual focus anamorphic setups, just infinity and focus with this.

This is use I am most excited about on a personal level.

6 -Eliminate the need for getting stills lenses expensively rehoused to get cine focus rings + fix breathing

7 -Eliminate the need for getting ''each'' still lens rehoused as it can be attached and detached to another lens in seconds like a filter + fix breathing 

8- Fix non-linear focusing lenses (that changing focus pulling according to speed) and turn them into linear focusing lenses + gives them a cine 240° focus ring + fix breathing

Yes basically gives a proper cine focussing ring to any lens, even if they have no focus ring at all like the Nikon 1 series stuff.

LOTS of applications for this and it's a huge product, just needs to: 

-Have no degradation on image quality of the lenses 

-Hit the claimed price 

It's really refreshing to see new inventions, it sparks creativity and peeks my mind. Like the speed boosters, DPAF, and this...

​This one is right up there with Speed Booster as a game changer.

Absolutely love the concept.

Let's hope it delivers enough performance to make good on the promise. I wouldn't expect an entirely free lunch, i.e. as pin sharp at F1.4 as the prime by itself, but when you take into how much it could change, a staggering amount, I'm willing to accept some trade offs to get it, especially if it means turning this into an Iscorama beater with butter smooth cine focus & 3ft close focus for a mere $600...

 

kowa 8z.png

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So basically you need to tape the lenses to infinity? maybe using some sort of mounting  clamp to place the rangefinder in front of the lens could fix the issue, i really dont like the idea of put tape on my lenses, but i do like this marvelous invention though....

Also, I'd love a baby version for my mini petit cinevision anamorphic.

 

+1 on that!

this could take the already wonderful bolex 8/19 1.5x to the stratosphere.

i wonder also if this can make delft vistascopes something usable...

lots of ideas coming to mi mind

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