Turning the LA7200 into a focussing anamorphic on the Canon 5D Mk II

This is an ingenious manipulation of the Panasonic LA7200 anamorphic adapter, on the Canon 5D Mark II.

The LA7200 works well at wide angles, especially on crop sensor cameras but at fast apertures, with close focus and on full frame DSLRs like the 5D Mark II it isn’t really usable since it isn’t a focussing anamorphic like the Iscorama and you get a blurry image.

For shallow depth of field and fast apertures you need a diopter, and since the LA7200 has such a large front element diopters to cover it are extremely rare, and awkward to mount.

Karen Abad Twitter pointed me at this video a few days ago, where Roman Castevet took apart his LA7200 and mounted it in a DIY focussing system in front of his 5D Mark II with 50mm F1.4 EF.

The resulting footage is fantastic and avoids the need for diopters.

I’m going to get more information from Roman so we can make our own rigs just as he has. The LA7200 is quite easy to take apart but I don’t quite know to what extent he has done so – it looks like he’s sawn it in half!

The LA7200 currently fetches between $700 and $1000 on eBay.

Lumix Pancake 14mm and LA7200

I’ve been using the LA7200 lately with my 14mm Pancake on the GH2. This is a seriously good combo, better than the previous happy marriage with the Canon 10-22mm EFS F3.5. I had an exceptionally cinematic image with that, and the pancake is even better. Happily, absolutely no vignetting despite the wide angle. The image with the anamorphic ends up with a very wide 11mm field of view like the Tokina 11-16mm, but cinemascope 2.35:1 (that’s 22mm in full frame focal length).

The image is also surprisingly sharp at F2.5 wide open, whereas on all other lenses I’ve tried the image doesn’t get usable until F4.

Though distortion and the soft corners still mitigate the feel in some situations a little, I find it part of the charm of the LA7200, and the soft corners are no worse than they are on any other LA7200 prime lens combo.

I use a 46-52mm stepping ring to attach to the tiny pancake, and then 52-77mm plus a 77-72mm step DOWN ring on the LA7200 itself to grab the recessed 72mm thread. I then add lemon and sugar to the pancake, or possibly chocolate and strawberries, it depends on the day 🙂

Check out a few sample images from the LA7200 and Lumix pancake lens.