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SLR Magic creates Anamorphot 1,33x – 50 lens adaptor for movie makers

By dpreview staff on Feb 13, 2014 at 10:20 GMT

SLR Magic has created the Anamorphot 1,33x – 50, an accessory lens for film makers that compresses the image horizontally by a factor of 1.33x. This allows footage to be shot for 2.35:1 widescreen projection using the standard 16:9 aspect ratio that most cameras record, without having to crop vertically and lose resolution. The lens will be available by March 2014 and cost $899.

There is also a pre-order offer for followers of SLRMagic's twitter handle @anamorphot, available though email to support@slrmagic.com by Feb 14th (GMT +8). 

Press release:

NEW: SLR Magic Anamorphot 1,33x – 50

Hong Kong, China (Feb 10, 2014) – SLR Magic is proud to announce the SLR Magic Anamorphot 1,33x – 50 for indie filmmakers. 

In the past, many indie filmmakers who wanted to shoot anamorphic had to depend on rare vintage lenses, which was not always reliable.  In hopes to provide a reliable and available solution for indie anamorphic shooters, we had active feedback from http://www.personal-view.com forum users in the "Most wanted ANAMORPHIC lens" topic; as well as technical assistance from http://www.eoshd.com for the past two years.

To achieve the much loved 2.35:1 scope aspect ratio, which gives a very pleasant, epic effect, filmmakers must crop off the top and bottom of standard 16:9 footage when using spherical lenses with modern digital cameras. As a result, 25% of sensor/negative information is discarded.

As a commitment to the film industry, SLR Magic developed this 1,33x anamorphic adapter to help filmmakers maximize their image quality by preventing this loss of vertical resolution. The unique 1,33x squeeze factor uses the entire 16:9 sensor/negative area to achieve the desired 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The Anamorphot 1.33x – 50 does this by compressing a 33% wider field of view to fit the width of the 16:9 sensor/negative without compressing image height. 

Modern professional cinema cameras have large sensors capable of capturing an image in the 2.35:1 format directly, using spherical lenses, but film makers still desire the anamorphic “look” which often limits them to using rare vintage lenses.  These present a number of difficulties in practice such as size, weight, lack of close focus, availability, and high price.  We sought to overcome such issues with the SLR Magic Anamorphot.

The SLR Magic Anamorphot 1,33x – 50 create a unique "artifact" such as horizontal lens flare, commonly referred to as anamorphic streaks, and may create slightly elongated bokeh when achromatic diopters are used.  Over the history of cinema, these same stylish effects have contributed to the cinematic "look" of epic motion picture photography.  Characteristics that shape this anamorphic “look” come from “front-mounted” anamorphic adapter designs such as the SLR Magic Anamorphot while “rear-mounted” anamorphic designs have more suppressed anamorphic characteristics.

We will offer The SLR Magic Anamorphot 1,33x – 50 in two editions. The standard edition may have slight cosmetic imperfections such as small dust motes which has no observable impact on image quality. It usually takes a lot of imperfections to perceptibly degrade the image quality of a lens. Feedback from the "Most wanted ANAMORPHIC lens" forum topic showed many indie filmmakers wanted an affordable anamorphic lens option over rare vintage anamorphic lenses to use as "tools" for filmmaking. Cosmetic perfections lead to long labor hours in making an anamorphic lens and it is the main reason for high cost of new anamorphic lenses.   It was a practical decision we made to offer two different editions to cater for these two consumer needs.

The standard edition will have no material or optical compromises over the the SPECIAL EDITION. The SPECIAL EDITION will be sold in Hong Kong only and it is the same as the standard edition in terms of the materials used and optical image quality but extra effort would be put into the assembly process where it would be free of any dust motes (at the time of purchase only). The SPECIAL EDITION would be made "by order" basis.

The SLR Magic Anamorphot 1,33x – 50 and SLR Magic 77mm Achromatic Diopter Set (+0.33, +1.3) will be available from authorised SLR Magic resellers by March, 2014.

There is currently a pre-order offer for people who follow our twitter handle @anamorphot and email it to support@slrmagic.com by Feb 14th (GMT +8).

The Anamorphot will be available for viewing at the CP+ show in Yokohama Japan from Feb 13-16 in the Video Area for Professionals at the "Digital-hobby" booth.

The SLR Magic Anamorphot 1,33x – 50 and SLR Magic 77mm Achromatic Diopter Set (+0.33, +1.3) 

Technical Data:

SLR Magic Anamorphot 1,33x – 50

  • Lens Type: Anamorphic adapter
  • Compatible Cameras: All Cameras
  • Objective front filter thread: Φ77
  • Objective rear filter thread: Φ62, Φ58, Φ52, Φ49   
  • Lens Coating: Multi Coated
  • Close Focus: dependant on taking lens compatibility
  • Weight (oz./g): 13.4/380
  • Optional accessories: SLR Magic 77mm Achromatic Diopter Set (+0.33, +1.3)

Suggested taking lens based on sensor size:

  • 17-85mm focal length can be used for S16 sensor.
  • 20-85mm focal length can be used for mFT sensor.
  • 35-85mm focal length can be used for S35 and APS-C sensor.
  • 40-85mm focal length can be used for Full Frame sensor.

Taking lens compatibility

Lenses with non-rotating front filter threads must be used.  The front element of the taking lens should be as close to the rear element of the SLR Magic Anamorphot 1,33x – 50 as possible without making contact. It isn't necessary for the taking lens to have an internal focusing mechanism. Trial and error will be involved but, in general, the SLR Magic Anamorphot is best paired with a prime lens whose front element (not to be confused with its filter thread) is smaller than 50mm in diameter.

MSRP  : $1,899 for SLR Magic Anamorphot SPECIAL EDITION 1,33x – 50

            : $899 for SLR Magic Anamorphot 1,33x – 50

            : $299 for SLR Magic 77mm Achromatic Diopter Set (+0.33, +1.3)

Comments

Total comments: 41
JeffCarrera
By JeffCarrera (2 days ago)

Hey, the SLR Magic Anamorphot is compatible with a Voigtlander Nokton 25mm f/0.95? I'm really looking forward to buy this anamorphic adapter! It would be awesome if you had a sample video of this combo with a GH3!! And where can i buy the anamorphot in the US? Thanks!

0 upvotes
Maurizio Camagna
By Maurizio Camagna (1 month ago)

I've received one of the first samples. I've tested it on Canon full frame with a 40 f/2.8 and a 50 f/1.8. Frankly, it's awesome. Nothing more to say.

0 upvotes
Tomee21
By Tomee21 (2 months ago)

I'm not an expert in this topic, but does this mean that I can use this for example with a 20mm Lumix lens on a GH2? And if so, does this give a 1,33x wider FOV, thus approximately like with a 15mm lens?

0 upvotes
SLR Magic
By SLR Magic (2 months ago)

You get the same 20mm FOV on vertical axis but approx 14mm FOV on horizontal axis. If you email us at support@slrmagic.com we could send you some sample video links with that combo.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 40 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
rialcnis
By rialcnis (2 months ago)

This was mentioned some time ago. Can't wait to see vdeo results ad compatibility list.

0 upvotes
nathanleebush
By nathanleebush (2 months ago)

I'm a bit confused. How does it attach to the front of the lens? Is it exact or inexact? Also, can you (SLR Magic) compile a comprehensive, searchable database of lenses supported and post it somewhere?

0 upvotes
SLR Magic
By SLR Magic (2 months ago)

There will soon be a database of supported lenses on www.slrmagic.co.uk but it would take a while as it is based on user feedback.

The Anamorphot 1,33x - 50 has a native 62mm rear thread and the kit comes with included 58mm, 52mm, and 49mm specially made step-up rings. You just need to screw it to the front filter thread of your lens. If your lens have a front filter thread larger than 62mm you will need to buy third party step-down rings but compatibility is on an experimental basis.

0 upvotes
Jonne Ollakka
By Jonne Ollakka (2 months ago)

Anyone have a good educated guess if this will work with the EF50/1.2L?

Thanks to SLR Magic for stepping up and doing this. I bought my Iscorama in april 2009 and the amount of people wanting to buy it from me has been insane. Quite astonishing considering how crap that lens is. One of my anamorphic photos on Flickr is the most viewed of my photos, day after day for nearly five years now.

0 upvotes
SLR Magic
By SLR Magic (2 months ago)

We tried the lens with an EF40/2.8 and EF50/1.4 and it works. Have not tried it with the EF50/1.2L.

Usually the Anamorphot works well with lenses that has a front lens element smaller than 50mm in diameter (not to be confused with filter thread diameter). Having the front element of the taking lens close to the rear element of the Anamorphot (but not touching) helps too! It does not work as well with macro lenses with a recessed front element or zoom lenses.

If you follow @anamorphot on twitter everyone is sharing the lens combo that works for them!

1 upvote
SLR Magic
By SLR Magic (2 months ago)

Someone tried the EF50mm/1.0L with the Anamorphot 1,33x - 50 and it works with the 7D.

1 upvote
Photato
By Photato (2 months ago)

This lenses would make more sense if cameras made HD video in their native 3:2 or 4:3 ratio.
Unfortunately, most cameras are software limited to do 16:9 1080P. Or 640x480 at 4:3.

0 upvotes
SLR Magic
By SLR Magic (2 months ago)

It makes sense for us to make a 1.33x lens considering 16:9 is the HD mode that all cameras today provide when in video mode. Having different compression such as 1.5x for 3:2 or 2.0x for 4:3 ratio does make sense if camera manufacturers start to provide such anamorphic shooting modes.

1 upvote
Photato
By Photato (2 months ago)

No bashing the product just venting out my frustration with lack of innovation on camera manufacturers. Namely HD on 3:2, 4:3 ratio
No doubt anamorphic lens are a great tool for serious videographers.

1 upvote
SLR Magic
By SLR Magic (2 months ago)

We are trying to reach out to some camera manufacturers to have an anamorphic mode so that it makes sense for us to provide more squeeze ratios but not getting anywhere. So, 16:9 for now.

2 upvotes
3dreal
By 3dreal (2 months ago)

More important would be making this camera 3DStereo-ready for twinning Dual/Multiple cameras.

0 upvotes
ProfHankD
By ProfHankD (2 months ago)

Smart move for SLR Magic. Anamorphic lenses are selling for scary prices on eBay. Mostly, I think it's because people like the movie-like bokeh distortion when the captured image is stretched for playback.

However, you can save some money if that's your goal. Simply use an ellipse-shaped Waterhouse stop for your aperture appropriately positioned in front of most lenses. ;-)

2 upvotes
12345ccr
By 12345ccr (2 months ago)

what is this waterhouse stop you speak of? Sounds very interesting as a budget alternative!

0 upvotes
SLR Magic
By SLR Magic (2 months ago)

Correct us if you are wrong but we think ProfHankD meant changing your aperture by taking apart your lens and insert an Oval aperture. Another alternative is doing that to the rear of your lens. When you do that, your lets say f1.8 lens would end up having an effective max aperture of f/4 if you have a good oval shape. What you miss out on by doing that is the horizontal flare streaks and anamorphic distortion effects. Most anamorphic shooters do not shoot anamorphic only for oval bokeh though.

0 upvotes
ProfHankD
By ProfHankD (2 months ago)

No need to open the lens in most cases -- simply put an appropriately-shaped aperture cut in a piece of opaque material in front of the lens. Sizing is critical; too large a hole will vignette rather than act as a stop. This also will not work for lenses that have the entry pupil in an awkward spot, such as most ultra-wides. The change in f/number is real, although it isn't that dramatic for common anamorphic ratios.

A good anamorphic adapter really shouldn't induce flare or distortion, but both can be faked. Flare streaks can be induced by taking a cheap UV filter and lightly scratching it in the right orientation. Distortion is easy to recreate in postprocessing (distortion removal with the wrong parameters).

Using a real anamorphic adapter does allow you to use all the pixels, whereas what I'm talking about would involving cropping to get the aspect ratio. It also avoids some annoying video postprocessing.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
samfan
By samfan (2 months ago)

I wonder, doesn't this make viewing through the finder a bit awkward?

Regardless even though I think it's a little silly, it must be quite an engineering feat, isn't it? I mean I know these lenses have existed for ages, but still, most lenses are spherical and even a single aspherical element makes a lens more expensive. And here is a complete non-spherical lens and not expensive considering how niche it is.

Or is this sort of lens not harder to produce than traditional spheric ones?

Still, considering its only goal is to save a few pixels, it must be very high quality so the IQ advantage over cropping is not rendered moot.

0 upvotes
SLR Magic
By SLR Magic (2 months ago)

1.33x is not bad. 2x would look quite awkward though. When shooting anamorphic it is recommend to use an external monitor that has support for 1.33x anamorphic mode. Some do not have a specific anamorphic mode but allows you to self select the output display ratio.

Anamorphic lenses are expensive to make as well as really time consuming and skill demanding to calibrate. We have made cost-cutting measures to offer this lens at a very attractive price point. We hope to see more indie films in anamorphic soon!

0 upvotes
jaygeephoto
By jaygeephoto (2 months ago)

Did Spiratone make a comeback while I was away?

1 upvote
Langusta
By Langusta (2 months ago)

"
SPECIAL EDITION [...] is the same as the standard edition [...] but [...] it would be free of any dust motes (at the time of purchase only)
"
We can also expect "Limited Edition" that would be free of dust also some time after the purchase...

1 upvote
zimarrio
By zimarrio (2 months ago)

Does anamorphic lenses still make sense in digital cameras?
Isn't the image going to lose quality after up-sampling the pixels when converting to 2.35:1?

2 upvotes
mgrum
By mgrum (2 months ago)

You do loose quality upsizing, but you're left with a 2556 x 1080 file. The preferred method is to downsize the vertical to give a 1920 x 810 (which you can letterbox to 1920 x 1080) file that will play on a regular HD tv / screen. That gives better quality than shooting in 16:9 and cropping to get a wider aspect ratio.

3 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (2 months ago)

Anamorphic lenses also give you a certain look (horizontal lens flairs, non-circular bokeh etc.) that make things look more "cinematic" (if only it's because that's what we're used to seeing at the cinema)

1 upvote
zimarrio
By zimarrio (2 months ago)

Thanks for the info.
That's what I was thinking mgrum. If your final format is going to be 1920x1080, it's better to shoot in full HD and then crop vertically than to shoot with this lens, then upsize and downsize.
Andy, that particular look might be the only reason to use these lenses.

0 upvotes
falconeyes
By falconeyes (2 months ago)

zimarrio, I think mgrum said the opposite to what you understood.

Scaling/upsizing, then downsampling provides better quality than cropping. Less noise and better resolution. Assuming the anamorphic lens is good enough.

Moreover, just assume that folks at personal-view.com forum and eoshd.com know what they have been talking about.

3 upvotes
zimarrio
By zimarrio (2 months ago)

Ok, now I get it, I was adding a stupid extra step. Thanks!

0 upvotes
SLR Magic
By SLR Magic (2 months ago)

if you stretch an image by 33% in width, you do loose resolution. When you squeeze an image by 33% horizontally you will effectively increase information horizontally by 33%. When you stretch it back by 33% you do not loose any information as you had 33% more information horizontally to begin with. If you stretched the image vertically (you are not suppose to anyway) you will loose resolution as you do not have any extra information vertically.

Did that make any sense?

0 upvotes
Cinemascopic
By Cinemascopic (3 weeks ago)

What I presume Andrew just mentioned is correct. You gain resolution. You can download my video here in 2554x1080: https://vimeo.com/90117167

The extra resolution gained from the squeeze/desqueeze makes a big difference on a screen that has more than 1080p resolution, such as an iMac 27", compared to a 1080p video file displayed full screen.

0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (2 months ago)

Won't this make all subjects really short and fat?

0 upvotes
pew pew
By pew pew (2 months ago)

i think, its the contrary, long and slim :P

3 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (2 months ago)

Also only until you load the footage into a video editor and adjust the aspect ratio to 2.35:1

3 upvotes
Chriscotech
By Chriscotech (2 months ago)

Seriously? You have to pay extra for one without dust in it? Did I miss something here? Are we talking about used equipment? This is 2014. Imagine if your Core i7 microprocessor chip was built with dust in it. For $1,000 I would buy a Dyson and clean out the dust myself.

3 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (2 months ago)

You always pay extra for that. One of the reasons why professional-grade products are more expensive than consumer-grade ones, is because of tighter manufacturing tolerances and more thorough quality control.

In this case they allow the presence of some dust as a cost-cutting measure in order to be able to offer a less expensive alternative. As they say, a small amount of dust won't perceptibly degrade image quality.

6 upvotes
falconeyes
By falconeyes (2 months ago)

It is interesting that even with Chinese workers, this seems to make a factor 2 cost difference. Interesting as we aren't normally offered such a direct 1:1 comparison.

Maybe, it is wether assembly takes place in a clean room or not ... Probably, if I think it through. And probably, they have to rent the clean room for batches of special edition lenses. My guess.

0 upvotes
Chriscotech
By Chriscotech (2 months ago)

We use so many things now that would not tolerate manufacture without a clean room. That includes billions of electronic components.

I am a photographer but I have repaired camera equipment for many years too. Keeping dust out during manufacturing has been pretty much a base line for manufacturers for decades. I have some 1950s Carl Zeiss and Leica lenses and all of them are spotless inside (I didn't need to clean them). You cannot charge a $1,000 premium for that in 2014. I do also know that anything less than a cloud of particles would not affect image quality but, how much do you trust expensive optical equipment that is not absolutely clean inside? An anamorphic lens is a very difficult optical system to grind as any errors are magnified when the image is reproduced. I would want to know that the manufacturer is at least precise enough to handle basic cleanliness, IMO.

0 upvotes
SLR Magic
By SLR Magic (1 month ago)

Leica does not manufacture Anamorphic lenses so their lens price does not reflect how much more it cost to make an anamorphic lens. Carl Zeiss on the other hand manufactures Zeiss Master Anamorphic and is a better example. Zeiss Master Anamorphics has at least $10,000 USD premium over Zeiss Master Primes in 2014. Everyone who has received a copy so far are very satisfied and some even bought multiple copies of the SLR Magic Anamorphot for their paid jobs. As mentioned in the press release, this anamorphic adapter is made for indie filmmakers in mind that will use these lenses useful tools. Zeiss Anamorphic lenses are very nice lenses in the $40,000 USD price range and the "basic cleanliness" needs is definitely covered in the price. The cost of our anamorphic adapter is less than the price for two days rental of a Zeiss Master Anamorphic in 2014.

1 upvote
sethd
By sethd (1 month ago)

i was an volunteer for the slr magic anamorphic lens. when i ordered, it was sent off the next day and i got it with in a few days. the lens is very well built, the ring to change from normal or close mode is smooth. there was no dust in my lens it came spotless. with the 1.33x squeeze it gives a nice anamorphic look and feel and it flares great. for the money of the slr magic anamorphic lens is a bargain. you get an anamorphic lens that doesnt need to be focus with the taking lens. considering what you pay for it its a steal. super easy to use and gives a lovely image. this lens is under a grand and comparing it to a zeiss master anamorphic that cost 40k plus there is no comparison. two totally different price ranges. saying that would i use the slr magic anamorphic on a set. the answer is yes i would.

1 upvote
MonkeyChe
By MonkeyChe (1 month ago)

Hi- I bought one off the site (pre-order) and have no affiliations with SLRMAGIC. For the money the lens is well built and feels solid in the hand and on my taking lens (Helios). Regarding the 'dust' there isn't any that I can see in the lens. The images I've taken are sharp and speck free. Hope that helps.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 41