Moondog Labs is Kickstarting its anamorphic adapter lens for iPhone 5/5s that will allow iPhoneographers to capture a widescreen video or still when shooting in a standard aspect ratio. Anamorphic lenses were first used in the 1950s, bringing a widescreen look to films shots on 35mm stock.
While you can crop a video or image to fit a widescreen format by cropping horizontally, you lose part of the image. An anamorphic lens "squeezes" a widescreen image onto the recording medium. With Moondog Labs' 1.33x Anamorphic Adapter lens, a video shot on the iPhone in the standard 16:9 aspect ratio gains about 33% more width. Still images shot in 4:3 are expanded to 16:9.
Once the video or still is captured, the image has to be "de-squeezed" to proper scale. This can be achieved with software programs such as Final Cut Pro, Adobe Photoshop and others.
It's an interesting concept and, from the samples we've seen, brings a new and appealing look to video. And the lens certainly makes it easier to capture almost-panoramic still images. In addition to the widescreen look, anamorphic lenses also produce flare and bokeh as part of the cinematic look you might be working to achieve.
The Kickstarter project has already exceeded its $30,000 goal, so it looks like supporters may be seeing this product in hand as early as this month. See it in action below: