I have previously written an introduction to anamorphic video in the article Ana-what? Anamorphic video – a low budget version! It was primarily about what anamorphic video is and how to get started with it on your smartphone. And now I’m back with an anamorphic video gadget again!
This time, I’m looking at the cheapest way to shoot anamorphic video with an SLR/DSLM: An SLR Magic Anamorphot 1.33x 40mm adapter.
Is it usable? Yes, but it takes a little practice …
SLR Magic Anamorphot 1.33x 40 is an anamorphic adapter that must be attached to another lens – a taking lens. The price is just under 700 Euro (5,000 DKK) at Goecker. In addition to the adapter, you will also need a camera and a taking lens.
The Taking Lens
The SLR Magic Anamorphot 1.33x 40 has a relatively small filter diameter – 49mm. This means that the taking lens, the lens that the Anamorphot adapter is attached to, must have a relatively small diameter. It is therefore a lot easier to find taking lenses for Micro Four Thirds cameras than full frame cameras.
SLR Magic recommends that you do not shoot with a brighter aperture than f/4.0 and that you stay in the focal length of 40-80mm (full frame) to avoid excessive vignetting. When the image is desqueezed in post-production, the corresponding focal length is approximately 30-60mm.
I used my Anamorphot on my Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 4K with a cheap Panasonic 25mm lens (equivalent to a 50mm on full frame), so a desqueezed focal length of approximately 40mm in full frame equivalents.
I set out to do a little video in order to practice: A night video so I could get a sci-fi-like look, with lots of “anamorphic flares,” and nice, elongated “bokeh balls.”
The video simulates a walk through central Copenhagen, from Nyhavnen to the City Hall Square. And yes, the BMPCC4K camera with an Anamorphot adapter coped with the darkness significantly better than the iPhone and Moment anamorphic kit:-)
But… The Double Focus Horror!
There was one thing I didn’t get really good at: The double focus system.
Both the taking lens and the adapter have to be focused separately. For starters, I didn’t really think it was important to adjust the adapter. But it is! So it requires some fine tuning of focus that I’m not used to.
There are single focus adapters for the Anamorphot adapters. Adapter on adapter. But it costs quite a bit extra. So I had to deal with the double focus issues… But it isn’t that bad – You just need a bit of practice.
Despite all the challenges, shooting anamorphic is fun – I definitely have to try it again:-) Both with the Anamorphot 2x I’ve ordered (a larger version of the same adapter) and the Sirui 50mm Anamorphic lens I’m waiting for.
Anywyas, see the result below: A small video from the center of Copenhagen – Luminous City.