There has become quite the secondhand market for anamorphic lenses and adapters since DSLRs and mirrorless cameras appeared on the scene. Cameras like the Panasonic GH2 were able to adapt almost any lens imaginable, including all sorts of anamorphic contraptions. With the popularity of shooting anamorphically on the rise, it was only a matter of time before companies introduced new adapters or lenses with their own designs affordably. SLR Magic, a well-known lens manufacturer, has been in development of their own anamorphic adapter, and we've got some early footage from their 1.33x prototype below:
Some more details about the video and the adapter from Vimeo:
The first ever user test of SLR Magic's prototype (v.2) anamorphic lens with 1.33x ratio.
The lens is for Micro Four Thirds and utilises their 35mm f1.4 Cine II as rear taking lens.
As SLR Magic is based in Hong Kong it's only befitting that a local crew took her out to play and show off our city.
Shawn and I had a few precious hours to shoot something so our little film test took place in Mong Kok, Hong Kong, the most densely populated district on earth. What results is a man's burgeoning quest for 'relief'.
Shot on Panasonic GH2 (unhacked). Nearly every shot at f2.8 and maximum 1600 ISO.
By the way the last shot with the ice cream turned out blurry - was due to sloppy focusing on my part.
Personal notes about the lens:
As mentioned above, this is a prototype lens. I cannot reveal images of it but I can say it's light and compact. Built to operate like a single lens, it allows shooters to pull focus to a certain degree. It also has a neat close-up function that allows you to shoot up to about 1 meter.
Right now, the flares are a little too scattered for my liking - I'm just too used to the Hypergonar and Lomo styles. However, SLR Magic has yet to apply any lens coating so I hope to see something that suits my taste.
At the moment the anamorphic flares are intense because there is no coating on the lens yet (as mentioned above). Much of the quality of flares on anamorphic lenses is due to the coating, so the next step is an important one for the team over at SLR Magic. The 1.33x factor was decided upon because so many cameras shoot with a 16:9 aspect ratio natively. With this anamorphic adapter, you get very close to the "proper" 2.40/2.39 aspect ratio (the DCP cinema standard for 2K is actually 2048 x 858). 2x adapters and lenses were much more common in the days of 4:3 film gates, which would then give a similar aspect ratio as above upon desqueezing.
SLR Magic is trying to target somewhere around $1,500, and it currently works with a 35mm taking lens on Micro 4/3 and 50mm on full-frame. Here's more from SLR Magic on the cost factor from the Personal View forum:
Trying to target for a $1.5K budget. $300-500 expectations are quite unrealistic at this point. Many are comparing used anamorphic at $300 but they definitely did not cost $300 when it was brand new. To be fair, our product should be compared with modern anamorphic that are currently in production.
We need a realistic price expectation for us to bring an idea into production. For example, we have many requests for our 50mm T0.95 lens to be made in EF mount version. However, price expectations for the lens is always sub $1K. When we feel it is not possible, we will never put an idea into production.
I'm sure we are going to see a few more anamorphic lenses/adapters in the near future (like one from Letus), which should correct for many of the issues currently facing those who want to use somewhat tricky adapters like the LA7200 with their setups.
You can read more about the development process and responses from SLR Magic over on Personal View.
[via 4/3 Rumors]