Letus officially announced their 1.33x anamorphic adapter back in September, and as the release date inches closer (apparently some should start shipping sometime in the next week or two), more videos have been popping up showing off just what it can do. While an anamorphic adapter is made first and foremost to take an image and squeeze it to get a wide and sharp image without cropping, many of the unintended consequences of that squeezing are desired characteristics for certain shooting situations, like horizontal light flares and oval light sources in the background. A number of shooters have been able to test out the adapter, so click through to check out those videos below.
Features of the adapter in case you missed it:
- 1.33x squeeze, which will work with all current crop of 16:9 cameras, bringing it to a standard 2.39:1
- Works with current prime and zoom lenses
- Custom optical components
- High resolution
- 0.8 mod pitch gear for critical focus
- Both Multi and Single coated for superior image quality with elegant flare.
- CNC aluminum housing
- Mounting solution for 114mm outside diameter lens like Zeiss CP* and adapting ring for smaller lens like 77mm, 82mm, etc.
- Can be mounted to standard 15mm support rods instead of directly to lens
- 1/4-20 and 3/8-16 mounting points
- Made ready with matte box (Optional)
- Patent pending clip on 2-stage filter (Optional)
- 2-Stage filter accepts both 4x4 and 4x5.6 glass
- Will work with 30mm - 135mm focal length lenses for full frame sensors and 14mm - 135mm focal lengths for super35 and smaller sensors (full compatibility list coming soon)
Here is Jack Yan Chen with his 3-part review (this was the single coated version):
A different sample video from Mike Collins of Cinema Mercantile (also single coated):
Video is no longer available: vimeo.com/76990922
Here's a video from Clinton Harn using the Letus AnamorphX:
Video is no longer available: vimeo.com/75758625
The single coated version of the adapter still suppresses flares to a great degree, so if you're looking for a flare-fest, you might want to look at something a little different. I think this adapter is going to be more welcome as an everyday option because the "adverse" effects of squeezing the image are minimized to a certain extent. If you have no coating on the lens part of the adapter, flares can get downright distracting, but for different shows that may be the look you're going for. I think some examples we've seen of uncoated anamorphics can be a little out of control, and obviously Letus agrees, which is why they aren't shipping something without any coating:
The 1.33x crop on 16:9 sensors gives you right around the 2.39:1 aspect ratio that is now the DCP standard for movie projection, but obviously if your piece doesn't need to be shown in a theater, you can make it whatever aspect ratio you'd like.
The 2x squeeze has been used far more in movie productions because 4 perf Academy Standard 35mm film was more of a square format, and thus needed a larger squeeze. The 2X squeeze is dramatic with more extreme-looking oval bokeh, and while you can put 2X anamorphics on many current cameras, only those like the RED EPIC, ARRI ALEXA, and Sony F65 (as well as a few others) have settings that let you see and shoot in the proper 1.2:1 aspect ratio for 2X anamorphic. This means that you're left with an extremely wide aspect ratio when pairing with 16:9 sensors, something closer to 3.55:1, like with this video:
While you could always crop the image to 2.39:1 if you were shooting with 2X anamorphics on a 16:9 sensor (you'll lose a bit of resolution in the process), Magic Lantern RAW should actually allow for a more correct aspect ratio to be shot in-camera when using 2X squeeze adapters or lenses.
Based on the price, it's a little more of a serious purchase for most people, so it makes sense that it's made to be sharp and control flares. Depending on how you shoot, you can probably exaggerate the bokeh a bit more, but flares are difficult to control if it's not already built into the adapter. Right now the Letus AnamorphX can be pre-ordered with a deposit, but according to their website, they are scheduled to start shipping October 26th. Pricing starts at $1,700, but that's just the adapter. If you want the mattebox and lens support, it's going to bring the price over $2,000. Apparently if you purchase an adapter now, they are offering a special program:
Letus Exclusive "Early Adopter" Program
Buy with confidence with our early adopter program. Your purchase is 100% protected. If an updated or new version of the AnamorphX is released in the future, early adopters can trade in their adapters for FULL credit toward a new one. This offer is limited by serial number on the production run. When the offer is discontinued, this notice will be removed from the site. Offer can end without notice.
I think that's a great option for people who might be on the fence about improvements made in the future, so if you got one now, and Letus makes a better version, you'll be able to trade it in. Read more about the adapter or purchase one of your own over at the links below.