May 14, 2016 at 3:21PM, Edited October 26, 6:32PM


Anamorphic Lenses for GH4 & Speedbooster Alternative


I've never shot anamorphically before. Anything I've shot that wasn't released in 1.78 was cropped in post.

I'd love to take advantage of the GH4's anamorphic capabilities. I understand the basics of how anamorphic recording works. I think. At least what I think I understand seems to make sense in my mind - the squeeze/desqueezing to maximize sensor and pixel use while still being able to produce a wide aspect ratio (in my case, let's assume I want to go with 2.39).

What I'd love is some suggestions for anamorphic lenses for the GH4. I love playing with vintage lenses especially, both for video and photography, and so any suggestions for lenses that fit the bill that I can probably find on eBay would be awesome and much appreciated.


I also own a Blackmagic Pocket, which uses the same mount as the GH4. I've been wanting to get a Speedbooster for my Pocket, and now that I'm getting a GH4, I figured I'd be able to have one Speedbooster for both cameras. But, now I'm understanding that Metabones makes one specifically for the GH4, and one specifically for the BMPCC, necessitating I purchase two of them. Which, as you know, two Speedboosters cost more than either camera body.

Anyway, if it is true that I would need two different Speedboosters, I wanted to consider some (cheaper) alternatives. I hate to do that, because I know Metabones is the best of the best. The only alternative that I currently know about is the Fotodiox Excell+1, which on paper looked awesome, but I've heard that it has major issues with focus and sharpness if you're wider than 2.8 or so. And I've just generally heard many complaints about overall image degradation. I was surprised, because I have several Fotodiox ND throttle adapters for vintage lenses to my (now sold) E-Mount Sony, and I love those things.

Anyway, is there anything else that is, while not Metabones top-of-the-line quality, not a total piece of crap and produces acceptable results?

Thanks so much for any suggestions, opinions, tips, or responses in general. You guys are all very helpful and it's great having a little community of knowledgeable folk that are willing to answer questions and help people like me who are entirely self-taught continue to learn and grow. So, just wanted to thank everyone who contributes to this site.


Your speedbooster abut:
There are, in fact, three speedboosters for MFT mount by Metabones. The Speedbooster Ultra, the XL and one especially for the BMPCC.
The Ultra is x0.71, the XL is x0.64 and both work with both the GH4 and the BMPCC. But the BMPCC speedbooster only works with the BMPCC because it hase a construction that would interfere with the mechanical shutter of the GH4.

Anamorph lenses:
That is a bit difficult. Because real anamorph lenses like those from Arri, Zeiss, Schneider and Leica are very expensive (you can buy a car for the price of one anamoprh prime, that's because the lenses are design and manufactured entirely in Germany and they have the highest quality claims in the industry).
However, there are alternatives which won't cost you a fortune.

1.) Using a anamoprh projector lens. You can easily pick one up from ebay for about $100. But they have one big disadvantage: Focusing is very difficult because you have to focus with you normal lens and the projector lens which is in front if you normal lens.

2.) Using the anamoprhic adaptor by Letus Direct. It's a bit pricier (from $1.600) but it's working much better. You also put it in front of your normal lens and then you have the anamorph look.

May 15, 2016 at 1:11AM, Edited May 15, 1:11AM

Eric Halbherr
Director, DP, Editor, Creative Storyteller

Wow, thanks a bunch. That's especially great to know about the Speedboosters. If I can one that will fit both, no need to get a lesser alternative. Thank you!!

And I kind of figured something like that with the anamorphics - I'd probably have to go more down the adapter route. Thank you again!

May 15, 2016 at 7:47AM

Matt Williams
Director of Photography

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