Moment is on fire lately. After a myriad of anamorphic lenses for smartphones, a killer line of lens filters, and the 1.33x Anamorphic Adapter for full-size lenses, the company is helping bring another unique tool into the hands of filmmakers: the Tuner by Module 8.

The Tuner isn’t something we’ve seen before. With the vintage lens craze at its peak, the cost of old glass is skyrocketing even as stock is dwindling. The Tuner takes the concept of a filter to a whole new level to give creatives that vintage look at a fraction of the cost.

But what is it? What can it do for your existing lenses? And why would you want it in your kit? Let's get into the details that cinematographers need to know.

Tune Your Look

Developed by Module 8 and being released by Moment, the Tuner functions like a normal lens adapter by mating EF lenses to either Sony E or Canon RF cameras (which also includes the RED Komodo and V-Raptor series). At least on the outside. 

The Tuner by Module 8The Tuner on a Sony FX3Credit: Module 8

The magic of this tool is all on the inside, where creatives will find an optical device that lets them recreate the look and feel of iconic vintage glass by using standard lenses. 

This look is also entirely variable, as it can be dialed in using a “zoom ring.” However, we use that term loosely. While the fundamental technology of the internal optics is derived from zoom lenses, they are calibrated to mimic the fall-off and soft focus of vintage glass. It’s a precision zoom lens but for aberrations.

The Tuner by Module 8The "zoom" mechanismCredit: Module 8

This tech is called Vari-Look and enables the emulation of classic lenses with manual control over the strength of the look, all while maintaining focus. 

Best of all, the Tuner will also support EF to E and EF to RF electronics and will work with autofocus and in-camera stabilization. You can find the whole list of compatible lenses here.

Module 8 The Tuner Lens CompatibilityLens CompatibilityCredit: Module 8

Three Tuners at Launch

At launch, the Tuner will come in three flavors that mimic popular vintage lenses. The first is the L1 Tuner, which is inspired by the Super Baltar and offers a soft and warm look with lower contrast. 

Module 8 The Tuner SpecsCredit: Module 8

The L2 Tuner is all about capturing the character of the Canon K-35s, which have been highly sought after by vintage shooters and rehoused by every lens tech on the planet. 

Finally, you have the L3 Tuner, which is based on the anamorphic look and will simulate the vertical/horizontal depth of field effects seen on the vintage anamorphics, but without the flares or bokeh.

The Tuner by Module 8The Tuner in three different flavorsCredit: Module 8

The Module 8 Team

So, the tech is unique, that we can see, but who is the duo behind it?

Module 8 is founded by Iain Neill and Mike Thomas.

Mike Thomas and Iain NeillMike Thomas (left) and Iain Neill (right)Credit: Moment

Neill has 13 Technical Academy Awards, including the Gordon Sawyer Lifetime Achievement Award, three Emmys, and the Fuji gold medal. He also holds over 50 US patents. From Panavision to Cooke, CWS, and countless others, Neill has had his hand in how some of the best lenses render images for some of the most iconic movies in history.

On the other side, Thomas has spent the last 30 years designing and building custom lens systems, optical manufacturing, and vertical supply chains. He has been involved in every aspect of optical design and production, from AR/VR optics to photo/cine, industrial and medical products. He’s also founded three optical companies of his own. 

We had a chance to sit down with Mike Thomas at NAB 2023 where he showed us a prototype of the Tuner.

Price and Availability

The Tuner will launch via Kickstarter today with an MRSP of $1,999. However, there are some early backer discounts you can take advantage of. 

To claim your Tuner, support the campaign here.

At $1,999, the price may seem steep for those who will assume this is just a simple lens adapter. From what we can see, the Tuner is anything but. With how sharp digital cameras have become, cinematographers constantly search for a way to take the proverbial edge off.

The Tuner is another tool in our kit that not only helps reduce that sharpness but gives us the ability to add vintage character to our existing set of lenses. With how expensive Canon K35s and Super Balters are, $2,000 is a small price to pay. 

While it won’t be a perfect fit for every shooting scenario, the Tuner is a unique tool that will open many more capabilities for creatives looking for a unique look. 

But what do you think? Is this something you want in your kit? Let us know in the comments!