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Lucas Henkel

Anamorphic Adapter & Super-Wide Lens?

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I'm mainly asking this out of pure curiosity rather than actual practicality, but has anyone attempted to stick on an anamorphic adapter onto like a super-wide lens like the Kinoptik 5.7mm (or 9.8mm) or even on some wide zoom lens to see / test how strong the vignetting would be as well as how the extremely wide look appears? I know the results would likely be unusable or overkill even in terms of focal length but it still certainly leaves me curious.

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How wide an ananamorphic adapter will cover depends on the design of the anamorphic lens and the size of the taking lens front element.  The widest ones are short-barrelled with large elements, like the Kowa 16H/8Z or SLR Magic Anamorphots, but if my memory serves these still only just cover a focal length of around 18mm for S16, or 35mm for S35, and a taking lens front element no larger than about 50mm in diameter. So a 5.7mm or 9.8mm Kinoptik with their large front elements is definitely going to vignette. You'd end up having to crop the image right down, so it makes more sense to use a smaller-fronted, longer focal lens length to start with.

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There are so many different anamorphic adapters out there that you will need to be more specific. In general, this approach will not work well as the limiting factor is generally the size of the rear element in the adapter, as well as how long the lens barrel is.

While some anamorphic adapters can work surprisingly well with longer taking lenses, wide taking lenses will almost always end up seeing the inside of the adapter lens, unless the adapter is huge to begin with. You will end up with a huge amount of portholing, like looking through a peephole.

Generally, if these large adapters are made for photography or cinematography, then they will be rare and expensive. Check out the vintage Iscorama 54 and Richard Gale’s 1.5x adapter project if you want to go that route.

The more workable solution is to find the widest taking lens+adapter combo that works well, then add a wide angle converter lens in front of the anamorphic lens. This is how the wider focal lengths in the Kowa set were made, for example.


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Here are some test frames from an ARRI Amira, shooting in 3840x2160, cropped to 2.39:1. Anamorphic adapter is an Iscorama 36 (36mm rear element). The taking lenses are as noted. You can already see how much portholing there is at these moderate focal lengths.

40mm Cooke Speed Panchro. (Eastern Enterprises rehousing)41356532091_12f959fd15_h.jpg

50mm Cooke Speed Panchro. (Eastern Enterprises rehousing)26485334237_f4aec2f15a_h.jpg

35mm Zeiss Super Speed Mk2. 26485333287_79f7ee8fca_h.jpg

50mm Zeiss Super Speed Mk2. 40642447694_db4cf196ba_h.jpg

Though the Cookes have small front elements, they are pretty deeply recessed in their housings which makes things worse. The Super Speeds have less vignetting at similar focal lengths, but are still not completely clear. Their front elements are quite a bit larger than the Iscorama. Getting the front element as close as possible to the rear element of the adapter will help some. But using an adapter with larger diameter glass is the only meaningful way to get a wider field-of-view.

Alternately, here is the same adapter on a Sony F5 also shooting 3840x2160, cropped to 2.39:1. The taking lenses are my hand-picked primes, chosen for their small front elements and aesthetic qualities. The limitation here is the small size of the adapter.

Zeiss Contax 28mm f/2.8 + 0.75x wide angle converter. 48741057321_62975158b1_h.jpg

Zeiss Contax 28mm f/2.8. 48741057411_60d3c91d49_h.jpg

Zeiss Contax 35mm f/2.8 + 0.75x wide angle converter. 48740728668_6d2489bd91_h.jpg

Zeiss Contax 35mm f/2.8. 48740728738_a889b94b1b_h.jpg

Voigtlander 40mm f/2 +0.75x wide angle converter. 48741243182_15238f806a_h.jpg

Voigtlander 40mm f/2. 48741243407_4c06e383b2_h.jpg

You can see that regardless of the taking lens used, the usable sensor area is about the same. However once you work within that usable area, the wide angle converter does help a bit to get 'between focal lengths' and make maximum use of what's already there.

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