My first test with the SLR Magic Anamorphot 2x in low light conditions. This test will allow us to examine the character, bokeh, sharpness and the levels of distortion (which is good for this kind of look).
SLR Magic advised this adapter’s widest focal length is 70mm and beyond and fastest T-stop at T4 or slower for full frame cameras. For all of you m43 (Micro Four Thirds) users out there that would be 35mm and beyond at T2.8 and slower. For any Samsung NX1 videographers on APS-C sensors I apologize, I don’t have official numbers from SLR Magic but it’s safe to assume the widest focal length is 50mm and beyond at T2.0 and slower.
What I really like thus far are the beautiful lens flares. They seem more natural than the Anamorphot 1.33x 50 and easier to produce in direct light sources at night.
The sharpness is impressive at f/1.8, at least to me, granted this 2x adapter should not be shot any faster than f/4. There are possible work-arounds that I might be able to exploit to shoot faster than f/4. For example, the Anamorphot 1.33x 50 on a m43 camera should be at T2.8 or slower but this frame was shot with a GH4, Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4, Anamorphot 1.33x 50 and the +1.3 diopter with the taking lens at f/1.4:
That’s right, the taking lens was at f/1.4 . Now I did loose a lot of available depth of field, the professional body builder’s face had to be very close to the camera and its logical to assume the 4k resolution down scaled to 1080p also helped retain a lot of detail. The effect when shot at f/1.4 seemed to create a greater cinematic feel with the oval bokeh. Question is, could the same result be accomplished with the Anamorphot 2x at fast apertures? I’m working to see if that is possible.
Looking in hindsight I should have included shots at f/8 in this first test, the A7s is capable of fairly clean pattern noise at insane high ISO. i’ll be sure to include that on my nest test. Here are the camera setting details for those of you who need to know:
Shot on Sony A7s
Taking lens is a Sony FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA
Using the brand new SLR Magic Anamorphic 2x (3.55:1)
– Picture Profile –
Black Lvl: -11
Gamma: Cine 2
Color Mode: Pro
Color Phase: -3
V/H Balance: -2
B/W Balance Type3
Hi-Light Detail: 0
EDIT: March 11, 2015
The first test video received mixed feedback all over the internet because this was the very first test online of the Anamorhot 2x-50 and did not showcase the full capability of the adapter. I posted a full explanation on the BMCUser forum to explain why it was best to remove this first test video:
“There were no videos online that demonstrated what aberrations would look like beyond the 2x adapter’s optimum settings so I found it appropriate to post something along those lines. As it’s been demonstrated, the 1.33x does not achieve the large, cinematic oval bokeh the 2x produces with ease. However, I had a workaround to achieve large oval bokeh anyway on the 1.33x + GH4 + Panasonic Lumix Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 at f/1.4 all while retaining detail typically seen at f/4 in my documentary short of the multi-talented Ugo Arimo:
Screen Shot 2015-02-21 at 12.18.04 AM.jpg
I was hoping to force a workaround with the 2x with the taking lens at fast apertures but this was not possible. I noticed aberrations not seen with the 1.33x and I thought this is something I never get to see with typical reviews and surely other users might benefit from that. Without a dual focusing mechanism or having my FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA stopped all the way down to f/16 nobody is going from near to infinity with one hand, hence why I lost patience and just decided to use autofocus while using the NORMAL/NEAR focus ring with one hand (a compromise for sure).
I shot the first video the same day I received the lens in the mail and the 2x is in fact more sensitive to focal planes than the 1.33x. You can tell I from my earlier work I like “run and gun” shots. That works very well with the 1,33x, but not so much with the 2x. So getting used to the 2x in such a short time and posting everything I experienced seemed, at least to me, an honest choice.
After getting mixed feedback from online forums, and as Vic Harris correctly pointed out, it’s evident that content is not what professional filmmakers wanted to see and other decisions like: using autofocus and no use of a tripod “…should not be a compromise at all”. I am not a professional videographer nor do I pretend I am one. Many of you here in this forum do great things and after viewing some of your profiles also have amazing films, high end personal projects and top notch commercial work. Reading all the constructive criticism is invaluable for defining what all of you want to see. I’m certainly open to any additional advice any of you have to share. I can appreciate the frustration seeing a first review test not properly showcasing what the 2x can do and I apologize.
Please be patient, there is great content coming I’m confident everyone will enjoy. I just ordered a Canon FD to E mount Metabones adapter for my Canon FD 50mm f1/4 since the first two Sony FE lenses have a weird electronic fly-by-wire operation that struggles with repeating focus or pulling focus in general. If any of you have more advice to share or if there is something else you specifically would like to see please drop a message here in this forum, on my Vimeo account or on my website.
Until then enjoy: