All the RED links on this post are part of eBay’s Partner Network, so if you purchase anything through them, you’re helping me to keep this project going.

Tito Ferradans in for a review that’s been long due. As I said many times before, I’m not a huge fan of cumbersome projection lenses, so they were never too high on my list of pending reviews. Then I got this Cinelux with my FM and it would be rude of me to waste this opportunity.

There’s not much cool story behind these, as they are modern anamorphics, designed for 35mm film projectors. Schneider is the company that bought Isco some time ago so their glass is top notch. Being modern, a little too much top notch. First warning of this video is about the multiple versions available. This one – which seems to be the most compact one – is the ES version, but there’s the WA, for wider angles I assume, and the Super Cinelux, which has a horrendous front lip that will mess up your life, so avoid at all costs.

Sometimes these Schneiders come with a spherical projection lens attached to the back. For the purposes of this review, just take that off and combine the anamorphic with any taking lenses you might regularly use. The anamorphic block has the same diameter all throughout. Getting to the tech specs, this is a 2x stretch scope, with no front thread for filters and non-standard rear thread (close to 67mm but not quite). You’re gonna need a clamp to attach this adapter to your taking lens.

I wouldn’t consider this a useful lens for shooting WITHOUT a single focus solution. The reason for that is the ES Cinelux has no focus ring. Focus is adjusted by these two screws at the front of the lens. I can’t even imagine how to work this on set as double focus setups are already tough. This is just stupid. Long story short, get a single focus solution. Rectilux, Rangefinder or FM. Otherwise, don’t even bother with this anamorphic.

Alignment relies on the clamp – here I’m using the lens collar from the FM lens. Since the flares on this one are pretty subtle due to multicoating, check both flares and bokeh for alignment. The easiest way to mount this lens is probably using a lens collar (this one, for the Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro has the exact same diameter as the Cinelux) and attaching that to 15mm rails. You can find all the ingredients right here for cheap.

For the resolution and world tests I’ll be using the FM lens paired to to the Cinelux.

Prices are all over the place. The Schneider ES Cinelux Anamorphic is rather easy to find on eBay but getting a good price can be challenging as most listings are unrealistic at over $400. I believe a decent amount to pay for this lens would be around $200.

This is when the modern aspects of this lens shine. With a big rear element and multicoating, the Cinelux performs nicely even at fast apertures around 50mm, and quite decently across the frame. Performance drops as the lenses grow longer, being quite soft at 85 or 135 at their maximum aperture. Stop them down a bit to f/4 or 5.6 and things get better. They’re long lenses, that shouldn’t be much of a problem. I’m using the Contax Zeiss set as taking lenses so they don’t bring in too much personality into the charts.

Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 CENTER

Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 CORNERS

Contax Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 CENTER

Contax Zeiss 50mm f/1.4 CORNERS

Contax Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 CENTER

Contax Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 CORNERS

Contax Zeiss 135mm f/2.8 CENTER

Contax Zeiss 135mm f/2.8 CORNERS

And this is when the modern aspects of this lens DON’T shine, quite literally as flares are muted and almost non existent. They have a saturated – but not alien – blue color that is very pleasing. The weak flares shouldn’t be much of a problem, though, as I already taught you how to boost them up a bit through the use of UV filters.

Contax Zeiss 50mm f/1.4

For a 2x scope, it’s more on the long side, not usable at 40mm even with 2.4:1 aspect ratio. 50mm makes this possible, but barely, with vignette trying to creep in. If you remove the FM, that should clear it. At 58mm you have more leeway with the FM and can go an easy 2.4:1, or 2.66:1 accepting a bit of dark corners. As usual, full 3.56:1 shooting only works from 85mm and up.

Canon EF 40mm f/2.8

Contax Zeiss 50mm f/1.4

Helios 44 58mm f/2

Contax Zeiss 85mm f/1.4

The ES Cinelux has some good points, but overall it doesn’t have anything that excites me too much. I’m not crazy for sharpness and the lack of natural flares are downsides for me – but not for everyone. 2x bokeh is nice. This adapter demands a single focus solution, asking for good money just to make it usable. On the other hand, the simplicity of the setup and reliable results are great points. Just mount it on rails so it’s aligned for good and go out to shoot – no need for crazy mods or tweaks. Definitely a good lens for starting out in anamorphic and getting nice, moody images out of any camera.

Do you own one of these? Write about your experiences in the comments below! If you enjoyed this review and it helped you narrowing which anamorphic to get, I recommend you subscribe to the channel, as anamorphics are the subject of almost all the videos here. For more information beyond the videos, check out my blog where you can find over a hundred posts on the subject. Tito Ferradans out.

I’m adding an extra to this review, that is the music video for Meet Me In Orbit – Another Day, directed, shot and edited by Iban Corominas, who’s been following the channel since the beginning. He used a combination of drone footage (Phantom 3 Pro) with a GH4 paired to the Cinelux and FM Lens. I love the setting and how the video plays out. The lighting is gorgeous and every environment accentuates the anamorphic look with lots of spec highlight and bokeh shapes. When I asked him why he chose to shoot anamorphic, he replied “Well, as you can see, this is a 0 budget production, and I really love the look of the anamorphic when you shot fiction”. It might be a zero BUDGET production, but it has loads of production value. I agree on the rest, though!

I’m gonna constantly try to link something shot with the reviewed lens on these posts. I’m encouraging you, that have these lenses sitting at home to go out and shoot real things! Not only tests (guilty!) or cat videos: Let’s put these babies to good use!


All the RED links on this post are part of eBay’s Partner Network, so if you purchase anything through them, you’re helping me to keep this project going.

Hi there, people! Tito Ferradans here for another Anamorphic Chop Shop! For this episode I teamed up with a great friend of mine, Fernão Morato, for some designing.

As you might remember from the Panasonic LA7200 review, I once made an extra piece that fitted perfectly around the lens front, creating 105mm threads for diopters and such. It was a great add-on, but I had to glue it to the front of the lens and it created some vignetting since the filter threads were too tall regarding the glass.

When I sold my old Panasonic, I threw this piece along in the deal. Now I’m making a new version of it, fixing what the first one had wrong and, instead of selling it, it’s here for free so anyone can make it.

I sat down with Fernão and we worked on the design to fit snuggly inside the adapter. Instead of going with 105mm filters we went with 95mm because that’s easier to step down (105mm filters are very rare). I tried 3d printing the filter threads and that was hopeless (the level of detail is too small for the printer to handle) so I decided to simplify. The solution was laser cut it out of 6mm-thick acrylic, with a hole in the middle so I could slot in a 95mm filter ring without the glass and glue it in place.

The mold is a little bit loose so you can easily slot it in or out. Mine was transparent, so I painted it black, glued the UV filter ring inside and added felt with double sided tape to the edges so it holds safely, but isn’t impossible to take out. The attachment introduces a little bit of vignetting on the wider end (between 28 and 32mm), as you can see in these shots, but that can either be easily cropped out if needed.


That wraps our weekly episode. Be sure to subscribe for the upcoming episodes and let me know in the comments if you’re getting one done – or if you want to buy one from me! I know getting small volume laser cut can be challenging. Lastly, for additional articles and videos, check the blog. I’m Tito Ferradans, and I’ll see you next week.


All the RED links on this post are part of eBay’s Partner Network, so if you purchase anything through them, you’re helping me to keep this project going.

Heya, I’m Tito Ferradans and today we’re here to work on a few upgrades to the Helios 44-2 Extreme mod. You probably watched the original video, as it is the most popular one in the channel. After finishing the mod and doing it over and over to fulfill ebay orders, I started to wonder about some other components I handled repeatedly for the mod.

Namely the optics. Not everyone wants polishing – which I can understand, and I myself prefer the unpolished version – so I kept staring at this black coating that covered the sides of the biggest glass elements. I decided to give it a go and try to take it off. In order to do that, I used what I had at hand: nail polish remover. It was messy, I think I poisoned myself a little by breathing fumes, but it got the job done. Since that first experience I experimented some other chemicals and the most efficient one is 100% acetone. I got this huge bottle at a drugstore for $10. Still, don’t breathe it in too much, prefer doing this on a well ventilated area. Wear gloves.

The first step is to take the glass out of the lens. Easy peasy, it’s been explained in the other tutorial. Now, with cotton pads embedded with acetone, rub the sides of the glass to take off the black coating. We’re gonna replace that with something else. You might get some black paint over the top and bottom of the lens, it’s ok for now, just be sure to remove everything from the sides. Some of the ones I did were pretty hard to take off, so be persistent.

Now that they’re clear, get your sharpie collection out. As I implemented this mod on my Amber set, I’ll go with orange. Keep the gloves on. Carefully paint the sides of each group. The ink will take a little bit to dry, so add several layers until you have a nicely saturated color. The new tint will make your lens look amazing from the outside, and it’s an extra layer to tinting the flares. Put the lens back together and let’s move on to the next step: focus gears.

As I’ve shown in a previous video, you can easily make your own 3d-printed focus gears. The hard part is getting the right measurements for each lens. Again, as I wanted to up the game with the Ambers, I spent a good week experimenting and finding the ideal measurements for the Helios 44-2. Continuing with the freebie collection, I’m uploading the STL model right here for you to download and print it yourself. Important to remind you that mine are printed with PLA and you’re likely to have different results if using ABS or a different material. There’s still a bit of sanding involved, but this way you can get a super-tight fit.

Lastly, I’d recommend getting these cool, rotating, M42 to EF adapters so you can realign the oval and flares perfectly whenever you want. You can find rotating adapters for almost any mount, actually.

To wrap it up I’m adding here some test shots because people get pissed on the other video due to the lack of test shots – even though I have a ton of footage in multiple videos. :)

This is it for this week. Making a cool lens twice as cooler and ready to shoot. If you wanna support this channel, subscribing is always a good idea. You can also get yourself one of my Helios modded lenses or, even better, an entire Amber set so you’re literally helping me to fund these videos. If you’re not entirely convinced that it’s a good investment, head on to the blog and rejoice in the many articles about anamorphic. Tito Ferradans signing out.

If you want individual lenses, you’re still able to get a modded Mir 1B, Helios 44-2 or Jupiter 9. Lastly, if you just want aperture discs for making the mods on your own, you can get them here.


All the RED links on this post are part of eBay’s Partner Network, so if you purchase anything through them, you’re helping me to keep this project going.

Tito Ferradans here for an unusual review! You might remember times when I mentioned NDs aren’t my strong suit. I got a pretty good one from SLR Magic, but then I go out to shoot and forget to pack it or, even worse, I forget the required step rings. For that reason I’ve been looking for alternatives. Someone over on Instagram pointed towards the Vizelex ND Throttle EF to E-mount adapter. Recently I was contacted by Bohus Blahut, Fotodiox’s face on YouTube and he kindly sent me a bunch of gear in trade for one of my anamorphics. Among that gear was the Fusion ND Throttle EF to E-mount Auto Adapter and since then this thing has been attached to my camera replacing the Metabones.

The reason why I prefer smart adapters (with electronic contacts) is because they allow me to control electronic lenses. I had a decent Canon arsenal until recently and that was a must, not so much for auto-focus, but for aperture control. Also, I rent my gear and lots of people shoot with Canon lenses, so smart is a requirement.

The best thing about this adapter is the internal variable ND, no doubt. The Pro version has a slot for a 1/4″ screw as support. It even has a geared control ring and hard stops – from ND2 to ND400, 1 to 8.5 stops of light reduction. It’s another layer of control over your exposure, a very useful one , as it lets me hold onto 1/50th shutter speeds. Here are shot samples with and without the adapter so you can check how sharpness is affected. Download full resolution images here. I messed up on the 8th photo, a gust of wind shook the camera and I didn’t notice at the moment.

Sharpness is practically unaffected. I shot these tests with the Contax Zeiss 50mm at f/2. There’s a noticeable green cast, but that doesn’t worry me since it’s the kind of thing that can be easily fixed in post. The maximum setting has a strong blue cast and somewhat of a shape across the image, but that’s a very extreme case. Back down from it a tiny bit and you’re fine.

Having the ND inside the adapter – instead of filter form – frees me from forgetting the step rings! It’s an obvious choice for me when shooting during daylight with the A7s2. It retails for $250, much cheaper than Metabones’ Smart Adapter. Construction is solid, all parts are metal and it feels sturdy as a rock – or a Russian lens!

There are a few downsides, though. I don’t know if the weather is to blame – Vancouver’s been crazy lately, cold, warm, cold, warm – but I’ve had a little bit of grease pooling on the outside of the control ring. Nothing leaks inside, and it’s a very small amount, but it’s there.

The more concerning issue for me is that the electronic connectors make the camera go a little nuts with super-tight fit adapters. More specifically, I had this happening with my Leitax mounts. I think the metal lets current pass through and that gets misread by the camera. My M42s are all good though, as well as any of my other lenses and adapters (Rokinon, Canon and Pentax). The fix for the problem is really simple. I just unscrew the adapter from the camera a tiny bit, so the contacts don’t touch each other, and that’s it. Since the adapter-camera fit is very strong, there is no chance of it rotating and falling down. I had no issues with my Canon electronic lenses, and they all worked perfectly with the adapter for aperture control.

Even considering these issues, I am very happy with the adapter. It’s part of my go-to gear kit already and I thank Bohus for sending it my way. My quest for the best support gear continues. If you want more videos like this one, wait no longer and subscribe. If you’re here for anamorphics, worry not! I’m Tito Ferradans and we’ll come back to that next week!


All the RED links on this post are part of eBay’s Partner Network, so if you purchase anything through them, you’re helping me to keep this project going.

You probably remember a few months ago when I posted an extreme tutorial on modifying the Helios 44-2 for crazy looks. It was actually a series of simple operations that involved sanding, polishing and painting parts inside the lens. Since then I’ve sold a number of modded Helios and my original amber has become one of my favorite lenses. The problem is when you want to shoot something more… diverse, having a single focal length can be challenging.

Because of this limitation I decided that I wanted to add versatility to the look. This led me to spending quality time wandering around forums, YouTube and various websites to figure out how to open up a few other lenses. No surprise here, the chosen ones were the Mir 1B (37mm f/2.8) and Jupiter 9 (85mm f/2), to keep the costs down in case of failure and – more importantly – because this is a tried and tested trio. In this process I ended up adding one more step to the Helios mod, but we’ll go about that later.

After figuring out how to crack them open, I cleared my schedule for an entire weekend and devoted myself to making two sets of ambers. At the same time I was comfortable unscrewing every single bit out, there was an intense feeling that I could be wrecking all those lenses at the same time. There were many “creative” solutions on the process but in the end I was able to put everything back together.

A photo posted by Tito Ferradans (@tferradans) on

Since nobody buys weird optics without seeing tests first I took them around the block for another sunset – not as dramatic as the Helios’. Color correction has been kept to a minimum (curves for contrast and boosted up saturation, since I shot at SLog3).

I’m gonna do tutorials further down the line on how to mod the Mir and Jupiter in order to make your own looks, but tests are all I have for this week. If the first video wasn’t enough, here’s another thing I shot with them, this time pairing the ambers to an Iscorama pre36. For that first tracking shot we had the Ronin M at almost maximum load with the A7s2, Helios 44-2, Iscorama and Cinegears wireless follow focus. The close ups were done with the Jupiter 9 and Iscorama, handheld. The final wide shot is just the Mir 1B, as it vignettes too much with the Iscorama.

Tech specs: Each set consists of three lenses, Mir 1B (37mm f/2.8 – aprox f/4), Helios 44-2 (58mm f/2 – aprox f/2.8) and Jupiter 9 (85mm f/2 – aprox f/2.8). The second aperture values are because of the oval disc inside, which limits maximum light transmission. They all feature 49mm filter threads, non-rotating front element while focusing, clickless (preset) aperture rings. All lenses come with front and rear caps. Focus and iris rings are smooth. Multiple elements and inner parts have amber accents for flaring and tone. All three lenses have oval aperture discs inside (while maintaining fully operational apertures) and inner red flare threads for better anamorfaking. They’re natively M42 mount, but come with a rotating M42 to EF adapter so you can realign the oval and flare according to your wishes. Lenses are fitted with seamless focus gears. The Mir 1B has also been modified for a little bit more of close focusing. As for the original lenses, they’re all non-MC models with black bodies.

I have only two sets at the moment, one with polished glass elements (less contrast, more bloom) and one unpolished (the original glass is left untouched), lenses selling individually. You’re able to get unpolished versions of the Mir 1B, Helios 44-2 or Jupiter 9.

My goal now is to let them go, as I have no need for the overwhelming number of lenses I currently own. If you wanna support this project and get some unique gear at the same time, this is a great chance! The videos above were shot using the unpolished set. The price for each set is $650 off-eBay (shipping with tracking included, as well as PayPal taxes). If these are picked up quickly, I’ll consider making more.

It’s time to take things to another level on these tutorials. To help me with that I asked Cosimo Murgolo to detail his steps on making the FM2 (Focus Module MODULE) Lens. The post below is derived from his explanation. I have not done the mod myself since I’ll let the FM go when I’m done with all the reviews. If I were to keep it, I would surely chop it. Cosimo’s main motivation with the mod was actually not to make the FM lighter, or friendlier, but to fit his baby scopes inside and take them anywhere.

Cosimo is a big enthusiast and fond of good stuff like anamorphic, trying to learn the most he can while journeying the long road to be a real cinematographer (his words, not mine!). Oh, and as you might notice below, he likes to smash lenses. Cosimo was one of the pioneers with the FM Lens, constantly feeding the conversation about it with new information and his experiences. He is a great enthusiast of doing things yourself and he’s not afraid of the risks. Below is some of his work. All the images have a ton of mood and, to me, it feels like jumping into a time machine due to their vintage feel.

DISCLAIMER! WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY BROKEN OR DAMAGED LENSES. DO THE PROCEDURE AT YOUR OWN RISK! That being said, Cosimo did it, and so did Jesse Heidenfeld, following the same instructions. So, if you’re using the right tools and working with care, you should succeed.

I want to open with a quote of his experience doing the mod. You know, for inspiration:

“This can be easily done with a lathe, the cut will be very tiring to do with the hacksaw. It was fucking exhausting, but desperation brings you anywhere” – Cosimo Murgolo, 2016.

The first step is to disassemble both positive and negative glass out of the lens body – do this by removing the retaining ring on the front of the lens. Store them away in a safe location. There’s no need to risk their integrity hacking and sawing with them attached.

Now go on and take apart the body in two main pieces, the INNER and the OUTER tubes. The screws that hold them together are by the focus scale on the OUTER tube and there are a few more inside, but nothing tricky or new. Document your process, take photos and notes so you can put it back together

More of a reminder than an actual step: make sure you have clean cuts and holes, as the threads should align even after being drilled through and cut short.

Looking at the INNER tube, cut it close to the end of the threads. For safety – and Cosimo really stresses out you should play safe here -, save yourself another 10mm past the end of the threads. This is where you are going to be making holes for clamping the tube to your anamorphic. Cosimo’s recommendation is to use 5mm nylon screws, so, after you drill their threaded holes, you can shave any excess at the end of the INNER tube. Cosimo chose not to leave any room at all, for compactness’ sake and drilled right onto the end of the threads. One big advantage of cutting a little further from the end of the threads is that you can always shave off that extra space afterwards if you want to. You’re unable to extend what’s already been cut, though. So if you’re not 100% confident on your machining skills, or how the process is going, play safe. Don’t risk the entire lens on drilling the perfect holes.

The mod’s goal is to make the FM shorter. It’s up to you to decide how much shorter you want it to be. The more of the OUTER tube you keep, the shorter is your minimum focus going to be. In Cosimo’s mod he knew what he wanted and 1m was enough for close focus, so he chopped off most of the OUTER tube. The cut was made at the end of the tapering from the wider front. You can keep a little more of the OUTER for the ability of going closer with focus.

Going back to the INNER tube, there are a few more things to consider. The most important ones are the small brass stops which calibrate minimum focus and infinity positions. For the mod’s sake, you are going to take these away. You will not be able to control where the OUTER tube stops unscrewing. As you don’t want your modded FM to unscrew right off the threads at minimum focus, we have to fix this issue.

Side note: My Iscorama pre 36 came with the close focus mod. That worked by removing a stopper inside the lens. It was neat, the problem was exactly the same: the front element would fall off the lens if rotated too much. You don’t want to have that happening to you on set. Or anywhere, for that matter.

Time to fix the unscrewing issue. On the unthreaded part at the front of the inner tube, just past the positive diopter, make two 3mm threaded holes on opposite sides. You are going to put little 3mm nylon screws in those. DO NOT SCREW THEM ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE TUBE as, if the screws go on the inside of the tube, they will be in the way of any scope you pair with the FM. The goal for these screws is to act as stoppers, preventing that the OUTER tube falls off the threads.

Once the minimum focus screws have been put in, it’s time to create new infinity stoppers. Same thing, drill small threaded 3mm holes at the end of the threads to act as infinity stoppers. If you skip this step, every time you focus to infinity the positive and negative glasses will kiss (touch), and that’s no good over time.

Since the two pieces (INNER and OUTER tubes) now have a lot less contact area, the outer tube can become wobbly. Use a thick grease to fix this problem and reassemble the FM2. On a side note, Cosimo recommends you keep the rest of the body, as you can easily make clamps and things like that by drilling new holes on it! Here’s a comparison between a DIY clamp made with the leftovers of the mod and the FM Collar 24.

Now you are ready to take on the world with your old (but new) FM2 single focus setup. This mod allows you to fit way more scopes in the FM as well as solves the problem posed in the assembly video, with the Kowa B&H. The problem is the Kowa B&H stays either too far from the focusing diopter or too far from the taking lens when fit inside the FM Lens.

I’m trying to expand the written posts with other collaborators, besides the videos themselves. If you have something that you think it’s a great idea and you want to share it with the community, don’t be shy and reach out, send me a message, leave a comment!

– all photos by Cosimo Murgolo and used with his authorization

Pickfair – Teaser Trailer

In case you already forgot “The New Romantics“, I’m working on a similar project, with pretty much the same team. “Pickfair” is a murder-mystery comedy set in Hollywood’s early 20’s. I don’t think I’ve ever worked on something with such strong visuals. We shot it all at my place, with a tiny crew and super cool gear. I wrote a bit about the gear part for the production design and you can find that below.

Before going any further, click here and vote for us! (top right corner, no registration needed)

“Friends gather for a murder mystery dinner party, each playing a Hollywood personality. The theme: 1920s Luxury, like the exclusive dinners at Pickfair Estate. When they discover the “bodies” are actually going cold, the group turns amateur sleuth to solve the mystery so they can leave the party…. alive! Everyone is a suspect. Everyone has a secret. With the same zany, slapstick comedy as beloved classics “Clue” and “The Pink Panther” and the twisted reveals of an Agatha Christie novel, ‘Pickfair’ will keep you guessing — and laughing — until the very end.”

Vintage setting, vintage optics
Modern lenses are all about embedded circuits, visual perfection, and lightning-fast auto focus. Efficient and easy, sure – but for “Pickfair” we decided to go in the opposite direction and use 40 year old all-manual lenses. These came all the way from the Soviet Union era. Under my hands they were cleaned and modified in order to boost certain artifacts. These artifacts or “imperfections” are key to setting the mood for the story.

We used three different lenses filming the teaser for “Pickfair”, one from 1971, another from 1985 and the newest one is from 1987. They’re a famous Russian trio of primes – Mir 1B, Helios 44-2 and Jupiter 9. I call them “ambers” because of the tinted glass and pieces inside the lenses that create warmth in the image. Like an endless golden hour!

Anamorphic: not a choice, a requirement
In early Hollywood movies needed distinction from TV. Anamorphic lenses created the legendary Cinemascope aspect ratio and remain in use to modern day. In combination with our vintage amber lenses we are using an anamorphic adapter to build even more character into the raw footage. We like to cook our look in-camera, not in post. Flares? Check. Lovely bokeh? Check. A more intense arms workout? Check!

Low lighting, practical lighting
To balance out all these old-timey optics, modern electronics come into play. we use the best camera technology available for shooting without massive light setups. Scratch that. For shooting exclusively with practical lighting; from meters and meters of twinkly lights, candles, small LEDs, flashlights and regular household bulbs combined with low-powered dimmers. I’ll use the lights that anyone can get their hands on. Practical lighting also strengthens the bond with the Art Department towards visual unity – not to mention the time saved when changing setups without the need to hide tripods and wires!

Flowing movement, character intimacy
The opening shot of the teaser is exactly the feel we want to imbue in our audience, making you feel like you are a guest in the party, one who has maybe seen a little too much. To assist us on the technical side of that kind of movement we will be using a light gimbal. Using a gimbal frees the crew from big, heavy, gear (like steadicams), and needing special training. The gimbal is straightforward and allows movement over any type of terrain, in any way (on foot, bikes, cars or even airplanes!) – all while keeping the movement butter-smooth.

The gimbal is key to long, super-dynamic tracking shots that draw the audience in, melting the disconnect between the screen and viewer, keeping you in the action as if you were in the room – something you’ll be sure to see in the “Pickfair” short!

Lastly, here’s that opening shot, without any cuts, just for the sake of dynamic tracking shots fetish. We have mobile light sources, dimmer-controlled lights, wi-fi controlled LEDs and 30 meters (100ft) of twinkly lights. Oh, and candles.


All the RED links on this post are part of eBay’s Partner Network, so if you purchase anything through them, you’re helping me to keep this project going.

Tito Ferradans here for some clarification. On the FM review I said it was tricky to put the Kowa Bell & Howell inside the adapter, but looking back at it, that was an understatement. The Kowa B&H is too wide to fit inside the narrow 71mm of the FM tube, so we need to hack it a little bit. Fortunately all these changes are easily reversible.

First step, get the Kowa B&H and remove these three tiny screws around the front ring. Unscrew the ring off. This unlocks the main exterior piece, the one with the focus engravings and all. Just spin it all the way until it comes off.

Lots of grease now and you don’t wanna let that go to waste. Pull the front element all the way, focusing the anamorphic to infinity. Make a quick trip to the kitchen and grab some plastic wrap. Using painter’s tape, secure the plastic wrap around the greasy helicoid at the same time you lock the anamorphic focused to infinity.

I had this piece of metal tube that came with the FM. It’s pretty close to 71mm. You can get something similar at a hardware store. Since the B&H is so short, I wanted it to be as much to the front as I could, but at the same time secured inside the tube. The solution was making the lens wrapping thicker with many layers of tape. Stuff it in the tube and make sure it’s straight.

The issue now is gonna be that the taking lenses have to go as inside of that tube as possible since the back of the Kowa is all the way in there. Most of the hard work is done by now.

With the lens collar mounted, align the Kowa. Lock it as forward as possible. Time to wrap up this party. Get the FM body and put it around the anamorphic. Tighten the screws around the tube and you’re good to go.

As pointed before, the FM is not a great combination with the B&H since the anamorphic is either too far back from the focusing diopter or too far forward from the taking lens. Or in the middle for both (which I think is a terrible solution).

Ok, that’s it for this week. Subscribe now because I have some cool stuff cooking for next week and head on to the blog for more tutorials, reviews and useful information! Tito Ferradans, out.


All the RED links on this post are part of eBay’s Partner Network, so if you purchase anything through them, you’re helping me to keep this project going.

Tito Ferradans here for a tweak that’ll boost the flares of your modern projection lens. It’s been out for a while – posted (and confirmed) by James Price on EOSHD and his Vimeo page – but I still see people talking about the lack of flares in certain lenses as a deal breaker. This type of comment is particularly true about the Cineluxes and Ultra Stars around. Due to modern coatings, flares on these newer projection lenses are much reduced – almost gone. So, let’s shine some light on the subject! (pun intended)

The trick to make them pop is to stack UV filters between the anamorphic and taking lens. This simply adds more elements and reflections on the light’s path to the sensor. And what are reflections and crappy elements good for? Flares! Here are a few samples with an increasing number of UV filters stacked.

What the UV filters do is basically enhance the original flare, bumping its brightness up and adding an element to the reflections. I mention the modern projection lenses as examples, but the method works for pretty much any adapter, like the Kowa B&H. This method is particularly good for rail mounted scopes, such as the FM I’m using for these tests, since it doesn’t require realigning and screwing multiple things together.

Tests with Kowa B&H by James Price

Cheap and easy, do you think this is an improved way of dealing with modern anamorphics that are less prone to flare? Let me know in the comments below. Now’s a great time to subscribe and if this video wasn’t enough to fulfill your desire for knowledge, make your way to the blog and delve into a plethora of articles and tutorials like this one. See you soon, Tito Ferradans.


All the RED links on this post are part of eBay’s Partner Network, so if you purchase anything through them, you’re helping me to keep this project going.

Crossover episode! If TV shows do it, why wouldn’t reviews too? Today is a mix of “chop shop” and “on a budget reviews”! Anyway, I’m Tito Ferradans and now’s the time to talk about that Bell & Howell mod I mentioned a few weeks back. Quick recap, the Bell & Howell Anamorphic Projection lens is an awesome 2x projection lens with crazy sci-fi flares and single focus workings. The main drawback is that focus throw is stupid long and renders single focus useless, plus focus at infinity is really sketchy.

As you can follow on the EOSHD thread, Chris Bold started to experiment with modding the Bell & Howell to make it more usable. The issues being tackled were shortening the focus throw and making the lens capable of infinity focusing. The concept for it is pretty simple, just get a new focus helicoid and install the optics there. Sounds easy, but when you get on to the nitty gritty of it, you gotta attach a bunch of disconnected parts together, screw things onto each other, get rid of some original parts and still make it look sort of good.

Over the course of nine months, Bold has constantly updated the thread with detailed information from his experiments and the process of making custom parts that go perfectly together. Honestly, it was one of those tasks that you look at and think “Wow, what a hero for doing this and sharing all the info for free!”. Now he’s reached a final production model and is an expert at modding these scopes for real-world use.

The mod shortens focus throw down to 360 degrees and it has two versions, one that focuses down to 1m, and the extreme one, which allows for close focusing at 30cm – beating all other anamorphic close focusing capabilities without diopters so far! It also features real 58mm filter threads for close ups and other filters – with a cool non-rotating front -, a screw-on lens cap, focus gears and the ability to focus to infinity. One of the best things that come with the modded version is the lens support. Made out of a modified telescope mount, it slides onto 15mm rails and once you get the anamorphic aligned once, you need not to worry about it again. Plus, if your lens has a front thread of under 58mm, you can slide it into the tube without screwing anything together and have it hold pretty decently together.

As with the original Bell & Howell, you focus your taking lens to infinity and do all the focus work on the anamorphic. My SINGLE issue with the mod is that focus is reversed, Nikon style. Took me a few minutes and shots to get used to it.

The original plan was to sell mod-kits so each user could make their own lens, but the process, albeit apparently simple, has more than enough room for messing up. For this reason Bold has decided to sell final modded units instead of a bunch of small parts and a tutorial. I understand – and support – his decision, considering that the original post is pretty much a tutorial on how to make your own, at the expense of materials, tests and LOADS of time. You can find the modded Bell & Howells on eBay for around $1000, with slight variation due to the condition of the original lens. On a detailed breakdown of parts, labor and tools he showed me, $1000 is a great deal.

As far as resolution, flares and sensor coverage go, the modded version doesn’t affect performance in any way. The tests for the original Bell & Howell Anamorphic Projection Lens are still valid and the main change is regarding its real world use.

Now THIS is more like what I expected when I first discovered that the Bell & Howell was single focus. The ability to rack focus quickly makes a world of difference to this adapter. The lens support is also superb. I made a very compact rig for handheld shooting and switching between taking lenses was much easier than any of the other setups I’ve tested this far. Crop is still intense for my taste, but I believe this is indeed a lens for small sensors and it could achieve mind-blowing results when combined with the right camera. True, the mod makes it considerably more expensive than the original Bell & Howell, but opposed to any single focus solution that attach to projection lenses, this one doesn’t make the system heavier nor does it add any artifacts. It’s also cheaper than a projection lens plus a single focus solution for 2x bokeh and some of the coolest flares in the market – I really can’t get tired of these.

I’d like to take a moment to thank Chris Bold for the collaborative process and determination to pursue the mod through so many months. Bold is also one of the main collaborators of the Anamorphic Lens-yclopedia’s current form, the guy is pretty solid! Getting to meet amazing new people in the process of making each episode is one of my favorite parts of these anamorphic videos. Moving in this direction, feel free to suggest new episodes and ask questions in the comments below. Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel to receive updates about upcoming videos and check the blog for previous reviews and tutorials. Tito Ferradans signing out.

« Older entries