Monthly Archives:

March 2018


DIY 3D-Printed Anamorphic Front Clamp

March 25, 2018

Wanna be cheap with me and make your own front clamps? Here’s a detailed recipe. Thank you, Lucas Pfaff!


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 can support this project on Patreon. Make your contribution and help the Anamorphic Cookbook!

Tito Ferradans here for another collaboration with Lucas Pfaff – yes, the same guy of the Anamorphic Mumps Corrector. Today we’re making a 3D printed front clamp for any given anamorphic – almost any, actually – by combining a 3d printed part and a step ring for filter threads.

You’re gonna need a step ring slightly bigger than your anamorphic front glass, a 3d printer, your anamorphic and a caliper.

We’re gonna start by measuring the front diameter of the anamorphic. For this Dyaliscope, I got 77.9mm. Now I’m gonna get my step ring, in this case a 72-77mm fits nicely over the front element. The outer diameter of the ring is 79.6mm, and its height is 5.5mm.

Now I’m going in Autodesk’s Fusion 360 and making a clamp by using all these numbers. Fusion is pretty easy to use. You can also use any 3d modeling software you feel more comfortable with. I’ll start with a sketch that uses most values I got from the dyaliscope and ring. I’ll create a circle with the overall outer diameter of the clamp – 88mm in this case.

Inside this circle, I’m creating another one, with the outer diameter of the step ring, 79.6mm, and then a third circle inside, which uses the diameter of the dyaliscope (77.9). Lastly, I’m adding a fourth circle with the diameter of the smaller threads of the step ring.

From here I’ll start extruding the front of the clamp, with a partial height for the step ring (4.5mm), and then I’ll select the circle that has the dyaliscope diameter and extrude it in the opposite direction for 13.5mm which is enough overlap over the lens.

As an option you can chop out the rear threads of the filter and make it more compact, which will reduce the odds of vignetting. If you don’t have the tools to do so, just take into account the ring’s rear threads when designing the clamp – which is what I’m doing now: I’m using the circle with the step-ring’s small diameter to create a little ledge which will house those threads safely and prevent the anamorphic from pushing the ring out.

Export this as an STL file and print it. Fit the step ring in, it should be tight. If it’s too tight, I’d say warm up the print with a blow drier. Same goes for the anamorphic. It should fit in super snuggly and be hard to move. This is what makes it safe.

Easy and cheap enough, right? Do you feel comfortable trusting your diopters with something you made yourself or would you be more at ease using a traditional clamp like the ones from Redstan and Rapido? You can always drill a hole and add a nylon screw to this like Lucas shows here!

If you liked this tutorial and this is gonna save you money, please like the video and subscribe to the channel! I’m always coming up with new tricks and solutions to make anamorphic shooting more accessible. If you got any questions, shoot them in the comments below! And the file for this particular clamp can also be downloaded in the description! See you next week! Tito Ferradans out.


Kowa Variance and GH5 Anamorphic Calculator

March 21, 2018

It’s time to admit past mistakes and share info on the top tier Kowas. I also updated the Anamorphic Calculator so it works properly when you pick the GH5 in the menu!


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 can support this project on Patreon. Make your contribution and help the Anamorphic Cookbook!

Tito Ferradans here for a quick video with little bits and pieces of updated info on old episodes!

You might remember the comparison I made between the Kowa B&H and the Elmo II, correct? Then, I recently posted a comparison between all the other Kowas (16-H, 8-Z and B&H). Some might have also noticed that the review for the Rectilux HardcoreDNA was shot with an Elmo II instead of the regular Kowa B&H and quality had absolutely no difference, right? That is because I was wrong on my Kowa vs Elmo video. After that episode I got a lot of feedback from several users claiming that their Elmos were better than other Kowas they tried.

After several months, multiple Kowas and Elmos, I feel it’s safe to say these are all the same. Putting it in all the words, Elmoscope II, Kowa B&H, Kowa 16-H and Kowa 8-Z are the same lens. They might have slight cosmetic differences, but in the end they are all the same glass. What creates the difference between them is sample variance. Some are amazing, some not so good. It depends on how life has treated them and if they have been recently serviced or not.

Before anyone starts pointing out that they could be different, here are the only things I noticed: their coatings can vary and you could have either purple or golden flares depending on when the lens was made; also, the 16-H and 8-Z are capable of going a hair wider than the B&H – you can see that for yourself on the Kowa 16-H comparison.

Now that this information is out there, grab your Elmos while they’re cheaper! The tendency is for sellers to match the highest prices in the market (aka, the B&H, at around a thousand bucks). That also means that every mod in my Kowa playlist is applicable to any of these lenses! You should check it out.

The second part of this video is about an update for the Anamorphic Calculator. The Panasonic GH5 has been shaking the community since it came out, and gathered a lot of interest recently with its firmware update. I reached out to GH5 shooters and worked its math for the calculator. You can fiddle with it on the blog, the link is on the description. Again, the calculator is a tool aimed to give you a close approximation to what’s doable or not. It is as precise as I could make it, but lenses are a wide market and there will always be exceptions to the rules.

That being said, this is one of my most accessed tools, with very little negative feedback, so I’d say it’s pretty well put together. It was even copied by someone else without giving me credits! I see plagiarism as one of the greatest honors in modern day. It sucks, yes, but still, it’s so good that someone went through the trouble of copying it and trying to take the credit! After that event I included a link on the blog for anyone to embed the app in their website.

I’ll be back next week with some more serious business here. For now, subscribe if you haven’t yet and leave a comment below if you managed to break the calculator, or if you have strong opinions about what I said on the Kowas and Elmos. If you absolutely LOVE this channel, take a peek at my Patreon page and pick something you like. The help is more than welcome, as time becomes a scarce commodity! Ferradans, out.


Rectilux HardcoreDNA Repairs and Upgrades

March 18, 2018

Just because the HCDNA is one of our favorite pieces of gear, it doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Here I’ll cover a few cheap and useful upgrades you can apply to your HCDNA. Massive thanks to Ian Edward Weir for putting such list together.


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 can support this project on Patreon. Make your contribution and help the Anamorphic Cookbook!

Tito Ferradans back here to talk about one of our favorite pieces of gear, the Rectilux HCDNA. Created by a present member of the community, the HCDNA is the best single focus solution out there, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Since its release, a few people have take matter into their hands and came up with multiple small upgrades.

This episode was a lot easier to make thanks to the list put together by Ian Edward Weir, for which you can find the link the description. I’ll also cover the “focus stuck” issue and solution, thanks to a comment made by Chris Stanton on the original HCDNA review. Actually, let’s begin with this fix, and then move to the upgrades.

The reason why focus gets stuck is because of these three tiny screws here on the focus ring. These screws are what connects the markings and movement of the focus ring with the rotation of the focus helicoid The problem is if you keep screwing them, they’ll go past the focus helicoid and bit into gaps of the inner housing of the HCDNA. The consequences of that is you’re gonna get stiff or stuck focus whenever one of these three screws is put in too deep. If all three are in too deep, the focus ring will spin freely and can also come off the HCDNA. They have their little holes in the helicoid, which align with the focus scale on the focus ring. If the holes are not aligned, your focus scale will be off. So, loosen them a bit if you’re getting focus stuck and tighten them a bit if they seem to be popping out.

There you go, now don’t get your focus rings stuck anymore friends!

I already talked about HTN’s lock rings that work flawlessly with the HCDNA, so I’m not gonna talk about it again, you can just watch that episode after this one! The links for all the little things I mention next are in the description. If you buy through them, you’re helping the channel because I get a little bit of commission.

The HCDNA comes with six tiny M4 6mm screws that bite into the front of your setup, locking it in place. If you’re not a fan of the bite marks you can replace the screws with nylon head screws that have great grip and won’t scratch your lens.

The front of the HCDNA is rather large, at 86mm, so getting dirt and cleaning marks on it is maybe a little too easy. In order to fix that, get yourself an 86mm UV filter. The price and quality go with how tight your budget is! The HCDNA is already a little better and it comes with a lens cap, while the 3FF-W didn’t!

If you don’t like the original method for clamping the HCDNA to your anamorphic, you can also use it like a filter that attaches to your front clamp. For that you’re gonna need a 67mm Metal Hood, which goes inside the HCDNA and is bitten by the screws, and then you use the hood’s threads to attach it to your anamorphic. Sure, this can make room for a big gap between the front of your anamorphic and the back of the HCDNA, so you might wanna get it machined shorter. And, since now your Rectilux has rear threads, you can get a screw cap to protect the back of it. – 67mm metal hood – screw cap 77

Minimum focus is still far for some users, so get yourself a diopter set. Century has a few achromats – +1.6, +2 and +2.6 – but they go for anything between $100 and $500. You can also get the cheap 86mm Vivitars and get away without no noticeable loss in image quality. century vivitar

If you like working with clamp-on matteboxes, the front of the HCDNA isn’t really helpful, since the focus ring hides completely inside the body, so RafCamera started offering this adapter that doesn’t affect your focusing and it doesn’t cause vignetting, which will step the 86mm front threads to 95mm and allow a mattebox to be attached to it.

Lastly, if you want to take your HCDNA apart completely, there’s a link to a guide in the links below. I had some grease leaks on mine and the only way to clear all of that and replace the original grease is by taking the beast apart. –


Anamorphic Chop Shop – Anamorfake Mir 20M 20mm f/3.5

March 11, 2018

The Mir 20M is the widest I’ll go with anamorfaking Soviet glass. The effects are quite subtle and you could probably live without it, so this is for the purists. It’s also an easy mod for a super awesome lens.


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 can support this project on Patreon. Make your contribution and help the Anamorphic Cookbook!

Tito Ferradans here for the last time talking about Russian mods. This one is almost as easy as last week’s, but there’s a bit more to it. Today’s pick is the Mir 20M, which is a 20mm, and I only tested it on the first version of the lens. Some folks might argue about the need for an anamorfake 20mm since bokeh is so small and everything is usually in focus, but since I had the lens sitting around – and someone else already has it on eBay, so here’s how you do it on the cheap.

The flare line doesn’t work well with this lens (horrible flares), so I’m not putting it in, just the tinted aperture. You’re gonna need a first generation Mir 20M, a small screwdriver, your trusty lens wrench, an aperture disc, sandpaper, scissors, black and orange sharpies, double sided tape, 3d printed focus gears and a rotating M42 adapter. You can get all of these items from the links below, or from me on eBay – links below too.

Just like last week’s lens, you can focus the lens to infinity for easier access. Using the screwdriver, take out these three screws and the ring they hold. Then remove the first glass element. Welcome to level two of taking out annoying elements. There’s two more to go, same strategy as last week, pluck them with the lens wrench and keep track of which side faces up.

We’re now at the aperture level. The problem is we’re on the wrong side of it. When adjusting the iris you can see there’s a small rotation movement going on here. So we’re gonna have to hack this differently. Also, this hole is tiny!

I’m using the aperture from the Mir 1B once more. It’s easier to deal with. Sand the disc as thin as possible, almost near breaking point. The hack is we’re gonna stick this to the glass instead of overlaying it with the aperture mechanism. Use the scissors to cut it to a size where it’s a perfect fit over the glass. Now paint it and I recommend the same technique as last week, with darker edges and tinted towards the center. Now cover one side with a lot of double-sided tape and stick it to the glass. This hurts, but I’m committing.

Now lets put all these elements back in place with the oval aperture facing down and going tight with the aperture mechanism. The last step is to add the screws back. Careful: if you haven’t sanded your aperture disc super thin the elements might be a little pushed back, so don’t force when the screws offer some resistance.

I like this 20mm by itself and since it’s not a super fast lens, having it a slowed down because of the oval light loss doesn’t hurt it much. I don’t expect the ovals to pop up much, they’re there to give that subconscious feeling that there’s something different going on. And if you do close ups with this lens, then they’ll show up, and I love these warped up shots.

It was quite a journey making all of these tutorials, with more than a year between the first and the last video. Thank you so much for joining me on this process! Have you modded lenses already, or would you feel more comfortable paying for someone to do it? Shoot me questions in the comments below and please hit the like button! It helps the channel growing and allows me to keep doing this! If you like the subject of anamorphic shooting – who doesn’t? – you should subscribe and have a look at past videos. There’s a link to my Patreon page below where you can extend your support and get some cool stuff in advance. I’m Tito Ferradans and I’ll see you next week.


Anamorphic on a Budget – Revised Ground Rules

March 7, 2018

It’s been way too long since I talked about the guiding rules of all these tests and reviews. It’s good to point out what changed and what remains.


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 can support this project on Patreon. Make your contribution and help the Anamorphic Cookbook!

Tito Ferradans here for a long winded recap. It’s been a while since I posted that – long forgotten – first video explaining my goals with the Anamorphic on a Budget project.

Since then, I’ve moved from the Canon 5D3 to the Sony A7s2 and almost completely replaced the Russian taking lenses with a top-of-the-line set of Contax Zeiss. I reviewed over forty different lenses, made more than thirty tutorials and put a tremendous amount of effort in strengthening our community by providing reliable and consistent information.

Our people were too scattered and information consisted of hearsay and obscure old pages and threads. I’m a little obsessed about organizing things, so I set out to piece all of this information together through a set of rules – the newspaper charts, how wide you can go – hell, I even made a calculator for that -, how flares look, my impression of each adapter and so on. I kept it as objective and transparent as possible. I shared it all for free. My endgame is to create the guide I wanted to find when I started out into anamorphics.

Audience has been growing lately and I wanted to update/revise what I said in the beginning. Here are how the reviews work:

Each video starts out with a world test with the minimum of ten shots, five of them being bright and stopped down (usually between f/5.6 and 8), five of them in the dark (between f/1.4 and 2.8), and various focal lengths. This part is designed to showcase how each lens behaves in the wild, for run and gun situations. From there I’ll cover a little bit of history about the adapter in question, talk about all of its tech specs (size, weight, stretch, threads, mount) and average price range.

The charts aim to compare the performance of each adapter at center and edges when paired with various taking lenses and different f-stops. I use print because there’s fine detail and sharp contrast, which is what you should be looking at to evaluate the resolving power of any piece of glass. Then I have vignetting tests with different focal lengths and a grid for the most common aspect ratios over that footage. This will allow you to figure out if this or that taking lens is enough to cover your final output. A lot of anamorphic shooting has to do with flares, so I have flares tests for all of them.

I wrap the episode with a final overview of what I think are the pros and cons of each lens after all the tests. Since the beginning I get a lot of flak from using full frame, so here’s why I still do it: full frame is the unfriendliest format for anamorphic adapters, or any lenses in general. It’s a size that pushes the optics and shows the nitty gritty they hide around the edges. Any adapter will perform better on smaller sensors, so I’d rather show its worst performance and leave up to you to figure out how it will be improved on your own settings.

I’m drooling over the GH5, yes, but I can’t afford buying one. I can barely afford keeping my A7s2! So, Panasonic, if you’re out there, get in touch! I’d love to use your camera for these videos! *laughs*

It’s very important for this project to keep going and growing that you help me reach other people that would lose their minds over anamorphics, so subscribe and please share the videos with your friends! As I’ve explained before, I sink more money here than I can make, so if you want to financially help me carry out this project you can support me on Patreon and I will be eternally grateful. Feel free to shoot me questions and suggestions in the comments below! What would you like to see here? And if you wanna help out, give me a shout too! One thing is sure, you’ll see me again next week. Tito Ferradans, out.


Anamorphic Chop Shop – Anamorfake Mir 10A 28mm f/3.5

March 4, 2018

Now we’re moving towards the wider side of the USSR Anamorfake set. The Mir 10A is a competitor for the Pentacon 29mm mod. If you want your set exclusively made of USSR glass, the 10A is the way to go.


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 can support this project on Patreon. Make your contribution and help the Anamorphic Cookbook!

Tito Ferradans here for another quick anamorfake tutorial. It seems I have started with the lenses with the largest amount of steps, and now I’m on the other end of the spectrum. Today we’re gonna expand on the wide-angle side, adding a 28mm to the set (and allowing you to get rid of that Pentacon 29mm which isn’t really Soviet). I’m also going lighter on the mod steps as I learned from trial and error that not all lenses benefit from a lot of internal painting.

For this Mir 10A, I’m only adding a tinted oval aperture and a flare line. In order to do that we’re gonna need these items: Mir 10A, a lens wrench and a small screwdriver, oval aperture disc, sandpaper, scissors, orange sharpie, fishing line, double-sided tape, 3d-printed focus gears and rotating M42 adapter. You can get the files for the focus gear and aperture disc on the description below, or directly from me on eBay.

Start by focusing the lens to infinity in order to push the rear of it as far out of the housing as possible. Now use the lens wrench to remove the inner locking ring. This will give you access to a glass element with a metal frame around it. Welcome to the annoying part of this mod. Using the lens wrench, patiently fish it out of the housing, carefully noting which side faces outwards.

Now we got to ANOTHER of these elements. The key to get them out is to keep both sides even. If they start to angle to each other, the element will get stuck. After that is taken care of, also remember which side faces outwards. I like to keep the outwards-facing side facing up on the table.

We have finally reached the aperture mechanism. I’m being creative here and using the same aperture disc I made for the Mir 1B, since the physical maximum aperture size is about the same. Sand it super thin, as there’s not much space in there, paint as desired – here’s a new trick: instead of painting the whole thing in one color, I’m adding a lot of black around the edges and the orange comes in closer to the oval. This will control highlight blooming. Add the flare line by using double tape. Slot it in the lens and make sure the oval is right in the middle. This will turn the original f/3.5 into f/5.

Carefully drop the lens elements back in, one by one, and lock them in place with the ring. Slide the focus gear on and align the ovals and flares by using the rotating M42 adapter, and you’re done.

One of my favorite aspects of this mod is how the flare line turns out, super balanced with the footage and merging with the Mir 10A’s lovely natural flares. The tint on the aperture gives a glow to strong light sources, which I think is very natural and organic. Whenever I have a strong light source in my footage, I like adding some glow around it, as this is how my eyes see it. The tint does it by default, no need for post. The ovals are very subtle in general, just adding a subtle hint of anamorphic but they really pop when you use the lens for a wide close up.

If you want to grab a Mir 10A right away for modding, there’s a link on the video description, as well as links for everything else I used. Leave a comment below if you have any questions about this process, and please hit the like button so I feel loved and motivated to make more videos. Next week I’ll wrap this project with the Mir 20M, at 20mm, so subscribe to the channel to be notified when the video is up! I’m Tito Ferradans and I’ll see you next week!