Monthly Archives:

October 2019


Kowa Anamorphic 1.75x

October 27, 2019

Here’s a big and super rare scope that fits into the exotic family of 1.75x scopes! And it’s a Kowa. Oh, this could be good!


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, this time with the help of a fellow Vancouverite, Victor Prokopowicz. Victor came to me because he was having trouble with his Kowa 1.75x. Because of the massive front ring, he wasn’t able to fit it inside the back of the Rectilux HCDNA. So he gave me all the parts, I took the Rectilux apart (like shown in the tutorial I posted here) and he took the back of it to mill it wider.

As soon as he brought the HCDNA back I put everything together and the fit was perfect, so I took it out for a spin and test shots.

This Kowa is a heavy lens, at 600g, or 1.5lb, plus the weight of the HCDNA so I had a Rapido clamp mounted to 15mm rails, which made alignment a lot easier when swapping taking lenses. This is one of those lenses that feels heavier than it looks. If it didn’t deliver such beautiful images, I’d say it’s too heavy.

Part of the select club of 1.75x scopes, this Kowa has no front or rear threads, making clamps mandatory. Focus comes as close as 1.5m or 5ft, and the body has marks in ft. Due to its double focus nature, I’d stick to the HCDNA, which is the only single focus solution right now capable of covering the big front glass and making this lens shine.

It’s hard to place this Kowa on a price chart. The last ones to show up on eBay sold (or are still listed) for ridiculous over-two-thousand dollars marks. I guess it’s that rare. Victor told me he actually found his on a random, old school used items site and had to phone down the store in the US to hear about their return policies. The Kowa was the only thing sticking out in their inventory, so he was a bit suspicions. It turned out the lens was real, and he paid a lot less than two grand for it. There are still scopes out there, friends.

Image quality is pretty good at all apertures, and the smudges you see at f/1.4 are because the newspaper wasn’t perfectly flat against the wall and DOF was shallow enough to get parts of it blurry. At 135 and wide open the Kowa struggles a little bit, but still holds up alright. A little sharpening in post and you’re ready to go. $$ sound. Price increases.

Flares are not super crazy, but very much present. They show a reddish hue a bit deeper than the Kowa B&H and Iscoramas. Remarkable flares from a remarkable scope. Price goes up!

I have an extensive test for vignetting. The initial problem here was that the HCDNA was sitting too far from the front of the Kowa. This is what we had. Heavy vignetting until 50mm, then almost clear at 85mm and finally clear at 135mm. Let’s step back to 40mm. That’s bad. After getting the back of the HCDNA wider, we were able to clear a lot more of the frame, getting 2.4:1 clear around 50mm on Full Frame and no trace of vignetting at 85mm. Once we remove the HCDNA entirely, you can clear 50mm!!! And get a tiny bit of dark edges at 40mm using Canon’s pancake. Price goes up a lot.

This Kowa was a beast of a lens, it’s large, sturdy, could be used as a bludgeoning weapon, delivers Kowa-like sharp images, goes pretty wide for its stretch factor and has unique reddish flares. I am not surprised at the asking prices on these after testing. It’s too heavy for my style, I mean, I got these skinny arms that will die upon a heavy handheld setup.

I’d like to thank Viktor for letting me run all of these tests and for trusting me with his gems. What did you think of the results on this one? Is everyone already scouring the web for lucky finds like this? Let me know if you succeed in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe before you go. If you enjoyed this video, please hit the like button. I’m Tito Ferradans and I’ll see you next week. Thanks for watching!


Sankor Anamorphic Type-5e

October 20, 2019

Here’s an obscure Sankor coming straight from Japan. How does such a good lens stay hidden for so long? Are they just that rare?


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 with what seems to be the last of my pending reviews using JSD’s gear – and if you follow his posts on facebook you know this guy has a lot going on when it comes to anamorphic. So I hope he shows up here soon again. Today we’re talking about the Sankor Type-5e, an exotic projection lens with almost no information going around.

The footage coming out of this lens reminds me a lot of the Isco Ultra Star, it’s quite sharp, has a pronounced 2x bokeh and it’s coming from a golden-looking lens. The biggest difference I could spot was how this Sankor handled flares – or failed to. Direct sun hits flooded the frame with white and when I could get it just right, an interesting green streak would show up. I used the HCDNA for these shots, because no one has the time for double focusing anymore.

I tried finding good sources of info on this lens and failed, so everything that shows here is pretty fresh. JSD found this lens in his favorite Japanese auction site and got two of them. It’s a compact adapter, feels slightly shorter than the Ultra Star and weighs 580g, almost 1.5lb. It’s a 2x stretch projection lens, which implies double focus. The focus ring is smooth and it comes down to 1.5m over 240 degrees of throw. There’s also a handy focus-locking screw, for setting it to infinity and coupling to a single focus solution.

There are no front or rear threads, so you’ll need clamps for attaching filters and connecting to a taking lens. Due to the size and weight, I recommend using rails on this one – or almost any projection lens, for that matter. You have seen this lens before when I made a tutorial on making your own 3d-printed front clamps.

In terms of pricing I couldn’t find any info on it. Some eBay listings, but very low key, sell at $300. This exact one sold for $400, and considering how prices are going, as well as its performance, I’d expect them to go for something in the 450-600 range.

Image quality is outstanding, even in the corner areas, performing well at fast apertures and any focal length, which makes me think even more of the Isco Ultra Star. It displays a sensible improvement when stopped from 1.4 to f/2.8 and I don’t think you can get much sharper past that point, it might even be a taking lens limitation!

Flares are nice and green. I think this is my first green-flaring lens ever. There’s a fair amount of blooming around light sources, which is not great, but I’d take these flares over the non-existing flares of the Ultra Star any day.

Vignetting was interesting, like a Kowa chart. We have a bit too much at 40mm but Almost clears full frame at 50mm, definitely clears 2.4:1, which is a rare trait for projection lenses. Then all clear at 85mm. The big glass and short body certainly helped here.

This scope has a lot of impressive results: nice flares, great image quality, can go pretty wide for a 2x adapter. Too bad it’s almost impossible to find! The world could benefit from more of those floating around. This time I’m not putting down a double focus projection scope. See, I’m a fair person. Good scopes get good reviews.

What did you think of the results? Are you as impressed as I am? Let me know in the comments below! Before you go please hit the like button and don’t forget to subscribe so you get a new anamorphic video next Sunday! I’m Tito Ferradans and I’ll see you then!


Moller 32/2x Anamorphot

October 13, 2019

This is like the Baby Kowa Bell & Howell with sci-fi flares. But there are traps all around. Be careful when getting yours! Use the code “Tito” for 15% off on the Phantom LUTs.


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 today with a bit of an identity crisis. This is another video using JSD’s gear, so at this point I’m wondering why do I even have my own gear. Today I’m talking about the Moller 32/2x and this one was fully rigged with a Rapido FMJ and Rapido FVD-16A. I shot these tests while in Japan and editing it together was a bit of a good time-travel.

Alright, Japan might be a small place, but it’s still pretty big. So this was on our way to Hiroshima and the day we spent there. Timeline wise, this was shot the day before I shot the tests with the Hypergonar of two weeks ago. The Moller was a lot easier to shoot. It’s a smaller scope and even adding the FMJ, it didn’t feel too heavy. It actually felt easier to handle. Focus was locked to infinity and all of the focusing was done on the FVD. This is a pretty good projection scope and I don’t have much to say about shooting. Oh, this footage was also shot S-log and I used the Phantom LUTs to quickly create this look. You can find more info about them as well as a discount code in the description below!

The Moller 32/2x is a lens full of catches. It goes by a few names – I had one named Vidoscope, while JSD’s was a plain Moller. There’s also differences in the focus markings and a completely useless version. Let’s get the basics out of the way:

This is a 2x stretch projection lens. It’s small and light, weighing 390g, or a pound, and it’s a breeze to carry around compared to the other stuff I tested in the previous videos. It has 39mm threads on the back, which makes it easy for clamps and alignment. There are no threads on the front. It also has these notches right around the front, which make life harder to get a front clamp to fit snuggly – hence the FMJ.

When we get to the subject of focus, things get sketchy. There are mainly two versions of this lens. The first version (which still goes by multiple names) has focus markings (either in ft, or ft AND meters) and minimum focus at 1.4m (4’10”). Focus throw is about 330 degrees, so quite long. The other version of the lens – regardless of the brand written on it – has no focus marks. This is a telecine version of the lens, with very specific uses and it’s almost useless to anamorphic shooting, as it is unable to focus on infinity. The dead giveaway to the telecine version of the Moller is the recessed rear element you can see in these pictures. Many thanks to Oli Kember for the photos and many other members of Anamorphic Shooters to referring to this difference between these otherwise identical looking lenses. So be careful when buying one of them.

This lens has always been a random roll when it comes to prices. Maybe it’s because of the different versions. Since earlier 2018, these Mollers soared to the $600-800 range and stayed there. It sounds pricy, but just like a Kowa, it’s amazing what this little lens can do, so the price is justified. You’ll find plenty of good footage from it.

Image quality is excellent at the center with any focal lens and aperture, but it drops towards the edges, only getting consistent sharpness across the entire frame when stopped down. Not a surprise. The sharpness on this adapter makes it a great contender for a vintage scope on a smaller sensor.

The flares are interesting. I had a Vidoscope which showed neutral coatings and the resulting flares were more of a muted purple, while JSD’s had strong blue coatings and displayed much more saturated flares.

On full frame the Moller 32 clears the frame at 85mm and vignettes heavily at 50mm. Something in between should be good to get you cleared on 2.4:1, possibly a Helios 44, at 58mm. when shooting on a crop sensor, JSD has worked hard tweaking parts and is able to clear 25mm on the GH5 shooting 4:3.

This was a fun lens to test. It didn’t hinder my style of shooting like the heavier projection lenses, it turned out to be a lens full of exceptions and little details to be aware of, capable of rendering beautiful and sharp images at the same time it shows good vintage character. Good job, Moller. Not a surprise after the 1.5x Mollers, though. All of these positive aspects are probably what drove up the prices of this guy last year, almost doubling in the span of just a few months.

What do you think of the Moller? To me this sounds like a Kowa killer for smaller sensors. It’s compact and versatile. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and please hit the like button to help me grow the channel. If you’re not subscribed yet and you watched this far, you should definitely hit that button too, because there’s a lot more about anamorphic here, including a brand new review next week. I’m Tito Ferradans and I’ll see you then.