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Rapido FVD-16A

August 12, 2018

This is Rapido Technology’s first take into the single focus market in order to compete with Rectilux and SLR Magic. It’s a pretty awesome adapter!

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Tito Ferradans here to talk about the Rapido FVD-16A. Before I even start, I’d like to thank JSD for letting me have his lens for a few days and take it to the distant lands of Hiroshima, while I was in Japan. The FVD-16A is Jim Chung’s single focus solution and it puts Rapido in the same market as the SLR Magic Rangefinder, Rectilux and – the now seemingly defunct – FM Lens. This is a small and light unit that magically turns your double focus setup into single focus. When I was out shooting at night I could always tell if something was in focus. The loss in IQ compared to just the anamorphic and taking lens feels negligible.

Unlike my previous single focus solution tests, I didn’t have a Kowa B&H for this one, so I tested with a Moller 32/2x and a Hypergonar S.T.O.P. 16 and the Contax Zeiss taking lenses. The name – FVD-16A – means front variable diopter for 16mm scopes, version A, implying there are other versions coming in the future. I was shooting in extremely hot weather and there was some grease leaking on the outside of the barrel every time I refocused. This is something I experienced with the HCDNA as well, so maybe these adapters are just not meant for tropical areas!

The FVD-16A feels like the Rangefinder should be if it wanted to compete with Rectilux. It’s smaller than the HCDNA, lighter too – only 415g. It has 75mm female threads on the back and connects to your scope through those or three small screws (just like the HCDNA). The 75mm threads also match the front of the Rapido FMJ and HTN’s Kowa Locking Ring. Rapido also offers an adapter from 72mm threads to 75mm so you can attach it to anything else.

The front has 77mm threads, which are much MUCH friendlier than the Rectilux’s 86mm. The FVD has focus scales in feet and meters, solid focus gears for follow focus and comes down to 1.2m (4ft). You’ll need diopters to get closer than that, but it’s cheap to get good 77mm diopters. Thanks to the non-rotating front it’s also easy to use 77mm vari-NDs. Handling feels solid and one of the debatable downsides is focus feels too light (no dampness to the ring). I’ve heard from a few users it’s quite stiff once you get it, but this one has been smoothed out by repeating turns. Another thing that constantly made me miss shots is that focus is reversed, Nikon-style. This is a big downside for me, since it takes me days to rewire my brain.

The FVD costs $500 and is made in small batches, while the HCDNA costs $1000 and is made in even smaller batches. If you’re on the fence about it, I’d say it’s a great investment. Go for it, but at this point, it means getting in line for one of the later batches.

Image quality is immensely superior than the Rangefinder, staying fairly sharp all the way to wide open and it feels in the same league as the HCDNA.

In terms of flares, it doubles up flare reflections, like all other single focus solutions, but I didn’t see any orbs like the ones from the Rangefinder. It has neutral coatings which won’t play with your original look.

My biggest concern at this point is the added vignetting because of its smaller size. So if you’re constantly pushing towards the widest combo you have, your setups will take a hit. With the Moller I had to go past 85mm to clear full frame with the Moller (smaller scope), but did fine at 85 and the Hypergonar. For clearing 2.4:1 crop on full frame, you’ll have to go longer than ___mm

My closing thoughts are this is a great piece of gear especially for those trying to spend less money and making a good single focus setup. Focus is a little light, but that’s a personal preference, and my only real downside to this whole thing is the reversed focus. Having 77mm filter threads is amazing, non-rotating front, focus gears, focus scales and a simple process to setup is all great. Jim did a great job on this one, and I’m curious to see if/when there’s gonna be another one for larger scopes.

What do you think of the FVD-16A? Are you getting one, or sticking to the Rectilux HCDNA? Let me know in the comments below! Also, like this video and subscribe to the channel so you can get updates with new episodes. I very much recommend making a pledge at my Patreon page, since you’ll have early access to content and other useful perks. I’m Tito Ferradans and I’ll see you soon.



August 5, 2018

I’ve been away for quite a while. It’s time to put things back on track and I’d love to hear from you. :)

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!

Ahoy ladies and gentlemen. Tito Ferradans back here after a good chunk of time away. If you only want lens reviews and solid data, skip this video, but if you care a little bit about the one who speaks to you, maybe keep watching. I’m gonna talk about other things.

This is the longest I’ve gone without posting a video. I had some existential issues about the channel – it struck me I was putting way too much energy here and not getting enough back – and by that I mean financially. It’s hard to stay motivated when you can take easier jobs that pay a lot more. So I wanted to change my approach in a way I wouldn’t feel I was cheating myself every time I published my hard work for free. I don’t think many of you love working for free. Do you?

That added up to getting harsher negative feedback on some videos, plus folks being upset at the Scope video. On top of all these challenges, there’s managing the facebook group, which is an unyielding task in terms of accepting new members. I get personal messages of people asking me why I didn’t let them in. Guys, I see the queue every day. Please don’t send me messages, I can’t do much about it! :(

Yeah, I know I should ignore all of this but it doesn’t really work that way. I don’t “have” a brand, I AM a brand and my whacked mind interprets all negative feedback to my work as negative feedback to my person. That is a bummer. Overall I felt like nothing was going right and I was throwing my time down the drain.

So I retreated to the real world and focused on other things for a bit. It’s summer, so I biked a lot, walked a lot, enjoyed plenty of time with Ari, traveled, and so on. Along all those things, I kept thinking what I could do to make Anamorphic on a Budget better and inspiring to myself again.

Honestly, I haven’t found an answer, but one day I woke up and I was back into it. That was last week, when I did the instagram thing answering questions. That was a rehearsal towards live broadcast here, aimed at your interest rather than whatever I want to focus on pre-made videos.

I’ve been developing things in the background, like my sponsorship by Simmodlens and a few other things that aren’t quite ready yet, so there are surprises to come. I’m also running short on lenses to review (there isn’t THAT MUCH of a difference between various 2x double focus projection lenses). So now, more than ever, I’m open to your suggestions of what would be interesting to do/show here. I feel this video is just the first part of the reasoning for my absence, but I’d rather make it public now than to stay quiet for longer. Tell me what you think.

Before I sign off, I wanted to bring up some more stuff about Scope. Sure, it was a prank, and people got upset, but did you know that Zess Ikon did almost the same thing in 1966 with the Super-Q Gigantar 40mm f/0.33? But instead of a Youtube video (the internet wasn’t such a big deal back then), they brought their “prototype” to Photokina in order to draw attention to the aperture speed craze going around lens manufacturers (more details in article below). Does anyone complain about Zeiss reliability or quality even though they “made a fake lens”? Hmmm.

The second thing about Scope is, even though some people were upset, others saw that as a chance to learn. Paul and I were invited to write a tutorial covering the process of making that scene photo-realistic. The tutorial was published last month in the 3D Artist magazine in the UK.

Ok, that’s it for today. More in a little bit, with a crazy-technical video. Recap: I’m back. Like this video, leave comment with suggestions of what to talk about here. Subscribe to the channel. I’m Tito Ferradans and I’ll see you again next week.


Designing Anamorfake Apertures

August 5, 2018

This episode was requested by one of my Patreon supporters and I just went all the way down math path to add some DEPTH to it!

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!

Alright guys, I’m Tito Ferradans and this is my first episode requested by one of my supporters on Patreon – you can make requests too if you make a pledge! Today we’re gonna learn how to properly design aperture discs to anamorfake lenses and reduce light loss to a minimum while also figuring out the new f-stop for the lens. This is definitely not one of those one-size-fits-all kind of thing.

The tools we’re gonna need are a caliper, any lens you want to mod and a vector-based design program. I’ll be using Adobe Illustrator.

The first part is to get to the aperture mechanism of the lens you want to mod. I recently did the Tair 11A, so I’ll use that one. When you get to the aperture, there’s two numbers you want to get. The first one is the diameter of the mechanism area. In this case, it’s 51.90mm. The second number is the diameter of the aperture, the hole that lets light through, 44.86mm. Write things down with two decimal cases, as precision is always good when dealing with small builds.

With these two numbers, I’ll go on Illustrator and create two concentric circles. Don’t forget the measurement unit to make it in scale with real life. The bigger circle on the outside is gonna be the full size of the disc, while the small one is the cut to let light through. So far so good, the problem is there is nothing anamorfake about this.

Select the inner circle and change its width without messing with the height. The percentage of the original size you want depends on the stretch you want to fake. Just divide 1 by the stretch. For 1.33, it’s 75%, 1.5 is 67% and 2 is 50%.

This design will give you a disc that will fit over the aperture mechanism, so it can’t fall anywhere, and at the same time benefits from all the vertical height of the aperture, which minimizes your light loss to… about as little as you can get.

If this much math already sounds heavy to you, stop watching now. We’re going deeper.

First we’re going to calculate how the oval affects your f-stop. If you don’t know how apertures work, here’s a crash course: for every sqrt(2) decrease in aperture area, you cut one stop of light. If that didn’t make sense to you there’s probably a more user-friendly method out there, look for it. In visual terms, sqrt(2) = 1.41, and dividing 1 (full aperture) by 1.41 results in 0.7.

This means that every time you shrink the area of a circle to 70% of its original size, you’re cutting one stop of light. Which is basically what we did!

Let’s do the math for the Tair. We originally had an aperture with XYZ diameter, which equals f/2.8. The area for it is pi * radiusH * radiusW – duh, it’s a circle, both radiuses are the same. Bear with me. This equals 1551.7 square millimeters.

Now I’m gonna cut it down to a 1.5x oval by reducing its width to 67% of the original size. Ovals are also called ellipses and there’s a formula for their area too: pi * radiusH * radiusW – see my point now? – and this is 1024 square millimeters, which is also 67% of the area of full sized circle.

67% is close enough to 70%, which is sqrt(2), which means one stop of light loss. So by making this a 1.5x bokeh, we’re cutting one stop of light of the max aperture of our modified lens. f/2.8 becomes f/4. If you make it a 2x bokeh, then we’re cutting the area in half, which is sqrt(2)2, so TWO stops of light.

This will unfold into resolution and depth of field. Since your vertical aperture is considerably wider than your horizontal aperture, you’ll end up with better image resolution and sharpness horizontally, since it’s a narrower f-stop than vertically, which is funny because with regular anamorphics, it’s the other way around. When using an anamorphic lens, you get better vertical resolution, since you’re effectively squeezing more information in the horizontal axis. This is fairly confusing, but it also leads to the last point of this episode.

Many of you like using anamorfake lenses to enhance bokeh in less pronounced adapters, such as 1.5x and 1.33x. So let’s assume for the rest of this episode that we live in a world where the dream bokeh is 2x – because by combining anamorphics and anamorfakes you can easily achieve unrealistic bokeh, like 3 or 4x compression. I’m not gonna go into that, but you’ll be able to figure out the math.

For now, I’ll write the path for optimizing light loss and achieving 2x bokeh through the combination of 1.33x and 1.5x anamorphics and a custom designed aperture.

[Squeeze works in a similar way to everything we saw here so far. A 1.5x lens will make your bokeh 1.5x thinner, which is 67% (1/1.5) of its circular width. This is multiplied by the area of the oval disc, so if you made a 1.5x aperture and combined it with a 1.5x adapter, your anamorphic bokeh will be 0.67 (from the iris) * 0.67 (from the adapter) percent of its circular size. 0.67*0.67 = 0.44, which IS LESS THAN 50%, so it’s longer than 2x bokeh – which is 50% -, and we don’t want it. We don’t want it because it’s unreal and because we are losing more light than we need on the aperture. So we need a more subtle aperture.]

The best way to approach this problem is to start at the end. The result we want to achieve is 0.5, or 50% width, and that number has to be the product of two other numbers (stretch factor and anamorfake aperture) and you have to know at least one of them! In order to bring in the stretch factor, divide it by 1. If I’m using a 1.5x stretch Bolex, I’ll divide 1/1.5 which equals 0.67, if I’m using a 1.33x Century, then it’s 1/1.33 and that is 0.75.

Now we solve the equation for what’s left.

0.5 = 0.67 * X
X = 0.74
0.5 = 0.75 * X
X = 0.66

And this resulting number is how much you need to shrink the width of your oval aperture from its original circular shape. These are both pretty close to 70%, which is the one-stop loss mark, so not too expensive for cheating 2x bokeh on an adapter without that strong of a squeeze!

Another positive aspect of combining anamorphics and anamorfakes is that your resolution sort of evens out – remember that anamorfakes deliver better horizontal resolution and anamorphics do better vertical resolution? – for a “best of both worlds” type of thing. Wow, this started out simple enough and ended on a very elaborate note!

Now, if you managed to make sense out of all this, please like the video and leave a comment saying “AH! I GET IT!”. If you haven’t subscribed to the channel and you got this far, you should really subscribe because we have a lot in common you’re gonna love what’s coming! Lastly, if you want to suggest me an episode, just like Andre suggested this one, make a pledge on my Patreon and we can go far on the anamorphic business. See you next time, folks! Tito Ferradans out.


Panasonic LA7200 Anamorphic Wedge Fit

April 18, 2018

Here’s a quick trick on how to mount filters on the Panasonic LA7200 without the need for any extra gear. Plus, a super rare diopter that makes this adapter much better overall!


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!

Hey, I’m Tito Ferradans and in this episode I’m gonna teach you a neat trick that turns the Panasonic LA7200 into a much better anamorphic adapter.

Back in the days when these LA7200’s were cheaper (like $500-750), they were very popular adapters. The only issue folks constantly struggled with was close focus and that had a few sources. First, the gigantic front element required a huge diopter. Second, how would you even mount any diopters on a lens that is square and has no threads?

Enter the Kenko 105mm +0.3 diopter. This beast here is big enough to cover the front element of the LA7200, it sets infinity at 3m and works amazingly well with the Panny’s limitations, which has fixed focus at 3-4m. The cherry on top is that the Kenko also fits in the front of the Panny safely by itself!

When this info was made public the Kenko – which was already rare; come on, why would a 105mm +0.3 diopter ever be popular? – vanished from the world. This one here is the first one I come across in four years since I sold my previous one. They used to sell for $300-350 back then, but there’s not enough of them around these days to trace a trend! Have you ever seen one? Do you own one?

Anyway, this hint applies to any 105mm filters, so you can wedge fit anything of that size in front of your LA7200! Or you can follow my instructions and make a front filter holder to screw in 95mm filters. The caveat is 95mm isn’t wide enough to cover all of the front element! So, there’s always a challenge.

This is an early episode of my attempt of having more than one post per week. If you like this initiative, hit the like button below and leave a comment suggesting simple subjects for these episodes! I’d love some insight. If you haven’t subscribed yet, you don’t know what you’re missing out on. This channel is all about anamorphic, and the future points towards anamorphic so, stay tuned. I’ll see you on the next episode! Ferradans out.


Magic Portrait Filter – Anamorphic Looking Filter?!

April 15, 2018

I’m in Japan and I’m finding all sorts of crazy things here! Among them a Magic Portrait filter, which seems to be an anamorphic filter. How does this work?!


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

Heya folks! Tito Ferradans here and if you follow me on instagram or facebook, you know I’m in Japan. Yay! As my voice tells, I’m also a little sick. I went out exploring the used camera shops and while I stumbled on a Hypergonar for a decent price, the true surprise was THIS guy on a !FREE JUNK! box. This is a 55mm Kenko Magic Portrait filter. It does look a lot like anamorphic so I took it for a spin and this is what I got using the 35 and 50mm on the Contax set. I tried on the 28mm too but vignette was obvious.

You can already see the inside edges of the filter on the 35mm shots. The most interesting thing about this filter is, as the name states, that it is a portrait-oriented filter, so performance is designed for close focus. I can’t get sharp infinity, but I can come up really close to my subjects and still get decent focus. It plays really well with high-key scenes, and there’s a diffusion to it that also helps with making nice portraits. You have to stop down your lens, though: I couldn’t get anything close to clean faster than f/4. And yes, it flares.

I didn’t know the stretch factor for it, so I had to figure it out on my own! The result is… 1.10x

As a matter of fact, I didn’t know much about this thing at all. The fact that it’s called Magic Portrait and it makes people thinner is a bizarre concept to me and if it wasn’t for my interest in anamorphics I would’ve never picked this up. A while ago I saw a bit of chat about one of these filters in the Anamorphic Shooters group but I didn’t chase the subject. In terms of price, this one I got for free, but there’s a couple on eBay around $30. Is it worth it? I can’t really tell, but I’m keeping this one as a souvenir!

What do you think of the filter? Is this the true anamorphic on a budget? Do you think it’s a worthy trinket? Let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe to the channel and like this video. My schedule in Japan has been insane but I already got to meet some awesome people and I’m hoping to start collaborating with them soon, so stay tuned! Tito Ferradans out.


The Making of SCOPE

April 8, 2018

I’m sorry to break it to you, but SCOPE wasn’t real. Here’s how I created all the parts of that video, plus a warning about promises and expectations regarding anamorphics.

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 updates on SCOPE. If you haven’t figured out yet, SCOPE was, unfortunately, an April’s Fools video. I am not making my own lens yet, but I’d like to address some related topics. Here’s what we did:

First I wanted to come up with something exotic. Everyone wants to go wider on anamorphics so I figured I’d start there. 30mm 2x stretch is super wide. So I wrote my pitch and ran it by Ari a few times, tweaking things here and there. Our main concern was that folks would get super upset once they figured it was a prank. After that I went back to school to use their space and lights to shoot my presentation. Huge thanks to Ari and Renata Batistini on that process.

Then I moved on to create compelling images of the lens. We see plenty of cheap renders out there, all static, all one-image, generic type of thing. To beat that I teamed up with my buddy Paul H. Paulino, texture artist whose work you’re familiar with (Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2) and we started making the lens.

I did all the modeling based on a mix of references, but the key visuals came from LOMO. All dimensions are accurate to the fraction of millimeter and even the glass inside sort of makes sense. That also helps selling the illusion. From there Paul took over with the textures and we came up with the set together, based on my desk at home, which would make it more believable. It shows up in almost every video.

After this I consulted with another friend who works in animation – Fernão Morato, who also helped me build some of the things in this channel and shows up in a few tests – and he gave me pointers about the virtual camera. Then I hit render. Each of the four shots took about twenty hours to render.

The last thing left was to shoot the actual footage. For that I was planning to use the LA7200 paired with a 28mm on full frame and fix sharpness with diopters, but luck struck and I ended up using an anamorfake Samyang 24mm f/1.5 paired to the Letus AnamorphX 1.33x PRO, which turned out to be the widest combo I’ve ever tested, with an equivalent hFOV of 18mm on full frame, which is wider than 30mm 2x would be on S35. I wasn’t pleased with the amount of flares, so I bumped them up in After Effects, and that was my unique look, comprised of various parts from various pieces.

Now that all of this breakdown is complete, here’s a few words of warning which motivated me to make this video: We’re seeing more and more promises for anamorphic these days. Most of them from unknown folks with no known background designing lenses or relevant presence in our community. My target with SCOPE was the “we want to believe” way of thinking, and that is a dangerous feeling online. There are more bad than good deals around, and with prices skyrocketing, I’d recommend being extra careful with the promises you buy.

The last thing to cover is price. Some of you got really upset that I said $4k is affordable. So I went to check with experts and pros if $4k was too much for a cine anamorphic prime. It was almost unanimous that it would be too cheap or, even worse, fall into the spot in which it’s too expensive for users to buy yet too cheap for rental houses. Because of that I wouldn’t expect anything like SCOPE for less than $5-8k. Making an anamorphic lens consumes a ton of money and time and the market is just not big enough to make it a safe investment.

What did you guys think of the prank and its insights? Do you still hope for a sub-$1K perfect scope? Let me know in the comments below and hit like and subscribe before you go! Oh yeah, and next time I say I’m making a lens, I’ll be ACTUALLY making one. I’m Tito Ferradans and I’ll see you next week.


This is SCOPE – 30mm T/2 2x Anamorphic Lens

April 1, 2018

I made a lens! SCOPE is what I’ve been working on for the longest time.


  • 30mm Lens for S35 sensors
  • T/2.0
  • 2x Anamorphic squeeze
  • 1.2m / 3’11” Minimum focus distance
  • Geared focus and iris rings
  • Single focus operation
  • Filter Tray for 114mm / 4.5″ filters
  • Swappable EF and PL mount

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Tito Ferradans here with something that might sound out of the blue. I got tired of watching prices rise and few new anamorphics being added to the market – none of them aimed at the budget market – so I took matters into my own hands and, with an excellent team around me, I created SCOPE.

SCOPE is what I’ve been working on every time I mentioned my LOMO set. A small batch of super-wide, affordable anamorphic lenses. These are 30mm T/2, 2x stretch babies. If you MUST know, the first batch of SCOPE sells for $4000 with delivery scheduled for January 2019. Here’s how the footage looks like.

After experimenting with all sorts of adapters I had a solid idea of what worked and what didn’t. SCOPE’s single focus operation is the same as old LOMOs. To achieve such wide angle the front element is huge – by far the most challenging part of the design. SCOPE features a slot for 114mm (4.5″) filters, minimum focus at 1.2m (4ft), focus and iris gears and swappable EF/PL mount.

The website for pre-orders will be up soon, so make a pledge on my Patreon page to be notified right away. The link is right here on the screen and in the description! I don’t have much else to say. Shoot me questions in the comments below and subscribe to the channel for updates! How pumped are you for an actually affordable anamorphic lens? Tito Ferradans, out.