I swear, this is probably the last time I’m talking about lenses in the Isco family. The baby Iscorama, or Iscomorphot 8/1.5x is a tiny lens that will give you single focus and work pretty well with smaller sensors. It delivers a dreamy look and I’d say it’s only sharp past f/5.6 on the taking lens.
Remember when I talked about this lens and called it Iscomorphot 8/1.5x? I was wrong. That is the Isco Anamorphot 8/1.5x and THIS ONE is the Iscomorphot 8/1.5x, or Baby Iscorama. This tiny lens weighs 170g, less than half a pound and is one of the most desired baby anamorphics, trailing right after the baby Hypergonar and baby Bolex.
As an official member of the Iscorama family, this adapter has 1.5x stretch and it is single focus, meaning you only set your taking lens to infinity and do the rest of the work on the Iscomorphot’s focus ring. Focus comes down to 0.5m, or 1.7ft, which is much better than all the other Iscoramas, pretty much killing the need for diopters. It also features focus markings in both meters and feet and a focus throw of roughly 180 degrees.
If you still want diopters and other filters, the front threads are 39mm. The rear threads are standard size at 24mm, so you can make a clamp out of step rings. Unlike other Iscoramas, this one doesn’t have an alignment mechanism, just a red dot and the focus marker pointing which direction should be facing up for proper alignment – so I recommend getting a Rapido Clamp for it.
When it comes to availability and prices, this one comes in waves. They’re either abundant on eBay or impossible to find. Prices vary widely between $400-700 with some off-the-curve auctions for a little less or a lot more (as high as $1000).
In terms of resolution and sharpness, this is definitely the weakest member of the family, with super soft and blurry images unless you really stop down the taking lens.
Flares are more neutral than other Iscos, showing up as white or the light-source’s color___, which I think that adds to its dreamy feel.
Vignetting is when this lens takes hard hits. On the A7s2 I had to use the 2.2x crop mode, and then I got vignette clear images from 40mm and up. This matches around 90mm on full frame.
MORE ABOUT SHOOTING WITH THE LENS
If you liked this video, be sure to hit the like button and subscribe to the channel! Shoot any questions you have in the comments below and if you need more of these videos in your life and more information about anamorphic in general, you can help me out on Patreon. Making these videos takes an incredible amount of effort and time and your help is deeply appreciated. Tito Ferradans, out.
Tito Ferradans here for a super quick anamorfake tutorial. This one doesn’t go into great lengths of modding our base lens, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4. We’ll just add lovely oval bokeh. I got a few requests for an autofocus mod, so I decided to give a go. I got all the info for this mod from Grant Gilmore, a few months ago and only now I was able to put it to the test! Let’s begin.
First off, you’ll need your Canon EF 50mm f/1.4, a lens wrench, the desired aperture disc, some sandpaper black or color sharpies and electrical tape. The streak flare is optional and I won’t include it in this video.
Go to the rear side of the Canon and, with the pointy end of the lens wrench, twist out the rear element. It comes off easily. The element right below it might try to come off too if you turn the lens upside down, so be warned that the concave side is the one pointing up. Put this loose element back in carefully, if you happen to take it off.
For the aperture disc, I recommend getting an acrylic cut, like the ones I used for the Mir, Helios and Jupiter. Files are available in the description! The biggest oval is f/2, then 2.8, 4 and 5.6 as they shrink. Be sure to sand it very carefully to smooth out the laser-cut edges and paint it black with a sharpie. Since the disc is a tiny bit smaller than the diameter of the rear element, add a small piece of electrical tape on each side and cut the excess. This will make your life easier for spinning the disc into alignment.
Past these steps, all you need to do is slot the aperture disc on the empty side of the element we took off. It fits perfectly in there. Then, put the lens back together.
If you wanna get alignment right in your first try, put some marks on the lens so we know how the element screws back in. In order to do that, I’ll put a bright tape triangle on the 50mm mark which faces up. Now I’ll add another triangle on the rear element, pointing directly to the first triangle. This way I know that the major axis of the top of the oval has to align with this triangle on the rear element.
When I put the lens back together, voilá! It’s perfect! Remember to clean your glass before shooting to wipe out fingerprints and tape residue.
A few notes on this process: unlike the other anamorfake mods, here I’m not putting the oval directly over the aperture mechanism. Not ideal, and if this was a wide angle, it’s very likely the results wouldn’t come without a consequence, as we see here. That being said, this mod works pretty well and takes only a few minutes to execute. The coolest part is that you can use the lens regularly, with the added benefit of anamorphic bokeh!
This episode would not have been possible without Grant’s help! If you have tried something related to the subject and wanna see it featured on the channel, leave a comment or send me a message! What did you think of this mod? Are you gonna try it on a 50/1.4 for some pretty low-light portraits? Let me know what you think in the comments below! Before you go, don’t forget to subscribe and hit the like button, so more people come across this video! See you next week! Ferradans, out.
Back in July I received a front locking ring for the Kowa 16H, made by Huu-Tuan Nguyen. Unlike a regular clamp, the ring is designed to fit over the Kowa’s original front ring, adding a series of benefits. I think the ring looks great. It fits with the style of the Kowa 16-H with all the silver extrusions, sells for a great price and solves a bunch of pesky issues.
The Kowa’s front ring is super easy to remove, locked in place by three tiny screws. Take them out and unscrew the ring. Now put Huu-Tuan’s ring in place and lock it with these three screws.
The universal advantage of this ring is front 72mm threads for diopters and other filters – or a 72mm Rangefinder. This one is useful for everyone that uses Kowa lenses, since they don’t have front threads at all.
The other bonuses are geared towards Rectilux HCDNA users. The HCDNA is held in place by six pointy screws. After putting it on and taking it off a couple of times, your Kowa’s front ring will show several bites into the metal. Not really pretty, especially if we can solve it. By replacing the Kowa’s original ring we add 75mm male threads that fit the HCDNA’s inner threads! Then we proceed to lock the HCDNA with one single screw, provided with the ring.
Another common issue working with the HCDNA is that focus occasionally slips from infinity on the anamorphic lens as you rotate the HCDNA’s focus ring. This affects your image drastically and my previous solution was using electrical tape to hold the anamorphic in place. Again, not pretty, especially if it can be solved. The solution with this ring is to focus your Kowa to infinity and tighten the front ring. This will prevent your focus ring from turning!
In terms of pricing, the rings cost $40 and the locking screw costs $5. You can contact Huu-Tuan on facebook and find out how to place your orders. Link in the video description. You can also find some other products there, like clamps. As of now, he offers solutions for the top tier Kowas and the Kowa 16-D. According to Huu-Tuan the ring works for all the 16-H’s sister lenses (Kowa B&H, 8Z and Elmoscope II), but the focus-locking feature may not work as intended. Check with him before purchasing in order to confirm it fits your needs.
My favorite part about these small scale anamorphic upgrades, designed by people in our community is that they don’t set out to fix all the problems at once. If you shoot anamorphic long enough, you’ll know it’s not possible to have all the good parts, We all compromise with some caveats. Huu-Tuan’s rings aim to solve a specific problem without creating additional issues. What else can we ask for?
The anamorphic world has always had a strong community and DIY aspects. The problem is most of the times folks keep their solutions to themselves and no one else can benefit from that. It makes me very happy to see these little solutions coming up because it means people are still determined to solve the issues they face with their scopes, but now they’re open to sharing them with all of us. Honestly, that has always been at the core of this channel and I hope we all keep walking towards a more collaborative community.
If you’re still watching and you agree with what I just said, this is the time to subscribe and like this video! Thanks Huu-Tuan, for sending me the ring and giving me all the info I needed for this episode. If you have any comments about the ring, or suggestions for future episodes, please leave a comment below! I’m Tito Ferradans and I’ll see you next week.
I had this mod planned for almost a year and it was just now that I got around to doing it. Trust me, if I knew it was this easy I would’ve done it a long time ago. The goal here is to wrap the telephoto end of our Amber mods. The choice is the Tair 11A, a gorgeous 135mm f/2.8 with 20 aperture blades and smooth (preset) aperture ring. I went much lighter with the modding on this one because not much was needed to drastically affect the footage.
I’ll start by saying I love long lenses. My favorite focal lengths are all up of 85mm and the Tair 11A has a special place because of its sharp results even wide open and for being an awesome Soviet lens – which brings a ton of character into the picture.
For this mod we’re gonna need the following: Tair 11A, oval aperture discs, orange sharpie, fishing line, double sided tape, sandpaper,rotating M42 adapter and 3d-printed focus gears. You can get the files for both the focus gears and aperture discs in the video description.
Notice we don’t need a lens wrench for this mod!
The first step is to sand down your aperture disc. After it’s thinned down, paint it with your favorite color. I’m going with orange. Then, add the fishing line, double sided tape on each end and paint that if you want to tint your flares as well. If you don’t want any sort of tint, just paint it black!
The next step is to pull up the lens’ hood and get a good grip on the body underneath it. Now unscrew it out. This will give you access to the aperture mechanism. Yes, it was that easy.
Drop in the aperture disc and close the lens back up.
With your 3d-printed focus gear at hand, sand the inside part until it fits just right around the focus ring of the Tair.
The last step is to add the M42 to EF adapter and adjust it so the oval is facing the right direction!
There you go, a quick and simple mod that works really well with this longer lens. If the tint is getting too strong, you can always close the iris to tone it down.
Does this mod sound friendlier than the ones before it? Let me know in the comments below! The main reason I enjoy doing these is I get to understand the inner workings of the lenses and feel more comfortable doing my experiments! I have more mods coming up, so subscribe to the channel to be notified when they are here! I’m Tito Ferradans and I’ll see you next week!
I’m Tito Ferradans and this week we’ll be going over the big version of the Vistascope. I already reviewed the 8mm version, so I’ll refer back to that video now and then. The size of this adapter is much friendlier than the baby one, allowing for better shots and not-so-restrictive focal lengths. Diopters are still a must and the prism design is responsible for killing off oval bokeh and most of anamorphic flares. You still get a 1.5x squeeze, which is the dream stretch factor for many users and this STRONG dreamy feel when the lens isn’t so stopped down.
Delrama is another popular name for this very same adapter, and they were all made by the Dutch company Old Delft. As the 8mm version, this is a square lens based on mirrors and prisms to achieve the squeeze. This is a focus through adapter, which means its focus is fixed between 4m – 12ft – and infinity. That being said, focusing is done on the taking lens, and without diopters, this adapter is dead on the water regarding close focus.
Still a light build, the Vistascope 16mm weighs 275g, which goes super safe on a Rapido clamp. For the front, I made a bigger version of my 3d-printed clamp combined with a 77mm blank filter. You can find the download link in the description below.
PRICE and AVAILABILITY
The Vistascope 16mm is quite hard to find in good condition because of the age of the mirror and any misuse it might have faced before you. You can get it for an OK price though, from around $180-330 off eBay.
As you’ve seen in my fine-tuning video, my adapter required some adjustments before getting sharp focus. These were the charts BEFORE the adjustment, and now AFTER it. The lens performs well throughout, without much quality variation between center and corners.
There are some streak flares, but they’re not attached to the light source. They come up according to reflections. Plus there’s a lot of glow, glare and haze. Artifacts galore!
I wasn’t able to clear 2.4:1 on full frame on either 40mm and 50mm. At 85mm I was able to barely clear the 2.66:1 frame, so I’d stick to S35 sensors for more taking lens options.
I like the crazy artifacts, reflections, and unusual flares introduced by this lens, but the fact that I can only use it under strong lighting conditions make it tough to work with. Smaller sensors will be able to achieve better results, just like its 8mm sister. The advantages of this lens is that it creates a unique look, even among anamorphics. It gives the footage a very dreamy texture – not only because it’s soft! hahaha! It’s like it comes with a strong built-in diffusion filter. I would love to shoot some artsy, flashbacky sequences with it – pretty much like the opening tests. Being light makes it easy to lug around and being square turns alignment into a walk in the park.
If you liked this video, be sure to hit the “like” button below, and share it with your friends. Before you go, don’t forget to subscribe, as there’s always more anamorphics to talk about. If you want, you can support this channel on Patreon and help making it better, with more lenses and more videos – besides all the cool rewards. I’m Tito Ferradans and I’ll see you next week.
I think I did SLR Magic wrong when I used the Russian set as taking lenses for the previous tests. I didn’t have some of the Contax Zeiss back then, but now that I do, either the Compact Anamorphot is much better than its predecessors or the taking lenses affected the previous ones a great deal. On this one, for day time I had no issues focusing with any of the tested focal lengths and I was able to quickly find sharpness fiddling with the normal-near ring as well as the taking lens’ focus ring. At low light I still got some diamond shapes here and there, but when I found focus, the image sharpened up alright.
The SLR Magic Anamorphot 1.33x-40 Compact – quite a long name, right? – is SLR Magic’s THIRD take on a 1.33x adapter, announced at this year’s NAB, back in April. This is the smallest and lightest one yet, at 244g.
It features 52mm threads at the back to attach to various taking lenses and 62mm threads at the front, for smaller (and cheaper!) diopters.
Alignment is set just like the previous version, by reverse rotating the ring on the rear threads until it locks against the taking lens. It’s very simple and intuitive and I think it’s something that other adapters could use as a reference.
Its design is reminiscent of the Century Optics adapter, with a small body and square optics and focusing done mostly by the taking lens. The difference is while the Century has fixed focus between 4m and infinity, struggling for closer focus, the Compact has the Near/Normal dial which allows you to fine tune your focus range (just like the big Century WS-13). This improves image quality considerably when aiming at objects at close range down to 0.8m. If you wanna get closer than that, I would recommend diopters anyway.
The square glass and lesser squeeze translate into subtle oval bokeh which needs to be pushed through the use of diopters.
PRICE and AVAILABILITY
When it comes to buying these babies, eBay seems to be the worst place to go, The Compact is readily available at B&H for North America and UK Digital for Europe. Something I fail to understand is how pricy this lens gets when sold on Europe. On North America it retails for $500 but for our old-world counterparts, it goes for $750.
The center of the image is pretty decent at any aperture, but the falloff to the edge blurriness is directly related to how stopped down your taking lens is. Wide open, things go blurry rather fast. The Compact is also not a huge fan of longer lenses, and I would cap my range at 85mm.
Did you actually expect NOT to see insanely saturated flares? On some of my lenses, it created this cross-type flare, with very strange edges, and in some others, normal, overly blue streaks. I posted a tutorial on how to tweak the hue on these flares a while ago. Check it out!
For sensor coverage, the size of the front optics and how recessed they are on the taking lens matters very much. I got unacceptable results while using a 35mm but the frame cleaned up nicely at 40mm with Canon’s pancake. I wanted to test a 50mm just to be sure vignette wouldn’t come back due to recessed optics.
If you just got here, I recommend checking back on the older SLR Magic episodes but before you go do that, don’t forget to subscribe and hit the like button. If you have any questions, shoot them in the comments below. I’m Tito Ferradans and I’ll see you next week.
Tito Ferradans back for a last minute present. Also, what kind of wannabe web-celeb would I be if I didn’t lie, saying the last post was the actual last? In the description of this video you can download the After Effects preset for the ReAlignment Tool. It’s nothing fancier than a corner pin effect with a few expressions and a slider control tied together to make your workflow easier.
Install it by dropping it in the correct folder _ say folder _
The process for using it is: bring the footage into After Effects, stretch it out on a composition and drag the Post-Alignment Tool from the Effects tab onto your footage layer. In the effect controls, drag the slider to the right or left. This will skew your image proportionally in either direction until you find it’s looking aligned.
This won’t work with intense misalignment and you will lose some resolution in the process. For me, the best scenario is using this tool with 2x stretch footage that I’m cropping to 2.4:1. Since I’m cropping the sides, the edges revealed by the corner pin never become a problem.
Alright, that was it, your Christmas present from me. Enjoy, have fun, I don’t know, just fix your damn footage. Like the video to counter the haters and subscribe to the channel because we’re back in the first weekend of January with the SLR Magic Compact Anamorphot review. Happy holidays! Tito Ferradans out.