Monthly Archives:

October 2017

Anamorphic

Anamorphic on a Budget – Kowa 16-D

October 15, 2017

Moving down in the budget line for the Kowa series, this is one of the smaller adapters. You save money but trade off in performance. Special thanks to Eli Hershko for lending me his lens.

USEFUL LINKS:

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 everyone, Tito Ferradans here to talk about the smaller Kowa 16-D. Now that almost all the big ones have been covered, it’s time to check out the other options. As all Kowas, this is a projection lens, which means double focus, which means pain. The advantage of its small size is that it’s easy to fit it into most single focus solutions out there. For this one, I’ve been using the Rectilux Hardcore DNA. This adapter goes a little too heavy on the vintage look and the artifacting is too much for my taste.

OVERVIEW
Before moving forward, I’d like to thank Eli Hershko for sending me the lens. He originally sent it to get it fine tuned, as its inner mechanism is the same as the bigger Kowas, and then he let me keep it for a little longer so I could shoot this review. Thanks Eli!

Now, to the most pressing note about the Kowa 16-D: this lens is NOTHING like the Sankor 16-D. The Sankor 16-D is much bigger and delivers better results. Stop asking or saying they’re the same!

As a conventional projection lens, it’s 2x stretch and double focus. I highly recommend a single focus solution, since the small front element will help in not getting any extra vignette. Focus ranges from 1.5m – 5ft – to infinity, in about 300 degrees of throw.

The compact size yields a good weight, just under 300g, but you won’t be able to use crazy fast lenses. The rear element is about 2.5cm (1 inch) wide, limiting light transmission. Your maximum aperture will depend on your taking lens too, and you can figure that out with the Anamorphic Calculator.

As any Kowa so far, the threads at the back are non-standard and the front has no threads at all. You’ll need clamps. I made a filler ring for my 3d printed clamp and used that for the review. For the front, since I was using the HardcoreDNA, I only needed to fill the gap, so I made another filler ring – you guessed it, the links for all these files are in the video description. If you don’t like – or trust – 3d prints, you can get solid clamps from Redstan or Rapido.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
Pricing is when people get happy about this adapter. It usually goes from $200 to $350. You won’t need much luck to get it for even less, if you have your alerts active.

RESOLUTION
As a Kowa-branded lens, the 16-D is sharp at its center, even at fast apertures, but the edges quickly lose quality becoming too warpy and soft. I’d stick for longer lenses so you use more of the center area.

FLARES
Apparently the 16-D’s use Kowa’s old formula for coating, which brings into the picture beautiful and strong purple blueish flares from strong light sources.

SENSOR COVERAGE
Due to its small size (I keep repeating that, don’t I?), the 16-D vignettes more easily than its big sisters. On full frame, I can only get a 2.4:1 Cinemascope clean at 58mm, with lots of distortion going on. 50mm is unusable. The next step is at 85mm for full frame clearance. Like the others, there’s strong veiling glare, or white vignette, when too much light is coming through.

You can follow the sharpness tune-up tutorial in order to (very likely) improve your 16-D image quality. This one isn’t my type, the same way heavy projection lenses are not my favorites, the tiny ones aren’t on my list either. I think the trade-off in vignetting and sharpness doesn’t make up for the lighter and smaller design, or the cheaper price tag. If you’re using a crop sensor instead of full frame, you’re much more likely to enjoy this adapter, but I’d recommend something even smaller than S35 or APS-C.

Now is the time you help me out by liking this video and sharing it with your peers. If you have any questions or suggestions, just shoot a comment below and I’ll get back to you. Subscribe to the channel for more anamorphic business and if you want to support my research, take a look at my Patreon page for exclusive rewards. See you next week, Ferradans out.

Anamorphic

Anamorphic on a Budget – Rectilux HardcoreDNA

October 8, 2017

Is the Rectilux HardCoreDNA the ultimate single focus solution? I can’t say there are many others left untested in the market!

USEFUL LINKS:

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!


Cheat sheet with all their info!

Tito Ferradans here for another of those reviews which seem to be long awaited. Let’s talk about the Rectilux HardcoreDNA and the wonders it can make. I’ve been using this guy for the last few reviews and I have no reason to complain.

OVERVIEW
The HardcoreDNA is the upgraded version of the CoreDNA, which is the “compact” version of the Rectilux 3FF-W. With its design and manufacture headed by John Barlow, the Rectilux is a niche product, with small production runs and usually sold out even before the packages are shipped. If you want one, get in line – and soon! – because these can take a while. The difference between the Core and Hardcore is strictly mechanical and you can buy the parts for upgrade separately while keeping the same glass. This review pretty much covers both models.

This piece of gear is a single focus solution, turning an anamorphic double focus system – all of those projection lenses – into single focus. I already wrote about how they work, so go for it if you wanna know the details. If you’re happy with just knowing it works, then be happy, because it works wonders. All you have to do is set both your taking lens and anamorphic adapter to infinity and attach the HardcoreDNA in front of it all. Now all the focus is handled in a single ring.

It weighs 625g – or 1.3lbs -, and it’s quite compact, especially when compared to the bigger Rectilux versions, or the FM Lens. This one is here to fight with the Rangefinder for the title of best single focus solution. It’s got focus gears, distance scales (both in meters and feet), it’s easy to carry, quick to install, fits multiple lenses and delivers impressive results. Also, it comes in black – the previous version, the CoreDNA, came in blueish purple.

Focus comes down to 0.7m, 2ft, with a throw of just under 180 degrees and a non-rotating front element (which is also a plus). The front threads are fit for 86mm filters and the opening on the back is 75mm wide, which goes snuggly around a 72mm step ring. Mounting works by tightening the six screws around the adapter, which makes a strong bond between the Rectilux and the anamorphic adapter.

To make this more interesting and update the Single Focus Shootout, I did all of my tests with both the HardCoreDNA and the Rangefinder.

PRICE and AVAILABILITY
As far as I can tell, all previous batches of the Core/HardCoreDNA have been sold out a while before shipping. John keeps a waiting list and if you wanna get in the next batch, speak directly to him through coredna@transferconvert.co.uk. Payment is required before shipping and also as a way to save your spot on the line. If you don’t like that, the only option is to wait around until someone sells theirs – pro-tip: doesn’t happen very often. Pricing is £749 plus shipping, which translates to roughly $1000 plus shipping.

RESOLUTION
As happened the previous versions, the effects of the Rectilux glass on the scope are hard to notice. After more than a year on and off using single focus solutions, I can tell that there is a subtle softening of the image, but that is easily surpassed by the increased usability single focus brings. I paid close attention and couldn’t notice quality loss around the corners either. You can spot the difference between using a single focus solution versus double focus on the Single Focus Shootout chart.

FLARES
Again, the little things you notice after lots of shooting, the Rectiluxes (all versions) intensify a green streak that’s present on the original scope’s flare or, in some cases, add a green element to the flare. This doesn’t bother me – if it did, I would’ve noticed a long time ago!

SENSOR COVERAGE
The HardCoreDNA fits in front of the scope like a glove, overlapping the mechanics and placing the glass as close as possible. The clamp style is what allows this closeness, opposed to filter threads that reinforce a gap between glass elements. The advantage of having the glass closer is it lowers mechanical vignetting, as there is less obstructions in the light’s path.

Now if I bring back the chart I used for the shootout and put the Rangefinder versus the HardCoreDNA, the crown changes hands by a very slim margin, as many of the advantages of the Rangefinder are also present – or improved – in the new edition of the Rectilux.

If you go back a few episodes, you’ll notice I’ve been using the HardCoreDNA for many of them – Sankor 16-D, Kowa 8-Z, Isco Ultra Star, Kowa 16-D and more in the future. This adapter is my go-to single focus and I didn’t blink when deciding if I should keep my 3FF-W or let it go in favor of the HardCoreDNA. Its only downsides are the high price, when compared to other single focus solutions in the market and the waiting period. I think the images speak for themselves in terms of performance and ease of use. I highly recommend this one here.

Now’s the time I ask you to like the video and share it with others that could be interested in the subject. If you have any questions or requests, post them in the comments below and I’ll give you an answer. If you’re into anamorphics and want more info, subscribe now and maybe check some of the older videos too! If you’re in love with the channel – happens a lot, based on the comments – you can help me out through Patreon. I definitely don’t make enough compared to what I spend on this channel. Tito Ferradans signing out for this week, see you next Sunday.

Anamorphic

Anamorphic on a Budget – Iscomorphot Inflight 16/1.75x

October 1, 2017

One of the less common adapters in the Isco lineup, this is my first 1.75x review. This lens is, in many ways, a beast.

USEFUL LINKS:

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!

Good morning, fellow anamorphic shooters, I’m Tito Ferradans and today we’re gonna chat about a rare projection lens, the Iscomorphot Inflight 16/1.75x. I started out with great expectations for this one, as a member of the Isco lineup and the first 1.75x I’ve played with. The Inflight is a beast – down to every meaning this could have. It’s big, heavy, cumbersome and delivers some of the most impressive images I’ve laid my eyes on. If this adapter was single focus, people would be killing each other for it.

OVERVIEW
This review was only possible thanks to Max Prodaniuk, who let me have the lens for way longer than I planned. Thank you so much, Max! Max shoots out of Ukraine and it’s worth to check out his work!

Ok, enough about Max, let’s talk about the Iscomorphot. There are several Iscomorphots around, with different stretches and sizes, so don’t start thinking any Iscomorphot is gonna be this one. Its surname, “Inflight”, means this adapter lived up in the air, being used to project scope films on airplanes! Since the screen wouldn’t move around, this adapter features a focus-lock mechanism which operates by tightening or loosening the front ring. Focus won’t budge if you screw this down.

Let’s get the tech out of the way. This is a projection lens, the exact type I dislike: heavy, big, hard to lug around, this Iscomorphot weighs 1.2kg or 3lb. The front element is 74mm, with a lot of housing all around, and the rear is 54mm – slightly bigger than an Iscorama 54. It’s got double focus, super long throw, around 400 degrees, markings only in feet, and it focuses from infinity down to a little under 8ft, or 2.5m.

Stretch is pretty rare and special, at 1.75x, meaning it converts 4:3 footage almost perfectly to Cinemascope 2.35:1, as opposed to 2x, that creates the longer 2.66:1.

Due to the extreme front weight, I made my own rail-supported clamp – you can find the link on the video description – and still used a lens support on the 15mm rails. Since most of the adapter rotates while focusing, this was an annoying setup to use and incredibly hard to keep safe while shooting. The other annoying part about this adapter is the lack of front threads combined with a thick housing, which means you’ll have to be resourceful when coming up with a front clamp or diopter-attaching solutions for closer focus and/or single focus.

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
This adapter is so hard to come by that I can’t really trace a price pattern. I think I’ve seen one or two on eBay in the past few years. If you can get this for anything less than $1000, I’d say you’re getting a good deal.

RESOLUTION
This is where I wanted to see if the Isco name was true to all of its lineup – short answer, yes. Double focusing is extra hard on this lens, but once you get it right, the results are crystal clear even at fast apertures and only get better as you stop down the taking lens.

FLARES
For me these look like Iscorama pre-36’s flares on steroids. They’re warm gold, crisper and cleaner than the pre-36’s – which for me is a trait of cine-anamorphics and higher priced lenses. They also seem to wrap around the image in a more organic way, almost bending at the edges. Pretty sweet.

SENSOR COVERAGE
In terms of vignetting, I was able to get almost perfect 2.66:1 using Canon’s 40mm pancake. If you bump it up to 50mm, you’re good for full sensor coverage and the unusual 3.11:1 ratio.

My closing thoughts on this adapter are that the image-making aspects of it are unique in a positive way. Image quality, character, flares, sensor coverage, rare stretch and overall feel are better than most other anamorphics. But the hassle you face to shoot with it is so tough I would think twice or three times before taking it out for an actual project. If you have unlimited time, this lens is amazing. If you have unlimited budget and want to rehouse it, I think it could be one of the strongest adapters out there, especially if combined with a single focus solution. Unfortunately I don’t have all that time, or money – or even this lens, for all that matters! It’s up to you if you want something that’s easy to use or something that looks like nothing else. Regardless of the choice, this is a gem.

What did you think of this one? For questions or suggestions, leave a comment! You should know the drill by now, please like the video and share it with friends that would love this lens! You’re a key part in the growth of this channel, subscribing and sharing the videos helps immensely. If you feel like going the extra mile, I have a bunch of perks out on Patreon and you can be a part of this. This is it for this week. Tito Ferradans out.