Monthly Archives:

March 2018


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!