Anamorphic on a Budget – Vistascope 16mm

January 21, 2018

The Vistascope or Delrama 16 is the 8mm’s bigger brother. Same principles, bigger glass. It allows for better results with cameras that have bigger sensors.


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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.

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.