Kowa Variance and GH5 Anamorphic Calculator

March 21, 2018

It’s time to admit past mistakes and share info on the top tier Kowas. I also updated the Anamorphic Calculator so it works properly when you pick the GH5 in the menu!


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Tito Ferradans here for a quick video with little bits and pieces of updated info on old episodes!

You might remember the comparison I made between the Kowa B&H and the Elmo II, correct? Then, I recently posted a comparison between all the other Kowas (16-H, 8-Z and B&H). Some might have also noticed that the review for the Rectilux HardcoreDNA was shot with an Elmo II instead of the regular Kowa B&H and quality had absolutely no difference, right? That is because I was wrong on my Kowa vs Elmo video. After that episode I got a lot of feedback from several users claiming that their Elmos were better than other Kowas they tried.

After several months, multiple Kowas and Elmos, I feel it’s safe to say these are all the same. Putting it in all the words, Elmoscope II, Kowa B&H, Kowa 16-H and Kowa 8-Z are the same lens. They might have slight cosmetic differences, but in the end they are all the same glass. What creates the difference between them is sample variance. Some are amazing, some not so good. It depends on how life has treated them and if they have been recently serviced or not.

Before anyone starts pointing out that they could be different, here are the only things I noticed: their coatings can vary and you could have either purple or golden flares depending on when the lens was made; also, the 16-H and 8-Z are capable of going a hair wider than the B&H – you can see that for yourself on the Kowa 16-H comparison.

Now that this information is out there, grab your Elmos while they’re cheaper! The tendency is for sellers to match the highest prices in the market (aka, the B&H, at around a thousand bucks). That also means that every mod in my Kowa playlist is applicable to any of these lenses! You should check it out.

The second part of this video is about an update for the Anamorphic Calculator. The Panasonic GH5 has been shaking the community since it came out, and gathered a lot of interest recently with its firmware update. I reached out to GH5 shooters and worked its math for the calculator. You can fiddle with it on the blog, the link is on the description. Again, the calculator is a tool aimed to give you a close approximation to what’s doable or not. It is as precise as I could make it, but lenses are a wide market and there will always be exceptions to the rules.

That being said, this is one of my most accessed tools, with very little negative feedback, so I’d say it’s pretty well put together. It was even copied by someone else without giving me credits! I see plagiarism as one of the greatest honors in modern day. It sucks, yes, but still, it’s so good that someone went through the trouble of copying it and trying to take the credit! After that event I included a link on the blog for anyone to embed the app in their website.

I’ll be back next week with some more serious business here. For now, subscribe if you haven’t yet and leave a comment below if you managed to break the calculator, or if you have strong opinions about what I said on the Kowas and Elmos. If you absolutely LOVE this channel, take a peek at my Patreon page and pick something you like. The help is more than welcome, as time becomes a scarce commodity! Ferradans, out.