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.


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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.