Anamorphic on a Budget – SLR Magic Anamorphot 1.33x-40 Compact

January 14, 2018

Is third time the charm for SLR Magic making 1.33x adapters? The Compact aims to shrink your setup size and time even more, with a decently low price as well!


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I think I did SLR Magic wrong when I used the Russian set as taking lenses for the previous tests. I didn’t have some of the Contax Zeiss back then, but now that I do, either the Compact Anamorphot is much better than its predecessors or the taking lenses affected the previous ones a great deal. On this one, for day time I had no issues focusing with any of the tested focal lengths and I was able to quickly find sharpness fiddling with the normal-near ring as well as the taking lens’ focus ring. At low light I still got some diamond shapes here and there, but when I found focus, the image sharpened up alright.

The SLR Magic Anamorphot 1.33x-40 Compact – quite a long name, right? – is SLR Magic’s THIRD take on a 1.33x adapter, announced at this year’s NAB, back in April. This is the smallest and lightest one yet, at 244g.

It features 52mm threads at the back to attach to various taking lenses and 62mm threads at the front, for smaller (and cheaper!) diopters.

Alignment is set just like the previous version, by reverse rotating the ring on the rear threads until it locks against the taking lens. It’s very simple and intuitive and I think it’s something that other adapters could use as a reference.

Its design is reminiscent of the Century Optics adapter, with a small body and square optics and focusing done mostly by the taking lens. The difference is while the Century has fixed focus between 4m and infinity, struggling for closer focus, the Compact has the Near/Normal dial which allows you to fine tune your focus range (just like the big Century WS-13). This improves image quality considerably when aiming at objects at close range down to 0.8m. If you wanna get closer than that, I would recommend diopters anyway.

The square glass and lesser squeeze translate into subtle oval bokeh which needs to be pushed through the use of diopters.

When it comes to buying these babies, eBay seems to be the worst place to go, The Compact is readily available at B&H for North America and UK Digital for Europe. Something I fail to understand is how pricy this lens gets when sold on Europe. On North America it retails for $500 but for our old-world counterparts, it goes for $750.

The center of the image is pretty decent at any aperture, but the falloff to the edge blurriness is directly related to how stopped down your taking lens is. Wide open, things go blurry rather fast. The Compact is also not a huge fan of longer lenses, and I would cap my range at 85mm.

Did you actually expect NOT to see insanely saturated flares? On some of my lenses, it created this cross-type flare, with very strange edges, and in some others, normal, overly blue streaks. I posted a tutorial on how to tweak the hue on these flares a while ago. Check it out!

For sensor coverage, the size of the front optics and how recessed they are on the taking lens matters very much. I got unacceptable results while using a 35mm but the frame cleaned up nicely at 40mm with Canon’s pancake. I wanted to test a 50mm just to be sure vignette wouldn’t come back due to recessed optics.


If you just got here, I recommend checking back on the older SLR Magic episodes but before you go do that, don’t forget to subscribe and hit the like button. If you have any questions, shoot them in the comments below. I’m Tito Ferradans and I’ll see you next week.