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.


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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.