Magic Portrait Filter – Anamorphic Looking Filter?!

April 15, 2018

I’m in Japan and I’m finding all sorts of crazy things here! Among them a Magic Portrait filter, which seems to be an anamorphic filter. How does this work?!


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Heya folks! Tito Ferradans here and if you follow me on instagram or facebook, you know I’m in Japan. Yay! As my voice tells, I’m also a little sick. I went out exploring the used camera shops and while I stumbled on a Hypergonar for a decent price, the true surprise was THIS guy on a !FREE JUNK! box. This is a 55mm Kenko Magic Portrait filter. It does look a lot like anamorphic so I took it for a spin and this is what I got using the 35 and 50mm on the Contax set. I tried on the 28mm too but vignette was obvious.

You can already see the inside edges of the filter on the 35mm shots. The most interesting thing about this filter is, as the name states, that it is a portrait-oriented filter, so performance is designed for close focus. I can’t get sharp infinity, but I can come up really close to my subjects and still get decent focus. It plays really well with high-key scenes, and there’s a diffusion to it that also helps with making nice portraits. You have to stop down your lens, though: I couldn’t get anything close to clean faster than f/4. And yes, it flares.

I didn’t know the stretch factor for it, so I had to figure it out on my own! The result is… 1.10x

As a matter of fact, I didn’t know much about this thing at all. The fact that it’s called Magic Portrait and it makes people thinner is a bizarre concept to me and if it wasn’t for my interest in anamorphics I would’ve never picked this up. A while ago I saw a bit of chat about one of these filters in the Anamorphic Shooters group but I didn’t chase the subject. In terms of price, this one I got for free, but there’s a couple on eBay around $30. Is it worth it? I can’t really tell, but I’m keeping this one as a souvenir!

What do you think of the filter? Is this the true anamorphic on a budget? Do you think it’s a worthy trinket? Let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe to the channel and like this video. My schedule in Japan has been insane but I already got to meet some awesome people and I’m hoping to start collaborating with them soon, so stay tuned! Tito Ferradans out.