Anamorphic

Bolex Moller 16/32/1.5x

October 7, 2018

The Bolex Moller 16/32/1.5x holds celebrity status among anamorphic adapters. It’s time to compare it to the very similar Moller 32/1.5x and see if the craze is justified.

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Tito Ferradans here for a review that’s two in one. Earlier back this year Evan Burns was kind enough to let me have BOTH of his Moller lenses for a little bit while he didn’t need them. The fun part is that one was a Bolex Moller 16/32/1.5x and the other one was just Moller 32/1.5x. The footage that comes is from the Bolex Moller, but I shot technical comparisons with both lenses so you could see the differences.

WOW, this lens is sharp. As soon as I mounted it and went out to test I knew they were worth their high price. I used a Rectilux HCDNA to make the system single focus and due to the smaller size of the Bolex (especially when compared to 2x projection lenses), I almost couldn’t lock it to the HCDNA using the original screws, and benefited from reduced vignetting when compared to bigger scopes. I was able to easily run and gun and nail some pretty intense shots due to focus being so clear. By the way, do you also know anyone that bikes in the snow? Bokeh looks amazing and oval, which was a surprise due to the lesser 1.5x stretch factor and the flares are gorgeous. Aaah, can I keep one of these?

In years playing with anamorphics I had never actually seen one of these lenses. They’re fairly large, or at least larger than I expected, but not bulky. It’s one of those lenses that have the perfect size and weight for what they do. For reference, they weigh 370g each.

Focus throw is long, just like the Iscorama, almost full circle, and it comes down to just under 1m (3ft). Oddly enough, these ones extended when focused to infinity and became shorter at minimum focus. I’ve heard different stories from other users, so if you have any insight, please leave a comment below!

The back has non-standard threads, which require clamps. Redstan makes some fine clamps for the Bolex and Rapido also offers some great options. From there you can find your alignment through the flares. The front has regular 62mm threads, which saves you some money buying another clamp. Just step rings will do.

If you’re already in love and desperate for one of these, I have bad news. They only show up eventually and their prices are pretty high. The latest I saw was between $2000 and 2500, not too far behind of an Iscorama – even closer when you add the cost of a single focus solution.

Image quality of the Bolex is insane. This adapter goes hand in hand with any taking lens you pick, never hindering its resolving power, no matter the aperture. Corners are also quite good, as long as you don’t push it to vignetting. When we compare the Bolex to the Moller it’s easy to see the Bolex has better coatings and contrast, but IQ doesn’t change much between them.

Flares are purple/blue on the Bolex, which is quite sci-fi and modern, but not too much. This is like the exact opposite of the Iscorama in terms of color tone, but the same when it comes too mood. Due to different coatings, the Moller has neutral flares, which take on the color of your light source. Not a common trait these days and it’s directly related to the lesser contrast we saw in the previous test.

When it comes to vignetting, the two are the same, clearing dark corners just over 50mm on full frame. The Rectilux HCDNA makes vignetting a bit more intense, requiring slightly longer lenses to clear the entire shot. It’s not too bad, and you’ll be fine if you’re going for a 2.4:1 crop instead of the whole 2.66:1.

These are two of the best adapters I’ve ever played with, the Bolex taking the superior edge here over the Moller. I can understand why their users love them so much and the cult that exists around them. I wouldn’t think much if given the choice between a Kowa B&H and a Bolex Moller.

What would your pick be? After seeing this footage, are you still convinced that anamorphic has to be 2x stretch? Are we gonna see an even higher increase in the prices for the Mollers now? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Subscribe to the channel to be notified of new videos – like the comparison between Bolex and Iscorama that I have coming up – and like this video if it was useful to you! I’m Tito Ferradans and I’ll see you next week.