SATEC Dyaliscope Champion

October 28, 2018

Following up on French scopes, this one was sent in by Justin Bacle and it’s a tricky one!


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Hey guys and girls, how’s it going? Tito Ferradans here for a review of yet another French lens! This one sent in by the French Justin Bacle! It’s a long projection lens, so you know what to expect. Let’s go.

This was a challenging shoot. The setup was pretty heavy, regardless of how light the Sony is, because the Dyaliscope is heavy. Focus was also stiff, so I did some modding to a Rectilux HCDNA in order to get single focus. When I had this setup mounted onto the 135mm taking lens, a passerby could claim I was shooting closeups through a telescope – and not in a good way. Overall the image looks “diffuse” to me and the highlights really bloom even when stopped down. It’s not a bad bloom entirely, but it’s a boom nonetheless. Bokeh gets quite smeary when wide open, giving a dreamy look that could be useful depending on the project.

The Dyaliscope Champion is a 2x stretch, double focus, large and heavy projection lens. Not the largest nor heaviest of the French batch, but still bad. The lens weighs 620g and – at least – features 60mm threads on the back, which allow you to use step rings or a clamp to mount it and align. At this load, I’d recommend using rails when shooting with this setup.

The front is large, so large that your only option for clamps is making your own, through 3d printing. It’s in fact so large that a regular HCDNA won’t fit over it. The one I used for these tests was provided by Victor Prokopowitz, as we worked on getting it to fit a Kowa 1.75x. More on that in upcoming videos. So, unless you’re willing to mill out pieces of your HCDNA, your only option is diopters.

The price range for these on eBay is wild. I’ve seen them for a low as $150 all the way up to $400. If it’s a full, ready to shoot, rig, that’s not too bad of a price. But just this lens for $400 is far fetched.

The Dyaliscope shows consistent performance through the entire range of lenses I tested. It displays similar results on similar apertures regardless of focal length. That’s a positive thing. And the edges aren’t as bad as most scopes.

The flares are one of the highlights (heh, did you get it? flare, highlights?) anyway, one of the highlights of this lens, with shiny yellow colors and a good variety with elements. It reminds me of the Aivascope.

Vignetting on this one is worse than the Hypergonar I showed last week. This one shows intense dark edges at 50mm on S35 crop, which is concerning, and only clears at 85mm, which means the threshold for getting 2.4:1 clear on full frame with this lens is above 100mm. The frame is clear of any vignetting at 135mm on S35, which is just over 200mm on full frame.

Just like last week, this lens fuels my disliking for projection lenses. They’re a necessary evil in a market that gives us very few new offerings. This forces new shooters to hash through lots of repurposed things, many of them far from ideal. Some work out, others don’t. If you really have to make this lens work, you can, but it’s not something I’d recommend. The rig becomes impractical and the results are just ok.

Phew, I’ve been really going at it for projection lenses these days, huh? I shot most of these test videos in a row, so after struggling so much with projection lenses and heavy rigs, I was pretty upset at shooting anamorphic. Honestly, it’s not worth it if you hate the process. On that note, next week things are better, so subscribe to hear more about the Moller 32/2x and make sure to hit the like button before you go. If you have any questions or disagree with my harsh remarks about projection lenses, please leave a comment below and we shall talk about it. Tito Ferradans out.