Anamorphic Day-to-Day

Anamorphic Chop Shop – Anamorfake Amber Set (37/58/85)

September 25, 2016

Following the idea of the extremely modded Helios, I worked on modding the Mir 1B 37mm f/2.8 and Jupiter 9 85mm f/2. Here’s the look with very basic color grade (curves and saturation). All artifacts, flares and tint come straight from camera.

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You probably remember a few months ago when I posted an extreme tutorial on modifying the Helios 44-2 for crazy looks. It was actually a series of simple operations that involved sanding, polishing and painting parts inside the lens. Since then I’ve sold a number of modded Helios and my original amber has become one of my favorite lenses. The problem is when you want to shoot something more… diverse, having a single focal length can be challenging.

Because of this limitation I decided that I wanted to add versatility to the look. This led me to spending quality time wandering around forums, YouTube and various websites to figure out how to open up a few other lenses. No surprise here, the chosen ones were the Mir 1B (37mm f/2.8) and Jupiter 9 (85mm f/2), to keep the costs down in case of failure and – more importantly – because this is a tried and tested trio. In this process I ended up adding one more step to the Helios mod, but we’ll go about that later.

After figuring out how to crack them open, I cleared my schedule for an entire weekend and devoted myself to making two sets of ambers. At the same time I was comfortable unscrewing every single bit out, there was an intense feeling that I could be wrecking all those lenses at the same time. There were many “creative” solutions on the process but in the end I was able to put everything back together.

A photo posted by Tito Ferradans (@tferradans) on

Since nobody buys weird optics without seeing tests first I took them around the block for another sunset – not as dramatic as the Helios’. Color correction has been kept to a minimum (curves for contrast and boosted up saturation, since I shot at SLog3).

I’m gonna do tutorials further down the line on how to mod the Mir and Jupiter in order to make your own looks, but tests are all I have for this week. If the first video wasn’t enough, here’s another thing I shot with them, this time pairing the ambers to an Iscorama pre36. For that first tracking shot we had the DJI Ronin M at almost maximum load with the A7s2, Helios 44-2, Iscorama and Cinegears wireless follow focus. The close ups were done with the Jupiter 9 and Iscorama, handheld. The final wide shot is just the Mir 1B, as it vignettes too much with the Iscorama.

Tech specs: Each set consists of three lenses, Mir 1B (37mm f/2.8 – aprox f/4), Helios 44-2 (58mm f/2 – aprox f/2.8) and Jupiter 9 (85mm f/2 – aprox f/2.8). The second aperture values are because of the oval disc inside, which limits maximum light transmission. They all feature 49mm filter threads, non-rotating front element while focusing, clickless (preset) aperture rings. All lenses come with front and rear caps. Focus and iris rings are smooth. Multiple elements and inner parts have amber accents for flaring and tone. All three lenses have oval aperture discs inside (while maintaining fully operational apertures) and inner red flare threads for better anamorfaking. They’re natively M42 mount, but come with a rotating M42 to EF adapter so you can realign the oval and flare according to your wishes. Lenses are fitted with seamless focus gears. The Mir 1B has also been modified for a little bit more of close focusing. As for the original lenses, they’re all non-MC models with black bodies.

I have only two sets at the moment, one with polished glass elements (less contrast, more bloom) and one unpolished (the original glass is left untouched), lenses selling individually. You’re able to get unpolished versions of the Mir 1B, Helios 44-2 or Jupiter 9.

My goal now is to let them go, as I have no need for the overwhelming number of lenses I currently own. If you wanna support this project and get some unique gear at the same time, this is a great chance! The videos above were shot using the unpolished set. The price for each set is $650 off-eBay (shipping with tracking included, as well as PayPal taxes). If these are picked up quickly, I’ll consider making more.