The Century 1.33x was one of the first lenses I tested in this channel. How does this unbranded version compare to the Century? Someone should start making these again for cheap.
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In almost every aspect this adapter is a clone of the Century Optics 1.33x. They were made in multiple flavors: Soligor, Optex, Century and – apparently – unbranded too. It performs nicely when stopped down but again we start to see bokeh artifacting and loss of resolution on faster apertures if I’m not being smart with my diopters.
1.33x stretch is a great combo for 16:9 sensors, stretching out to perfect Cinemascope without requiring any crop. This one is super light, 170g, just under half a pound and very compact when compared to most adapters.
This is a fixed focus adapter, which means that you’ll rely heavily on diopters for getting anything closer than 4m (12ft) sharp. That whole “focus through” concept is nonsense. Whenever you’re focusing with just the taking lens, you’re compromising your image quality. Get yourself a front clamp – or make one! – and use a cheap diopter kit with this one.
Mounting is easy, this lens has 52mm rear threads and it came with a 37-52mm adapter which I can only think it was meant to be used with handycams. While the Century has a screw-lock mechanism for alignment, this one relies on a rubber band type of thing, which was surprisingly reliable and fast to adjust on the go.
These used to sell for $300 when I got into anamorphics, then jumped to $500 and nowadays they go for $750. I think that’s a bit much, and their maximum value should be around $550 – ideally less. These unbranded versions are harder to come by on eBay but that’s no excuse for hiking the prices.
When it comes to image quality, the center is pretty decent at any aperture as long as you use proper diopters, but the edges are blown to garbage the wider you go, and recover a bit when stopped down. As most fixed focus adapters, this one also dislikes longer lenses and you can see the quality drop from 50 to 85mm and more on the 135mm.
Flares are a nice mix of blue and purple. Personally this is one of my favorite tones for flares. If SLR Magic was able to reproduce this instead of radioactive blue, they’d have a much better market acceptance.
The only aspect that this adapter outperformed the Century was vignetting – and I can’t quite point out why without having both to compare. While the Century can only clear down to 35mm on full frame, this one can go almost to 28mm, with very slight dark corners.
The ability to go wider with the taking lenses makes anamorphic distortion more pronounced in a good way – not the crazy warping you see on the Kowas or the Aivascope. I like this adapter, it’s super easy to use, small and light, and it brings out most of the anamorphic look. Pair it with an anamorfake and you’re set for bokeh, flares and distortion – the Pentacon 29, Mir 1B or Contax 35mm are all excellent candidates.
AFTER you subscribe and like this video, I’d love to hear your opinion about 1.33x adapters combined with anamorfakes for boosting up the look? What’s more important in a rig, size or stretch? On that reflecting note I’m ending this episode. I’m Tito Ferradans and I’ll see you next week.