The Aivascope came out as an alternative to the Baby Hypergonar. Does it live up to the expectations? It’s an enjoyable 1.75x baby scope, that’s for sure!
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I had more fun than I originally anticipated with the Aivascope. Image quality works great for slower apertures and smaller sensors – I shot all of this on a S35 crop on the A7s2 – but once you start to move towards faster apertures, the image crumbles and we get a lot of streaking, blooming and diamond bokeh, it’s hard to tell what’s in focus. The lens also introduces super intense distortion, particularly noticeable while panning and wider taking lenses close to vignetting. It’s somewhat of the same effect of the Kowa B&H at 58mm. This makes the Aivascope an excellent candidate for processing with the Anamorphic Mumps Corrector in an attempt to even out the frame a little more. In these tests I was also using the Focuser 8, which is the single focus duo for the Aivascope – review coming later.
The Aivascope is a tiny, baby, 1.75x scope based off the Baby Hypergonar, which was designed for 8mm film. It weights mere 149g, less than half a pound and it’s not even two inches tall. Made by Valdas Misevicius in Lithuania, this first generation of the Aivascope was a bit of wild card, never achieving lots of love but still staying away from all the hate. The small body makes it a great contender for the GH5 and it allows for tiny, portable, rigs.
It came with this easy to handle clamp that combines screws and threads, which makes it super easy to mount and align, featuring 52mm rear threads and 52mm front threads for diopters and filters.
The Aivascope originally sold for around $800 and now you can only get it in the used market, since Valdas moved on to make an improved version of the lens which is considerably more expensive – and it’s also NOT the one covered here today.
Image quality was ok at f/5.6 and slower, but you can hardly tell these little letters apart when we’re at f/1.4 or 2. You can also notice the quality drops fast at the edges and this “blur falloff” comes quite far towards the center. The Aivascope also doesn’t love long lenses and my best performers were 35 and 50mm.
For everything the Aivascope lacks in image quality, it makes up for it in flares. These are some of the most awesome flares I’ve ever seen since I got into anamorphics. The yellow is super uncommon and the streaks really blend with the frame. It just works for me.
As for vignetting, we get a bit of vignetting at 28mm, but it clears 35mm on S35, which equals 50mm on Full Frame – and that’s pretty impressive for a 1.75x stretch. Still, the edges are warpy.
Overall, I was not expecting this much from the tiny Aivascope, it was fun to shoot with it, there’s no extra rings that require fiddling for optimal image quality, it has its own single focus solution, the Focuser 8, and I don’t think it quite matches the Baby Hypergonar in performance, but still a nice addition to the 1.75x options out there.
What did you think of the Aivascope? Valdas just released a Mk II version on eBay and I’m looking forward to trying that out and comparing both. Subscribe now so you get updates when new episodes come online and to hear about the Focuser 8, supermatch with this adapter. Please like this video before you go, and let me know if you have any suggestions in the comments below! I’m Tito Ferradans and I’ll see you next week.