Anamorphic on a Budget – SLR Magic Ep 02 – Anamorphot 2.0x-50

December 13, 2015

The second episode of the SLR Magic series goes over the bigger and heavier Anamorphot 2.0x-50, closer to a double focus system, it doesn’t perform so well at fast apertures, which let me down a bit. The Rangefinder turns it into a much better lens, so keep an eye for next week’s video!


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Welcome back, ladies and gentleman, for the second episode of the SLR Magic Anamorphic series, I’m Tito Ferradans and this week I’m gonna ramble about the Anamorphot 2.0x-50. If you haven’t watched last week’s episode, I strongly advise you to do it, since there are some key aspects shared by both lenses and SLR Magic’s guidelines which I won’t repeat because these videos are already too long!

The Anamorphot 2.0x has a more anamorphicky feel, with 2x stretch, making oval bokeh much more noticeable, and it’s quite larger and heavier than the 1.33x. It weights around 500g and keeps the 62mm rear threads plus 77mm front threads. Alignment is identical to the 1.33x, with a reverse lock ring – which is pretty awesome -, but getting it aligned properly is trickier and I wouldn’t trust just the white line, but also check with flares every time.

It features the Near/Normal dial too, but Andrew Chan from SLR Magic informed me they’ll be mostly sold along the Rangefinder since double focus wasn’t such a hit. For that reason, these tests will be conducted with the Rangefinder attached. If it’s not being used, the settings will indicate that. The lens was released very very recently so there is still little information about it going around.

A little more expensive than the 1.33x version, the 2.0x retails for US$1200 or US$1600 if you include the Rangefinder in the package. You can get it at SLR Magic’s website or Adorama.

This one isn’t supposed to perform good faster than f/4, and that shows pretty easily. I still find resolution a bit too compromised even at slower apertures on the 135mm, so I guess it didn’t like the Tair 11A very much. Maybe it performs better with modern lenses. Poor edge quality is also quite noticeable, disregarding the aperture.

Also, if you go too extreme on the fast apertures, you’ll get diamonds all around for bokeh, as you can see in this other video.

Helios 44-2 CENTER

Helios 44-2 CORNERS

Jupiter 9 CENTER

Jupiter 9 CORNERS

Tair 11 CENTER



As saturated as the 1.33x version, I’d definitely give these lenses a go if I wanted an extreme sci-fi look from the flares. Using a warm light source takes a little of the saturation, but it’s still very strong. A useful tip is that you might be able to fine tune this strong blue with a hue adjustment in post without affecting the rest of the shot, since it’s so well defined.

Helios 44-2

Helios 44-2 WITH Rangefinder

Just for the record I also shot the flares without the Rangefinder, the effect is the same, just a couple more added elements, also blue and a little streaking out up or down from the light source – which I thought looked pretty cool since it’s not a common artifact.

Again, tests shot with and without the Rangefinder. Without the Rangefinder, you’re able to get an almost vignette free image at 58mm with the Helios 44, which is kind of amazing. Not even the Kowa does so good on a 16:9 frame. Switching to the El-Nikkor clears the image completely, and the Jupiter 9 is just for comparison, since most 2x anamorphics are only vignette free at 85mm. Yeah, distortion is pretty extreme, but if you’re just planning on using a 4:3 crop, you’re all good!

Helios 44-2

El-Nikkor 63mm f/2.8

Jupiter 9

When the Rangefinder comes into play, the 2.4:1 aspect ratio becomes mandatory for both the Helios and the El-Nikkor, with massive black edges.

Helios 44-2 WITH Rangefinder

El-Nikkor 63mm f/2.8 WITH Rangefinder

Jupiter 9 WITH Rangefinder

In some ways the Anamorphot 2.0x-50 was very similar to the 1.33x, since both lenses have a very similar design, but I struggled a lot more with focus this time, even at slower apertures, having to close it down to f/8 or f/11 at some points when most lenses are fine at f/5.6. You can also check this test with a 3.56:1 aspect ratio on this other link, but for here I’ll stick with 2.4:1, which clears the frame from most of the distortion on the sides – side note: distortion isn’t always a bad thing, since anamorphics are the only way to achieve such artifact. Having the Rangefinder on simplified things a lot, saving me from a truly double focus system, but still wasn’t enough most of the times to be absolutely positive if something was in focus or not.


The low light part was HARD. I tried to hang on to f/4 for best results and to avoid the diamond shaped bokeh, but that caused an increase in the ISO values, plus I had to go for better lit environments – no matchstick flares this time – which aren’t always available for the guerrilla shooter. There are a few f/2.8 shots in there and it’s quite easy to spot them. I feel this Anamorphot wasn’t expected to be used on full frame sensors and it should perform much much better on MFT or even APS-C.

This series of videos has only been made possible thanks to SLR Magic, so thank you for the opportunity, I hope you guys found some useful information in this video. Subscribe now for next week’s video and then go to my blog for extra links and stuff! See you next Sunday, discussing the Rangefinder, which was already used on this video, but will have a proper review by then! Also, any and all help spreading these videos around is more than welcome, along with feedback. Are these reviews interesting? Is there anything in particular you’d like to see? Comment below or shoot me a message! Tito Ferradans out.

  • TFerradans. · Anamorphic on a Budget – SLR Magic Ep 03 – Rangefinder December 20, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    […] As discussed in the previous Anamorphot videos, the Rangefinder adds a few blue elements to the flare. In the distance they disappear among the […]

  • TFerradans. · Anamorphic Chop Shop – Flipping the Century Optics August 7, 2016 at 8:51 am

    […] The last test is for longer lenses and I used a Jupiter 9 – 85mm – at f/2.8 to see how it performed and if the stretch factor was affected by the flipped rear element. I won’t deny the mod is much sharper than the original configuration for close focus, but the stretch factor indeed decreases. In my case, I was getting around 1.25x. Also, you can notice the diamond shaped bokeh indicating that there’s something wrong with the setup (much like what I mentioned about the SLR Magic Anamorphot 1.33x-50) […]