This is like the Baby Kowa Bell & Howell with sci-fi flares. But there are traps all around. Be careful when getting yours! Use the code “Tito” for 15% off on the Phantom LUTs.
All the RED links on this post are part of eBay’s Partner Network, so if you purchase anything through them, you’re helping me to keep this project going.
You can support this project on Patreon. Make your contribution and help the Anamorphic Cookbook!
Tito Ferradans here today with a bit of an identity crisis. This is another video using JSD’s gear, so at this point I’m wondering why do I even have my own gear. Today I’m talking about the Moller 32/2x and this one was fully rigged with a Rapido FMJ and Rapido FVD-16A. I shot these tests while in Japan and editing it together was a bit of a good time-travel.
Alright, Japan might be a small place, but it’s still pretty big. So this was on our way to Hiroshima and the day we spent there. Timeline wise, this was shot the day before I shot the tests with the Hypergonar of two weeks ago. The Moller was a lot easier to shoot. It’s a smaller scope and even adding the FMJ, it didn’t feel too heavy. It actually felt easier to handle. Focus was locked to infinity and all of the focusing was done on the FVD. This is a pretty good projection scope and I don’t have much to say about shooting. Oh, this footage was also shot S-log and I used the Phantom LUTs to quickly create this look. You can find more info about them as well as a discount code in the description below!
The Moller 32/2x is a lens full of catches. It goes by a few names – I had one named Vidoscope, while JSD’s was a plain Moller. There’s also differences in the focus markings and a completely useless version. Let’s get the basics out of the way:
This is a 2x stretch projection lens. It’s small and light, weighing 390g, or a pound, and it’s a breeze to carry around compared to the other stuff I tested in the previous videos. It has 39mm threads on the back, which makes it easy for clamps and alignment. There are no threads on the front. It also has these notches right around the front, which make life harder to get a front clamp to fit snuggly – hence the FMJ.
When we get to the subject of focus, things get sketchy. There are mainly two versions of this lens. The first version (which still goes by multiple names) has focus markings (either in ft, or ft AND meters) and minimum focus at 1.4m (4’10”). Focus throw is about 330 degrees, so quite long. The other version of the lens – regardless of the brand written on it – has no focus marks. This is a telecine version of the lens, with very specific uses and it’s almost useless to anamorphic shooting, as it is unable to focus on infinity. The dead giveaway to the telecine version of the Moller is the recessed rear element you can see in these pictures. Many thanks to Oli Kember for the photos and many other members of Anamorphic Shooters to referring to this difference between these otherwise identical looking lenses. So be careful when buying one of them.
This lens has always been a random roll when it comes to prices. Maybe it’s because of the different versions. Since earlier 2018, these Mollers soared to the $600-800 range and stayed there. It sounds pricy, but just like a Kowa, it’s amazing what this little lens can do, so the price is justified. You’ll find plenty of good footage from it.
Image quality is excellent at the center with any focal lens and aperture, but it drops towards the edges, only getting consistent sharpness across the entire frame when stopped down. Not a surprise. The sharpness on this adapter makes it a great contender for a vintage scope on a smaller sensor.
The flares are interesting. I had a Vidoscope which showed neutral coatings and the resulting flares were more of a muted purple, while JSD’s had strong blue coatings and displayed much more saturated flares.
On full frame the Moller 32 clears the frame at 85mm and vignettes heavily at 50mm. Something in between should be good to get you cleared on 2.4:1, possibly a Helios 44, at 58mm. when shooting on a crop sensor, JSD has worked hard tweaking parts and is able to clear 25mm on the GH5 shooting 4:3.
This was a fun lens to test. It didn’t hinder my style of shooting like the heavier projection lenses, it turned out to be a lens full of exceptions and little details to be aware of, capable of rendering beautiful and sharp images at the same time it shows good vintage character. Good job, Moller. Not a surprise after the 1.5x Mollers, though. All of these positive aspects are probably what drove up the prices of this guy last year, almost doubling in the span of just a few months.
What do you think of the Moller? To me this sounds like a Kowa killer for smaller sensors. It’s compact and versatile. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and please hit the like button to help me grow the channel. If you’re not subscribed yet and you watched this far, you should definitely hit that button too, because there’s a lot more about anamorphic here, including a brand new review next week. I’m Tito Ferradans and I’ll see you then.