Thread: SLR Magic 65 1.33x Anamorphic - Anybody try one?

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  1. #1 SLR Magic 65 1.33x Anamorphic - Anybody try one? 
    Senior Member Zack Birlew's Avatar
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    Hey, everybody, just looking at anamorphics again and saw the price on the SLR Magic 65 1.33x at $900 and wondered if it might be an interesting option for some of my larger lenses. I already have the SLR Magic 2x anamorphic and love it but it's for lenses with 62mm filter threads and below and the 65 is rated for 82mm filter threads so it's much bigger albeit with the drop to 1.33x squeeze, which is fine with me if it's possible to use it just for my wide angle lenses. I'm planning on my next feature to be anamorphic but I'm just not sure what we'll be using lens-wise as of yet and I want to move to a full frame camera if possible. When looking at the 65 1.33x, I've only seen reviews for APSC coverage and no tests with full frame lenses. Has anybody tried one? Does it work with full frame alright? How wide can you go? Any critical drawbacks to think about? Also, how far can you focus the taking lens while leaving the adapter at infinity?
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Zack Birlew's Avatar
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    Alright, didnít get any answers so Iíll have to find out on my own, just placed my order! Iíll let you all know how it goes. ;)
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  3. #3  
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    what focal length 2x slr magic do you have and do you like it? Im looking at buying the MFT mount 2x 35mm slrmagic anamorphic for my pocket 4k...
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  4. #4  
    Senior Member Zack Birlew's Avatar
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    I have the 2X adapter, not one of their anamorphic lenses. From what I understand, the lenses are just precisely mated lenses with the 2X adapter incorporated in the design as a single focus unit. Iíve heard theyíre pretty nice if they fit your mount, Iím not a MFT guy but I do have the Pocket 4K with an APSC speedbooster on it. The adapter itself has 62mm filter threads so lenses need to be small enough to fit, like standard focal lengths in Canon FD, Nikon, and other SLR-sized lenses, which is why Iím looking at the 65 1.33x adapter for added range in lens choice.
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member Zack Birlew's Avatar
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    Okay, I tested the adapter out and it turns out to be a dud!

    To start, the lens had dust inside it from the factory which was a shocking quality control issue and I would have to send it back nonetheless. Still, I wanted to test it out and I decided to test right away with how wide I could go with it.

    While I could get a sharp image out of the adapter with every lens I tried, it became very apparent that the lens would be a hassle to use on set with lens changes between shots. The workflow with attaching the lens is the main hassle that slows you down because it’s supposed to screw onto your lens and then rotate to position but, in practice, this is quite difficult as the lens is wound so tight that you often accidentally unscrew the lens and it is made worse with added tedium when using step rings.

    About pulling focus, the double focus wasn’t too bad and the lens was a little forgiving if you were off slightly, however, this sometimes meant you weren’t one hundred percent sure if you were in complete focus if you had to eyeball focus in the field. Ideally you would line up both the lens and adapter in the same focus position but sometimes you may have to adjust and set things quickly in an awkward camera position so I could see this being a problem and a case where you couldn’t always use this lens as your sole anamorphic adapter. As a side note, you could somewhat get away with leaving the 65 adapter’s focus in place at infinity or nearest and focus just the taking lens but it’s limited and is a much narrower margin than I had hoped.

    Some may complain about the added heft of the adapter but I didn’t mind as the best thing SLR Magic did was put a squared off tripod foot on the lens to help for easy calibration and stability. Calibrating anamorphic adapters during attachment is one of the hardest parts about using such adapters as you can easily be slightly off and end up with oddly skewed footage if you’re not careful. With this adapter, it was actually very easy and simple to do as long as you didn’t accidentally unscrew the adapter from the lens while doing it, of course.

    Despite having a large rear element with 82mm filter threads, the lens coverage is no better than other anamorphic lenses with full frame use requiring 80mm and up. I even tested it with Mamiya 645 lenses and it was like I had expected with 80mm being the minimum when accounting for a Kipon Medium Format Speedbooster. Using no Kipon Speedbooster you could say that the Mamiya 645 45mm and 55mm work but with the crop factor on full frame there’s no point.

    The anamorphic image was the worst part of the lens. The 1.33x squeeze of the lens never felt right, unlike my old Panasonic LA7200 or Century Optics 1.33x, and I can confirm some reports I read where the squeeze ratio shifts around when focusing the adapter. On top of that, it seems like SLR Magic did everything they could to take out the anamorphic look of the lens, flares so muted that you could almost say the lens doesn’t flare, bokeh that’s barely squeezed or distorted to the point it’s about as round as the taking lens, and the undependable squeeze ratio makes for one of the dullest anamorphic adapters I’ve ever tried.

    Overall, I wanted to love the 65 adapter but it was a real disappointment. I really do enjoy SLR Magic’s 2x anamorphic adapter and wished that they would just make a larger diameter version of that for use with bigger lenses and even wider lenses on full frame. I would also say that SLR Magic needs to make matching rangefinders for their anamorphic adapters, if not incorporate them into the design for easy single focus use as this double focus issue is most likely a deterrent to their anamorphic products. Most importantly, I can’t stress enough that SLR Magic needs to get away from the Micro Four Thirds and APSC standard and focus on products designed for full frame as those smaller formats can go up but larger formats can’t go back down for the most part. Unless something better comes out, I’ll probably have to rethink my anamorphic lens options for my next projects and end up with a more limited range than I had hoped for.
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  6. #6  
    Here are some still camera tests of the 50mm 1.3X Sirui anamorphic lens for APS-C, if you're interested.







    David Mullen, ASC
    Los Angeles
    http://www.davidmullenasc.com
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  7. #7  
    Senior Member Zack Birlew's Avatar
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    Oh yes, the Sirui lens is incredibly nice and I could see building a set of those once there’s more in the line. However, my goal for my next movie is to use above APSC and film with the anamorphic format. Adapters like the SLR Magic 2x help with that but I had hoped for something more with the 65 1.33x since our lens range will be slightly limited. We’re still a ways off so hopefully something from SLR Magic, Sirui, or someone else comes out by then.
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