Finally an Affordable Anamorphic Lens?

The striking and desirable visuals of anamorphic lenses in cinema have been largely gated behind a high financial entry point. Is that about to change?

Few things are more visually engaging to me than high quality cinematography. The problem was, for decades it was painfully expensive to recreate. That gap between entry-level consumer and cinema grade videography equipment has been shrinking at phenomenal speeds over that last 10 years, with even mobile phones being able to create usable footage. That gap may be further bridged with Sirui's new anamorphic lens which aims to ship in February 2020.

While the jury is still out — we haven't had a chance to test one hands-on yet — the vitals of this piece of equipment are promising. While only for APS-C, this 50mm f/1.8 is light, offers 2.4:1 widescreen aspect ratio, and has a price of $700, making it one of the cheapest anamorphic options available. (Note: it's technically cheaper than that as it's being funded through Indiegogo but we do not endorse crowdfunding campaigns, and until I've tried it myself, I won't recommend it.)

It's a shame it isn't a full frame lens (though my a7 III can use it in crop mode) and it's a shame that it isn't 2X, though there are hints that is coming, albeit unconfirmed hints. However, at such a low price point, this could be a staple in many videographers' camera bags. What are your thoughts?

Rob Baggs's picture

Robert K Baggs is a professional portrait and commercial photographer, educator, and consultant from England. Robert has a First-Class degree in Philosophy and a Master's by Research. In 2015 Robert's work on plagiarism in photography was published as part of several universities' photography degree syllabuses.

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Really wish this was either full frame or, if APS-C, more like 25/28/32mm. You can shoot an entire film with a lens in that range on Super 35/APS-C, but 50mm would be pretty limiting for me.

"It's a shame it isn't a full frame lens (though my a7 III can use it in crop mode) and it's a shame that it isn't 2X"

Not a video person, but I like learning new stuff. Thank you. :)

It's also possible to take anamorphic still photos, you know...

Oooohhh... now see, this is why I need to get busy and sell my fiction work. So I can get filthy rich and buy all the cool new tools I'm learning about.

I've got a 10mm, fixed, Rokinon... not too bad aberation (not sure on my terminology). Just upgraded my mobile phone from an S7 to the S10e... the wide angle lens feature on the camera shows off the curve of the earth right in my backyard. Not so fun.

Do anamorphic still photography lenses account for the curvature? Straighten the scene out?

I have no real need for this lens, I'm not much of a video shooter and I no longer even have a camera that could support it, but I WANT ONE. Hopefully they consider making an EFS version at some point so I can use it with my EOS R. I also would want a 35mm version... Actually, 35 & 50 equivalent would be perfect.