A Guide to Anamorphic Lenses for Photography

Anamorphic lens guide

Bella C |

Using an anamorphic lens for still photography has become a great way to create a unique image view that shifts and changes with the viewer's perspective. The word “anamorphic” comes from the Greek word "to transform," meaning images appear normal from one perspective, but because of the unique shape of the lens, they’re different from a new angle.


Anamorphic lenses for photography are essential in any photographer’s kit, adding the ultimate wide-angle shots that shift the audience’s perspective.

 Pictured by SIRUI 35mm anamorphic lens

Benefits of Anamorphic Lens for Photography

Compression with No Distortion

Because using the anamorphic lens for photography offers a wide angle, even close-up shots can feature that wide angle without distorting the subject. This gives a unique form of compression with a shallow depth of field that’s visually stunning.


Oval Bokeh

Bokeh is the quality of out-of-focus spaces in an image, especially regarding out-of-focus lights. Spherical lenses feature circular bokeh. However, when using an anamorphic lens for photography, the bokeh is oval, giving a distorted quality to out-of-focus objects and bringing increased clarity to the subject of anamorphic lens photography.


Flaring Effects

Because light interacts and moves within the lens when using an anamorphic lens for photography, reflecting more light inside the optics, anamorphic lenses bring a distinct flaring effect. This can include sharp streaks of light or soft blooms. Different coatings or filters can enhance, control, and manipulate these effects.


It's important to note that this can include a horizontal lens flare that's excellent for nature and landscape photography, including sunlight because it can be executed and leveraged within the image when using an anamorphic lens for still photography.


Rack Focusing

An anamorphic lens's focusing and stretching effects for photography create rack focusing. This playful switch between in-focus and out-of-focus areas can make a vertical stretch that pulls focus from one point to another. Anamorphic lenses are ideal for this effect because of their oval shape.


Best Practices for Using Anamorphic Lens for Photography

Adapt and Go

Getting off the ground quickly with your anamorphic lens for photography will be made much easier by leveraging adapters. This way, you don't have to change the prime lens on your camera and can start shooting with an anamorphic camera lens right away.


Focus and Refocus

Autofocus will not work with an anamorphic lens for photography, so you’ll need to practice your manual focusing. Learning how to manually adjust your ISO, focal length, aperture settings and more will help you with this.


Another important fact when using an anamorphic lens for photography is being able to focus on your subject in-camera without your lens attached, then attaching the lens and focusing again. That will create a better focus than before. The weight change might cause your camera to shift, so you may find using a monopod for stability useful.


Leveraging the Anamorphic Lens for Still Photography

Anamorphic lens photography gives a wide range of effects and options that photographers can easily play around with to find the ideal image distortion. This is part of why using an anamorphic lens for photography has become a staple of the industry.


SIRUI is proud to offer the most impressive and advanced anamorphic lens for photography. For more photography ideas and to see our anamorphic lens for photography, visit our website.


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