FULL FRAME ANAMORPHIC! SIRUI 50mm T2.9 1.6x Lens Review

FULL FRAME ANAMORPHIC! SIRUI 50mm T2.9 1.6x Lens Review

JuneZZ |

SIRUI sent a new lens there, 50mm T2.9 1.6x full frame anamorphic lens. Basically, it's a full frame discount anamorphic lens.

Mount Option

These are probably the most affordable full frame anamorphic lenses out right now. This one's for E mount. I've got to grab an A7 SIII. They come with four mounts, Sony E, L mount, Canon RF, and Nikon Z mount. I would say that this would probably be best on L mount only because Panasonic has really great built in anamorphic modes. And I just think Panasonic's great in general.

Desqueeze & Monitoring

We'll talk about the desqueeze. This guy is a 1.6X which you're supposed to be holding and moving it. It's heavy, that’s how you know, it's seem expensive even though it's actually quite affordable. It's a 1.6X which means that if you want conventional anamorphic cinemascope, whatever you want to call, in theory, they normally aim for like a 2.39:1, 2.4:1, which means you want to shoot that on a 3x2 sensor to get the correct sort of thing.

If you shoot it on 16x9 like these cameras, this one, the Nikon and the Canon, they're all 16x9. Nobody else does a 4x3 or 3x2, right? Then you're going to get like a 2.8:1. It's going to be wider and you're going to be chopping stuff off.

And if you shoot it on a 4x3, then you're not going to get quite wide enough. So the sweet spot is a 3x2 which only two cameras of this mount style, I think. Well, it's the Panasonic S1H and I looked it up S1 got the 6K, 3x2 mode. So my S5 would not be able to shoot this properly for desqueezing in camera. You'll have to do some of your own little work in post but if you wanted to... But you still can't desqueeze them in camera. The anamorphic modes are only 4x3 on the Panasonic so you would shoot 3x2. The back of your screen would look weird. And you can't even desqueeze it properly on a monitor. It's a bit of a cumbersome pain to probably shoot with this, which we'll find out when we actually start shooting with it.

We look at Patrick in the shot. We got flares too. We can see the different like we should get a good sense of what he should look like. So without any desqueeze going on, this is what we're looking at. Got a little cone head.

 And then you've got the 2X 4x3 option.

1.8 looks better but I even though it's wrong and I think 1.5 which is also wrong.

Build & Features

This is a full frame lens. It's also cinema, which means you have gears for your focus and your aperture and we talk about this all the time.

I don't actually know the number, whatever the standard. Kind of like pitch is on those gears. But you also have a de-clicked aperture which is nice. So if you need to change from bright to dark, you can do it gradual and smooth. And I would say that's the one thing that feels a little bit tight. Little tighter than I would normally like. But the focus, the throw is kind of short, though. It’s shorter than I thought it would be for a cinema lens, to be honest. But it's smooth. It's clean. This is tight. Feel the aperture. 82mm front filter thread.

I would say that I'd rather have a stiffer kind of aperture ring, though because you don't want it to slip on you. I want especially if I'm going to have my hand kind of like here for. But the focus feels nice.

Shooting Close Focus & Squeeze

We're going to go shooting out in like high noon sunlight -- Prime time for some quality anamorphic shooting. We'll be looking for like mid-level reflections on chrome and stuff like that and probably Lee with his iPhone with the light on because I'm more curious about the flares than anything else. Also, it's nice having 50 mm on a full frame lens for depth of field, so we'll see if the bokeh swirls kind of kick in because that was a little bit harder for me to find on the micro four thirds version.

Something to test because it was an issue on the crop versions was that the way that this focuses, or I don't know, the way that the previous one focused was that the focus groups moved the anamorphic elements as well. So when you close focused, your squeeze was different. It's basically if you're moving the focus groups that include anamorphic elements, then your squeeze factor is going to change as you focus.

As far as min to max on this one, 0.8 or 2.5 ft-- It's actually reasonably close. That’s pretty good. We'll do it after. We’ll record a test, very next, right next. The next thing you're gonna see is a test of us close and far on a person's face and we'll see if it changes the squeeze or not. Sweet.

Pricing Thoughts

I would just say I think it's exciting that these lenses are being made because I had been researching anamorphic for a long time. And you know, aside from getting old, projector lenses and crazy adapters or spending tens of thousands of dollars, the idea that these are getting democratized and more affordable is just extremely interesting to me. So even if it isn't the best quality in the world as a budget affordable option for your perspective to shoot anamorphic that is very exciting to me.

If you wanted full frame anamorphic lenses, you're spending three times that usually, right? So if you've got to trade off a little bit of optical quality to save some money. Whereas most people will watch and be like, “This is crazy, it looks like I'm watching a movie.” You're going to get the nice lens flares that you want, I think the price is actually pretty solid.

Lee’s Handing Impressions

Not a huge fan of that aperture. It's weird, right? Well, when you're using like a higher end cinema lens, these would feel exactly the same. So the aperture and the focus ring would feel exactly the same. Focus ring feels smooth, I guess, but the aperture ring is kind of gritty. It's got a bit of a grittiness to it but it's not that heavy. It looks bigger than like, the weight of it. So there's minimum focus right there on the lens cap. That's more than good enough. What am I at there? Like two and a half feet? Yep, yeah, you’re pretty close. That’s not bad.

Stabilization Notes &Sample Footage

One of the things I'm noticing so far shooting for a small period of time. It's actually kind of difficult to get it to flare off like a reflection. If you shoot it right at the sun, flares galore. But sometimes I just want like a subtle flare off like the chrome of a bumper or something like that. But it's not as prominent as I probably want it to be.

Something that I noticed when we started editing this footage is we had IBIS turned on with the a7S III. Now the Sony does not have a specific setting for the IBIS for anamorphic lenses.So you might see a little bit of warbling or wobbling in these corners and in the sides of the image.

If you have a Panasonic camera, there is a specific anamorphic IBIS setting that I would suggest using. I still think it's better to leave it on even if your camera doesn't have an anamorphic setting because the micro jitters are worse, in my opinion, than the warbling and wobbling that you can get from the anamorphic lens with IBIS on. So I was able to edit around it. You might notice it, you might not. It's just something to keep in mind.

Bokeh & Specs

So I've got some specs here. We'll nail those off and then we'll talk about the impressions. 10 aperture blades. I guess nobody really cares that much about this but like, we could look at how smooth the focus is. I mean generally we'll probably talk about it but generally speaking, the bokeh was fairly pleasant. I didn't call it super swirly anamorphic bokeh but I didn't have any glaring issues with it.

10 Blade should be enough at 2.9. It's probably fine. People aren’t buying these two have like, “I want perfect, spherical or....” No, imperfections are actually good. We can actually test that bokeh. Minimum focusing distance, 2.5ft at 0.75 metres. Solid. Maximum magnification is 1 to 12.83, so it's not even close to a macro. You have to dioptre that. A 95.5-- They got a lot of good specs. They even give you the focus, there. 95.5 degrees which is short. It doesn't feel what I would say, similar to most cinema lenses that I'm using, which is a very long focused throw because you're using a focus puller. So actually, each mount is slightly different but they're all around 1,050 grams or 2.3 pounds.Final Thoughts

What was your overall thoughts?Generally speaking, I do love the lens a lot, in the short period of time that I've had it. I could see myself using this for a documentary. I think it'd be really cool for some commercial work, too. There's some little quirks that we'll talk about a little bit more, I'm sure. But generally speaking, overall, the ease of use, the price, I could highly recommend this as someone wants to just start dabbling in anamorphic but not go off the deep end because it is a very, very deep end to go into anamorphic.

For me, I think the horizontal flare is really nice. It's a bit strong but it's that secondary ghost flare for me that I could say, subjectively, it's not my favourite. I feel like it pulls you out a little bit more because it seems almost like a little artifact moving across the frame. It actually reminds me of like, a cell phone flare. It feels like a smartphone flare and it doesn't feel I hate to use this word but like premium or expensive. It does feel budget and cheap. And we didn't talk at all about sharpness or whatever but I feel like, who cares? The previous ones I found were so sharp that I'm not worried about it being soft as a problem. But even if it leaned a little bit soft. Either way it leans. It's a specific look and I don't think people are buying these lenses because they're looking for clinically immaculate images.

And I think good examples are like 90s thrillers shot by like Jan de Bont and stuff. Like, you watch like Die Hard or Basic Instincts, like full of horrible, focus breathing and an astronomical amount of flares. But like that's what you kind of want from anamorphic. You want that vintage, like, bad look. I think it's part of the flair for lack of a better word with these lenses, is that it isn't a perfect, clean, clinical image.

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