This is the SIRUI 50 millimeter F/1.8 anamorphic lens.
We just did an unboxing, I do have to say I'm thoroughly impressed with this lens. It comes in this cool little pouch drawstrings and all that kind of stuff. This is the lens itself, it's a hefty guy probably weighs about a pound if I had to say.
Definitely doesn't feel cheap in the slightest. The element is square on the front. You can still put filters on it, there are some threads on the inside there. I think it's a 67 millimeter.
We are excited to test it out, and see what it's like.
We have actually shot anything with it. But I do know that anamorphic lenses tend to excel at night time, especially with those lens flares and ovular bokeh.
So we're going out later tonight meeting up with our friend Aidan Fedds, you've actually probably seen in a couple of our other videos. He has a Jaguar, so we're gonna shoot that car, get some really cinematic footage with it.
And kind of see what this lens has to offer. Now, obviously it is not nighttime right now. There is daylight coming through this window, so we're gonna kill a bit of time and then we'll see you guys out there.
Okay, so it's finally nighttime.
Night has fallen upon us, it is dark outside. It is also currently Christmas Day. At the moment there's not a soul on the road or anywhere to be seen. We're the only ones out here.
Steven is currently setting up the black magic on the road as we speak. It's an absolute monster of a setup though.
This thing is so much weight to swing around. Every single time you move somewhere, you can see the black magic kinda going. Just kind of like shaking, we have two screens in here which is kind of like an assault on the eyeballs.
This is in focus, you just go walking it's a good over the show. So we're just gonna get a shot of Mitchell running with his jacket unzipped. You get the nice jacket blowing in the wind, but it is freezing so Mitchell might suffer a mild case of hypothermia.
Mitchell’s way back there, and we're gonna be getting a shot where I have his jacket on, now is done bit of a jacket switch. And I'm gonna be flopping it around in the air, just sprinting down the road. But just gonna again be following right behind me and it should look pretty cool.
It is 1:57 in the morning, there is a fresh cold of snow on the ground. And we thought this would be a perfect time to meet up with our friend Aidan Fedds, and film a bit of b-roll with our anamorphic lens and his Jaguar.
This might be out of focus but we are currently in the back of Mitchell's car with the Blackmagic, doing a little bit of a tracking shot with the car. Oh my god this is insane with the Jaguar in the smoke.
So that is a wrap, everything looks amazing. The footage looks awesome, the lens performed amazingly well for what we put it through. The flares look insane, just straight across the scene.
But it is now 4:07 in the morning, and I just cannot wait to go home and just pass right out.
It is the next day now. We were out quite late last night till about 4 o'clock in the morning.
But we just looked over the footage, and it looks insane.
The anamorphic lens, flares, and everything just go right across the screen. And they look so cinematic.
Also, another thing is you may have noticed that this side of the screen(horizontal) is way longer than that side of the screen(vertical).
That's not normal for most of our other videos. And that's because we are filming this entire video in a widescreen format or 2.35-1 or 21:9.
That's what this lens does, outputs a format that is anamorphic so you get that squished look, that nice feature film widescreen look. It's a little more challenging though because I can't show exactly what's on the counter, and there's a little less headroom and things like that.
But because this lens is an anamorphic lens, we thought we'd shoot the whole video in anamorphic.
What makes this lens different than most of other kind of adapters and things you've seen out there that make and mimic the anamorphic look?
Is that this is a true anamorphic lens.
It's not like those things that like Moment makes an adapter for your phone and also Drone gives you those nice lens flares and stuff.
This is the lenses that you have on the movie set, they are anamorphic. It's just a dumb-down cheaper simplified version.
I know even throw in the world, anamorphic around like to and forth and we all know that it looks really cinematic, but..
What is anamorphic?
Anamorphic lenses were invented so they could squeeze a wider aspect ratio onto a smaller piece of 35 millimeter film. This allows you to maintain the wider aspect ratio in your film, while not need to chop off the top and bottom of each frame.
Because that would reduce the resolution. Other than the widescreen format, two of the most distinct characteristics of an anamorphic lens are the ovular bokeh in the background and those stretched out lens flares.
That classic ovular bokeh that you see in the background of anamorphic films, comes from the actual ovular element inside the lens. So in theory, if you threw a star shape, your bokeh would be star-shaped and in most lenses it's just a circle.
As for the lens flares, they're insane, the ones coming off the headlights of the Jaguar, look at those!
Typically some of the cheapest anamorphic lenses you can buy are thirty thousand US dollars.
Now this guy only five hundred and fifty dollars.
Everyone wants this lens and SIRUI is doing an incredible job of offering some cinema characteristic lenses to the average consumer.
This lens specifically is a 50mm F/1.8, which makes it nice and easy to get those shallow depth-of-field shots. As well as do some low-light shooting, like with the car.
Typically anamorphic lenses are just huge, and a little unwieldy. But as you can see this lens is the size of any other camera lens in your bag.
When we got this lens we decide to do something that we haven't really seen many other people do, and that is to take this budget anamorphic lens and throw it on a budget cinema camera.
This is the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, so those shots that you saw at the very beginning with the car, and downtown, and everything those were all shot on this guy. At a 12 bit, 4K raw, which is pretty insane.
We took this setup, threw it on the road and we went downtown which is pretty tame.
But next thing we knew, Steven was hanging outside of my car, trying to get those low angle shots as I'm speeding down the road. There's wind blowing by, water is drenching the camera, there's rocks everywhere, and this thing it held up.
This thing is a tank. So that leads flawlessly into the build quality of this lens, and this thing did not take any shortcuts. It is a full metal body, it has the aperture ring and the focus ring. The aperture ring is a stepless ring, so you don't have that clicking when you turn it. Nice and smooth, buttery smooth. The focus ring is also the same it is buttery smooth, there's no play.
This thing weighs about a pound, honestly we are very impressed after using this lens for a little while I do have some pros and cons so I'm gonna start off with the pros.
Pros and Cons
This thing is small, it is cheap, and it has that anamorphic look that everyone is looking for. It also fits on an APS-C sensor, which can be a con if you shoot full-frame sensor because they only offer a crop sensor version.
Now in our case with the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, it is a 1.25x crop factor, not a 2x crop factor. Because it's a Micro Four Thirds sensor, so the crop is not as bad as if this was a full frame lens.
Now with all the pros, that it has there are a few cons.
The first con is that this is a completely manual lens which means that there is no autofocus. So no matter what camera you attach this to, you cannot just tap the screen and have it focus, it won't do that.
If you look closely, there's no electrical contacts, so the lens doesn't communicate with the camera body. Now with that, the aperture is an actual ring on the lens, so you can't change it in camera either. This lens is a completely analog lens.
Another con is the minimum focal distance on this lens. It is about two and a half feet to three feet which makes it very tricky, especially when we were shooting the interior of the car. Stephen said he had to backup from the dashboard and get the shot from back there, which isn't ideal.
The last con for this lens, which is probably going to be the biggest and affect the most of you. This thing doesn’t come with a Cannon mount. So if you try to put on a canon camera, it just will not work. It only comes with a Fuji mount, a Sony mount, and a Micro Four Thirds mount.
However they are planning to release a Cannon mount shortly. It's just the first version doesn't have that.
The last thing I have to say about this lens, which it could be a pro or a con it just depends on who you are and how you look at it. This lens tends to be kind of soft, so that means this lens isn't the sharpest in the world. It's not bad, it's just depending on how you shoot. It gives you more of a film kind of dreamy look rather than that hard digital look.