Anamorphic Lens

I bought a lens adapter for a hundred twenty bucks from a company called Moondog Labs. They became slightly famous last year among certain circles because of a movie that was filmed entirely on an iPhone. It was called Tangerine. I haven’t seen it, but that doesn’t mean anything. What piqued my curiosity was that they made the iPhone footage look more cinematic by using an anamorphic lens adapter from, you guessed it, Moondog Labs.

Rather than get into intense detail about what an anamorphic lens is, and why that is more cinematic, I’ll explain it as simply as I understand it. Movies are wider than tall. That’s why you get letterboxing, the black space at the top and bottom of your screen. The cool thing about anamorphic lenses is that they don’t look like fish eye lenses, which have a lot of warping at the edges. What they do is look wider.

The lens adapter I got multiplies the width by x1.33. If you shoot in traditional TV ratios, 16:9, then you get the ratios that you see in movies, 2.36:1. This is nice and wide. Take a look at the photos below. The top image is a regular lens at about a 50mm equivalent. The middle one is with the anamorphic adapter. The bottom one is the two combined.

Note, the original shot here is 4:3, so the anamorphic makes it 1.77:1 .

Regular Lens


Anamorpic – You can see some pretty serious vignetting in the corners. Might be hard to clean that up.


The two combined in Photoshop


You can see it literally just looks wider. The overlay in the middle is nearly perfect.

Next step is to put this on a drone and fly it. The camera I have for the drone can shoot in 4k, so this would be shooting at cinema resolutions.


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