So you’ve just got a Panasonic GH5 or the latest DSLR camera, and can’t wait to start shooting tack sharp images at beautiful 6k resolution. Cameras like the GH5 come with this heralded anamorphic mode- but what anamorphic to choose, and how do you make sure that the optics you are using don’t detract from the benefits of this new spec’d out camera?
Attaining a high-quality anamorphic lens is a journey everyone interested in the craft makes. Anamorphic lenses are notoriously difficult to manufacture. Compressing an image without introducing softness, chromatic aberration, or other undesirable artifacts is something only few lenses were able to achieve.
When using an anamorphic attachment, you can always stop down your prime lens. This can help minimize softness and abberation- but also minimizes the benefit of shooting with DSLR camera in the first place. Shallow depth of field and fast apertures were a hallmark of the cinematic DSLR shift several years ago- and having to trade those off for shooting anamorphic isn’t ideal.
So we’ve made it our passion over the years to dissect, modify, and build anamorphic lens kits with the desire to shoot with modern cameras at fast apertures- f/2, f/1.4, and without introducing blatantly undesirable effects like chromatic abberation. Our latest build from Schneider Group optics- owners of the now-defunct Isco- the greatest anamorphic manufacturer, is the very sharpest anamorphic lens for it’s price.
By edge to edge sharpness, corner transmission, center sharpness, this anamorphic lens kit is the perfect pairing for those looking to shoot tack sharp images with modern high-resolution cameras like the Panasonic GH5.
Looking to buy? We now have this anamorphic lens kit available for sale here!
Interested in learning more about anamorphic lenses? Check out our getting started with anamorphic lenses guide here.
Considerations of the Schneider Anamorphic Lens
Right now, the Schneider Anamorphic lens is dual focus only. This means that you must focus both the taking (prime) lens and the anamorphic lens to achieve focus. It isn’t as difficult as it sounds, but it does take some getting used to. We are currently working on a way to turn this lens into single focus, but if you are interested in a single focus anamorphic lens right now, our Isco anamorphic kit options provide good optical quality in a compact package.
In addition, it might be important to remember that sometimes the faults and quirks of anamorphic lenses are actually desirable for some filmmakers. Anamorphic effects like barrel distortion, flaring, and a vintage kind of softness help break up the clinical look of modern DSLR video for those who desire a more classic cinematic look. Out of all of our builds in our store, our custom build anamorphic lens features these characteristics the most.
Additional Anamorphic Resources
If you are interested adding anamorphic lenses to your cinematography toolbox, please visit our anamorphic lens store for demos and examples. We have spent several years collecting, modifying, and testing anamorphic lenses to weed through the junk, make needed modifications, and assemble ready-to-shoot packages.
If you are interested in learning more on working with anamorphic lenses and DSLR, please check out our anamorphic tutorial blog for more anamorphic tips and tutorials!