SLR Magic Anamorphic 1.33x Anamorphic Adapter

I had a chance to play with a near final version of the new SLR Magic 1.33x Anamorphic Adapter today with Andrew Chan.

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This adapter is a completely new design from other anamorphic adapters I’ve used. It has unique focusing abilities which give it the strengths of single focus designs like the Panasonic LA7200 with the added capabilities of what you’d find in dual focus anamorphic adapters like those from Bolex or Kowa.

In its normal focus mode, with the SLR Magic 35mm T1.4 CINE II lens, you get a picture that can focus from 2.8m to infinity.

The lens also has a NEAR mode that works as a variable built in diopter. This works by rotating the ring on the anamorphic adapter towards the “near” marker on the adapter barrel when an object is closer than 2m and it moves the rear element of the adapter changing the focus capabilities of the lens. It’s easy just to think of it as a macro mode, and something I’ll cover more in depth on video when we get a copy of our own.

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You might be wondering, how does this differ from an LA7200? It is a completely different type of adapter.

First, this lens is best pared with the SLR Magic 35mm T1.4 CINE II, which has been beefed up to not have lens slop while the anamorphic adapter is attached to the taking lens. Use the LA7200 enough and it will make even the most robust metal slr lens start to slop from all the weight hanging off the end of the filter threads.

Second, the LA7200 does not work at 35mm, not even close. You can fudge it with diopters, but the edges of the image will be an unfocused mess.

Lastly, this is a brand new lens with a warranty, not something you have to get lucky on an eBay auction. Every lens will work and look the same. If you have a problem, it will be simple enough to get actual support.

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Image Quality. I look forward to having more time to shoot with the SLR Magic anamorphic adapter in the upcoming months, but in the few hours I tested it I can give you some of my opinions. First of those being that this adapter is in no way a copy of any anamorphic adapter that has come before it. Testing the lens at infinity gives this away quickly as none of the other adapters can do 35mm without some degree of edge blurring.

When the lens enters it’s “NEAR” mode that works as a variable diopter, you can get some fantastically sharp images as well as exaggerated bokeh. The lens appeared to be out resolving my BMCC, which is something my LA7200 could never do, so I’d like to see what it does at even higher resolutions.

The closest new and available 1.33x option that you could compare would be a Hawk V-lite 35mm at somewhere over $40,000. For a fraction of the price …

The Last Great Hacked GH2 update

Yesterday driftwood released what is probably the last and greatest update for hacked GH2 cameras.

Settings Here for Apocalypse Now

This group of settings is called Apocalypse Now and works to achieve a better and smoother color matrix that not only improves upon the native 4:2:0 h.264 of the camera, but also softens the natural sharpness of the Panasonic lenses when used in video mode.

If you have a higher-end monitor capable you should be able to see the subtle changes in color rendition to the blue channel in this still.

Quickly testing outside with the “soft” version settings, the difference on foliage is immediately noticeable in regards to sharpening. (14-140 @18mm LA7200)

These are just preliminary tests, but I would hazard to say that I would now recommend using Panasonic electronic lenses without fear of sharpening artifacts.

First RAW Blackmagic Cinema Camera Footage

With the release of the first RAW footage of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera we can start to take a good look at footage that the camera will record natively. At first glance it looks like an Alexa with a 2.3 crop sensor. If you look closer, you will see it only has one flaw: A tiny bit of aliasing and moire. This is not as bad of a problem as it is on other cameras since we can fix this mostly in realtime with debayering settings and chroma blur.

Here’s an example:

Certainly for me the moire is a non issue, and since were dealing with raw footage, there will surely be better fixes to come along. All in all the RAW footage released yesterday shows that the BMC camera is unmatched by most cameras under 15k and provides and image quality that can be graded and changed with as much flexibility as a Red camera.

New cheaper electronic m4/3 to EOS adapter coming soon

Kipon released an image of this today:

http://www.dl-kipon.com/en/articledetail.asp?id=56

This should be a cheaper alternative to run native EOS lenses on m4/3 cameras from Panasonic and Olympus without resorting to the adapters with the built in iris. While no pricing information has been released, other adapters from Kipon have been very competitive in comparison to other brands. Also you can count on numerous other manufactures in China replicating this adapter if its successful. …

The New PlayStation (CECH-4000) Super Slim?

The FCC whitepaper was released last week that showed a “vague” description of the new Playstation model. The model in the video is extruded out from that 2D render and made to be a combination of the PS2 Slim and the older PS3 model. We wont know for sure how the model will look until its released this fall, probably sometime around when the Wii-U launches.

What to expect form this model?
– Lower power consumption due to a die shrink
– New web technologies designed for the next generation of smart tvs…