Anamorphic Options for the Blackmagic Cinema Camera

One of the advantages of anamorphic lenses and adapters is a wider FOV. Since they are basically just horizontal-only wide angle adapters they certainly are a help for those looking for a wider field of view with EF Mount lenses. Here’s my experience with anamorphic lenses with the GH2 (1.85 crop), and how they should work on the Black Magic Cinema Camera.

1. Panasonic LA7200

1.33x adapter, focus-through
recommended taking lens
Tokina 11-16
Nikon 17-35 (Sigma 17-35 2.8-4 lower budget option)

Designed for the DVX100, this adapter works best on the GH2 at 17-20mm and can work down to 14-15mm depending on the lens.

I’ve found that placing a +.25 diopter between the taking lens and the adapter clears up Chromatic Abberation. On the BMC, the Tokina 11-16 should be the best option for this adapter. I estimate it should go nearly to 12mm wide and be in the excellent zone by 15-16mm. Also note: This lens has blue flares, but getting oblong bokeh requires the use of front diopters and very limited focus.

2. Bolex Moller 8/19/1,5x
1.5x Adapter designed for 8mm film. Dual focus – In macro, this lens will change to 1.33 an can focus as close as 0.5m.
recommended taking lens
Nikkor 28mm f2 or equivalent (f2-f4 without vignette)
Nikkor 35mm f2 or equivalent (should not vignette on BMC)
Manual focus prime lenses past 35mm should work without vignette, zoom lenses need to be tested.

These lenses are fairly rare, but show up on ebay from time to time. The adapter itself is very tiny, but has sharpness equal to an Iscorama 36. Because the rear element is only 24mm in diameter, wide angle lenses will vignette over f4. This lens is also dual focus, but can be used to rack focus in certain situations. (working on a tutorial for this)

3. Iscorama 36 (also other related 1.5x Iscoramas)

recommended taking lens (outside of what it comes with)
Any sharp manual Nikon or Canon prime lens down to 28mm, possibly 25mm, depending on lens design. You will also need a clamp from You should have no trouble adapting this lens to any prime up to 105mm. Redstan also sells a .4 72mm achromat diopter that is necessary for focus closer than 6ft. This achromat changes the ratio to 1.33. I’ve liked using the Nikkor 50mm 1.8, 1.4, The Nikkor 35mm f2 and a few other Nikon prime lenses.

This lens is really fantastic in build quality and image quality. Probably the closest to cinema anamorphic quality you can get in a cheap anamorphic, as well as being able to resolve over 4k resolution. The potential downsides are that it can be difficult to rack focus and is harder to adapt to taking lenses due to its triangular shaped rear element. When adapted extremly wide the edges of the frame can succumb to distortion which is normal for older anamorphics.

There are many other anamorphic lenses out there. Most are 2x adapters, which means you crop …

Bolex Anamorphot Compatibility Chart

Bolex Anamorphot 8/19/1.5x Compatibility chart

Before we get into Bolex tutorials, here’s a chart showing basic compatibility with different cameras. Canon DSLRs will be similar to the Red Scarlet at 4k.

Optimal Prime Wide (widest with no vignette up to f22)
Panasonic GH2: 40mm
Black Magic Cinema: 31mm
Red Scarlet 4k: 46mm
Red Scarlet 3k: 37mm

Widest Prime with minimal circular bokeh
GH2: 35mm
BMC: 28mm
4k Red: 40mm
3k Red: 32mm

Absolute Widest – no vignette faster than f2
GH2: 28mm
BMC: 22mm
4k Red: 32mm
3k Red: 26mm

Blackmagic Cinema Camera Preorder

Listed at $2995, I would expect the street price to be slightly lower when it comes times to ship. Markertek has it at $2845, so other sites will probably match closer to the release date.
Preorder Blackmagic Cinema Camera from B&H Photo Video


Here’s a DSLR / Cinema Sensor Size Comparison chart

Wishlist for Blackmagic Digital Cinema RAW camera


1. Make the mount extender detachable.


Right now the Canon EF/Nikon ZF mount sits past 40mm from the sensor. I know I went over this in my last post, but by reducing this distance to NEX or 4/3 20mm distance, a whole range of lens options open up. Lens options that work better with the 15.6mm wide sensor (2.1x 35mm FF crop)


2. Allow for line skipped higher framerate modes.


Cameras like the new FS700 change the sampling of the sensor to allow higher framerates. For instance, at 240fps you see a decrease in vertical resolution over the 120fps and slower modes. Certainly there may be limitations with the onboard cpu that might make this impossible, but if it is, people will gladly take a small resolution hit to get 60fps, or even 48fps like the Scarlet X at 3k. At the same time, it is also important, even without higher framerates, to have ramping options available  in camera from 1-30fps.

3. Timelapse mode.


It certainly hasn’t been mentioned yet as far as I can tell, but a RAW timelapse mode would be incredibly useful for this camera. Settings for variable slow speed frame rates as well as long duration shutter exposures would be equally useful.


4. RGB Histogram.


Monitoring the image/exposure should be done exactly as Red does it. They’ve perfected the RGB histogram and it is essential for RAW cinema applications. Shutter should also allow for settings in shutter angle as well as further synchroscan settings for shooting monitors and other equipment.…