Here they are…Anamorphic lens tests

And finally the Anamorphic lens tests are up.

In this first clip, you’ll see both the Lomo’s and the Hawk anamorphics pointing at the same scene. I was interested in how they’d handle veiling flare, so you’ll see the first setup starts pointing at a very hot window of glass bricks. Then I move outside into direct sun with some focus pulls though to infinity and back, again to look how the breathing of the lens looks and also, how the out of focus areas are looking. I was especially interested in seeing if there were any differences between the 2X squeeze of the Lomos and the 1.3X of the Hawks We shot RED EPIC @ 5K.

Now, this clip might put some of you to sleep, but for some, I know it will be pure heaven. In this brutal clip, you’ll see just how wacky anamorphics can be ! Each lens is shot at three different apertures, and you’ll see how much this affects the lens performance, especially the Lomos. The Lomos are especially soft when wide open !

About johnbrawley

Director Of Photography striving to create compelling images
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10 Responses to Here they are…Anamorphic lens tests

  1. Joh,

    I found the lens tests quite interesting. Thank you. Why the anamorphic lenses over just your common. Personal choice or was it called for based upon how the end film was going to be shown?

    Be well


  2. johnbrawley says:

    Hi Laurence, thanks for stopping by.

    For 100 Bloody Acres, it was a natural extention to a visual style the director had already embraced from an earlier short film we did, Celestial Avenue.

    The brothers like the widescreen format and to them it embodies a more filmic or cinematic form of visual.

    For me Anamorphic lenses mean a few things. First there is the aspect ratio. It really creates a whoole new space that you can compose with, and use to create more dramtic tension. When you have so much real estate to play with it’s great to put more things in the frame at once. Now you cann of course replicate the aspect ratio without using anamophic lenses. You can simply crop a spherical lens to give the same aspect ratio.

    But Anamophic lenses have something very special. Something I like to think of as beautiful flaws. They distort in a completely organic, subtle, and impossible to replicate digitally in post way.

    A lot of people also like the blue streaks you get with a lot of anamorphic lens flares. That to me isn’t such a plus.


  3. John,

    Thanks for the response. I forgot one more item, are the images squished in the View Finder? If so how did you train yourself to see. I bring this up Because of projecting anamorphic acquired imagery you have to use a lens that un-squishes the image.

    My terminology most likely is not correct..

    Be well


    Posting from iPad, having difficulties getting text input. Sorry.

    • johnbrawley says:

      Hi Laurence.

      For the Alexa, if you purchase the anamorphic licence, then what this gives you is the ability to un-squeeze the image in the viewfinder and in the monitor outputs if you wish.

      RED and EPIC also allow this, but last time I checked, they didn’t provide for 1.3X, only the much more popular 2X anamorphics.


  4. Tom Gleeson says:


    Great comparison with the Lomo and Hawks. I was a little surprised to see the bokeh on the Hawks look as “anamorphic ” as they do with only the 1.3 squeeze. Have to say I love those crazy Lomos with all their faults. The 35mm Lomo is one step too far in the crazy stakes but can be avoided most of the time. I assume Lemac has the Hawks? Always a trial to convince people to use them but everybody falls in love them when you do use them.

  5. Azul says:

    Hi John, thank you very much for your tests, this is really useful because I’m planning to shoot my next feature on 1.3x, but didn’t decide yet.
    I shot a short film last week with Lomos and Epic. It looks really good, with a kind of 70’s softness. It’s in post at the moment, I can send you the link when is ready but you can check some stills here:
    hope that can be useful.
    Thanks again

    • johnbrawley says:

      Hi Azul. I love the LOMO’s a lot. I just am forced to use a lot of 1.78 cameras and that means 1.3X squeeze would be better.

      Great screen shots by the way. They look super.


  6. Fábio says:

    There’s something I didn’t understand: the 2x squeeze is made for 4:3 sensors (or film), but you did use a Hawk 2x on Epic (17:9 at 5K FF). How does it work?

  7. Keith Putnam says:

    Did you test the Hawk 1.3s for 1.78:1 delivery as well as 2.35:1? One of the interesting use cases for the Hawks these days is using them for 16:9 productions such as television series.

    • johnbrawley says:

      It was for 2.35 in this case but YES I totally agree that 1.3X anamorphics are really interesting on full height sensors for a 1,78 finish, to give you true anamorphic 16×9.

      The problem with Hawks is that they come from Vantage Germany and they are just way to expensive to hire and FREIGHT all the way to Australia.


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