The rise of alternative, affordable lenses has been sharp in the last few years, with many great lenses offered at a fraction of the price of their desirable counterparts. This lens takes on anamorphic lenses, but how good is it?
Like many of us, film and cinema have colored my interest in photography, on occasion rather literally as I want to mimic a color grade. There has been a look in cinema that has been difficult to replicate, however, and that’s the results of an anamorphic lens. I wasn’t aware until recently that it’s not a look everybody enjoys. Still, the oval bokeh and almost panoramic aspect ratio make for an image that is universally related to cinema. It has traditionally been a difficult aesthetic to replicate though.
Anamorphic lenses — like many cinema-centric lenses — have been highly-priced until the last few years when some lower-cost alternatives have cropped up. In this video, filmmakers Fenchel & Janisch look at the GREAT JOY (yes that really is the brand name) 50mm T2.9 1.8x anamorphic lens. It is available on 6 different mounts: EF, PL, E, RF, L, and MFT. The lens is currently being crowdfunded, so I will not link to it and I encourage you to do your own research, but initial reviews like this one suggest it’s certainly an interesting piece of kit!
Do you shoot anamorphic? What lens do you use?