SmallRig 1.55x Anamorphic Lens overview – shoot cinematic video in your cellphone

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SmallRig 1.55x Anamorphic Lens

REVIEW – Taking pictures cinematic video on telephones has taken off within the final decade. Since smartphone cameras have gotten so good, it is sensible that individuals would wish to use them for low-budget motion pictures, quick movies, commercials, and many others. Usually smartphone cameras are restricted to 16×9 video so how do you shoot cinematic, widescreen footage with out cropping the picture, probably decreasing high quality within the course of? SmallRig has the reply with their new 1.55x Anamorphic Lens. Listed here are my ideas on the lens, how it’s to shoot with it, and the way I believe it may very well be improved.

What’s it?

The SmallRig 1.55x Anamorphic Lens is a 2.76:1 anamorphic lens attachment for choose iPhone and Android cellphone fashions, in addition to latest iPad mini, Air, and Professional fashions. This lens permits for cinematic type taking pictures with an everyday, 16:9 digicam, permitting the shooter to benefit from the wonderful video digicam they have already got of their pocket.

SmallRig 1.55x Anamorphic Lens with included lens cap
SmallRig 1.55x Anamorphic Lens with included lens cap

What’s within the field?

  • Anamorphic Lens & Magnetic Attachment
  • Lens Clip
  • Storage Bag
  • Storage Case
  • Lens Cleansing Material
  • 52mm Lens Filter Ring Adapter
  • Silicone Lens Cap
SmallRig 1.55x Anamorphic Lens package contents (I managed to lose the included cleaning cloth somewhere on Kilauea)
SmallRig 1.55x Anamorphic Lens bundle contents (I managed to lose the included cleansing material someplace on Kilauea)

{Hardware} specs

  • Dimensions: 1.57 x 1.57 x 0.83 in. (40 x 40 x 21.2 mm)
  • Weight: 1.68 oz (47.5g)
  • Angle (diagonal): Max 120°
  • Magnification: 1.55X
  • Distortion: -37%
  • Minimal Object Distance: 70-90 mm
  • Mount Kind: Customary M mount
  • Optical Construction: Two Schott low dispersion lens x2 units
  • Coating Movie Specification: Multilayer antireflection broadband
  • Supplies: Aluminum alloy, glass, silicone, magnet, and many others.
  • Processes: Anodizing, portray
SmallRig 1.55x Anamorphic Lens
SmallRig 1.55x Anamorphic Lens

Design and options

The SmallRig lens is a cellphone or pill attachment that mainly is available in three elements – the lens, the clip, and the magnetic ring that attaches to the clip and holds on to the lens. The lens physique is constituted of aluminum alloy and the lens itself is constituted of Schott low-dispersion glass with multi-layer high-definition coating. The lens may be hooked up to the cellphone with the included clip, which has a knob for tightening to the cellphone, or you will get one in all SmallRig’s cell video cages, just like the one I reviewed some time again. The magnetic ring attaches to the clip or body and the lens attaches to the ring. The ring and lens have 4 robust magnets every, and you’ll connect the lens horizontally or vertically, relying on the way in which you wish to shoot.

Lens clip for SmallRig 1.55x Anamorphic Lens
Lens clip for SmallRig 1.55x Anamorphic Lens

I admire the inclusion of a filter holder. I don’t have any filters to strive so I didn’t take a look at the holder aside from to see the way it suits. It simply slides onto the entrance of the lens; there’s nothing however strain holding it on. So long as your filter doesn’t weigh an excessive amount of and also you don’t bounce the cellphone round like loopy it ought to keep on simply tremendous. One observe that SmallRig mentions on their website is that this filter holder doesn’t work with variable ND filters. I’m undecided what prevents them from working however I needed to level it out right here.

SmallRig 1.55x Anamorphic Lens filter holder
SmallRig 1.55x Anamorphic Lens filter holder

This lens options what SmallRig calls “brushed flare for particular results.” That is the lens flare you get when a vivid mild is shining instantly into the lens from a sure angle. Lens flares have been used as an impact for a few years (JJ Abrams anybody?) and below the best circumstances, they are often enjoyable and inventive. I’ll have extra to say concerning the lens flares under.

The included carrying case is ideal for carrying the entire elements with just a little room left over for extra in case you have a couple of filters or different small equipment to hold round. It’s a soft-sided, zippered bag, with cutouts within the backside part for the lens and the lens clip, and a mesh part on the high for the remainder of the elements.

SmallRig 1.55x Anamorphic Lens soft-sided case
SmallRig 1.55x Anamorphic Lens soft-sided case

Set up and setup

To put in the lens, first connect the clip or put your cellphone in a video cage sized on your cellphone, mount the magnetic ring, then connect the lens to the ring. Make certain to orient the lens accurately for the route you’ll be taking pictures (panorama or portrait) otherwise you’ll see some pointless vignetting and your picture will probably be stretched the mistaken manner on playback. I did all my take a look at taking pictures with the a part of the lens that has a white line and the phrase ANAMORPHIC in orange letters pointing up since I used to be taking pictures in panorama. I can’t think about taking pictures an anamorphic portrait video however I’m positive somebody on the market has a use for it that I’m not pondering of.

Should you’re utilizing the included lens clip, make certain to not tighten it down an excessive amount of. I may see it cracking the glass of your cellphone for those who’re not cautious. I additionally couldn’t use the lens clip with a case on my cellphone, which is why I did most of my testing with the cell video cage because it has the right mounting sockets in-built. Your mileage could fluctuate, relying on the cellphone and case you’re utilizing. Should you’re utilizing an iPhone 12/13 Professional or Professional Max, the lens can be utilized in entrance of both the usual vast or telephoto lenses, however not the ultra-wide. I can’t communicate for different cellphone producers however my guess is that this simply gained’t work accurately with any of the ultra-wide lenses on the market.

SmallRig 1.55x Anamorphic Lens magnetic ring attached to mobile video cage
SmallRig 1.55x Anamorphic Lens magnetic ring hooked up to cell video cage
SmallRig 1.55x Anamorphic Lens attached to mobile video cage
SmallRig 1.55x Anamorphic Lens hooked up to cell video cage

It’s attainable to shoot anamorphic footage with the usual digicam app that comes along with your cellphone, however it’s possible you’ll get higher outcomes by utilizing an app like Filmic Pro or the FotorGear Pro Cam app as a result of they provide you much more choices for taking pictures, together with taking pictures with ProRes on an iPhone, in addition to recording within the native side ratio of the anamorphic lens, which means you don’t should stretch the footage in enhancing. I did most of my testing with Filmic Professional, which I already had, however I additionally shot some footage with the usual iPhone digicam app. I’ll embrace two separate movies under to indicate footage shot from every app. I’m not acquainted with FotorGear, which is an iOS solely app, and I don’t know which Android apps can be greatest for taking pictures, aside from Filmic Professional, which is obtainable for each iOS and Android.

As soon as the lens is hooked up you’ll must perform a little setup in your digicam app, except you’re utilizing the default built-in digicam app and also you wish to use its default settings, otherwise you’ve already tweaked them to your liking. In Filmic Professional I set the video settings as follows:

2K Decision
16:9 Side Ratio
8 bit
Filmic Excessive
HEVC
Video HDR
Native Tone Mapping
60 FPS
60 Hz Shutter

I may have chosen the next bit price, ProRes or Dolby Imaginative and prescient HDR, and a number of other different settings that will have given me larger high quality authentic footage to work with however these additionally would have elevated the wanted storage capability. Since I used to be on trip and didn’t have a laptop computer with me to dump footage if my cellphone bought full, I selected what I knew would nonetheless give me high quality footage whereas consuming much less disk area. I additionally may have shot in 24 or 30 fps however I haven’t finished a lot 24 fps taking pictures, plus I needed to have the ability to decelerate among the footage. My ultimate movies will probably be 30 fps, which implies I can decelerate my 60 fps pictures to 50% easily. These settings gave me video that was 3174×1152 pixels and file sizes starting from 40 MB for the shortest clip (10 seconds) to about 250 MB for the longest clip (1 minute).

As soon as hooked up the lens isn’t going anyplace with out a fairly good quantity of pressure. I had no issues about it falling off whereas I used to be mountaineering round Hawaii on some fairly rugged terrain at sea degree in addition to as much as 10,000 ft. The magnets are robust and actually seize onto the lens.

In Use

I occurred to have a trip in Hawaii in the course of the time I used to be testing this lens, which supplied an abundance of lovely surroundings to shoot. I’ll say I’m not one of the best director or cinematographer on the market. I’ve a level in movie and video manufacturing (from the mid-90s) however in my day-to-day work, I not often shoot something anymore so I’ll say I’m just a little rusty. I understand how to border a shot and maintain a digicam fairly regular so I hope the instance pictures I’ve taken right here assist the reader perceive the capabilities and limitations of the lens.

Included lens clip attached on my iPhone 13 Pro Max (side view)
Included lens clip hooked up on my iPhone 13 Professional Max (facet view)
Included lens clip attached on my iPhone 13 Pro Max (rear view)
Included lens clip hooked up on my iPhone 13 Professional Max (rear view)

As a result of I already had the SmallRig video cage for my cellphone I did most of my taking pictures with the lens hooked up to that. For my part, that is one of the simplest ways to shoot with a lens attachment like this as a result of it doesn’t forestall you from utilizing your cellphone in a standard manner. It mainly acts as a big aluminum bumper-style case, which for a lot of will probably be sufficient, particularly for those who don’t usually preserve a case in your cellphone. I all the time use a case as a result of my telephones have dropped out of my arms so many occasions through the years that I simply can’t use a slippery glass and aluminum slab full of pricey electronics with out one. Should you select to make use of the lens clip it should intrude with using your display screen instantly reverse wherever the lens is on the again of your cellphone. It’s straightforward sufficient to take away however you’ll should put it again and align it correctly each time you wish to use it once more.

Utilizing the lens with the SmallRig video cage made it a breeze to make use of. As soon as I discovered how one can rotate the magnetic ring to the right orientation and which a part of the lens ought to be dealing with up, snapping the lens on and off was easy. I saved the lens cap on the lens whereas not taking pictures and all the time held it in my hand whereas I used to be taking pictures, able to put it again on as quickly as I bought the shot. Since there was a lot sand and salt water spray I needed to maintain the lens as clear as attainable. One factor I’d prefer to see is a lens cap that covers the again of the lens when it’s separated from the magnetic ring. The included lens cap is sized to cowl the entrance of the lens and the a part of the magnetic ring that attaches to the clip or video cage, which is nice while you’ve eliminated the entire thing, however I spent quite a lot of time holding the lens in my hand once I was taking pictures pictures or 16:9 video with the usual vast angle lens between taking pictures these cinematic movies. (I nonetheless needed to have common trip pictures and movies.) Once I had the lens eliminated however the magnetic ring nonetheless hooked up, there was nothing to cowl the again facet of the lens; I did handle to get a fairly large smudge on it as soon as, ruining a couple of of the pictures I had taken however couldn’t see very nicely till later due to the intense daylight. 

SmallRig 1.55x Anamorphic Lens with filter holder attached
SmallRig 1.55x Anamorphic Lens with filter holder hooked up

Once I needed to shoot commonplace pictures and movies with the telephoto or ultra-wide lenses in-built to my cellphone I needed to take away the magnetic ring as a result of it blocked these different lens openings. This isn’t a serious downside and for those who’re not taking pictures blended pictures and movies like I used to be it gained’t be an issue. You’ll most probably solely have to change the lens round while you wish to swap from vast to telephoto modes. I did discover that the 3x zoom on my cellphone was just a little an excessive amount of together with the lens so I most likely gained’t be taking pictures with it very a lot myself except I’ve my cellphone on a tripod and must shoot topics fairly far-off. Even taking pictures some footage throughout the road from my entrance yard appeared just a little too zoomed in.

I did discover fairly a little bit of wobbling within the picture, particularly close to the ocean when the wind was blowing actually exhausting. I shot all my footage handheld aside from a couple of quick time-lapse clips I shot with a brief tripod. This isn’t one thing I see once I’m taking pictures handheld with the usual built-in lenses on my cellphone so I’m undecided what the distinction is. I do know the cellphone has built-in stabilization nevertheless it looks like this wobble is a bit an excessive amount of for this method. Taking pictures with a tripod or a gimbal would most likely decrease or get rid of this however I couldn’t do my mountaineering very simply whereas carrying a tripod and I didn’t have room for both a tripod or gimbal in my baggage. I’m particularly curious to see what impact the gimbal may have whereas taking pictures with this lens.

SmallRig 1.55x Anamorphic Lens
SmallRig 1.55x Anamorphic Lens

One different picture artifact I observed is just a little little bit of warping on the high and backside edges. This was most noticeable once I tilted up or down, and I really thought it seemed form of cool, however simply concentrate on this phenomenon. There’s additionally some distortion on the left and proper edges of the body, most noticeable while you see one thing that’s completely vertical.

Lastly, I believe the lens flares are too excessive and distracting. The flare finally ends up being an enormous, horizontal blue streak throughout the picture, which for my style isn’t fascinating. Most lens flares (at the least those I like) find yourself being a vivid spotlight, streaking throughout the picture, however not an enormous blue line, or a sequence of small circles that run from one a part of the picture to the opposite, relying on the angle of the sunshine shining into the lens. After I noticed the primary lens flare I did all the pieces I may to ensure it didn’t occur once more nevertheless it’s not avoidable in each scenario, particularly when taking pictures exterior.

Lens flare example
Lens flare instance

Pattern Movies

This video was shot first on Hawai’i, the large island, round our pool, on the way in which to the inexperienced sand seaside, then whereas mountaineering across the crater on Kilauea; we then went to Maui and I hiked Haleakala after which we went for a dinner cruise out of Lahaina. 

I shot this subsequent video round my home with the lens hooked up to my cellphone with the included lens clip and shot with the built-in digicam app on my iPhone 13 Professional Max in 4K 60 fps. I stretched the footage 1.55x in Remaining Reduce Professional to make up for the squeezed picture from the anamorphic lens since the usual digicam app has no method to compensate for it whereas taking pictures.

What I like

  • Cinematic type taking pictures with a cellphone digicam
  • Lens solidly attaches to magnetic ring – it isn’t going anyplace
  • Straightforward to placed on and take off
  • Helpful case to carry all of the elements

What I’d change

  • Lens cap for the again of the lens when faraway from the magnetic ring
  • Lens flares too pronounced
  • Included clip blocks a part of the display screen

Remaining ideas

General, taking pictures with the SmallRig 1.55x Anamorphic Lens was straightforward and enjoyable. It’s straightforward to placed on and shoot with and can provide you some high quality footage you may’t get another manner. There are a couple of minor issues I’d prefer to see modified or added however if you wish to shoot cinematic high quality video with a cellphone it is a nice lens to decide on.

Value: $99
The place to purchase: smallrig.com or Amazon
Supply: The pattern for this overview was supplied by SmallRig. For extra info go to their site.

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