Queued up like a giddy schoolboy to test the Sony NEX-5N with my Lomo anamorphic lens. The Sony tech’s jaw dropped when I took out the monstrous square front lens.
I was eager to match them up together as it would be the first time I’ve seen my Lomo’s so wide.
Today was the last day to preview the Sony NEX-5N as it was also the last day to take pre-orders in Hong Kong. The 5N seems to be geared more towards video shooters. PAL versions unfortunately do not have 24p.
I didn’t bother testing the stock lens as I was only interested in trying out my cinema lenses via OCT19 and PL to NEX adapters. This was shot at roughly T3 aperture, 200 iso, 50 shutter speed.
The 5N also has peaking?? Awesome. It’s really good value and faces off quite well against my GH2. But I think I’ll wait for the NEX-7 or VG20 if I’m ever to consider replacing the GH2.
First time seeing my Lomo’s on an APS format! Though Sony’s APS-HD is 21.5mm x 14.4mm. This is quite close to 35mm film.
EOSHD info about the 5N:
The GH2 has been faithful servant to my Lomo lenses, but I always yearn for a larger sensor… not necessarily full frame. After all, DSLR full frame is much larger than film 35mm, so my Lomo lenses would vignette. APS-C is much closer to resembling 35mm film. I believe Sony currently only has mirrorless APS-C cameras on the market.
With Sony’s new line of NEX cameras (5N, 7) and prosumer camera VG20 – as well as the existing FS100 and F3 - now have OCT-19 and PL adapters available. These digital cameras are the closest to resembling a true 35mm sensor and that are below US$2000. This means you can utilise almost the entire frame of Lomo anamorphic lenses.
I’m so upbeat on this I’ve already invested in OCT-19 and PL adapters for NEX (E) mounts!
Link to NEX-5N and NEX-7 specs.
Now, I’m debating whether to get the NEX-5N (US$700) or splash out on the VG20 (US$1600).
After a shitty shoot for Swatch x Hypebeast, this is the most fun thing I did while in Shanghai:
This was the first night shoot I did with the new PTools hack, using Kae’s 65mbit/3GOP patch. Pretty clean even at 1200-1600 iso. I even set the 35mm lens at f3.2 to increase the sharpness
It’s something that I’ve always thought about… specialising as an anamorphic photographer. But nowadays it’s so easy to crop the image, add a digital anamorphic flare and touch it up so it looks something out of a Wong Kar-wai film.
But to my surprise a user from HK Old Lens Club, an online forum based in Hong Kong dedicated to vintage lenses, got hold of Lomo anamorphic lenses for photography use. After much experimentation he managed to convert a 50mm & 80mm squarefronts into Leica M mount for his DSLR. Below are some of his stunning images. OK, you would probably think it could’ve been taken with any lens, and cropped anamorphic in Photoshop. There is still no identifiable way to tell they are Lomo anamorphic lenses. Still, it’s very cool. Never seen anyone mod it like this. His Canon 5D Mark II was also uniquely modified to accept Leica M and other mounts.
(All images belong to ‘checkie’)
And here’s some photos I took of a local band using my usual 35mm OCT-19 setup:
It wasn’t ideal as my lens isn’t sharp edge-to-edge. Plus it’s a real pain in the ass to use given the clunky setup, no autofocus and no de-squeezed anamorphic viewing (although now I have with the Zacuto EVF). Still, it would be hard to sell to potential paying clients.
The thread (in Cantonese, Chinese) including more of his photos can be viewed here
So after my night tests of course comes the day versions.
I shot this while going for a ferry ride across Hong Kong’s iconic Victoria Harbour.
I also just applied the newly released PTools 3.62, using Kae’s 65mbit + 3GOP patch and the usual 1920×720 MJPEG hack.
The AVCHD footage looks great! Great detail and vibrant colours. MJPEG footage still for some reason looks very ‘blocky’ or grainy – even in daylight! The depth is not as good as AVCHD and the colours look rather faded too. Not to mention the 30p looks fugly. The 30mm lens seems to have a dreamy effect to it. It’s not as sharp as my 35mm though.
Well, these are the last of my tests. Hope the day & night versions help you quantify the benefits & disadvantages of both recording modes. Here’s to wishing one day someone will have a AVCHD-like quality MJPEG 4:3 hack!
I have a 3-second countdown for both videos.. Both videos have the same sequence so you can try to synchronize both so you can view them both side-by-side for comparison.
Here’s the story now about shooting Lomo anamorphic on HD sensors.
The Lomo’s are 2x squeeze, meaning you get a 3.55:1 on a 16:9 frame. Now, some say it’s too wide but I’ve learned to live with it. But with a recent MJPEG 4:3 hack we can now shoot in variable aspect ratios. But it seems the best the new hack tools can produce is 2.66:1. Unfortunately the video quality itself is not good enough to compare with AVCHD footage. Interestingly the MJPEG footage came out a little brighter than the AVCHD. The other big disadvantage with the MJPEG hack is you could only shoot in 30p.
So the question is would you sacrifice video quality for the sake of a less wider aspect ratio?
Here I have two videos shot in both normal AVCHD and MJPEG modes using same-framed shots:
Next time I’ll do a day test.
Read more about the 2.66:1 MJPEG 4:3 hack on EOSHD
I came across Cinetactics’ website a while ago while when someone mentioned they produced a matte box specifically for the Panasonic LA7200. So I was like, the LA7200′s shape is rather similar to the Lomo square fronts, I wonder if it would work as well? My 35mm square front was actually smaller than the LA7200 but since it had adjustable velcro straps I thought it might still fit.
Being a cheapskate I perused through feeBay to see if anyone was selling it for cheap. An American had the ‘HD’ version which was similar size to the square front. Won it for US$60 plus other accessories. So saved about US$140 if I bought everything new.
So I just got it in the mail today and success! Doesn’t fit like a glove but I can attach it quite sturdily. And it doesn’t vignette which is great too. Now I don’t have to lug a rail system for run ‘n gun shoots.
So I have decided to put the 35HAC10-3 up for sale. It’s a shame to see it go quickly after having played with it once since its return from Olex Konvas Services. But I already have two other wide anamorphic lenses so this had to go. This is a great kit that I devised for GH2 or m4/3 shooters, and hope it will go to an equally enthusiastic Lomo anamorphic nut!
That was a scary 20 minutes…
All I had to do was adjust the OCT19 mount on the lens a little further back – therefore pushing the rear away from the sensor. Only on the second attempt did I achieve a somewhat sharp focus. I can’t really afford to do it again because I already fucked two of the tiny screws. So… looking good! I also found out this 30mm anamorphic is the second-widest anamorphic in the Lomo line.. next to the 22mm. That would be insanely awesome but I’m happy with the 30mm now.
Watch out, world!!!
Armed with Olex’s loosely translated instructions to adjust my 30mm and a dodgy set of screw drivers… Here goes nothin’…