A very clinical but interesting look at the differences between Lomo (round front) anamorphic and Hawk lenses on the Red EPIC. Made by John Brawley:
Here we really see the differences in barrel distortion and sharpness. I read somewhere that the Russian designer of Lomo anamorphic lenses went on to work for Hawk. Here’s an x-ray scan with Lomo & Hawk 100mm lenses (Top is Lomo). Steve Morton from cinemods.com remarks how their elements look rather similar:
Yet it’s clear how the Hawks beat the Lomo’s for sharpness outright. Not surprisingly so given that Lomo’s are not made new anymore, and their standards in optical condition vary greatly as they are passed from user to user. However I must say my own Lomo 50mm is rather sharp at wide open aperture. I can boast mine is nearly mint! This again goes back to finding good, clean, and preferably serviced Lomo lenses.
Considering their astronomical difference in price, the Lomo’s are a good deal if you want a ‘proper’ anamorphic lens. But the challenge is to find a good quality Lomo these days…
PS: I’m looking for a Lomo 100mm!