ABOUT

THE ULTIMATE ANAMORPHIC LENS TEST

ABOUT THE LENS TEST

BY: BRENT BARBANO
In September of 2016, we released our very first "lens test" which consisted mostly of spherical vintage glass. It was an experiment, it was exhausting and it was uncharted territory for all of us. Eight sets of lenses, one camera, a skeleton crew and one weekend. However, the results were amazing and I've never been more proud of a team for what we accomplished back then...well until now.
When we decided late in 2016 that we wanted to do a "test 2.0," anamorphic was all that came to mind. It was the natural progression for us. During our early meetings, we tried focusing on 4 main areas.
First was expansiveness. It was imperative that we try to get as many anamorphic lenses that are popular in today's world of digital cinematography. This included modern and accurate, vintage and old, expensive and exotic, cheap and accessible, light and compact, zooms and primes, as well as front and rear anamorphic. Though no test is perfect and we couldn't get every lens we wanted, we were able to track down 13 brands, which was very exciting for us. One thing that humbled me the most was each and every vendor that came out in support for this test. It is important to note that every set was donated to us for this test. To ask a rental house or private owner to lend us their lenses over a holiday weekend was asking a lot. Yet, every owner came through. That really speaks highly of all of our vendors who believed in what we were doing and I honestly can't thank them enough for their support.
Second was efficiency. Our last test was with one camera, which proved to be a bottleneck for our testing methods. This time around, we had 4 cameras running simultaneously for the entire weekend. During the actual shoot, once one lens was done with our "real world" test (with model), it would then progress to the focus and distortion chart station where an entirely different crew was ready and waiting to run it through the gamut. Then, it was sent to the projection room where it ran through another set of tests or what I like to call, the "diagnosis test." Once finished in the projection room, it was then given to me and another crew to shoot b-roll and beauty shots with. This shoot was a well-oiled machine and having more cameras and a system in place is how we were able to get as much done as we could in one long weekend. However, in order to tackle such a strenuous schedule, we needed more people.
Third was crew. We knew from the start that our crew had to almost triple in size. By having this many "stations" and cameras dedicated to one task, we needed a crew that would also be just as focused and dedicated (pun intended). Much like our vendors, our crew came out by the dozens. At one point, we had to turn away volunteers simply because we didn't have enough room in our space. It says a lot about the ShareGrid community and the film community in general when that many people are willing to donate their holiday weekend for a lens test. In fact, our still photographer was originally just a guest who wanted to stop by to check out the shoot. He ended up coming back the next day and took some incredible behind the scenes stills for us. In my decade of being in this industry, I don't think I've ever had someone stop by a shoot only to stay and help out for two days straight for free.
ShareGrid Members
Fourth was consistency. When we decided to take on this anamorphic test, we knew we needed the same model, location, lighting setup, hair and makeup artist, even down to the background elements. That's what makes a test a successful test. Consistency and having as few of variables as possible was the goal. Luckily for us, all of these elements panned out.
I sincerely hope you learn something from both of these lens tests. Our goal was to not only educate but to inspire. To lower the barriers built by misinformation and lack of resources in the hopes that you feel that much more confident in your projects moving forward. Or at the very least, you are willing to run additional tests on your own time. To the crew and vendors who put in countless hours and amounts of energy into this, I thank you all. To say this was an honor for me is an understatement. Happy testing!

BEHIND THE SCENES PHOTOS

SOME PHOTOS BY JOSEPH ADAMS

Click the image below for a fullscreen slideshow

CREDITS

PRODUCTION
Director / Executive Producer
Mark LaFleur
Executive Producer
Brent Barbano
Executive Producer
Arash Shiva
Executive Producer
Marius Ciocirlan
Producer
Adam Reynolds
Legal Counsel
Siavash Shiva
Production Manager
Chuck Oldfield
Production Assistant
Nico Morineau
Production Assistant
Dylan Catherina
CAMERA
Director of Photography
Kyle Stryker
A Camera 1st AC
Seda Kisacik
A Camera 2nd AC
Erin Olesen
B Camera Operator
Vanessa Smith
B Camera Operator
Eric Lombart
B Camera 1st AC
John Mokhtarei
B Camera 2nd AC
Jesse Ricketts
C Camera Operator
Daniel Williams
D Camera Operator
Joey Rassool
DIT / Media Manager
Andy “Bananas” Reynolds
Still Photographer
Joe Adams
Still Photographer
Armando Bib
Camera PA
Justin Brown
POST
Post Supervisor / Editor
Nick Ferreiro
Editor
Tory Harder
Editor
Lou Baldanza
Assistant Editor
Lee Wilson
HAIR AND MAKEUP
Hair and Makeup Artist
Demaris Santana
TALENT
Model
Kori Agee
LENS TECHNICIANS / CONSULTANTS
Consultant / Sponsor
Matthew Duclos
Consultant
Illya Friedman
Lens Projection Technician / Consultant
Jorge Diaz-Amador
Lens Collimator Technician
Erik Gils
VENDORS
Angenieux Optimo 44-440mm T4.5 A2S Anamorphic Zoom
Angenieux
Atlas Lens Co. Orion Series Anamorphic 65mm
Atlas Lens Co.
ARRI / Zeiss Master Anamorphics
Brainbox Cameras
Cineovision Anamorphics
Old Fast Glass
Cooke Anamorphic /i Special Flare
Alternative Rentals
Elite Anamorphics
West Coast Cine Video
Hawk V-Lite Vintage ‘74 Anamorphics
Hydraulx Visual Effects
Iscorama Pre-36 Anamorphic Lens Adapter
Conrad Hunziker
Kowa Cine Prominars
Christopher Probst
Lomo Round-Front Anamorphics
Old Fast Glass
Panavision Auto-Panatar Anamorphics
CSLA Camera Rentals
P+S Technik 35-70mm T3.2 Cinemascope Zoom
Hot Rod Cameras
Todd AO High-Speed Anamorphics
LensWorks Rentals
A Camera
Clay Collective
B Camera
Dan Kanes
C Camera
Daniel Williams
D Camera
Joey Rassool
Stage
Naomi Street, LLC
Trucks
SirReel Studios
Grip
Old Fast Glass
Grip
CypherBlu Lighting & Grip
Lighting
ShareGrid
Lighting
Old Fast Glass
Lighting
Kino Flo
Focus/Distortion Charts
Duclos Lenses
Collimator
Vocas
Projector
Hot Rod Cameras
Camera Accessories
HD Optics
INTERVIEWEES
Co-Founder of ShareGrid
Brent Barbano
Lens Technician
Jorge Diaz-Amador
Duclos Lenses
Matthew Duclos
Hot Rod Cameras
Illya Friedman
LensWorks Rentals
Stephen Gelb
Co-chair of ASC Lens Committee
Jay Holben
Cinematographer
Phil Holland
1st AC
Seda Kisacik
Director
Mark LaFleur
Cinematographer
Christopher Probst
Cinematographer
Tari Segal
Cinematographer
Kyle Stryker
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