This footage is intended to show how an Iscorama non-36 (the very first Iscorama 35mm anamorphic lens from the end of the 60s) works with a Sony NEX-VG10. I've tried to highlight the overall look, as well as how characteristically the lens flares when looking directly into an intense light, such car headlights and street lights. No attempt was made to create a coherent story - just a few vignettes to demonstrate the capabilities of the lens (or should I say, lenses - see below) in various settings.
As you would expect from a lens that produces footage with a film-like quality, the lens is sharp, but the footage is fairly low contrast and atypical for video, coming out of the camera. A great candidate for grading in post. I couldn't resist using Magic Bullet Colorista and Mojo to make a few adjustments to the video.
Shot natively at horizontally compressed 1920x1080, the video looks like it's much wider than the 50mm. The stock 50mm Nikon f/2.8 lens attachment that was included with the first Iscoramas (this one, with the M42 C/Y screw mount). Once unpacked from 1920 x 1080 to 1920 x 720 at 66.67 percent of the vertical height, the video is effectively 2.35:1 Cinemascope without cropping. I suppose you could just as easily widen the horizontal pixel count to nearly 4K size (the vertical would remain 1080 pixels) - but that's not a video size that fits nicely into my universe at the moment.
The close-up shots in the outdoor daylight scene were shot with a +2 diopter.
Iscorama stopped making these lens in 2004, and Isco was purchased by Schneider shortly thereafter. When new, the lens sold for between $3000 - $4000 and were purchased by well-heeled 35mm photographers to allow them to shoot still panoramas.
Here's an absolutely amazing source of information about these lenses:
Here is the lens with the original box:
The rear "taking" lens is mated to the anamorphic front "focusing", allowing the user to focus only one lens (the focusing lens). This was a patented feature of the Iscorama lenses, and therefore other lens combinations relied on focusing of both lens - a cumbersome process.
In the daytime shots, I used the integrated 50mm f/2.8 Nikon. In the nighttime shots, I coupled a Nikon 35mm f/1.4 lens with the Isco front lens unit. This required that I acquire a 6mm spacer tube (52mm at both ends) and a step down adapter from the 52mm filter size on the front of the Nikon lens to the 49mm male threads on the receiving end of the anamorphic Isco component. The flares are even more impressive with this much more sensitive lens. This early Iscorama was NON multi-coated - later lenses are less flare-happy. Stopped down to f/2.8, the flares are a bit more reserved and in keeping with the stock Nikon.
Music is Andare by Ludovico Einaudi, with crowd sounds mixed in.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments.
FOR PURISTS, THE UNGRADED VERSION OF THIS TEST VIDEO MAY BE FOUND HERE: vimeo.com/31938435
Loading more stuff…
Hmm…it looks like things are taking a while to load. Try again?