A few days ago I had the opportunity to try out the new Sirui 50mm f/1.8 1.33x Anamorphic Lens. I was super keen to see how it would perform when attached to my Olympus OM-D EM1x.
The lens is designed for Sony E-mount, Fuji, and Micro 4/3 camera bodies. It can be somewhat challenging to work out for those who, like me, had no experience using such a niche piece of kit.
This blog isn't designed to be a comprehensive review—just some sample shots and thoughts on the lens from my brief little test run.
One of the biggest hurdles I encountered with using the lens was that, by design, the anamorphic aspect ratio puts the focal length at 75mm on a Micro 4/3 body. Yes, you do get a wider image once it is de-squeezed in post-production, but you will need to work within the spatial conforms like you would when using a 75mm lens. For videographers, this is quite tight and limits the chances of this lens being a one-sized fits all, run-and-gun creator.
That being said, when using this lens outdoors, it produced some incredibly fresh and cinematic style images and footage. The below info is based on my findings when using the EM1x.
Considerations Before Purchasing
The lens is fully manual, meaning there is no auto-focus
The image requires de-squeezing in post-production.
Focal length on M4/3 = 75mm Equiv
When using on an Olympus body, there will be no auto-de-squeeze preview
No EXIF data stored. You will need to manually make a note of your aperture and shutter speed if you need a reference to it later. Only ISO is registered as this is set by the camera itself.
Not weathered sealed (but you can't have everything)
For accurate focus and de-squeezed preview, you really should use an external monitor
When filming in Cinema 4k on the Olympus, you will lose a small amount of the image on the top and bottom. This is minimal compared to filming with a regular lens and switching between Cinema 4k and UHD 4k
There is no denying that the 50mm f1.8's primary purpose is to film cinematic style video footage; however, there is seriously no reason why this beauty couldn't be a part of your stills photography kit. Especially if you are a portrait or commercial photographer, looking to separate yourself from the crowd.
The de-squeezed images are actually near perfect for cover photos on various social media sites and look fabulous as commercial banners.
Camera Setup: Stills
Focus peaking set to high-sensitivity
Histogram turned on
Gridlines turned on