This is a comprehensive explanation of many of the various sensor sizes and lens formats available to filmmakers, and how these different formats affect the aesthetics of your image as well as how they can affect your workflow and budget.
Almost a year after we released our comparison test of 8 sets of spherical lenses, a test that No Film School called “…the most exhaustive lens test we have ever seen,” we are back at it. This time we tested 13 sets of the most desirable anamorphic lenses available. Like last time I teamed up with ShareGrid and Duclos Lenses, but because of the scope of this test we partnered up with a few more people including Hot Rod Cameras and Scopo Studios. Not only did the number of lens sets grow significantly compared to the last time, but our testing procedures grew as well.
Our test includes all the same tests as last time, but we added a new procedure to the lens flare test, since flares are such an important aspect of the character of an anamorphic lens. We also added a distortion chart and put every lens on a lens projector for thorough analysis. So our crew basically tripled in size in order to test this many lenses in 1 weekend. This time around we also tested each lens at more T-stops. Since most lenses were at or near T2 at their maximum apertures, we made sure to test them at wide-open, T2.8 and T4. This was important to use since the character of an anamorphic lens changes so much as you stop down. Same as last time, ShareGrid will present the videos using their quad-player so you can watch 4 lenses at once, or watch the same lens at four stops! You can also compare these lenses to the lenses we tested last time since the videos are synced with the old test. We are continuing our goal to give the cinematography community detailed, accurate, unbiased information so that filmmakers can make an informed decision when they choose the lenses for their project. The test videos and a mountain of data are available at the link below.