Adapting the SLR Magic of Anamorphic Filmmaking to the Panasonic Lumix Ecosystem Creates Endless Filmmaking Possibilities

The Panasonic Lumix System revolutionized independent filmmaking through the convergence of a handheld DSLR style body, larger than video camera sensors for a narrow depth of field, and the versatility and utility of interchangeable lenses.  By being mirrorless and with the use of adapters, a broad gamut of vintage and modern lenses became available for filmmakers to compose and refine the look and feel of their footage, ushering in a new era of budget cinematography. A specific aesthetic which previously remained cost prohibitive and unattainable for the average movie marker was anamorphic filmmaking and cinematography.

The iconic 16:9 aspect ratio and look that comprises the visual zeitgeist of motion pictures was relegated to specialized lenses costing multiple thousands of dollars. This all changed with the emergence of a small, agile, and independent lens-maker from Hong Kong: Andrew Chan, whose company SLR Magic brought anamorphic filmmaking to the masses. His anamorphic adapters and comparatively affordable anamorphic lenses brought true cinema aesthetics to the masses.

Jurek Ugarow, an accomplished cinematographer and an early adopter and personal friend of Andrew Chan, shares his excitement and plans for the emergent synergy of implementing SLR Magic’s adapters to enable anamorphic filmmaking with the Panasonic S5ii and S5iiX Lumix line.

Jurek’s Thoughts

“Can’t ask for more at the moment. I’ve been very happy with the SLR Magic compact adapter on a really cheap Panasonic 25 millimeter lens. I think the more I look at those images, I know some people want to have this sort of chromatic aberration stuff and they’ve gotta have elongated bouquet balls and stuff but for me that’s a distraction.

So I’ve always had a sort of slightly purer intent in terms of the image quality. That combination will flare nicely, blue flare, not excessively like some of the newer dedicated anamorphic lenses. So when I took the S5, I got a Sigma, I’m trying to think whether it’s a 44 or 46 — I think a 44. And I used it with the compact adapter and it gave me a very similar kind of look.

The new F1.8 series, the 24, 35, 50, 85, look absolutely stunning. I’m very tempted with the 35. I need to look at it to see whether or not I could use it with the adapter, but I think it’s a little too wide for that, and the front element needs to be a particular size, all that stuff. But the thought of just the 35 1.8 and the S5 mark two as a filmmaking, very compact combination is very attractive. So I’m constantly going back and forth, do I get this, do I get that?”

Article written by Dan Bockrath.

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