Hands on: Sandmarc Anamorphic Lens for iPhone

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in iPhone
It's well known that the iPhone's video quality is top notch among mobile devices, with each release pushing forward what people can do with the tiny portable computing devices. Today we're taking a look at Sandmarc's Anamorphic Lens for the iPhone XS, XS Max and iPhone XR, and how you can use it to achieve a more cinematic look from your iPhone.

Sandmarc Anamorphic on iPhone XR
Sandmarc Anamorphic on iPhone XR

High-quality glass for iPhone

Third-party iPhone lenses have existed long before Apple added a second camera to the iPhone. While the quality of lenses back then were mediocre at best, a company like Sandmarc have taken lens attachments to the next level, especially with their Anamorphic Lens for iPhone.





If you're not familiar with Anamorphic lenses, it essentially provides a true widescreen look, while also introducing crazy lens flares and slightly different looking bokeh, the blurring of out-of-focus items.

Sandmarc Anamorphic next to an iPhone XR
Sandmarc Anamorphic next to an iPhone XR


Anamorphic lenses are often used in Hollywood films, such as works by Wes Anderson or JJ Abrams. That's essentially what we have here with Sandmarc's Anamorphic lens. This will be able to give you those JJ Abrams-like lens flares, and that true widescreen look.

Movie: Super 8
Movie: Super 8


Movie: Star Trek (2009)
Movie: Star Trek (2009)

An all in one package

Out of the box you're greeted with the lens itself, a really nice soft touch case for your phone, a lens clip, and a small pouch to protect your lens when you're done using it.

The lens just screws on to the case which is pretty neat. However, installing the lens is a bit tricky since the front element rotates to compensate for image distortion, but once you get the hang of it you'll be fine.

Sandmarc Anamorphic with lens clip attachment
Sandmarc Anamorphic with lens clip attachment

It's not your ordinary point-and-shoot camera

To start shooting anamorphic videos, you can't just use the regular camera app that came pre-installed with your iPhone.

You'll need to download an app like Filmic Pro where you can adjust and tweak some of the settings to give you full control of the iPhone's camera. Filmic Pro can also give you a live preview of your anamorphic lens which essentially de-squeezes your image to give you that true widescreen anamorphic look.

Sandmarc Anamorphic on iPhone XR with Filmic Pro
Sandmarc Anamorphic on iPhone XR with Filmic Pro


Below are two sets of images shot and exported directly from the iPhone. One shot with Sandmarc's Anamorphic Lens, and one without.

iPhone XR with Sandmarc Anamorphic
iPhone XR with Sandmarc Anamorphic


iPhone XR (No lens attached)
iPhone XR (No lens attached)


This lens can change how your photo or video looks, and how you need to frame your subject. If you're an avid iPhone photographer and you're looking to make your photos look a bit different, this anamorphic lens from Sandmarc is a great buy.

Where to buy

The Sandmarc Anamorphic Lens for iPhone can be purchased from Sandmark directly for $159.99.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 4

    I wonder if those screenshots from the movies were a deliberate dig at Abrams' perchance for lens flares, or whether there literally isn't a scene with a lens flare in those 2 movies!

    It's a pity that Zeiss stopped their Exo Lens for iPhones. They were really good.

    That said, I am pretty interested in this anamorphic lens. I'll probably pick it up soon.

  • Reply 2 of 4
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 534member
    disregard.
    edited July 15
  • Reply 3 of 4
    Anamorphic has nothing to do with artifacts like bokeh or lens flare...these are occasional artifacts created as part of the anamorphic process, which stretches a widescreen image to fill a film frame during capture and unstretches it during projection. It’s a process designed to capture a 16:9 (or wider) widescreen image using non-widescreen-shaped film stock. 

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anamorphic_format?wprov=sfti1
    fastasleep
  • Reply 4 of 4
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 3,170member
    Anamorphic has nothing to do with artifacts like bokeh or lens flare...these are occasional artifacts created as part of the anamorphic process, which stretches a widescreen image to fill a film frame during capture and unstretches it during projection. It’s a process designed to capture a 16:9 (or wider) widescreen image using non-widescreen-shaped film stock. 

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anamorphic_format?wprov=sfti1
    Yup, this ^^^. Not to mention, JJ Abrams' lens flares are often a result of him and his production crew blasting their lenses with flashlights off screen and probably adding even more in post, because he doesn't know when to stop.
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