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Sony PXW-Z90 plus AG-LA7200G anamorphic adapter
  • Hi guys. I'd like to draw on your collective wisdom. If you persevere through the post you'll eventually find a question in there :-)

    I own a Sony Z90 cam and also an anamorphic adapter that came many moons ago with Panny DVX100 (1.33x squeeze). That thing was meant for SD, to bring widescreen to the original 4:3 sensor.

    Short story I mashed the two together and shot some footage a couple of nights ago at a light installations festival - in 4K no less! It just about works, except for the very widest focal (which on the Z90 is about 29-30mm in 35mm equivalent), in which case the lateral edges of the adapter enter the frame upon panning (I don't get this, see below). It expands the FOV to about 22-24mm horizontally. After desqueeze it gives an effective 5K (5120x2160), which I scaled down/reframed to both 4K Blu-ray Scope (3840x1600) and 4K DCI Scope (4096x1716).

    I shot mostly at F3.1/+12dB, so it's a worst case baseline. I haven't had the chance to shoot it stopped down in daylight yet. I will cut the night footage and put it on Vimeo for you to have a look at.

    So the question is...do you guys think it's worth the hassle to get Scope ratio this way vs. just cropping the frame? Let's not go into the anamorphic look argument - a $100,000 Panavision lens the LA7200 isn't ... it does fetch $750 or so on Ebay though, and I could use the money. The use case for it is rather limited - wide angles and little to no camera movement. On any rapid movement the outer frame of the adapter opposite to the direction of movement juts into view momentarily - it's actually weird as I don't understand the physics of it. I will get a proper step up ring (62-72) to bring the adapter closer to the Z90 lens - I improvised with a couple of step up rings and this may have something to do with it. It's also finicky and moves out of alignment if I bump it even a bit. It can only be used on a controlled shoot. The only plus I see is that it gives me a wide angle (but only in Scope) on a camera which needs it.

    Propose a list of shots to throw at this combo, and I will do them with and without the adapter. If we kind of decide it isn't worth it I'll put it up on Ebay.

  • 3 Replies sorted by
  • So this is the worst the anamorphic adapter can do on the Z90 @F3.1/+12dB.

    Thoughts? Does this look like a keeper to you?

  • You might have steadishot/lens stabilization/EIS turned on and that's why you can see the edges when you pan.

    Getting the proper step-up ring will help a little with this.

    It's a little soft on the edges, the proper step up ring will help there too, but, even high-end Panavision anamorphics are a little soft on the edges wide-open.

    The LA7200 is a nice, simple anamorphic adapter, let's you adjust the horizon and lock it down, gives you cool blue flares in ext. day/night, has a look to it, sets your footage apart from others, etc. If you think you would like to shoot a music video or short film in scope, keep it. It will be harder to find one when you need it quickly. It is modern anamorphic glass and there aren't many options for that around.

    Here's my anamorphic test/V-Log-L test with a 1980's Nikkor and 1960's Bolex-Moeller 1.5x anamorphot on a GH4 w/ 0.71x speed booster for comparison. LUT only, no CC:

  • @CFreak Yes I had all manner of stabilization on (called Active on the Z90, 5 axis something something), I shot handheld. There are a number of issues with your setup, it makes LA7200 look good in comparison! Not meant as a slight, you seem to know your anamorphics. I only used it as intended on the DVX100.

    There's a guy on youtube, Eyepatch Productions, somewhat obsessed with the LA7200, who claims that a +0.25 diopter BETWEEN the lens and the adapter (it would be a circular 62mm thread diopter) will improve the optics in both closeups and far field. Do you think there's something to this, before I commit myself to finding one? Buying one is nigh impossible but having one made at an optometrist could be an option. I have a 62mm UV filter I could cannibalize.