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New anamorphic adapter lens for iPhone 5/5s


Moondog Labs is Kickstarting its anamorphic adapter lens for iPhone 5/5s that will allow iPhoneographers to capture a widescreen video or still when shooting in a standard aspect ratio.  Anamorphic lenses were first used in the 1950s, bringing a widescreen look to films shots on 35mm stock.

While you can crop a video or image to fit a widescreen format by cropping horizontally, you lose part of the image. An anamorphic lens "squeezes" a widescreen image onto the recording medium. With Moondog Labs' 1.33x Anamorphic Adapter lens, a video shot on the iPhone in the standard 16:9 aspect ratio gains about 33% more width. Still images shot in 4:3 are expanded to 16:9.

This is a standard 16:9 aspect ratio video from an iPhone.
The same scene shot with the anamorphic adapter lens but before being "de-squeezed."
The final frame, after being "de-squeezed" in software to bring the image into scale.

Once the video or still is captured, the image has to be "de-squeezed" to proper scale. This can be achieved with software programs such as Final Cut Pro, Adobe Photoshop and others.

It's an interesting concept and, from the samples we've seen, brings a new and appealing look to video. And the lens certainly makes it easier to capture almost-panoramic still images. In addition to the widescreen look, anamorphic lenses also produce flare and bokeh as part of the cinematic look you might be working to achieve.

The Kickstarter project has already exceeded its $30,000 goal, so it looks like supporters may be seeing this product in hand as early as this month. See it in action below: 


Total comments: 37

Now people can post portrait videos to youtube that are even taller than before :)


I am truly laughing out loud!

1 upvote

Anamorphic flare FTW!!!!


This is crazy - it's like birthers in an Obama column - IF you don't like iphone stills/video great - lug you professional rig around. There is a place for just about everything, and I cannot carry my DSLR around to every event and if I can make my iphone stills/video look better I am happy. GoPro's have many of the same limitations - should anamorphic solutions for them be attacked too?


You want crazy? You should have been around the dpreview forums when the film vs. digital “debate” was still raging! :-) It’s funny now but it was not funny back then.

There are some differences this time around. Last time the manufacturers were trying to get everyone using film to switch to digital. This time, Apple could care less about pleasing most of the photographers that hang out at dpreview.

Apple is appealing to people who are less experienced. People around here who have had their minds bent and twisted for several years by Photoshop, Lightroom, and enthusiast cameras are going to have a harder time seeing benefits of using an iPhone than a beginner does.

I’m not putting myself above these people. I go back and look at my digital photos from the early 2000’s and wonder why didn’t I take more photos. The answer is because my mind was bent and twisted by years of film photography. It took me a long time to stop thinking that every picture costs money.

1 upvote

If a product is not for you, you could always, oh, I don't know,... Not buy it?

Complaining about a niche product for something you have no interest in seems strange.


The face palm comes in when you realize it's for a cell phone. There's a huge gap in the low budget DSLR anamorphic lens market. Interest and demand for these cheaper lenses is enormous, supply is painful. Even if you score a lens for several hundred dollars, it's probably crap (in all honesty). If you can raise 30k for a toy, you can probably raise ten times that for a serious budget alternative for DSLRs.


If it only fits a 5 or 5s, it leaves out a lot of people who are still using earlier iphones. Not everyone who uses Apple products is a slave to Apple and their advertisers. My 4 is still perfect and there is no justification for dumping it just because a new toy hit the streets in the 5s. I HAVE cameras of all kinds all over the place and I have to say a camera phone is always the worst of the lot. I carry a camera with me at almost all times anyway, and I understand that most people only want this kind of camera for snapshots and video, but once you start creating devices and software like this, it shows the dissatisfaction most people inherently have with phone cameras. People who are thrilled to death with their phone cameras also seem to be the same people who are thrilled with instagram, the wondrous program that magically turns your right-now photos into prints that have been lying in a cardboard box in the garage for twenty years. Not sure what the attraction is there.

1 upvote

"once you start creating devices and software like this, it shows the dissatisfaction most people inherently have with phone cameras.”

So far, according to the Kickstarter page, it shows the dissatisfaction of 357 people. That’s a long way from “most people."


Shut up and take my money!


Most awesome thing I've seen in a while!

Was never a fan of all these iPhone lens attachments (might as well use/buy a p&s camera) ..but this is something else! They're actually giving us something that isn't even possible without having to spend $1000-4000 on your dslr/mirrorless camera. Not to mention SIZE. A dslr/mirrorless anamorphic rig will be Huge - camera, mf lens, adapter mounts, anamorphic adapter, possibly rails and extras.

This gives us a real anamorphic lens and aesthetic that truly fits in your pocket - the aspect ratio, the slight distortion and most importantly the vertically stretched bokeh and the flares.

Iphone video IQ is decent and easy to use...especially just for home/travel/hobby videos..and this anamorphic adapter, will make a killer street anamorphic video camera.


I haven't owned an anamorphic lens in a while. I've had an Isco, 36, Isco 42, Kowa B&H and a Moller Bolex 19/1.5. So I am def excited for this product and will definitely buy it once it's available.

$125 is a bargain for an anamorphic lens. I don't care about perfect IQ nor lens sharpness... $1000+ anamorphic lenses aren't super sharp anyways compared to still image lenses... it's all about aesthetics and the look.


Anamorphic lens is ok, but the question is what you going to do with IPHONE and an anamorphic lens. Look I am a pretend-filmmaker?


I dont really give a hoot what people think. I just like the anamorphic aesthetic/look for my own personal video projects. I guess now that you mention it there are videographers that just want to look like a film maker..and others who just do it for fun and love doing it. I would never want to be a pro film maker in the first place (they're the most egotistical/pretentious creatives I have ever known).

Edited 1 minute after posting

Thank God it's not for DSLRs. Now my really shitty anamorphic Isco from the 60s will keep its value.


I will stick with panos..not because I am philosophically opposed...just because it is another piece of hw/sw to deal with. I don't do any video to speak of so that doesn't matter.


So... why do you reply then?

1 upvote

That's like fitting wheels to a tomato.


Interesting how the compact camera is being re-invented. But I already have a phone and don't want my talking device encumbered with add-ons. Produce a modular camera with connectivity that can take all these add-ons. Nikon? Canon? Sony and Samsung could do it.


Looks pretty cool, not sure why people are bitchin' about it......sure, you won't fnd many serious filmmakers using one because of the low resolution, but i like the look of those shots from the demo vid, and i imagine it will be quite cheap.


Agree, no sense complaining about this little lens adapter. What I scratch my head about, though, is if this isn't for the "serious filmmaker" then it has to appeal to the non-serious filmmaker who likely doesn't care about stretched aspect ratio anyway. Maybe there are a few that will.


At $125 a pop, it is really not cheap.

1 upvote

Is this a joke? Good marketing is everything.


Um guys, we're talking about an anamorphic adapter here, not some sort of standard zoom or tele attachment. You can't do this with any pocket camera. You can do it with adapters mounted on mirror less cameras and DSLR's (typically on rails because the adapters tend to be big and heavy), but its not cheap or easy.

For around $100 this is a pretty cool adapter to mess around with, if the image quality is decent. You can't really tell from the video, but my guess is that it's a mirror adapter (to get the price low.)

Edited 3 times; latest 6 minutes since posting
1 upvote

Well most pocketable cams start at 24mm which is still wider than a crappy iPhone with this adapter? Why spend more on a crippled device who does half-decent pictures in daylight?


Not much love here. But I think it is pretty darn neat. iPhones take better video than you think. Hey you have a phone with you all the time. Why not have a little pouch with a few adapters in it. Beats carrying a phone and a camera. It is the future like it or not.

1 upvote

How about if you put you inexpensive phone that does the job better if not as good as iPhone in one pocket and the other pocketable decent P&S in the other pocket?

I will pick the phone only if I have calls or sms or need to browse. I will pick the pocketable p&s for my photographic needs.

So I don't have a bulging pocket full of plastic accessories.

papa natas

So, let me try to understand it:
I buy your lens kit (which I find the design very elegant)
Then I will get a better focal view when I see through it (yes having always a 16:9 ratio on videos & stills it's a bitch)
Now, I will see WHAT on my replay from my iPhone screen?
Not a final product. I'll have to buy an aps to work it out on my computer. And as you just pointed out: better wait for next year, when there'll be another aps for editing.
This whole thing kind of complicates my simple joy of getting a better dimension on iphoneography.
What happened to plug & play?

Edited 23 seconds after posting

'iPhoneographers '

please stop


indeed, please stop this butchering of a fine language.

1 upvote

If not simulated, the results look pretty good.
Some people do not want to get any more serious about photography than this and I am fine with whatever someone else wants to do.
I personally do not own or desire an iPhone but this looks like a fun accessory for those that enjoy using their phones for videography. I must wonder though, who will the users be? It seems the reliance on an external application to un-squeeze the video captured will rule out a lot of the "keep-it-simple" folks who are the bulk of iPhones users.

1 upvote

"For the best workflow, we are working with FiLMiC Pro to incorporate a 1.33x anamorphic de-squeeze in their first quarter 2014 release for full in-app compatibility with the Anamorphic Adapter"

FiLMiC Pro is an app ($4.99) that gives cinematic controls to the iPhone. With FiLMiC Remote ($3.99), you can control an iPhone running FiLMiC Pro remotely with another iPhone or an iPad.

With the lens, apps, and available rigs for iPhones from various sources, it is indeed possible to use the iPhone 5/5S for digital film production, and there are in fact many examples of "shorts" produced using the iPhone for the camera.

Seems like a pretty solid low cost digital film system for budding directors.

Oh, and how about this remote gimbal for iPhone:

Edited 10 minutes after posting

Because I am already bring my iPhone, so I just have to carry an additional adapter, or two, and not a "travelzoom" camera. If I was trying to be "serious" I would bring my NEX-7 and lenses.


Now put those 100$ plastic accesories in your pocket with the iPhone. For sure at the end of the day, you will have to PP the image to death and put lousy filters for intacrap uploads. Where is the mobility there?

There are tons of premium compacts and travelzoom with FL from 24-720mm which is 10x better than iPhone in IQ and flexibility. And they cost around 250-500 only. Much better than a trying hard cameraphone.


Lemme guess, a common Joe will have to bring iPhone, some plastic adapters for macro, tele and wide and many more. Why not just carry a much better travelzoom that has FL from 24-600mm and forget about the misery and disastrous result from using iPhone? Trying to be serious? Get a serious tool and not a toy.


You are not trying to convince those who use iPhones to switch to a tool you think is better. You are just trying to convince those who do not use iPhones that iPhone users are idiots.


Good for people who have iPhones but no (decent) camera, but wants on occasion to make a movie. No-one rushes out to buy an iPhone just so they can make use of this adapter, it is for iPhone owners looking for something more. I can't see how you say this is a bad thing?

Total comments: 37
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