The SIRUI 75mm full-frame anamorphic lens Indiegogo campaign just went live and I was very curious to test the new lens together with the Canon EOS R5 C. Interested to know how this combo worked for me in the field? Then keep reading.
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Now, back to business, and let’s talk about what I have learned while using the new lens together with the upcoming Canon camera. SIRUI, a Chinese company specializing in producing budget-friendly anamorphic lenses for filmmakers just started its crowdfunding campaign for their second full-frame anamorphic lens, and this time, it’s a full-frame 75mm T2.9 1.6x lens that’s catching everyone’s attention. (More information about the new lens can be found here). Now, before going any further with this article, I have to be clear that this is NOT a lens or camera review by any means. This is my (short) impression after working with these two pieces combined.
SIRUI 75mm T2.9 1.6x Lens
SIRUI is very consistent with its line of lenses, so be prepared to expect the same optical performance from the new lens next to a similar variety of lens mounts. Now, for some, SIRUI is the one to open a “whole new world” of creative possibilities by introducing “on the budget” anamorphic lenses, but for others, the “look and feel” of the images their lenses produce is not “anamorphic enough”. I keep hearing that the “lenses are too sharp”, or, “the squeeze factor is not sufficient” (1.3x for smaller sensors and 1.6x for full-frame). I can definitely relate to some of these concerns, but at the same time, I am pleased to see a company trying its’ best to do something a bit different at an affordable price range when it comes to lenses. Personally, I try and “combat the lens sharpness” with a mist filter, and since I mostly work alone and with limited equipment, my current choice is the Freewell VND mist filter set.
Canon EOS R5 C
Before the camera was officially announced, I was already running with the camera for a very short time (You can read about my first impression here), and now I had the chance to use it for another couple of days. The biggest difference between my earlier impression and the experience I had working with the camera now, lies in the fact that previously I used a Canon AF lens, and this time, I used a manual lens.
I’m mentioning this because obtaining focus is crucial, especially when filming in 8K. It can be a camera bug but when working in 8K resolution, I was not able to “punch zoom into the picture” when using the EVF but only on the LCD. Strange indeed, so I’m almost certain that it is a firmware-related issue. I bet that if you watch the above video on a high-res monitor, you will spot a few places where I did not nail the focus 100% because I’m working mostly with EVF. On top, after catching Covid, I feel that my eyesight deteriorated a bit, which is OK as I don’t want to blame only the camera when seeking accurate focus.
But for me, the real obstacle was and still is, the absence of actual IBIS (In Body Image Stabilization) system inside this camera. In an interview I had with Aron Randhawa from Canon, he was doing his best to explain why the digital stabilizer alternative found in this camera might work better for some. I actually went back to this interview and listened to Aron’s statement again, but I am sorry to say, after working with the SIRUI 75mm anamorphic lens, it turned out to be a real issue for me. There are two main reasons for this, please allow me to explain.
Should I film in RAW, or MP4?
This was the main question I kept asking myself while working with the camera. I wanted to film the entire piece in RAW, but the digital stabilization system does not work in this mode. So here goes my “handheld filming desire”. This issue was less noticeable when previously working with the camera together with a stabilized Canon lens, but with a manual lens like the SIRUI, this was a limitation for me. So throughout the day, I was constantly switching between recording modes moving from RAW to MP4 whenever I wanted to get away from the tripod.
The other thing is, that stabilizing the image in a digital way requires the camera to “crop into the picture” (This is why it is not available in the RAW recording mode). Let’s leave aside the potential of losing a bit of the picture quality, but when working with a tight focal length lens, one will face additional crop into the image which is not desired. It is possible that in a “real world” production scenario this might be less of an issue but in my particular case, having an additional crop to the image was the last thing I wanted.
One additional thing that I’d love to highlight is: The Canon EOS R5 C does have a 3×2 sensor so it will be great if Canon moves forward with implementing an “open gate” filming option in this camera. The current anamorphic recording mode is using a 17×9 portion of the sensor, resulting in a (much too wide for my taste) 2.8:1 aspect ratio.
Last but not least, the camera does eat batteries fast, so do yourself a favor and either get the newest available Canon LP batteries or, have an external proper powering solution.
Final thoughts on working with this Camera/Lens combination
SIRUI has proven to be a reliable manufacturer who brings some solid products to the market – and in time! The SIRUI 75mm Full-Frame Anamorphic lens is no exception. With similar optical quality as their 50mm full-frame anamorphic lens, many will find it a good addition to their existing “on the budget” anamorphic set.
In regards to the Canon EOS R5 C, I stand by my opinion that it is a very versatile filming tool being limited by the absence of IBIS. As many have wondered, all what Canon had to do was leave the same IBIS system found in the original EOS R5 and let users decide if to enable it or not. I love Canon’s picture quality and what this camera offers, I just hope that Canon will consider adding additional functions for the benefit of users for even greater flexibility.
Camera setup for the above video
- Canon EOS 5R C, C-log 3, Full-Frame, 8K/24p, RAW Light LT, and MP4 (H.265). Slowmotion scene: 4K/120p (Upscaled to the 8K timeline)
- Lens: SIRUI 75mm, Full-Frame Anamorphic lens T2.9 1.6x
A note about crowdfunding campaigns
This article contains an affiliate link to SIRUI’s Indiegogo campaign.
Guys, is any of you filming with SIRUI lenses? How do you like them so far? Are you interested in trying out the SIRUI 75mm Full-Frame Anamorphic lens? I’m not asking about the Canon EOS R5 C as the current shipping date indicates April 4th. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.