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Tips for shooting anamorphic on the FX3 or FX30


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I recently used two Sirui T2.9 1.6x Full-Frame anamorphic lenses for my

with the FX3 and FX30. I wasn't sure what to expect from the budget anamorphics, but I was pleasantly surprised!

I don’t care about oval bokeh. In fact, I’m not sure I even like the blue streak flares. The main thing I love about anamorphic is the wider field of view.


If you’ve shot anamorphic, then you know that the lenses work by squeezing more horizontal information onto the sensor. The result is that beautiful wideness that harkens to every classic widescreen film ever made. Shooting anamorphic on the FX3 has been at the top of my mind for awhile, and I'm happy I finally got a chance to do it.

I shared overall tips in the video, but here are specific tips on how to shoot anamorphic with the FX3 and FX30:


  • 1) Get a monitor to preview the desqueezed image

There’s no desqueeze option in the FX3 or FX30, so you have two options: compose your shot in that wacky anamorphic squish mode, or use a monitor. With almost any monitor on the market, it’s as easy as pushing a button to desqueeze and change the viewing aspect ratio. I used the Atomos Ninja V+, which also comes with the big added benefit of being able to record externally in ProresRaw and at 4.2K.

On the Ninja V+, the 1.5 desqueeze option is the closest for the Sirui lenses. (The Sirui adds 1.6x horizontally.) It is OK if it’s not exact; it doesn’t burn in the desqueeze.


  • 2) Do a little math and decide the final aspect ratio you will use (because it affects your framing)

Anamorphic lenses tend to come in 2x, 1.6x, 1.5x, and 1.33x. Since the FX3 and FX30 both shoot in 16 x 9, whatever the number of your anamorphic lens will increase the horizontal view by that number.

My Sirui lens is 1.6x, so that means my image will be (1.6 x 16) x 9.

That’s 25.6 x 9.

Simplifying that ratio, you get 2.8444 x 1. Or as it’s more commonly written, 2.8:1.

Some people, not me, find it too wide (especially for Youtube). Others may need to deliver their project in a more conventional aspect ratio. If you want to deliver in something closer to 2.39:1, your main option is to crop the final image. In that case, you’ll definitely need to use your monitor to add guides for where the image will be cropped, and then compose accordingly. Otherwise, you may find that you didn’t compose your image with the crop in mind, and may have crucial stuff in the corners of the frame that you didn’t realize make cropping a sad affair.

I needed to put my anamorphic footage into a regular 16 x 9 timeline to go with our behind-the-scenes footage, all meant for Youtube. I decided to leave the aspect ratio of the anamorphic footage as is in 2.8:1, just smaller, into that frame. I love the wideness, even that small.


  • 3) Use diopters / macro adapters for close focus

Anamorphics are notorious for not being able close focus. With the Sirui lenses, I believe the focus distance is around 3 feet. If that’s a problem for a shot you have in mind, there’s an easy fix. Get diopters! I used this one. We used a 1x diopter on our snowball shot and it worked fine. I used the 10x on footage that also came out cool (but I didn’t use in the final field test) and it has that awesome macro closeness.


  • 4) Find all the light you can

Anamorphics are also known for not being all that fast. T2.9 is actually pretty decent, but in any kind of low-light situation, you’re going to need to think of ways to bring in light to the scene instead of relying on aperture. When you start to lose light, consider switching to the more sensitive base ISO (12,800 on the FX3, 2500 on the FX30).


  • 5) Desqueeze in Post manually

I edit in Premiere Pro. While you can modify>interpret footage and choose to de-squeeze anamorphic, the only options are to conform the image to 2x anamorphic of 1.33x anamorphic. The Sirui shoots 1.6x anamorphic.

No worries, you just change the scale manually, and not only is it for the best if you change timelines and aspect ratios at any point, it’s super simple.

In scale, leave the vertical alone at 100, and change the horizontal to, in the case of a 1.6x anamorphic lens, 160%.


If you are using Resolve or FCP, it’s a similar process, and Sirui has a handy breakdown here.


Those are my tips.

If you have more anamorphic knowledge to add, please share!

Heaven forbid anyone's used Hawk or Cooke anamorphics and can share how cool they look...

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