Squeezing the most out of the Moment 1.33x Anamorphic Adapter 

There are few things that are more satisfying than doing a lot with a little. As Moore’s law pushes us forward, there always seems to be that one buzz thing that really defines the mood of the moment. 

Thanks to these advances, these pieces of tech are ones that have been moved from unobtainium for most to much more accessible to the masses. Ten years ago it was Timelapse, then gimbal, drones, 4K, VR, FPV and I would argue that next on the horizon is Anamorphic. 

Anamorphic lenses have traditionally cost big bucks and are hard to get a hold of. But now companies like Atlas, Sirui, and others have begun to offer much more affordable options.

I’ve always loved putting these budget options to the test to see how close they can get to their much more expensive counterparts. Things like pushing the FX3 towards the Alexa Mini look not only yield an interesting result but can provide a lot of value when the shoot doesn’t call for a big-budget approach.

This brings me to the Moment 1.33x Anamorphic adapter. An incredible (and affordable) piece of gear that transforms 16:9 video to Cinemascope 2.35:1 format.  It also has a wonderful white flare (instead of blue). 
Some of the episodic/doc work that I do is really the most enjoyable when it’s just me, the camera, and the subject. It really removes a lot of barriers and puts a heavy emphasis on the story. For years I’ve been using spherical Zeiss ZE primes for this work. They have a sharp look, but are not too clinical, and look very good for the price point, despite being a few generations back. 
The Moment has its limits of course-but in my case with the FX3 it completely transforms the look of the ZE’s in a way that hits a huge sweet spot for me. 
It’s a big chunk of glass so pretty immediately you have to start thinking about rod support. But I’ve found that the 50mm 1.4 (with Clearview 1.1x engaged) doesn’t need it since it’s so small. 

The first test was taking it on a travel piece to the desert mountains of Utah for an episodic with my friend Alex. The setup was just an EVF eyepiece and mic and that’s it. 

The image quality results were quite stunning and exactly what I was looking for to bring more character to the piece, without straying too far into an unintelligible aesthetic. The only major issue I encountered was many of the shots required stabilization because the build was not balanced. Warp stabilization in post took care of it, but it’s not something I’d do again.

After seeing what the adapter could do I was ready to really commit to it for a much bigger task.

Weeks later we were in Italy for a film featuring a vintage Nissan Le Mans R390 GT1 car. We had a test track for ourselves and Guilia Quadrafolgio available as our chase car. Normally with a small budget, we wouldn’t even think of trying to do car-to-car- but by borrowing a number of things from our Alexa Mini build, we decided to give it a shot with the Tilta Hydra Alien, Movi Pro, Teradek, and Nucleus.

Beyond safety and something detaching from the camera car, we also were wondering if the Moment would spin its alignment lock with the forces we were about to throw at it. But amazingly it didn’t budge the whole time. 

We got the setup to over 130mph on the straights and amazingly (with careful rigging) we did pretty well in the corners as well. Mixing the track footage with a lit garage scene and scenic talent footage yielded a wonderful result that Nissan themselves even shared. 

 The next shoot with it would be a very different subject matter, but another fantastic way to see what this setup could do.

For this much more human-focused, gastronomic film, shot in Denmark, we rigged up the camera in a more traditional documentary style and since Copenhagen is so beautiful, really tried to let a lot of the scenery breathe. 

I had thought because of all of the midday shots the sun could be a problem monitoring, so I had rigged up the EVF to the LCD…but we ended up not needing it at all. 

By this time as well it was more comfortable for Oli, the DP to pull focus on his own, rather than wirelessly, and by the third time around, I felt that we really were starting to nail what the Moment was all about. 

Each of these film’s looks is completely defined by the Moment. Having shot so much with just the Zeiss themselves, the adapter gives a whole different dimension to the image. For me, it provides the perfect amount of distortion and flare, without getting too wild and makes it so perfect for these types of run-and-gun films that still require a special look to them. 

If money were no object tackling these films with an Alexa Mini and Kowa EVO 2x setup would be the first thought, but at a fraction of that budget, the FX3 + Moment delivers image quality that I would argue 95% of people won’t be able to tell a discernible difference in.

The Adapter has become an essential piece of kit for me and I’m thrilled to let it continue to define the look of these films. 

Year in Review
Jeremy Heslup

A Postcard from 2023

Not without its fair share of twists and turns, 2023 shaped up as a full vibrant year with a variety of work for us around the world. From a spec project in Portland, to 3 trips to Europe for hyper car launch and finally closing out the year with celebrity talent, we’re proud of the teamwork it took to get all of these outstanding projects delivered on time and within budget.

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