FUJIFILM X-T4 and SIRUI 50mm Anamorphic Lens – Handheld Sample Footage

March 27th, 2020

Guys, taking into consideration the situation we are all in, I hope my post finds you well. Indeed challenging times ahead! Tokyo is still not under lockdown so I took the initiative to go out and produce a short video featuring my neighborhood and the closer surroundings. It was a perfect occasion to do what so many of you asked me before right after sharing “Arisa”, the short documentary I’ve published when the X-T4 was announced. You wanted to know if and how the new IBIS in the camera functions when a manual lens is attached to the camera body. So I’m happy to report back and say, it works very well. 

FUJIFILM X-T4 and SIRUI 50mm Anamorphic lens (Image credit: cinema5D)

Last week I finished to film a short documentary with the new Canon 1D X Mark III (amazing VDSLR camera), and while (not so) patiently waiting for Apple to finally deliver my newly ordered MacBook Pro 16 inch so I can edit the RAW footage I took, I’ve decided to exercise freedom while it lasts and went out to enjoy the colors of spring and the very relaxed atmosphere in my neighborhood and its surroundings.

FUJIFILM X-T4 (Pre Production Model)

I think there is no real need to repeat what I’ve written and described in my previously released camera hands-on review. Instead, please allow me to share again my conclusion:

The FUJIFILM X-T4 is currently the best APS-C camera that can shoot video in the market (and in all honesty, with its functionality and picture quality it can easily challenge many of the more expensive full-frame mirrorless cameras out there). This camera can be deployed in a large variety of productions, but if you are like me – a documentary filmmaker who travels a lot and has equipment weight and luggage size in mind – this camera might prove to be very useful to you. On top, having IBIS on board (and a really good one), opens the door for much more handheld work which was less possible before, with the X-T3. Even using FUJIFILM’s own MKX lenses seems to be much more attractive now.

FUJIFILM X-T4 and SIRUI 50mm Anamorphic lens setting (Image credit: cinema5D)

What I can now add is a little tip. If you are attempting to use the camera with a single focal length manual lens make sure to get your “Mount Adapter Settings” correctly, which is found inside the I.Q camera menu. In my case when working with the SIRUI 50mm anamorphic lens, I set it up on “50mm”. This setting, together with the camera settings on “IS Mode-IBIS/OIS” and “IS mode Boost-on”, gave me very satisfactory results.

One thing to remember when working with an anamorphic lens on any of the FUJIFILM cameras is that there is no way to de-squeeze the footage internally and get the correct aspect ratio. Limiting as it is from the perspective of making compositions, it is absolutely doable to film like this…

SIRUI 50mm Anamorphic lens (Image credit: cinema5d)

SIRUI 50mm Anamorphic lens (Pre Production Model)

Both, Nino my colleague and I were testing and reviewing this lens before. Nino’s footage can be found here and my article review can be found by clicking here. And if I have to summerise our impression of the lens I’ll quote Nino. Here is what we wrote:

It’s a remarkable achievement not only for the price. The lens is very sharp, even when shooting wide open at f/1.8, which was totally unexpected for me. It’s well built from metal, and I can see this show up on a lot of low-budget anamorphic productions everywhere. Right now it’s a shame that there isn’t another focal length available, I would love to see a full set of these out now, but we are hoping that they will come.

So yes, a stronger squeeze and more “anamorphic lens identity” would have been nice to have, but for the price, this lens does a very decent job.

FUJIFILM X-T4 and SIRUI 50mm Anamorphic lens – Perfect combo (Image credit: cinema5D)

FUJIFILM X-T4 & SIRUI 50mm Anamorphic Lens – Final Thoughts

When filming, I was not really chasing flairs (OK, maybe once…), so this short article and video were really aiming to check how well the IBIS in the FUJIFILM X-T4 handles manual lenses, and I can safely say that it worked perfectly together with the SIRUI 50mm anamorphic lens.

Now, the camera should be available towards the end of April (only in black for now), and from the information I got, it is planned to be manufactured in China only. The SIRUI lens should be shipping by now, but acknowledging the challenges some Chinese manufacturers are currently having I won’t be surprised if it is a bit delayed.

From the timeline. Stay safe! (Image credit: cinema5D)

Camera settings for the above video: 4K/25p, H265, All Intra (but one shot at 60p Long-GOP), F-Log. All was shot handheld. Grading using FUJIFILM’s own ETERNA film simulation LUT

Music courtesy of MusicVine.com – Get 25% off any Pay-Per-Use license with code C5D25 (valid for one use per customer).

What do you think about the new  FUJIFILM X-T4 in combination with the SIRUI 50mm anamorphic lens? Would you consider this duo for your professional work? Share with us your thoughts in the comment section below.  

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 Evgeny Svalov
Evgeny Svalov
Member
July 8th, 2020

Hi and thank you for the detailed review! A short question, would this one work with Fuji X-T30? I haven’t found any single mention of compatibility with X-T30 anywhere.

Richard Gerst Visuals
Member
April 12th, 2020

Johnnie,

Thank you for this- nice work.

Were you maintaining a shutter angle of 180 though out? I see some unusual motion cadence.

Beautiful stuff- Fuji is really getting impressive with their efforts on the XT-4.
I’m tempted to supplement my GH5.

Best,
RG

Member
April 10th, 2020

This lens is quite useless, especially for MFT. 50mm is too long for most shots. 50mm is a portrait photography focal length, and while it of course can be used for movies, the bulk of shots in movies require wider lenses. If they could make a 24mm and a 35mm, then we’re talking (and yes, I did take the anamorphic calculations into account, when calculating it against BMPCC’s 1.9x crop). Then the 50mm would simply be the 3rd more used lens in a film. But having only a 50mm (which is the easiest to construct), it’s not useful to a filmmaker.

 Giovanni Lorini
Member
April 2nd, 2020

Hello from Italy at the third week of lockdown. Thank you for the video Johnnie, interesting as usual ! I‘m thinking about XT4 plus anamorphic lens for my next kit, there is a anamorphic mode on XT4 so is possible to use full or almost full height of the sensor ? Blue flare of the Sirui lens seems not so strong,
what do you think ? I experienced very strong flare effect on my moment lens (I have one anamorphic test on my YouTube videos) and I don’t like it so so much…
I noticed some wobbling in one or two shot but only looking at it in a larger screen because are very small
defect, do you noticed it ?

 Giovanni Lorini
Member
April 14th, 2020
Reply to  Johnnie Behiri

Hey Johnnie,
yes a little better now but still locked in house !
Regarding the wobbling I noted it at 1.11 (wide shot of temple) and in the two clips after it.
Maybe because Sirui is not native lens, or Ibis is not fine tuned in the camera tested ?
I still are amazed from the quality of the XT4 even I can only see at clips only trough
You Tube (anyway in 4k). Is available some original footage ?
Thank You
Giovanni

 Alex Sf
Alex Sf
Member
March 31st, 2020

Did somebody received his sirui 50 mm? News about delivery? Even my xt3 doesn’t have in body stabilisation…it would love to get this scope lens!
PS: Johnnie, it’s a little bit because of you I left canon for Fuji. ;)

 Chris Sugden-Smith
Chris Sugden-Smith
Member
March 28th, 2020

Hi Johnnie, thanks so much for the creativity, care for your contributors, and ‘old school’ experience of working with earlier professional cameras that ‘shines through’ in your reports.

As you know, the term ‘hand-holding’ originally required the size and weight of those cameras to be hoisted onto the operators shoulder, the ‘shooting eye’ clamped to a side mounted viewfinder, one hand extended forward and down to the molded hand grip, and the other up to (usually) a zoom lens to mechanically ride focal length, focus and iris … all mechanical … no auto anything except, maybe, ‘through the lens metering’.

That was the ‘lightweight’ film camera that ‘freed-up’ the cameraman/woman to be able to follow and continue to observe their chosen subject. The mainstream development of using a video camera followed on, with ‘going handheld’ requiring the same logistical athletics and balancing tricks to tell the story “that will put across the feeling of what it was like to be there” (Partial quote from Robert Drew of the Direct Cinema Movement).

Through all this long technical development, contrary to later self-conscious use of ‘Hand Held’ as a stylistic choice to ‘inject’ some ‘edgy quality’ (‘wobblyscope’, as it was sometimes called), the original, underlying motive of experienced operators was to move handheld as if on a ‘dolly’ or ‘crane’; keeping the top of the frame horizontal, and verticals, if the focal-length allowed, to be ‘appear vertical’. Any movement ideally made as smoothly as possible whilst developing the shot and just keeping-up with the story.

I love the fact that you are pursuing a minimalist (no complex rig) now a truly ‘hand-held’, approach to your 5D work, which Fujifilm seem increasingly to be enabling as they both listen to, and develop their camera designs. With their latest IBIS and auto-focus I’m imagining that is how you shot much of “Arisa”?

With the use of ‘mechanical only’ lenses such as this Sirui 50mm Anamorphic I would be interested to know of your experiences using it to ‘follow the action’, particularly with regard to changing focus and exposure, just as in the early days. I like that it is not such a ‘wide angle lens’, more forgiving as they can be in ‘cushioning motion’, and in ‘scooping up the action’ be a ‘safer way’ to catch the moments.

I’m coming at this from being old enough to have begun on Eclair and Aaton film cameras. Now my interest is in exactly what you are demonstrating, and doing so well as a ‘one man film maker’. I’m way behind on what it takes to handle so much data and carry the ‘cutting room’ in your computer. And then there’s the sound, all to often ‘the poor relation, when you are ‘on your own’. Although long out of the professional game I’ve managed to get something right by running with Fujifilm when they ‘took off’ with their X100 rangefinder style products for ‘stills’.

As I said at the beginning of my now overlong ‘comment’, your earlier professional experience shows through in your attitude and observational skills, please keep ‘publishing’ your stories. This whole piece is really only meant to be a thanks to you and Cinema 5D, not meant to be ‘shown’.

Chris Sugden-Smith
Chris Sugden-Smith
Guest
March 30th, 2020
Reply to  Johnnie Behiri

Thanks so much Johnnie,
Any use of a mechanical lens would seem, unavoidably? to bring us back to the original importance of the operators relationship with a viewfinder. Again you will know how critical that relationship could be, particularly as the ‘game’ of ‘just’ following an observational brief intensified with increases in definition and the need to be able to ‘see focus’ in the viewfinder.
It would seem to bring us back to a ‘minimalist rig’ for a separate viewfinder? Whilst appreciating the ‘seduction’ of a wide-angle lens, the wide-angle end of the zooms (or wide primes) that increasingly became available had, for me, a downside in that they increasingly ‘distorted the ‘reality’ of the spaces, and spacial-relationships, of the story we wanted to ‘observe’. In short wide-angle lenses can easily, and unwittingly, be ‘misused’?
This does seem to open out the debate around any particular sequence in a film to be, not only about aesthetic qualities, but also about some of the differences in the way a ‘stills shot’ needs mostly to tell its story in that one shot, one ‘moment’, whereas the ‘movie’ is based more on structuring ‘a moment’ with a sequence of separate shots. So much to enjoy in these discussions, thank you for the opportunity.
I also love your film “Arisa”, as noted by the commentator Szocs Tamas, that he completely forgot about the ‘tech’ and enjoyed the gift both you and Arisa gave us in telling her story.

Thanks again for all the work you guys are doing, and presumably Johnnie if you’re still in Tokyo, please stay safe and continue to be able to do what you do so well.

 Chris Sugden-Smith
Chris Sugden-Smith
Member
April 1st, 2020
Reply to  Johnnie Behiri

Hi Johnnie,

“EVF….Currently juggling with an idea that might bring the young generation to use it again. (Most of the young creatives i know, are using an external monitor or LCD screen….”

I’m really looking forward to seeing that idea materialise Johnnie. Thanks again for all your work.
Chris

 Aitor Ibarra
Aitor Ibarra
Member
March 28th, 2020

Thanks so much for this – I have been wanting to see an example of this combination ever since the X-T4 was announced.

It would be nice to see Fujifilm do an update to support de-squeeze in the EVF.

Oscar M
Guest
March 28th, 2020

Looks nice but it would be like a 70mm for the BMPCC4K – so if you go for the telefoto look then its ok but I dont see that it is that usefull.

Alex
Alex
Guest
April 8th, 2020
Reply to  Johnnie Behiri

But not so many cameras on a market with the option of the anamorphic 6K footage like GH5/G9

Guest
March 28th, 2020

are there some encoding issues in those first few shots? – grass and water is macro blocking and doing weird stuff. Youtube or camera codec issue? Good to see you are free to wander – enjoy the space.

 French Swed
French Swed
Member
March 28th, 2020

The audio is so good, original and actual that I lost the focus on the camera and lens tests ;-)

Jamie
Jamie
Guest
March 27th, 2020

Powerful piece, quick turnaround too! Thoughts on the handheld edge being little extreme across the board? Maybe demands a heavier rig or stabilization at some point in the pipeline.

 mark glastra
mark glastra
Member
March 27th, 2020

I don’t quite see what’s special about this.

John
John
Guest
March 27th, 2020

How to de-squeeze the footage in the post?

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