Beastgrip announces 1.55X Anamorphic Lens MK2, an anamorphic lens for smartphones.
Beastgrip has announced the Pro series “1.55X Anamorphic Lens MK2,” a 1.55X anamorphic lens for smartphones. With anamorphic flare and unique perspective, the lens enables ultra-wide-angle 2.76:1 aspect ratio shooting.
Why the New Lens?
The latest advances in smartphone technology, such as larger camera sensors and faster optics, have created new challenges for conversion lenses developed for older smartphones with smaller sensors. These lenses don’t perform great, and most of the time you’ll end up with mediocre quality results. Beastgrip has always aimed to make only the best gear for smartphone photography and filmmaking and is proud to release the MK2 version of its 1.55X anamorphic lens.
What’s the difference?
According to Beastgrip, anamorphic lenses are generally very difficult to produce with high optical performance, and it is becoming even more difficult to achieve results with the latest models. The most noticeable issues are soft images on the sides of the frame, vignettes (dark corners), and noticeable optical aberrations (color fringes and halation). However, many claim that these optical “flaws” give the image more personality, make it more “natural,” and help hide the usual smartphone look. Beastgrip says that these flaws are the standard affair for anamorphic lens and this lens will not “destroy the image” with these “flaws.” The AR coating determines the color and intensity of the horizontal flare, so it plays a big role in the final image appearance. Any light source can produce flare, which can cast color shadows across the image in such a way as to strongly affect the overall color tone and white balance of the image.
In reality, any conversion lens adds additional optical “imperfections.” Ideally, a perfect lens would not have imperfections at all, but it is impossible to achieve such perfectionism. As such, the company aimed to create a lens with the most balanced performance, great detail throughout the frame, great flare, and color accuracy.
With a redesigned optical design, the lens has the ability to produce results compatible with all previous and new generation smartphones. The new three glass element design of the lens and professional grade AR coating ensure the best results every time. When shooting with this lens, you can get a well-balanced horizontal lens flare without over-saturation. The results are natural and beautiful colors without adding hue like other lenses. There’s no vignetting, great detail across the frame, and even a device with a 24mm primary camera has a nice roll-off going into the corners.
The body of the lens is made of machined aluminum with an anodized finish, which makes it highly durable. It also has a rotatable lens barrel for proper lens alignment. It also features a 37mm lens mount that fits the company’s universal rigs Beastgrip Pro and Beastcage, and can be used with Android and iPhone smartphones.
Smartphone and Rig The lens is compatible with all smartphones. Can be used on iPhone with dedicated Beastcage or universal Beastgrip Pro rig.
Filters Due to the ultra-wide horizontal field of view and the large glass size, it is necessary to increase the size of the filter mount, so the lens is equipped with a 62mm filter mount. The company’s 58mm filters cannot be attached directly to the lens, but if you want to use Beastgrip’s 58mm filters, a custom step-down ring is included. If you use a 58mm filter with the same lens via a step-down ring, vignetting will occur with the main wide camera. Requires up to 15% camera zoom to eliminate vignetting.
For maximum performance, we recommend using a 62mm filter directly or at least a 77mm filter with a step-up ring. 24mm and larger cameras may require minimal in-camera zoom due to filter frame design. The minimal in-camera zoom does not affect video quality, even when shooting in 4K.
Tips and tricks
Here are some tips for getting the best results when shooting with the lens.
Lens alignment is very important for optimum optical performance. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that the lens barrel is positioned horizontally to avoid image distortion. Also, when using the universal Beastgrip Pro rig, you need to make sure the lens is centered on the camera. Recommend using 3rd party apps that support anamorphic lens de-squeeze such as Beastcam, Filmic Pro.
Due to the optical aperture and barrel distortion, the lens is not compatible with smartphone image stabilization. If you want to take pictures with effective image stabilization, it is recommended to turn off image stabilization and use a tripod or gimbal. If you’re shooting handheld, you can turn on the stabilization option, but it’s a good idea to test it a few times first to see how much motion the stabilization can handle before introducing optical distortion.
Like all anamorphic lenses, it also has barrel distortion. One of the tricks when shooting cityscapes and landscapes is to keep the horizon in the middle of the frame so that it is a straight line. If the photographic equipment is slightly tilted, horizontal distortion will occur.
If you want to take close-up shots, we recommend adding a simple diopter filter to the lens. The optimal focus distance for this lens starts at around 91cm, and if you want to get close to your subject and get a tight shot, you’ll need to use a diopter filter to ensure proper focus. The dioptric filter is a set of 4, each with its own magnification. Diopter enables clear focusing from a distance of several centimeters to a distance of several meters.
The lens is suitable for smartphone users who need high-quality cinematic images, such as film directors, content creators, or anyone who wants to capture beautiful memories, allowing them to capture footage with a more cinematic look and feel.