Sandmarc 1.33x Anamorphic Lens Review – iPhone Filmmaking At Its Best
iPhone filmmaking is gaining traction thanks to high-quality dedicated gear like the Sandmarc 1.33x Anamorphic Lens. While there are some issues with Sandmarc lenses as a whole, the 1.33x anamorphic offering is super cost-effective compared to the competition and provides a more balanced look.
In this Sandmarc 1.33x Anamorphic Lens review, we’ll discuss what comes with all Sandmarc lenses, what the anamorphic lens will do to your iPhone’s native camera and everything you need to know about desqueezing.
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Table of Contents
iPhone Filmmaking on the Sandmarc Anamorphic Lens
You’re a mobile filmmaker who’s looking for a bit more of a cinematic look to their short films, and you’ve decided that an anamorphic lens for your smartphone is worth the investment. Here are some things you need to know about Sandmarc’s anamorphic lens before purchasing it.
- The lens flares are both blue and gold
- Sandmarc uses threaded mounting which in my experience is less than ideal
- Orienting the Sandmarc anamorphic lens is prone to problems
- You must desqueeze the footage from your Sandmarc anamorphic lens
- Sandmarc lenses come with everything necessary to use the lens
This iPhone anamorphic lens from Sandmarc also comes in a 1.55x option which may be preferable for some. I don’t have the Sandmarc 1.55x but I would be willing to pick one up to review if enough people comment on this post.
You may also consider some of Sandmarc’s other lenses too as they can add different focal lengths to your videos. The additional focal lengths will just add some variety to your short films and make them more interesting for viewers.
What is a 1.33x Anamorphic Desqueeze?
One of the most common complaints in regards to mobile anamorphic lenses is that the footage looks odd. If I had to guess, the footage looks off because the user failed to desqueeze their anamorphic footage. If you just attach a mobile anamorphic lens to your phone and shoot in the native camera app, then the footage will look bad. Desqueezing is a fairly simple, albeit moderately expensive, process that you must do for optimal results.
Options for desqueezing Sandmarc anamorphic lens footage directly on the phone include:
- BeastCam Pro Camera from BeastGrip – to do an anamorphic desqueeze in BeastCam Pro Camera
- Moment Pro Camera – to do an anamorphic desqueeze in Moment Pro Camera
- Filmic Pro – to do an anamorphic desqueeze in Filmic Pro,
It is also worth noting that you can desqueeze anamorphic footage on your computer as well using software like Final Cut, Adobe Premiere, or Da Vinci Resolve.
Sandmarc Anamorphic Lens Review
Sandmarc Anamorphic Lens Price
The price of the Sandmarc anamorphic is lower than that of its biggest competition, Moment and BeastGrip. In my opinion, the image quality from the Sandmarc is no less impressive than that of the BeastGrip and/or Moment anamorphic lenses.
While there are less expensive options on the market, the image quality starts to drift off at the $100 mark. I am working on getting a budget anamorphic lens from Ulanzi to test against the Sandmarc 1.33x anamorphic lens, so comment if that’s something you’re interested in.
Where to Buy Sandmarc Lenses
The best place to buy Sandmarc lenses is on Sandmarc’s website, but Sandmarc lenses are also sold on Amazon, though sometimes stock low.
Should You Also Buy the Sandmarc Pro Case?
While all Sandmarc lens purchases come with a Standard Case, it would behoove you to pick up the Pro Case. In my testing for the Sandmarc 1.33x anamorphic lens review video, I found that the Pro Case was almost twice as fast for mounting the lens as the one that comes with your purchase. You can purchase the Sandmarc Pro Case here.
The Standard Case misthreads with the lens nearly every time you go to mount, and when you’re shooting video on a time crunch, this is an absolute pain in the butt. The Pro Case is better, though, I do much prefer Moment’s mounting design.
You may also consider the BeastCage from BeastGrip to mount Sandmarc lenses. While it is fairly expensive, the BeastCage does over 20 1/4″ mounting holes that are ideal for any mobile filmmaker. It is worth noting that the BeastCage is not a phone case so much as a phone attachment, so don’t expect to use it as an everyday case.
Sandmarc vs Moment
Both Sandmarc Action Gear and Moment have been making mobile photography and filmmaking lenses since 2013 and feature fairly similar followings. You can see their lenses compared head-to-head on our Youtube channel.
Read about the Sandmarc Anamorphic vs the Moment Anamorphic!
In terms of purely lenses, the edge in clarity goes to Sandmarc. It is worth noting, though, that not every Sandmarc lens is better. In terms of mounting and overall usability of the lenses, however, Moment takes the cake. The Moment M-Series bayonet-style mounting system is much better than Sandmarc’s threaded mounting, and it’s not even close.
Is the Sandmarc iPhone Anamorphic Lens Worth It?
The Sandmarc 1.33x anamorphic lens is good but not great. If you are easily frustrated by poor mounting, then it’s probably worth considering a different mobile anamorphic lens. That being said, if you’re a decent creative looking to get into mobile filmmaking, then the anamorphic lens from Sandmarc is certainly worth considering. This 1.33x iPhone anamorphic lens is cost-effective without shorting on performance and, as such, is a great beginner lens for iPhone filmmakers.
Comment below which iPhone lens you want reviewed, and we may just review it.