What with the recent availability of focus units for anamorphic lenses I imagine a number of Iscorama users have felt a little worried that their investment might devalue, or worse, the treasured optical capabilities surpassed.
I decided to take my own Iscorama 36 (Single coated) out with a beautiful early canon 50mm f2 lens (with matching single coatings to the Iscorama. My task was to shoot in high contrast situations, wide open on a taking lens that pushes the wide angle capabilities of the Iscorama to its furthest limits. 50mm f2 + Iscorama 1.5x + Full frame sensor is roughly equivalent to a 35mm f1.4 2x anamorphic in terms of field of view and dof. – this is a magical combination since the fov is very wide, and dof is shallow enough to allow the shooter to separate the in focus areas of the frame from the out of focus areas very effectively. The speed of the lens also helps in providing more obvious oval defocus. – a 1.5x anamorphic tends to need to be more out of focus to really show the effects of the waterfall bokeh.
As you will see, the optical pathway is providing superb optical quality, organic character, with sharpness and contrast while not introducing any undesirable artefacts such as fringing on contrasty in focus areas or the dreaded blue fringing of the oval defocus as i have seen on a lot of the tests from the new league of focus attachments.
My passion for this setup is mainly because of its 100% vintage optical pathway. The entire optical system was designed and assembled during the 1960's. Coatings match, and the entire system feels like an integrated unit. I feel that from what I have seen from recently modern focus units the combination of modern designs in front of vintage anamorphics is creating a somewhat mismatched aesthetic.
Despite the boring subject matter, this test successfully illustrates the performance and beautiful character of the Iscorama. In my opinion still the only compact and affordable anamorphic system usable and with the optical finesse to be considered for high end work.