Lomo 75mm Round-Front Anamorphic Lens Review | Written by: Keith Nickoson
I acquired my 75mm round front a few years ago, directly from a lens broker in Eastern Europe. At the time, I was looking to fill the gap between the 50mm square-front, and the 100mm round-front with the Cineovision 85mm. Single copies of the Cineovision were hard to come by, so when the 75mm Lomo became an option, I went for it. The construction and behavior of the lens are very, very similar to my 100mm Lomo, so please refer to that post for a comparison. | Note: I covered basic anamorphic lens properties in Parts 1 & 2 of my Lomo 50mm lens review if you’d like to back-track for a primer.
The 75mm is wonderful for close-ups where a less severe subject isolation (compared to the 100mm) is preferred - though it has an incredibly complex bokeh when wide open at a T2.4. The lens weighs nearly 5 pounds, has a front diameter of 105mm, and the minimum focus is around 3ft. PL mount of course, and the anamorphic crop factor is 2X. For more history of Lomo as a company, please click here. | Note: The above photos of the 75mm lens were taken with the 85mm Helios 40-2, wide open at an f1.5.
A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY
The worlds largest Star Wars specific fan gathering/convention is called Star Wars Celebration. The con draws together tens of thousands of people for a multi-day Star Wars extravaganza. This year, Disney | Lucasfilm and Reed Pop chose McCormick Place in Chicago, IL. With all the faces, costumes, and textures present at an event like this, it was the perfect place to exploit the features of the Lomo 75mm.
WELCOME TO CHICAGO
It’s been quite a few years since I’d traveled to Chicago. Olivia and I opted to ride the Amtrak, as neither of us had ever taken a trip on a train before - and it was only a six hour trek from Cleveland. Looking back, it was actually pretty cool, and I’m sure we’ll do it again. I had a few lenses with me on this trip, but the one I kept barreled on the camera most often was the Lomo. I’ve placed a few images below to give you a feel of the city-scape through this lens. As is typical for me in my posts, I’ve let the color correction vary greatly from shot to shot - trying to let each image tell it’s own tale, rather than attempt uniformity throughout the collection.
STAR WARS CELEBRATION CHICAGO | LOMO 75mm GALLERY
The following images were taken at Star Wars Celebration Chicago - SWCC. I used the Sony A7s in 3:2 capture size. With the 2X squeeze, this produces a finished image with an aspect ratio of 3.00:1. We’ll probably never see this ratio used in any formal film or commercial project, but I’ve left most of the stills in the gallery 3.00:1 for the heck of it. Again, I’ve chosen to treat each picture individually with respect to the color grading. Each costume or character reflects a different mood or feeling within a possible scene, so I thought it would be fun to let them each have their own personality.
Below is a small gallery of pictures from the Droid Builders room. I opted to expose some of these a bit darker than normal. When I saw this room, it reminded me of the images Director of Photography Gilbert Taylor lensed and lit when R2-D2 and C-3PO are aboard the Sandcrawler in Episode IV - A New Hope. You can definitely sense the grittiness of the 75mm here, and recognize the importance of the subject isolation this lens is capable of when your cinematography is confined to darkened spaces with minimal distance between objects. All of the images were exposed at a T2.4. We also met a really awesome Luke, portrayed by Star Wars fan John Rinehart. Click on any of the images to pop them out in an isolated window. For more info on the Droid Builders, click here.
Below are a collection of images that showcase the flare characteristics of the Lomo 75mm. This lens flares quite nicely when triggered, but the overall contrast reduction is minimal. It behaves much like the Lomo 100mm in that regard. There weren’t a whole lot of natural flare opportunities at SWCC, so I’ve included a handful that help demonstrate the flare properties under some different lighting conditions.
I hope you enjoyed the images here. Finding cinematic things to shoot in an uncontrolled setting is always a fun challenge, and it really provides another way to show off some framing aesthetics and color grading choices that speak to my particular taste as a director of photography. Please leave any comments you have in the box below. May the Force be with you.