Panoramic Photography with Anamorphic Lens – A Review of Sirui 50mm T/2.9 Saturn

What up! So I've been experimenting with panoramic photography with anamorphic lens, in the past 12 months capturing stunning panoramic street shots in Tokyo, New York, and bunch of portraits, that I really like. Now, I'm excited to share my experiences with this new, compact, and lightweight lens from Sirui's Saturn series!


Hi there, It’s Magic here! A destination wedding photographer and Sony Europe Ambassador. Today we’re talking about panoramic photography with anamorphic lens. Over the years, I’ve explored various photography techniques, and one area that has particularly captivated me was using anamorphic lenses. In this blog post, I’ll share my experience with the new Sirui Anamorphic 50mm T/2.9 lens, a compact addition to my gear that’s perfect for panoramic shots.

Why Anamorphic Lenses?

Anamorphic lenses offer a unique perspective in photography, allowing for stunning panoramic shots that stand out. These lenses are known for their ability to compress image, providing a distinctive look that you can’t achieve with standard lenses. It’s not just about getting wider shots; it’s about adding a cinematic quality to your photos. Most interesting aspects of that look are oval bokeh, distortion and horizontal flare.

First Impressions of the Sirui Anamorphic 50mm T/2.9 Lens:

Upon unboxing the Sirui Anamorphic 50mm T/2.9 lens, the first thing that struck me was its size and weight. It’s noticeably smaller and lighter than its predecessors – the Venus lens. This makes it much more travel-friendly, especially for someone like me who prefers to pack light. The lens boasts a sleek design with a carbon fiber front barrel. Although not a focus ring, it adds to the aesthetic appeal. The focusing and aperture rings are geared towards videography but work smoothly for photography as well. Compared to my GM lenses, it’s quite compact, making it a practical choice for a full-frame anamorphic lens.

Real-World Performance:

Using the lens in Barcelona, I was impressed with the look of the image. The anamorphic flare, particularly with the neutral version I used, added a lot of character to the images. When choosing a lens you can go with either blue flare or neutral flare – the blue is more popular in anamorphic world, but I decided to go with neutral, so the flare take the colour from the light source. While the lens isn’t the sharpest in the corners and exhibits some chromatic aberration, it adds to its charm, contributing to a unique, characterful image quality.

Post-Processing Anamorphic Images:

Working with anamorphic images involves desqueezing them in post. Sadly there’s no way to have them desqueezed in photo camera like Sony A7RV I’ve been using. There’s desqueeze feature in many video cameras, but only in video mode, so other then maybe using a external recorded, you will not be able to see final image when shooting. I typically edit my photos first in Lightroom and then use Photoshop to desqueeze them by changing the height to 63.5%. The anticipation of seeing the final desqueezed image is always exciting and rewarding.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts:

Overall, the Sirui Anamorphic 50mm T/2.9 lens is in my opinion a fantastic tool for photographers looking to add a cinematic look to their work. Its compact size, intriguing flare capabilities, and decent sharpness make it a lens I can see myself regularly using, especially for weddings. Make sure to check the video and photo samples down below!

Image Samples

All photos edited with MAGICADABRA presets: