Congrats to SIRUI for taking home our Best Lens at NAB 2023 award with its SIRUI Saturn 35mm T2.9 1.6x Carbon Fiber Full-frame Anamorphic Lens. This lens impressed us and lives up to the title of the world’s smallest carbon fiber full-frame anamorphic lens. Let’s take a closer look at this year’s winner.
The front barrel of the Saturn 35mm anamorphic lens is constructed with carbon fiber. SIRUI says that this makes the lens lightweight but durable. As a result, it tips the scales under a pound (425 g), with some lens mount options weighing even less. The lens is also small, measuring around 4 inches (103 mm) in length. SIRUI says that this makes the lens ideal for use handheld, on a gimbal or with an FPV drone. The filter thread size is 58 mm.
Anamorphic aspect ratio
The Saturn 35mm anamorphic lens has a squeeze factor of 1.6x. This will deliver a 2.8:1 aspect ratio final image when filming with a 16:9 sensor. In addition, when used with a 3:2 full-frame DSLR sensor, the unsqueezed image has a standard 2.4:1 aspect ratio. Due to the way anamorphic lenses work, the Saturn 35mm has a horizontal field of view equivalent to a 22mm full-frame spherical lens.
You can get the Saturn 35mm anamorphic in two flare options. There is a model which produces the classic blue horizontal lens flares that many people associate with anamorphic lenses. However, there is also a natural lens flare option where the lens flares take on the light source’s color. This is great for general use or where you want a warmer look to your video.
The Saturn 35mm anamorphic lens has a maximum aperture of T2.9 which should give a good low-light performance. It also has a 10-bladed iris which produces the smooth, oval bokeh, which is characteristic of anamorphic lenses. The Saturn 35mm is a fully manual lens and has geared rings for both the aperture and focus so you can use a follow focus.
The Saturn 35mm anamorphic lens has a close focus distance of just under 3 feet (0.9 meters). The geared focus ring has a throw of 120 degrees which is better than most photography lenses but shorter than many other cine lenses. A longer focus throw is better as it makes finding sharp focus easier. The Saturn 35mm lens maintains a constant 1.6x squeeze ratio at all focusing points. This is important as it means that the subject size doesn’t change when you pull the focus, as with some other anamorphic lenses. In addition, the focus ring is marked in feet and meters, which is useful.
What we think
SIRUI’s Saturn 35mm anamorphic lens has great specifications. In addition, the compact design and light weight mean it is ideal for handheld or gimbal use. It’s a wide-angle lens, and with a close focus distance of nearly three feet, you won’t be able to get any close-up shots which is a shame. Even with that limitation, however, the Saturn 35mm is a great first step into anamorphic shooting.
Pricing and availability
The SIRUI Saturn 35mm anamorphic lens costs $1,299 and is out now.