When absolute adjectives such as “perfect” or “ultimate” are used, you’ll either turn heads or roll eyes. Our minds are programmed to tear down such statements with scrutiny and ignite them with our scorn once they fall short of their claims. They should never be used wantonly especially when proclaimed to the all-seeing and often unforgiving internet.

But that’s what the group at ShareGrid has done with their “Ultimate Anamorphic Lens Test.” In an industry where the skills and knowledge of the professionals are high and the demands of the job are pushing even them to their limit, this claim is worth your attention.

What is ShareGrid?

ShareGrid is an online marketplace for sharing film and photography equipment with other people in your city. We call it ‘The Camera Sharing Community’.

With over 30,000 members sharing more than $200 million worth of gear, ShareGrid is the place to go for professionals, hobbyists, students and part-time film-makers.

With a large pool of professionals contributing, ShareGrid is able to service major cities around the country and make arrangements for you if you aren’t in one of those locations.

If you think photography lenses are expensive, you’ll reconsider your understanding of the word once you find out what cinema glass costs. Sharegrid is essentially the democratization of high-end cinematography because it provides a gateway through which small productions can obtain Hollywood level results.

So What’s the fuss about anamorphic?

Anamorphic lenses provide a distinct look to the images they capture; notably, the isolation of the subject from the background, wide aspect ratio, and the oval shaped bokeh they produce. Furthermore, anamorphic lenses tend to vary in their individual characteristics more than modern stills lenses, creating the look and feel we’ve associated with the cinematic experience for decades.

ShareGrid tested 13 brands of anamorphic lenses and, given the exorbitant cost of one brand, have created a heretofore unprecedented repository of knowledge to help guide cinematographers as they plan their projects.

You can find the full library of lens tests on their homepage and if you’d like to join ShareGrid you can get started here. You can also find the full playlist of tests on their YouTube page.