The smallest full-frame anamorphic ever – SIRUI Saturn review
Good news! SIRUI just expanded their anamorphic Saturn lineup – In addition to the already existing Saturn 35mm, they have just introduced two new anamorphic lenses: the Saturn 50mm and the Saturn 75mm. Each is a T/2.9 full-frame anamorphic lens that is smaller than a phone, light enough to mount on a drone, and best of all? They are all budget-friendly at under $1,000. We took the entire set for a spin!
Like the existing SIRUI Saturn 35mm, the 50mm and 75mm all share a T/2.9 aperture and a 1.6x anamorphic squeeze. They cover full-frame sensors, but their miniature size might interest you even if you are shooting with a crop sensor. The set comes in six different mounts: E, RF, DL, X, Z, and L.
The Saturns are proper cine lenses. The set features smooth focus and aperture rings, all in the same locations, so they are optimized for follow-focus systems. All lenses feature 120 degrees of focus throw, and, on a similar note of consistency, the size of the lens, plus the filter threads, are quite similar.
This will make it easier to switch between them on your rig. The set is 62mm thread, with the only hiccup being the slightly smaller 58mm thread on the 35mm. It’s no big deal, as you can just keep one single step-up ring on it and pretend it always was 62. (I guess this is because the 35mm is slightly older).
SIRUI Saturn – ridiculously small but still familiar
If you remember, SIRUI already had a great full-frame anamorphic set, the SIRUI Venus line (we reviewed the SIRUI Venus 150mm here). Similarly, it also features 35, 50, and 75mm T/2.9 1.6x anamorphic lenses, except they weigh about 1kg each. It’s not heavy for an anamorphic lens, but it’s still a kilo a lens. On the other hand, the Saturn lenses weigh between 400 and 500 grams, half of the current lineup!
What’s weirder is that when we looked closely at the front elements, especially with the 35mm T/2.9’s of both lineups, we saw very similar designs. SIRUI hasn’t confirmed this, but it’s as if they just shrunk down the lens body. Image-wise, both lines seem quite similar as well. The only difference optically seems to be the slightly longer minimum focus distance in the Saturn set.
Build quality – How’s that carbon body?
If we’re already on the subject, then let’s talk about that new housing. SIRUI made a good choice, going with carbon fiber to drop some of the lens weight. Personally, I have never seen a carbon fiber lens before the Saturn 35mm T/2.9.
The new bodies are incredibly convenient and are dramatically easier to use on a gimbal. If you needed the DJI RS3 for the Venus, the Saturn is light enough for the DJI RS3 mini. Not to mention, they are now light enough to be used on drones, which is incredible (Hence the option to buy them in DJI’s DL mount).
And by the way, the SIRUI Saturn lineup manages to keep a very solid feeling despite being so light. They all felt very well-built and supreme quality.
The lenses are surprisingly sharp. I mean, most lenses today are sharp enough. Probably every single lens produced after the year 2000 will pass for at least “decent” sharpness. But this is not a spherical lens where sharpness is guaranteed. It’s an Anamorphic where the image is distorted by design. Still, I was very pleasantly surprised with how sharp this set is.
They aren’t as sharp as some of the recent G-masters, but they are definitely sharp enough to earn this title.
As far as optical distortions go, besides the obvious squeeze, there is not a lot we noticed. All of the lenses behave well against chromatic aberration, and when you look in the corners of the image, you only get very light vignetting, even when wide open.
Bokeh and anamorphic flare
The Bokeh is great. Smooth and nice on the entire set. There are some “cat’s eyes”, but nothing major. I’ve also seen some ghosting, but hey! JJ Abram not only has ghosting all over the place, but this is also his signature look. So, I wouldn’t care too much about ghosting and cats’ eyes. This is more of a stylistic choice than an issue.
As an anamorphic cine lens, a lot of the character comes from the flares. The 35mm, 50mm, and 75mm all have gorgeous streaks. We tested the blue version, which, as the name suggests, makes blue flare from white lights and kinda keeps the color of other lights.
If you prefer, SIRUI also offers a neutral flare option, which is easier to warm up.
Is the SIRUI Saturn set enough for you?
Right now, SIRUI offers three three lenses in this set: 35, 50, and 75mm. While I liked each and every one of them, I am missing longer lenses.
SIRUI has a 100mm ($1199), 135mm ($1199), and even an impressive 150mm T/2.9 ($1199) on the beefier Venus line. They are also 1.6x anamorphic, and I sure do hope we will get their equivalents on the Saturn line soon. For now, you’re good up to 75.
Similarly, I sometimes wished I had one wider lens as well. Here’s the thing, though: on the 35, you get a 35mm vertical focal length, but on the horizontal, it’s more like 22mm. Now, 22mm on a full frame is decently wide, but If we could only have one more step wider, I’d be the happiest person alive.
Sadly, going wider on anamorphic is way harder than going longer, so I’m not sure if we’ll see an ultra-wide joining the line any time soon.
SIRUI Saturn anamorphic lens specs
|SIRUI 35mm T2.9 1.6X
|SIRUI 50mm T2.9 1.6X
|SIRUI 75mm T2.9 1.6X
|Lens format coverage
|18 elements in 13 groups
|17 elements in 12 groups
|15 elements in 11 groups
|Minimum focus distance
|E mount: 102
RF mount 100
L mount 100
X mount: 103
DL mount: 103
Z mount: 104
|E mount: 109
RF mount 107
L mount 107
X mount: 110
DL mount: 110
Z mount: 111
|E mount: 114
RF mount 112
L mount 112
X mount: 115
DL mount: 115
Z mount: 116
|E mount: 415
RF mount 425
L mount 422
X mount: 418
DL mount: 390
Z mount: 425
|E mount: 455
RF mount 465
L mount 457
X mount: 460
DL mount: 435
Z mount: 465
|E mount: 465
RF mount 472
L mount 464
X mount: 465
DL mount: 445
Z mount: 472
The SIRUI Saturn set is a dream come true. The three lenses in the line are ground-breaking in size and weight. They are Fast, light, and small, with zero compromises in build quality or optics. My only wish is to see the line expand with the same lenses as the Venus line. But even now, it’s a trio you can’t afford to ignore.
Price and availability
The SIRUI Satun 50 and 75mm are available on IndieGoGo for $999 each. There are special promotions if you buy more than one lens. If you buy the entire set, you’ll get a free case + $300 savings on the Saturn 35mm. SIRUI promises shipping in December, so hopefully, you’ll get them in time for New Year’s.
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