The Sirui 35mm F/1.8 is a manual anamorphic lens with a Micro Four Thirds mount.
When recording video in 16:9 the footage needs to be squeezed in to a 2.40:1 aspect ratio to be displayed correctly. This can be done easily in pretty much any editing software by forcing the 16:9 footage into a different aspect ratio in an anamorphic timeline.
The housing of the lens is made from metal and feels solid. The focus ring moves smooth although it felt like it moved easier when turning it towards infinity. The aperture ring on the other hand, had more friction. I personally prefer this because it helps to avoid accidentally changes of the aperture. It goes from F/1.8 all the way to F/16.
The front has a 67mm filter thread so it’s easy to mount a circular ND filter.
The lens comes with removable gear rings which can simply be attached to the two rings. But since it’s clearly designed for shooting video, I think it would have been great if the aperture and focus ring had fixed gear that is rock solid.
The rotation angle of the focus ring is 191.2 degrees. The close focusing distance is 85cm, which is something to keep in mind when trying to get up close shots of a subject.
For an anamorphic lens the Sirui 35mm is rather compact and lightweight but if you never used an anamorphic lens before it feels rather heavy and big, weighing around 700g.
The overall image quality is good and rather surprising when shooting wide open at F/1.8. Color fringing is only visible when focusing on infinity with an open aperture. With a Micro Four Thirds sensor the depth of field won’t be very shallow, so the typical distortion, bokeh and lens flares are not always noticeable.
Even though I tested a pre-production version of this lens, it already felt like a solid piece of gear.
Written by filmmaker Moritz Janisch on August 3, 2020