Lens Adapter Turns Your Phone into a Cinema Camera for Mobile Filmmaking

Image Credit - No Film School

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

I’ve been looking for a good depth of field adapter so that I can experiment with mobile filmmaking using my Canon lenses mounted to my iPhone X. You need a cage, much like the BeastGrip, in order to house both. But there was a nifty model at NAB last week, however, which could do the job nicely.

I have to admit, while roaming the Halls at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Cinematic International Company Ltd. smartphone adapter was hidden from my view. Or, more to the point, I simply missed it. But fortunately, NoFilmSchool caught it and gave it the hands on treatment:

According to the booth representative, Cinematic International is making adapters for just about every lens you can use, and that they are confident that the lens/cage combination will support a lens no matter the size. But I’m not so sure. Not because it doesn’t look like it’s well built, quite the contrary.

The cage looks to have a solid, aluminum construction, with metal handles on either side to hold onto, as well as a wooden hand grip. But I think that while shooting with homelike like that hefty 28-70mm cinema zoom lens, I think I would rather either use my hand to support the lens, DSLR style, or would rather use a tripod supporting it. If you look carefully, there is a tripod zoom slide fit underneath it for that purpose.

Take support out of the equation, and the video shows that the DOF adapter definitely gives the iPhone installed in the cage a solid field of view using conventional photo lenses.  The booth says that the depth of field adapter provides low distortion and is adjustable to fit just about any smartphone, much like the BeastGrip’s sliding lens adapter design.

There is no word on what the adapter is called, or how much it will cost. But if we look at BeastGrip’s adapter, the cost is about $150, plus the cost of the BeastGrip cage itself, which is another $140 to start. That’s about $300 when all is said and done.  That’s the barometer.

But you may not need the cage at all. There are several depth of field adapters, like the Turnikit Lend Adapter, that work hand in hand with the iOgrapher. Dave Basulto’s home grown stabilizer cage for the iPhone uses a standard 37mm c mount style lens mount, which can easily take the adapter, but you’ll need to be sure it’s level when you screw it on. Dave explains it here:

But the same issue creeps up as to whether the attachment ring would be able to support the weight of the adapter and the lens itself. I don’t think you’d want to risk it, considering that the whole rig is made out of high impact plastic.  It’s important to note that even iOgrapher seems to have dropped the depth of field adapter from its store, in favor of clip on 12x mobile lenses.

The iOgrapher is great for a basic, lightweight cage for your smartphone and GoPro, but if you’re going to hook it up like the above, you may want to try and add a supporting monopod attachment to your lens, or stick with a short range zoom like a 28-70.

But I like the idea of being able to use your DSLR glass, and think that going with a cage like the Cinematic’s model is worth experimenting with. It’s not available in the U.S. at the moment, but it’ll likely show up on their eBay store when it is.

About James DeRuvo 241 Articles
Editor in Chief at doddleNEWS. James has been a writer and editor at doddleNEWS for nearly a decade. As a producer/director/writer James won a Telly Award in 2005 for his Short Film "Searching for Inspiration. James is a recovering talk show producer from KABC in Los Angeles, and a weekly guest on the Digital Production Buzz with Larry Jordan.

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