Moment Releases “The Tuner” Vari-Look Lens adapter for vintage visuals

three different types of camera lens on a white background.

The photo accessory company Moment has announced the release of The Tuner, in collaboration with Module 8. It delivers the world’s first variable-look cinematic lens system.

According to Moment, the Tuner helps “bring a classic film aesthetic to your mirrorless digital camera”.

The creators of Tuner also elaborate that,

“The Tuner is a revolutionary optical device that enables standard lenses and mirrorless digital cameras to recreate the look and feel of some iconic vintage glass such as the famous Super Baltars and Canon (R) K-35’s.”

This cleverly-designed compact device is being offered through  a Kickstarter campaign by Module 8, a business founded by optical experts Ian Neil and Mike Thomas working in collaboration with Moment.

The two self-described optical nerds (one of which is an award-winning optical technology expert) worked with the help of a mechanical engineer on The Tuner.

Using their decades of optical technology experience, their idea was to create what they describe as an optical system that delivers a step function change to something totally new.

As they summarize their journey, “Having spent our careers designing these optical products for everyone else, we finally decided to embark on our own journey.”

Essentially, The Tuner exists in three variants. Each of them is a “revolutionary optical device” designed to let photographers and videographers create authentically vintage-looking cinematic effects with standard modern lenses.

These three versions are labeled L1, L2 and L3 and they’ve been built to recreate the look and feel of famous cine lenses from decades past. These include models such as the Super Baltars, the Canon ® K-35s and other anamorphic optics.

a couple of black rings sitting on top of each other.

These worldwide patent-pending L-series Tuner models are the current releases from Module 8 and Moment but others are likely on the way.

In any case, they optimize custom internal optical technology to deliver highly authentic-looking visual effects that perfectly recreate those produced by vintage cinematic lenses like those described above.

The adapters effectively let users produce the look and feel of old movies and photos without having to spend a fortune and lots of search time on rare, unique and hard-to-find real vintage lenses.

The cost savings of the Tuner series adapters alone are no little benefit. Many of the vintage cinematic lenses they recreate can cost $50,000 if they can even be found.

With the Tuner, users can spend less than $2,000 for the same effects and visual quality.

a group of cameras sitting on top of a wooden table.

Another cool aspect of the new Tuner variants is that they also offer advantages to the old-fashioned lenses whose look they recreate.

Aside from the cost and time savings of using the Tuners, users can free themselves of specific aperture and focal length limitations.

In other words, The Tuner variants let a user have a vintage look but with a much more expansive and modern range of focal lengths, zoom capabilities and aperture settings that didn’t exist in vintage glass.

The three Tuner variants offer the following visual effects specific to each model:

  • “L1 Tuner – this look was inspired by the infamous Super Baltar. The Baltar look is soft and warm with a lower contrast for hard-edge digital footage.
  • L2 Tuner – inspired by our favorite Canon K-35 lens, a revolutionary lens for its time with a T/1.5 speed and aspherical elements. You’ll recognize its look in films such as Rocky and American Hustle.
  • L3 Tuner – inspired by the look of anamorphic, L3 will simulate the vertical/horizontal depth of field effects seen on the vintage anamorphics, but without the flares or bokeh.”

a diagram showing the different parts of a wheel.

Another aspect of the Tuners is their patented Vari-Lock technology. This lets users emulate classic lens effects and adjust their strength simultaneously, but without losing lens focus.

In particular, one of this clever gadget’s most appealing technologies is exactly this strength adjustment effect.

Thus, users can attach The Tuner and have it create an optical effect that ranges from neutral (where an existing camera lens isn’t affected by The Tuner’s presence) to a deeply changed vintage look with variable degrees.

With this, instead of having to hunt down vintage lenses, or “de-tune” a modern lens with irreversible changes to its optics, users can attach or detach and adjust The Tuner as needed with no complications.

All three Tuner variants are designed for full-frame cameras and come with different magnification levels. L1’s is 1.08x, L2’s is 1.1x and that of L3 is 1.05x.

They can also be used on very fast lenses, though Moment recommends a minimum lens aperture of f/1.4 for accurate AF with lens and camera.

Additionally, The Tuner supports EF to E and EF to RF electronics, meaning that it works with the native AF and image stabilization of many cameras. This by the way is another advantage of it over using a real vintage lens.

a table with two different types of cameras.

Each of the Tuner variants is also light enough to be attached to a modern camera without heavily burdening its. They individually weigh just 400 grams or 0.88 lbs.

The Tuner in its three variants is compatible with all EF mount lenses with or without electronics. Module 8 has tested its adapter on Canon, Sigma, and Tamron lenses for compatibility. They also promise that they have the ability to update their firmware for long-term EF lens compatibility.

They’ve also provided a handy compatibility chart here, for users who want the full details of how The Tuner works with other devices.

Module 8 and Moment are now offering The Tuner on their Kickstarter page for a limited-time 48-hour Super Early Bird Special in which each tuner costs $999 vs. its normal retail price of $1,999.

There are also discounts for buying multiple Tuners. This special deal ends in less than 48 hours and all purchases will start shipping by the end of August.

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