What is an anamorphic lens?

Learn more about how to create striking visual effects with an anamorphic lens.

You might see the world through your eyes, but you show the world through your camera lens. And different lenses can change how you do that. Each comes with its own strengths and trade-offs, helping you create new and creative perspectives on your subject.

Anamorphic lenses are one option here, and a good one to have in your creative toolkit. Learn more about anamorphic lenses, as well as how — and when — to use them for striking visual effects.

Your anamorphic lens questions, answered.

  1. What is an anamorphic lens? Most lenses fall into one of two categories: either spherical or anamorphic. While a spherical lens has a consistently curved surface (like a sphere), an anamorphic lens is shaped more like an oval. This asymmetrical curve produces an image that looks more compressed in width and more stretched in height — what's called a "squeeze factor."
  2. Why should I use an anamorphic lens? Anamorphic lenses allow for a wider field of view on a narrower sensor. That makes them great to use for wide-angle shots, helping you to capture an epic, larger-than-life cinematic look.
  3. When should I use an anamorphic lens? Anamorphic lenses are good for getting wide landscape shots, as they can showcase that vaster perspective. However, anamorphic lenses can also add drama to close-up shots. Their shallow depth of field creates a striking contrast between a hyper-focused subject and a blurred background.

It's all in the edit.

Use your lenses and composition to create stunning images. And then heighten the drama with your edits. Explore how Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom can help you create a striking photograph, no matter which lens you choose.