2 Creative Lenses for the DJI Mini 3 Pro by Freewell
As if the DJI Mini 3 Pro wasn't already "pro" enough, Freewell Gear have now produced two excellent replacement lenses. Here I review the wide angle, 111° lens and the wonderful Anamorphic lens (my favourite).
Both DJI Mini 3 Pro lenses are very easy to install and remove. This DJI Mini 3 Pro lens pack also comes with 5 ND filters to reduce light allowing for a slower, more cinematic shutter speed. They are:
You can change lenses, with filters attached, either before or after turning on the drone. The drone camera will calibrate perfectly well with the lens and ND filter attached as they only weight 3.1gms.
However, if changing lenses when the drone is on, please do so with care. Watch the video above to see how I do it.
The reason you may want to change lenses "on the go" whilst the drone is powered up is this. You are on a job and need to change lenses and be back in the air quickly.
Rather than turning the drone off, changing lenses, firing the drone back up and waiting for the DJI dance to finish, you can be up and flying way quicker by changing whilst the drone is still on and running (stop the rotors though : )
Freewell Wide Angle Lens for the DJI Mini 3 Pro
The wide angle lens has a field of view of 111°. This is far greater that the 82.1° view of the Mini 3 standard lens. It weighs just 2.7gms without an ND filter attached and 3.1gms with any filter attached.
Be aware that when using this lens in close proximity to any linear subject such as a road or buildings, you will see some "pin-cushioning" or "barrel-distortion" in your footage or stills. This is inevitable with such a small wide angle lens.
You can correct this in most photo or video editing software with the click of a button.
Buy Cheap, Buy Twice
I have seen some reports of very bad quality, out of focus images from people that have bought cheaper wide angle lenses from eBay. Beware of buying anything too cheap, the quality will suffer so why risk it?
My initial thoughts on the wide angle lenses are pretty good. I noticed some focus fall off at the edges when I had something in the foreground. However, this is due to the f1.7 aperture and shallow depth of field when introducing anything in the foreground.
When flying higher up and shooting landscapes, this wide angle lens will be superb, especially when used with the ND filters for video. Not necessary for stills photography.
Freewell Anamorphic Lens for the DJI Mini 3 Pro
The Anamorphic lens on the DJI Mini 3 Pro is superb. I preferred it over the wide angle lens because:
- 1It offers almost the same wide angle of view as the wide angle lens (see image below)
- 2The colours and exposure seemed to look better (see image below...look at the windows and the polarising effect from the anamorphic lens)
- 3I love the anamorphic, film look that it gives
- 4The blue streak you get from harsh lights is a great effect in many cases
Just be aware that the elongated aspect ratio is permanent so choose wisely when filming. The anamorphic lens on the DJI Mini 3 Pro will complement ground footage nicely for any project. Great lens.
De-squeezing the footage from any anamorphic lens is simple and straight forward with most video editing software. You simply adjust the aspect ratio to match the lens in use. In this case, the aspect ratio of the Freewell Anamorphic lens is 1:19 (many ground camera anamorphic lenses are 1:33).
When you load the footage into your software, it will be compressed with a 1:1x ratio. As soon as you change to 1:19x, the footage will de-squeeze and add the letterbox effect to your footage. Lovely!
ND Filters for the Anamorphic and Wide Angle Lenses
The ND filters are used for video. All they do is reduce the light hitting the sensor with no other effect. This is to reduce the shutter speed to get that 180° angle (or a frame rate twice that of the shutter speed). This slows the shutter speed just enough to get that smooth, filmic look.
All the ND filters in this pack weigh 0.4gms so barely have any effect on the gimbal calibration and function.
All in all, I think this DJI Mini 3 Wide Angle/Anamorphic Lens and Filter Set are a good buy. From what I have seen so far, I will definitely be using these for landscape shots and shoots where I need that cinematic look.