Anamorphic lenses have stayed in the analog photography world. Nowadays they are not in use due to their high price tag and used exclusively for cinematography with 35 mm film. However, if you were to find one, this lens would create surprising images.
Anamorphic lenses have been used for the production of cinematographic works and thanks to them the famous Panavision was created; this was a technique that was previously declared to be useful “only for filming coffins and snakes”. This film system allowed filming panoramic cinematographic works without wasting the negative film of 35 mm during filming.
The Panavision consisted of filming with the negative of 35 mm in the panorama form, then crushing the image sideways to avoid wasting the negative. During the projection process, the projector stretches the image to undo the previously crushed image, creating a panoramic image with a panoramic cinematographic ratio.
Thus, the question is: why not use anamorphic lenses to capture panoramic images with our camera? It appears that this technology has not been transferred to still photography due to the difficulties of creating panoramic pictures using analog photography. During this digital era, maybe the reason why these have not become more popular is because they are expensive to find and the post-processing method of stretching that must be done to “recover” our image makes it unnecessarily complicated.
Personally, I prefer these lenses, because they are a stepping-stone to cinematography. They are not used for television recording, and are not as precise as the digital lenses. These are cinematographic items, in the most literal sense of the word, because the result is not a photograph, but a film. With respect to the aesthetics, we can highlight that there are, in fact, bokeh-style backlights, which appear to de elongated due to the sideways compression of these lenses, which creates an interesting aesthetic and characteristic for these types of lenses.
If you want to buy an anamorphic lens, you can do that through Vid-Atlantic, for example. They can be but at a cost between $850 and $2050. However, you cannot finda more cinematographic result.