Jailbreaking the DJI Inspire 2: Flying with Anamorphic Lenses and Vintage Glass
I couldn't resist sharing this fantastic video with you all. In it, Josh from Make. Art. Now. reveals how to jailbreak the DJI Inspire 2 drone and fly it with various anamorphic lenses and vintage glass. The results, after a fair bit of tweaking, are absolutely stunning and might blow some new life into your old DJI Inspire 2. Or maybe even inspire you to buy on now that its successor came out at $16,499 today.
Inspiration from the DJI Inspire 2 with anamorphic lenses
In a daring attempt to break the limits of the DJI Inspire 2 drone, Josh successfully ‘jailbroke' the drone to fly a variety of lenses up to four inches long and 400 grams in weight. This includes pocket anamorphic lenses from Laowa and a Sirui anamorphic 1.6x stretch, full-frame lens.
He even tested it with vintage telephoto lenses like the 85mm Jupiter 9 and a 135mm Olympus Zuko, as well as incredibly low light f./0.95 lenses.
To achieve this feat, Josh had to overcome the limitations of DJI's DL Mount Inspire 2, which doesn't allow fitting lenses other than the expensive and lightweight carbon fiber DL lenses. Currently, there are only four focal lengths available: 16mm, 24mm, 35mm, and 50mm.
One challenge was to balance the gimbal, which is not adjustable and doesn't have room for counterweights. After consulting with ChatGPT, he decided to use tungsten coins as counterweights. By using carpet tape and trial and error, he managed to balance the gimbal with the heavier lenses.
Another obstacle was the focus issue, which Josh solved by relying on the hyperfocal distance and setting focus just short of infinity before locking it in place with gaff tape. The drone shots captured using anamorphic lenses were subtle yet noticeable and showcased the unique characteristics of each lens.
Josh also experimented with Laowa Nanomorphs and Sirui 1.6x stretch anamorphic lenses, finding that the Nanomorphs were easier to balance and offered better mobility. However, the Sirui lens performed sharper than the Laowa lenses when properly shimmed.
To push the limits even further, Josh now plans to 3D print custom DL mounts for other lenses like the f/0.95 and explore the possibilities of anamorphic drone footage. This project demonstrates the potential of modifying professional DJI drones such as the DJI Inspire 2 to accommodate various lenses and create stunning visual effects. Something that may make a lot of sense now that the $16,499 DJI Inspire was released today.
“The Inspire 2 is still a powerful drone, and now even more powerful with anamorphic optics.” – Josh.
- Jailbreaking the DJI Inspire 2 enables the use of various anamorphic lenses and vintage glass, enhancing the creative possibilities for Drone cinematography.
- Balancing the gimbal and using counterweights is crucial for achieving stable footage with these custom lenses.
- The Inspire 2 is still a powerful drone, and with the right customization, it can produce stunning anamorphic footage.
- Understand the center of gravity and how it affects the drone's performance.
- Find suitable counterweights to balance the gimbal and lenses.
- Experiment with different anamorphic lenses and vintage glass to discover their unique characteristics.
- Calibrate the gimbal motors and adjust the tilt for smooth operation.
- Set focus on the ground and lock it in place with tape for consistent results.
- Fine-tune the footage in post-production using AI-enhanced software, such as Topaz Video Enhance AI.
- Laowa Pocket Anamorphic Lenses – Compact anamorphic lenses designed for drone use.
- Sirui Anamorphic 1.6 Stretch Full-Frame Lens – A full-frame anamorphic lens with a 1.6x stretch.
- Topaz Video Enhance AI – AI-powered software for enhancing and upscaling video footage.
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