Lento is a film simulation camera for Android that also works with anamorphic lenses. I’ve been using it daily for both anamorphic landscapes and family snaps with beautiful results. It’s a bit quirky, but I love using it and hope you will too.
A new improved version of Lento is under development using Google's latest CameraX API. Check progress at github.com/orllewin/lento2
Martindale, Cumbria, taken with Lento and the Moment Anamorphic lens
Lento is fantastic for both dramatic landscape photos as well as portraits. Google's cutting-edge 'computational photography' in the standard Google camera creates technically brilliant photos that are somehow sterile and uninteresting. Lento produces images that feel natural, closer to traditional film photos.
A contact sheet of photos taken using the monochrome AGFA APX 25 film simulation LUT
Lento includes look-up-tables (LUTs) that simulate the colours and tone of various famous camera films. LUTs map a colour from a source photograph to the colour that would be expected from these real-life film types. This together with Lento’s lack of constant auto-focus (you can touch the screen to select a focus point) produces photos that really do look like they were taken with a traditional film camera.
Anamorphic lenses take a wide aspect and squeeze the photo onto the phone sensor, this then needs readjusting giving a much wider photo than would normally be possible without expensive professional hardware. If you shoot with the default 4:3 Lento will produce 16:9 photos, most Android devices also have a native 16:9 ‘sensor crop’ option, when using this Lento will output a cinematic 2.4:1 photo. If you want to get into anamorphic photography with your phone I recommend Moment’s phone cases and lenses which work brilliantly with Lento.
Derwent Water, Cumbria. taken with Lento and the Moment Anamorphic lens, post-processed in Snapseed
The Moment anamorphic lens on a Pixel 5
Bottom of Sourhall Road, Todmorden, taken using built-in film simulation
- Film simulation LUTs - around a dozen built in, but you can load as many as you like from Luts Explorer
- Anamorphic Lens support. Most lenses requires 1.33 horizontal scaling, but 1.5 lenses do exist so the value can be overridden in the settings screen
- Letterboxing option in black or white when shooting in anamorphic. Instagram has a maximum ratio of 16:9 so adding bars to ‘square’ an anamorphic photo is required so you don’t lose the edges of the photo
- Easy aspect ratio toggle. Quickly toggle between 4:3 and 16:9 in standard mode and 16:9 and 2.4:1 in anamorphic mode
- Zoom toggle. Lento only allows 1x (no zoom) or 2x zoom, this prevents photos scaled by the OS software if the device has a dedicated 2x lens (as in the later Pixel phones). Software scaling never looks good.
- Flash: on, off, or auto
- A permanent on-screen ‘spirit’ level! My biggest challenge with photography is holding my phone level so this is a crucial feature. If you don’t need it it’s easily turned off in the main overflow menu