About Anamorphic Lenses
Anamorphic lenses are designed to accommodate a wider range of aspect ratios within a standard film frame. This has resulted in the massive usage of Vazen anamorphic lenses in filmmaking in the digital era.
As opposed to spherical lenses, anamorphic lenses project oval-shaped images to the sensor which achieves a wider horizontal view of the scene. The images are then stretched to their correct proportions in post-production.
Digital anamorphic lenses have a variety of aspect ratios which makes anamorphic footage exhilarating. Anamorphic lenses are widely loved by Filmmakers and DOPs for their unique and incredible looks.
The styles and character that comes with these lenses are beautiful and one of a kind. But they do come at a few costs. First of all they are very expensive to rent, depending on which brand and age. Second, they aren’t very practical, so if you are on a run-and-gun shoot, they may not be the best choice due to technical reasons and weight.
Some anamorphic lenses need lens diopters to change focus. This means they aren’t the greatest for quickly grabbing a shot as they need a lot of preparation.
Characteristics of Vazen anamorphic lenses
Characteristics of anamorphic lenses are quite unique. They have a few features that stand out over any other lens.
Build & lens
Anamorphic lenses generally have a large body and an unusual look on their lens. The glass appears to be squashed and oval shaped. This is why these lenses aren’t used for run and gun shoots so much because they are expensive and heavy, requiring a lot of preparation for your shoot.
Anamorphic lenses are probably most well known for their horizontal light streaks. Michael Bay is famous for using these heavily in his movies such as Transformers. The horizontal light streak are caused by the glass shape that captures a larger field of view, then the footage being de-squeezed in post.
The bokeh is the blurriness in the background of a shot if you weren’t aware. When anamorphic lenses are out of focus, the bokeh appears to be oval shapes, just like the glass. Depending on the brand of the lens, the bokeh usually appears very different and unique.
Introducing the Vazen Anamorphic Lens Range
Vazen, a new lens company that arose a few years back, have gotten traction in the Filmmaking world, and for good reason. Not many companies have created anamorphic lenses at an affordable price, and especially for MFT sensors.
Vazen have a wide range of anamorphic lenses available for many sensor sizes:
- Full-frame (PL / EF) Anamorphic Lenses
- MFT (Micro four thirds) Anamorphic Lenses
- Canon RF Anamorphic Lenses
Vazen 40mm T2 Anamorphic Lens
The Vazen 40mm T2 Anamorphic Lens has 2 different mount versions. One for MFT mounts and one for Canon RF mounts.
The lens has a widescreen cinematic look, signature blue horizontal flare, and delivers a sleek oval bokeh. Although it has a rugged design, its compact and lightweight attributes produce the most refined mechanical functionality that enhances the ease of Filmmaking.
The Vazen 40mm T2 is one of the first 1.8x anamorphic lenses custom built for MFT sensors. It has a traditional anamorphic lens design, and produces a 2.39.1 aspect ratio when capturing on a 4:3 MFT sensor.
Canon RF Version
The lens can cover the full sensor height of the Red Komodo and Canon C70 sensors. This ensures that it delivers a vignette-free image after you de-squeeze the image back to proportion.
- T-stop range: T/2 – T/16
- 300-degree focus ring
- 2.7’ (0.82m) Minimum focus distance
- 95mm Front diameter that fits in standard matte boxes
- It creates a 2:39:1 aspect ratio
- Weight: 3.97 lbs (1.8kg)
- Dimensions: 4.33”x6.89” (110 x 175mm)
- The independent aperture and focus rings are built using 0.8 mod cine gears
- Harboured with front and rear caps that have a hard case for storage and transport purposes
- Canon RF – $3,300
- MFT – $3,300
Differences between MFT & Full-frame sensors
Micro four thirds sensors
There are a lot of advantages that accompany Micro Four Third (MFT) sensors. MFT cameras are more convenient as they are small in size and lightweight compared to full frame cameras. They also pull less power which means you can have smaller batteries, perfect for small semi-professional cameras.
Full frame sensors
Full frame sensors have features that stand above the smaller sensors, such as better low-light shooting, high ISO performance and stronger depth of field.
Their large sensors enable them to capture more light as opposed to micro four thirds cameras due to the sensor being larger. They have a sensor size equivalent to 36 mm x 24 mm, while the MFTs have a size of approximately 17.3 mm x 13 mm. There is also the APS-C camera that has a smaller sensor, generally around 23 mm x 15 mm, though the specifics rely on the camera brand.
Despite the MFT’s small size, they do not skimp on quality. Micro Four Thirds provides a 2.0x crop factor as compared to full frame.
Should we worry about the anamorphic look becoming “standard”?
Because of anamorphic lenses character and unique aesthetics, the price to rent or buy them in the past is extremely high. Especially for old lenses that aren’t built anymore.
Affordable anamorphic lenses have only been around for a short time. It’s great to see new anamorphic lens companies arising in recent years so more people have access to them.
I imagine a lot of Filmmakers are worried about if they become more affordable, would the general anamorphic look become “standard” and thus reduce the value and uniqueness of traditional anamorphic lenses.
I guess it’s definitely a topic for discussion. But I believe it’s good thing about these new lens companies. Reason being that they all create their own unique look. Old expensive anamorphic lenses will still stand above with their vintage unique & rare aesthetic.
Buying an anamorphic lens?
There are distinct Filmmaking and Photography needs that can necessitate the use of a specific camera lens type. This is due to factors such as the aesthetic appeal and production value.
Before purchasing an anamorphic lens for your project, ensure that you are familiar with anamorphic kits and how they will operate on your camera. They require a lot more effort and planning which could be difficult, depending on the type of work you do.
You can enlighten yourself with video reviews that will offer precise guides during your video preparation.
The Vazen 40 mm T2 anamorphic lens is an extraordinary built lens. Its versatility makes it applicable in a wide range of camera types and can suit extensive photography and film purposes. Take a look at this video below to see the look of the 40mm T2 lens: