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Thales Angénieux: Anamorphic zooms get sporting chance

The first Angénieux anamorphic zoom lens introduced at IBC2013 is now being joined by a second, with a third in development. Angénieux is showing a prototype of the Optimo Anamorphic 30-72mm 2S (2x squeeze) to compliment the compact 56-152mm 2S, which has already been used for feature film and TV production.

At just 2.2kg, the lightweight 56-152mm T4 zoom is claimed to exhibit exceptional sharpness and lower distortion compared to typical anamorphic lenses, through a new optical design that combines spherical and cylindrical elements in the same group.

DoP Charles Brosius has shot American football and basketball using the lens, for promos and music videos for Fox Sports. “The Angenieux anamorphic zoom does everything I need and gives me a cinematic crystal clear image that is brand new to the sports television world. With this lens I am able to create ground-breaking images and push the limits of what is possible during live nationally televised network events. It would be my lens of choice for all of my future work.”

Cinematographer Gustavo Biazzi , who shot the first feature entirely made with the 56-152 2S zoom (Hugo Santiago’s Le Ciel du Centaure/El Cielo del Centauro) found that the zoom simplified the production with its versatility and cost, allowing them to get a wide variation of shots within a take. “Because of that variation we were looking for, the zoom’s minimum focusing distance of 0.63m was indispensable. Visually, the colourimetry is the remarkable characteristic of this zoom. It faithfully reproduced the nuances of tone that are there in reality. Mechanically, it’s exceptional – in situations where you change focus suddenly, the lens never breathes. And obviously its lower weight and bulkiness differentiate it from other anamorphic zooms.”