Laowa, a brand of Venus Optics, has announced two new additions to its Nanomorph series of anamorphic lenses, as well as a new front anamorphic adapter that can transform any lens into an anamorphic one. The new products are aimed at filmmakers who want to achieve the distinctive cinematic look of anamorphic lenses without breaking the bank.
What are anamorphic lenses and why use them?
Anamorphic lenses are special lenses that squeeze the image horizontally to fit a wider aspect ratio onto a standard sensor. When the footage is de-squeezed in post-production, it results in a wider field of view and a more immersive cinematic experience. Anamorphic lenses also produce unique optical characteristics, such as oval bokeh, horizontal lens flares, and curved distortion.
Anamorphic lenses are often used in Hollywood movies and TV shows to create a distinctive visual style and mood. However, they are also very expensive and bulky, making them inaccessible for many independent filmmakers and enthusiasts. Laowa aims to change that with its Nanomorph series, which offers affordable and compact anamorphic lenses for various camera systems.
What are the new Nanomorph lenses?
The new Nanomorph lenses are the 65mm T2.4 and the 80mm T2.4, which join the existing 27mm T2.8, 35mm T2.4, and 50mm T2.4 in the series. The new lenses offer a 1.5x squeeze ratio, which means they can produce a 2.66:1 aspect ratio on a 16:9 sensor after de-squeeze. They also come in three different flare options: amber, blue, and silver, which affect the color and intensity of the lens flares.
The new lenses are designed for Super35 (APS-C) and Micro Four Thirds cameras, but they can also cover 4K resolution on full-frame cameras such as the Sony FX3, A7S3, and FX6 with only slight vignetting. They feature a patented anamorphic design that eliminates the mumps effect (a variation of squeeze ratio across different focus distances) and ensures excellent optical performance. They also have a very close focusing distance of 2’3” / 70cm, which is rare for anamorphic lenses.
The new lenses have a unified gear position with the other Nanomorph lenses, which means users can swap between them without changing the focus gears. They also have a built-in back focus adjustment that eliminates the need for shims. The aperture and focus rings have standard 0.8 mod gear designs and the focus ring has 270 degrees of throw.
The new lenses are available in various lens mounts, including Sony E, Canon RF, Nikon Z, L-mount, Fuji X mount, DJI DL mount, and Micro Four Thirds mount. All mounts are interchangeable and can be purchased separately for $50 USD each.
What is the new front anamorphic adapter?
The new front anamorphic adapter is a 1.33x adapter that can be attached to the front of any lens to create an anamorphic effect. The adapter can be used with the Nanomorph lenses to achieve a constant 2x squeeze ratio or with spherical lenses to achieve a 1.33x squeeze ratio. The adapter can also work well with 4:3 or 6:5 sensors to create a 2.66:1 or 2.4:1 aspect ratio footage after de-squeeze.
The adapter has a minimum focusing distance of 2’4” / 73cm and a ø86mm filter thread to apply filters for creative uses. It comes with step-up rings from 55mm, 62mm and 77mm for adaptation on the Nanomorph mirrorless and PL/EF versions or other spherical lenses.
The adapter is specially designed to ensure minimal loss of aperture stops and image quality when used with any lens. It is also compatible with Laowa’s Ranger Cine Zoom full-frame lenses across a focal range of 48mm to 100mm.
How to get the new products?
The new products are currently available on Indiegogo, where Laowa is running a crowdfunding campaign until September 28th. The campaign offers various perks and discounts for backers who want to get their hands on the new products before they hit the market.
The campaign has already surpassed its initial goal of $50,000 USD and has raised over $300,000 USD as of this writing. The estimated delivery date for the new products is December 2023.
For more information about the new products and the campaign, visit Laowa’s Indiegogo page.