Laowa Launches New Anamorphic Lenses with Interchangeable Flare Modules

Venus Optics, the company behind the Laowa brand of lenses, has announced a new version of its Proteus 2X Anamorphic Series lenses that allows users to change the flare color of the lenses. The new Proteus Flex lenses are designed for cinema applications and offer a unique feature that can enhance the creative possibilities of filmmakers.

What is an anamorphic lens?

An anamorphic lens is a type of lens that squeezes the image horizontally to fit a wider aspect ratio onto a narrower sensor or film. When the image is projected or de-squeezed, it restores the original aspect ratio and creates a widescreen cinematic look. Anamorphic lenses also produce distinctive optical effects, such as oval bokeh, curved distortion, and horizontal lens flare.

Laowa Launches New Anamorphic Lenses with Interchangeable Flare Modules
Laowa Launches New Anamorphic Lenses with Interchangeable Flare Modules

What is the Proteus Flex Series?

The Proteus Flex Series is an extension of the Proteus 2X Anamorphic Series, which was launched by Venus Optics earlier this year. The Proteus 2X Series consists of eight prime lenses with focal lengths ranging from 20mm to 135mm and a constant maximum aperture of T2. The lenses are designed for Super35+ sensors and have a 2x squeeze ratio, which means they can produce a 2.66:1 or 2.4:1 aspect ratio when used with a 4:3 or 6:5 sensor.

The Proteus Flex Series adds a new feature to the Proteus 2X Series: interchangeable flare modules. These modules are attached to the front of the lens and can change the color and intensity of the lens flare. The modules are available in three colors: amber, blue, and silver. By swapping the modules, filmmakers can achieve different aesthetic effects and moods for their scenes.

What are the benefits of the Proteus Flex Series?

The Proteus Flex Series offers several benefits for filmmakers who want to use anamorphic lenses for their projects. Some of these benefits are:

  • Versatility: The interchangeable flare modules allow filmmakers to choose the best flare color for their scenes without having to buy or rent multiple lenses with different flare options. The modules can also be removed to achieve a neutral flare effect.
  • Cost-efficiency: The interchangeable flare modules reduce the cost of owning or renting anamorphic lenses, as filmmakers only need to buy or rent one lens and three modules instead of three lenses with different flare colors.
  • Modularity: The interchangeable flare modules are easy to install and remove, as they are secured by screws and do not require optical calibration. According to Venus Optics, an on-set technician can perform the swap in about 10 minutes.
  • Compatibility: The Proteus Flex Series lenses are compatible with Laowa’s 1.4x full-frame expander, which allows them to be used on full-frame sensors with minimal loss of quality or sharpness. The lenses also have a back focus adjustment mechanism that enables users to calibrate the back focus of the lenses without shimming.
  • Quality: The Proteus Flex Series lenses are made with high-quality glass elements and coatings that deliver sharp and clear images with minimal chromatic aberration, distortion, or vignetting. The lenses also have minimal focus breathing, which means they do not change their angle of view when changing focus.

Where can I get the Proteus Flex Series lenses?

The Proteus Flex Series lenses will be available to rent from Keslow Camera, a leading camera rental house in North America. The lenses will also be available for purchase through Venus Optics and authorized retailers starting from January 2024. The pricing for the Proteus Flex Series lenses has not been announced yet, but the Proteus 2X Series lenses without interchangeable flare modules are available to order now for $8,000-$10,000 USD each.

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