Anhui, China—Venus Optics released its new Laowa Proteus 2x Anamorphic cinema lens series. Dubbed the “most accessible professional anamorphic lenses with a constant 2x squeeze ratio,” the lenses are for Super35 sensor cameras.
Six months ago, Laowa launched the world’s smallest anamorphic lenses—Nanomorphs. “Following the huge breakthrough in the anamorphic world, the Proteus series is their substantial step to exemplify the classic anamorphic characters with modern image quality for professional productions and filmmaking,” Venus Optics announced.
Laowa Proteus 2x Anamorphic Series Features
The Proteus series comes in 35mm, 45mm, 60mm and 85mm versions. Moreover, with an optimized optical design and anamorphic glass, they feature a universal T2 aperture.
The lenses can create sharp close-ups shots at a 1.8-foot distance. This permits cinematographers to have more variety in framing for storytelling. Plus, the close-up shots usually generate a shallower depth of field, adding a cinematic vibe.
In addition, they achieve smooth elliptical bokeh in the out-of-focus areas that are thin and long, providing a more prominently anamorphic look to the shots. They also create signature flares, including blue, amber and silver options.
Further, the series adopts a front anamorphic design. Consequently, they deliver image sharpness while retaining the vintage look of anamorphic characteristics, including elliptical bokeh and signature flares.
With low focus breathing, Proteus lenses have a subtle change in the angle of view when the focusing distance is altered. This allows filmmakers to depict a scene by shifting the focus between subjects.
The series also offers a constant 2x squeeze ratio to realize the classic wide-screen anamorphic look. The lenses work with 4:3 as well as 6:5 sensors, which are usually defaulted in pro cinema cameras to deliver a 2.66:1 or 2.4:1 image after de-squeeze.
As a result, cinematographers and filmmakers can use the footage entirely or crop it to a 2.39:1 with minimal loss of resolution. Also, filmmakers can achieve the 2x squeeze ratio in any focus distance, maintaining the relative shape of the object and avoiding anamorphic mumps.
Additionally, the iris ranges from T2 to T22 for the entire series. This enables filming in all light conditions. Cinematographers can also create shallow depth of field at a large aperture. Further, the lenses can render organic waterfall focus roll-off in the background—a distinct anamorphic characteristics popular with the film industry.
The Proteus series is also designed to produce high image quality and sharpness even when shooting wide open, as chromatic aberrations are minimized.
Other features include an adjustment mechanism to calibrate back focus with the lens mounted; unified gear positions with the ability to switch quickly between focal lengths to work with the same set of gears; a 0.8 mod gear for aperture and focus gears to work with the pitching; a Ø 114mm outer diameter; a Ø 105mm filter thread; and a 300° focus throw.
Available with a metric or imperial scale, Proteus lenses are also compatible with the Laowa 1.4x full frame expander to cover full-frame sensors.
Individually, Laowa Proteus 2x Anamorphic lenses have a suggested retail price of $4,999 each. A two-lens set retails for $9,499 (set A, 35mm/60mm; set B, 45mm/85mm). Eligible customers can join the #ProteusOnSet program to for a cash rebate of $1,200 for each set order.