44 – 440 Optimo A2S : The New Long Range Anamorphic Zoom Lens

Complementary to the Optimo 56-152 A2S released in 2013, and the Optimo 30-72 A2S released in 2015, the Optimo 44-440 A2S is the brand new lens in the Optimo anamorphic 2x Squeeze series. This lens introduction represents a major design advancement for Angénieux and rounds out company’s position of ongoing industry leadership in high end optics for cinema.

The creative virtues of anamorphic lenses have become even more important in the digital age, where cinematographers are seeking a distinctive look to enrich every project. In 2015, 40% of Top 100 Grossing Movies in the US have been shot in anamorphic (IMDB source). The Angénieux anamorphic zoom lenses add a dimensional character to the image with the traditional 2x squeeze, yet minimizing breathing and distortion by adopting a modern optical design.

The two short anamorphic zooms – Optimo 56-152 A2S and Optimo 30-72 A2S – are based on the Academy award winning Optimo lenses, with the cylindrical optical elements integrated in the rear part of the lens. They inherit the quality and agility of the short Optimo spherical zooms. They are the lightest and most compact anamorphic zoom lenses ever made. Developing a high magnification anamorphic zoom companion has been a new major step in completing Angénieux rear-anamorphic line up.

Complementary to a set of primes and to the short Optimo A2S zooms, the new Angénieux 10x anamorphic zoom lens brings speed and flexibility of the long range zoom to the set. The Optimo 44-440 A2S zoom lens features traditional 2x horizontal squeeze, minimum breathing and distortion, and a fast aperture of T:4.5 across the zoom range. It has a great close focus of 4 ft 1 in (1.24m), and is one of the lightest lens in its class at 16.6 lbs (7.55kg).
Jean-Marc Bouchut, Technical Support Director of Angénieux US division said “Angénieux designed the new 44-440 Optimo A2S with a rear group of cylindrical and spherical elements to provide excellent optical performance. It’s a vast improvement over previous generations of long range zooms with rear adapters: because of their optical imperfections, these lenses usually had to be closed down at least one stop to T5.6 or more in order to achieve a decent sharpness of the image field. The 44-440 provides a beautiful image wide-open at T4.5 through its entire zoom range, with a depth of field identical to a T3.2 spherical zoom at equivalent field of view. The cylindrical and spherical elements in the rear group not only control aberration but also change the way the image is created compared to a spherical lens. The image has lower contrast in the out of focus areas, providing a unique aesthetic to the foreground and background. The image looks more silky smooth than with a spherical lens and the faces of actors have a pleasing texture.”

Dominique Rouchon, Angénieux Deputy VP of Marketing, Sales and Communication, explained, “For the long range anamorphic zoom, if we had based our design on the 24-290, it would have been much larger, heavier and very expensive. Being able to anticipate and make a common mechanical design with the 25-250 not only helped keep size, weight and cost down but above all shortened time to market and expedited the manufacturing process.” The lens will be available by this summer!

The Angénieux A2S zoom lenses blend perfectly with the anamorphic prime lenses in the market. “The 44-440 will match not only the complete range of Angénieux lenses, but also will match most spherical and anamorphic prime lenses, including ARRI/ZEISS, Cooke, Panavision, Hawk and Scorpio. Our philosophy was to build an optically superb lens, with low distortion and a uniform image quality, to make it universal. This choice was deliberate. It is easy to add effects in camera or in post, but rather difficult to remove aberrations after the fact. We would rather provide an optically superb lens to which you can, for example, add a diffusion filter, a blue line flare or the glow of a light. Or you might add effects in post. But what can you do when the director is in the DI suite and absolutely hates the annoying flare that just happens to totally obscure the climactic closeup scene of your star actor? Therefore, we took the high road” explained Dominique Rouchon.

Their unique mount design allows a quick swap between PL and PV mounts. And the focus scale ring is easily interchangeable from feet to meters. The 44-440 Optimo A2S features built-in encoders providing metadata (focus, zoom, T-stop) via the industry standard /i Technology interface developed by Cooke.

The Optimo 44-440 A2S will be available as a dedicated anamorphic lens but will also be offered as a package system for customers such as rental houses, who can purchase an extra rear spherical optical group and complete set of focus, iris and zoom rings to make it a 25-250 T3.5. The lens can then be converted back and forth between anamorphic and spherical.

In summary, Pierre Andurand, Thales Angénieux VP General Manager and CEO , said, “After the success of our two short anamorphic zooms, with more than 300 pieces sold all over the world, I’m very pleased to offer the cinema industry and specially cinematographers this new tool to support their creativity.  The long range zoom has always been an essential part of every anamorphic production, often as the centerpiece. Our new 44-440 should help increase the popularity and the embrace of this artistic format even further, which I consider to be, from all points of view, the quintessence of cinema. We are very happy to welcome the third brother to our anamorphic family!”

To know where this lens will be available in India, you can contact Benoît, your point of contact: benoit.percheron@thalesgroup.com, 085 8691 1003 And Angineux Page here.

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