September 12, 2015
IBC 2015

Vantage Introduces MiniHawk Anamorphic Lenses That are Small & Fast at T1.5

Vantage MiniHawk Logo
Lens-maker Vantage, who has produced some incredible anamorphic lenses used on all sorts of major shows, is coming out with a brand new set called MiniHawks.

Vantage has found a different way to make anamorphics, and they've been able to produce very small and light lenses (around 6 inches and 4 pounds or less), with fast apertures (T1.5), and close focus of around 1' for most of the range, which extends from 35mm to 180mm. They've also got a 160mm-360mm T4 zoom, which naturally is bigger, heavy, and can't focus as closely, but should nonetheless fill out a good portion of the lens set. The speed of these lenses and the close focus mean they can be used in all sorts of difficult lighting conditions, and diopters aren't really necessary, making shooting easier and lighter for handheld, and reducing what you need to put in front of the lens:

Due to their unique construction, the MiniHawks solve problems associated with anamorphic lenses while preserving classic anamorphic characteristics; therefore, they will have a special place in the HAWK lens portfolio.

Vantage MiniHawk Test Shoot

They produced a little short to show off these lenses, and also wrote a BTS post. Here are some words from the director Peter Märtin about the lenses from that post (followed by the video):

The MiniHawks focus almost to the front element. We did not need any diopters and could pull focus from extremely close to infinity. You will notice that the lenses have zero breathing.  Geometric distortion is well corrected, and even the wide-angle lenses are good for architectural shots. However, our HAWK engineers ensured actors heads always stay round and never become oval (cone head effect) as can be seen on nearly every other geometrically corrected wide lens.

It will be interesting to see these compared to some other options out there, especially lenses that are nearly optically perfect like the ARRI/Zeiss Master Anamorphics. One thing I did notice in the video is that there is some chromatic aberration in certain places when they were shooting wide open. This just might be an inevitable consequence of making such fast lenses and shooting open, and hopefully stopping down a little will get rid of most of it (then again, maybe what I'm seeing isn't quite CA, but at least that's what it looks like). They also don't seem to flare all that much, so it will depend on how much you like that effect, as there are others with crazy flares. 

And where they are in terms of release:

The MiniHawk range has eight primes and one zoom lens. Most lenses are finished and already in the cases, but Vantage has chosen not to release an incomplete series of lenses to highlight their commitment to the cinematographer. Vantage wants to ensure that the complete, fully usable lens system is ready immediately upon release.

It's unclear right now if they will have both 1.33x and 2x versions of these, but for right now you can check out the specs they have so far:

Vantage MiniHawk Anamorphic tech-specs

Price is certainly going to be high, but these have pretty much only been rentals for the vast majority of folks. The speed and size is incredible for anamorphic lenses, so hopefully they are within range of the competitors in terms of rentals. No release date has been given, but since most of them are finished, I imagine it won't be that long before they are on sale.

For more check out this post here, and this one here    

Your Comment

13 Comments

Question is How Many 0000000000000... are behind the lens prices. I would buy or rent a Hawk in a heartbeat (if and when I can, respectively) the more imperfections the better.

September 12, 2015 at 9:33PM

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Aviral Kapoor
Director, Writer, Shooter.
74

Blown away at the absence of focus breathing in these. That shot of her in front of the blinds, moving close to the camera, sheesh.

Definitely a lot of CA wide open but it seemed to disappear at the 2.8 shots. Hoping my local rental houses take interest.

September 13, 2015 at 1:29AM

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Ricky
Director/DP
278

Now if camera companies shot their promo videos like this for their new box computers on a tripod they'd sell a bunch more cameras. In others words that's a beautifully shot piece. Well done Mr Pearl.

September 13, 2015 at 4:03AM

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Jonathon Sendall
Stories
1946

Yes hello, I am here to clean the pool. Why yes I would like to come inside for some lemonade thank you.

Edit. Very nice looking lenses and very well shot piece by the way.

September 13, 2015 at 4:21AM, Edited September 13, 4:22AM

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Do we know what camera this was shot on? Very well done, btw.

September 13, 2015 at 9:20AM, Edited September 13, 9:19AM

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J Robbins
592

Alexa, based on the behind the scenes photo.

September 13, 2015 at 2:56PM

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Gareth Ng
Cinematographer
835

The BTS article said Alexa and RED. Maybe RED in the car?

September 14, 2015 at 10:09AM

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Jonathan Gentry
DP Potomac Media
234

Very nice lenses! Better than Kowa?

September 14, 2015 at 5:26AM

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Eloy Zecca
Director of Photography
156

I just sat thru "The Perfect Guy" yesterday and I noticed the same blue fringing on the highlights and the often distracting properties of these lenses when they're just slightly out of focus. that was shot on the Hawk Vintage '74 lenses. I guess we've been spoiled buy the current perfection on lenses but it made my eyes hurt to watch when the subject would just lose focus for a second in that film. I feel that these lenses will produce the same level of discomfort.
If you were to shoot a movie that took place in the late 70's, I'd think that the "classic" nature of the defects would bring that era to life. When you do it in a poorly directed generic thriller, you have plenty of time to be frustrated.

September 14, 2015 at 10:52AM, Edited September 14, 10:53AM

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Darrell Ayer
Director of Photography
93

They are "Taxi Driver" lenses for sure.

September 14, 2015 at 4:19PM

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Jonathon Sendall
Stories
1946

The bokeh looks harsh and kind of unpleasant to me. The lack of focus breathing in the window shot is pretty amazing, but I found myself distracted by the bokeh most of the time. Anybody else notice that? Is it just me?

September 14, 2015 at 12:30PM

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Chris Good
Video Production
81

Yes, the bokeh doesn't look so great for me as well.

September 14, 2015 at 10:29PM

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Edgar More
All
1241

Some idea of the price range?

September 23, 2015 at 10:01AM

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Eloy Zecca
Director of Photography
156

No offence my friend; listing yourself as a DP and demonstrating a low level of familiarity with both glass and the rental industry that supports DPs... well, it really makes my brain hurt.

You don't buy hawks unless you're a house.

October 27, 2015 at 8:19PM

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Daniel Reed
Hat Collector
1220