The past few years have felt like a dream for creatives needing affordable anamorphic options. Before companies like Sirui, Venus Optics, and, more recently, Viltrox completely changed the market, filmmakers were forced to either pay out the nose or utilize complicated setups using anamorphic projection lenses. Thankfully, those days seem to be gone.
However, most of these new affordable anamorphic options don't have a robust set, with most topping out at three lenses per series. Until now, that is.
Venus Optics has expanded its Laowa Nanomorph 1.5x anamorphic line with two additional lenses, a 65mm and an 80mm, for practically every lens mount ever made. Here's why we're excited about these new tools.
65mm & 85mm 1.5x Anamorphics
The initial release of the Laowa Nanomorphs included a three-lens set, with a 27mm, a 35mm, and a 50mm. This came in a wide range of mirrorless lens mounts but eventually included an EF and PL version.
All these lenses covered Super35 or APS-C sensors, had a 1.5x squeeze factor, a T2.4 aperture for the 35mm and 50mm, and a T2.8 for the 27mm.
We had a chance to review these lenses on set and we walked away very impressed with the performance.
Now, Venus Optics is expanding the line with two new additions that fill out the focal range quite nicely. The 65mm and the 80mm will have a max aperture of T2.4, a close focus distance of 2'3"/70cm, matching filter threads (mount dependent), and your choice of amber, blue, or silver flare color.
If you go for the mirrorless version, you'll have seven different mounts to choose from that will cover practically any camera on the market. If you choose the PL or EF version, you'll get a heavier lens (albeit slightly) and will be forced to stick with those two mounts.
Sample footage of the new lenses
Credit: Venus Optics
We say both because all the mounts are interchangeable as long as you stay within each respective flange distance. For us, this makes this set a really valuable tool, especially for the attractive price point of around $2799 for both lenses.
But that's not all Veus Optics is releasing.
An Adapter for True 2x Anamorphic
At 1.5x, the Nanomorphs provide a nice sweet spot for creatives shooting in different aspect ratios. But to get that perfect anamorphic look that most filmmakers expect, cinematographers need to shoot on a 4:3 sensor with a 2x anamorphic lens. This would give them a 2.39:1 aspect ratio with the exaggerated anamorphic characteristics we all love.
To give this option to filmmakers who already own a Nanomorph set, Venus Optics is also releasing a 1.33x front anamorphic adapter.
The 1.33X Front Anamorphic Adapter for 2x Anamorphic imagery
Credit: Venus Optics
While it can be used on its own with other spherical lenses to provide a nice 1.33x squeeze factor, this adapter is best used with the Laowa Nanomorphs.
Why? Because it'll get you up to that 2x anamorphic squeeze factor. However, this will only give you a 2.39:1 aspect ratio if you shoot on a 4:3 sensor. If the entire setup is used on a 16:9 sensor, creatives will find an aspect ratio comically wide.
The new adapter also comes with your choice of flare color, as well as a 200-degree focus throw and an 86mm filter thread. It's a nice addition that will give you more options when it comes to composition, but it will add some bulk to your camera rig. Those Nanomorphs won't be as compact as you once thought.
But for 2x, it's a small price to pay, which is $699.
Is This a Lens Kit For You?
You know what? Yeah, probably. Unless you're a renter and don't own your gear, the Laowa Nanomorphs are a very interesting tool to have in your kit. It might not be the perfect solution for every project, especially if you don't need anamorphic. Still, the creative options you get with a full range of anamorphic lenses aren't something creatives should pass up, especially if the lens kit is so affordable.
This Laowa Nanomorph S35 Prime 3-Lens Bundle from Venus Optics includes the 27, 35, and 50mm Laowa Nanomorph compact anamorphic lenses that feature a 1.5x anamorphic squeeze ratio, silver color flares, markings in meters and feet, 0.8 MOD cine gears, and both ARRI PL and Canon EF mounts.Yaroslav Altunin
If you'd like to get your hands on the new Laowa Nanomorph 65mm and 85mm, check out the IndieGoGo campaign and get an early bird discount.
If you're worried about the campaign delivering the goods, just know that Venus Optics has done this before. Several times.
There's a lot of versatility in the interchangeable lens mounts and the five different focal lengths. Add in the adapter on top of that and you're getting a lot more bang for your buck.
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