All lens flares are cool. On top of that, anamorphic lens flares, with their distinct streak of light that flashes across the screen, are doubly cool. We get it, Michael Bay—great work buddy! So it’s no surprise that cinematographers, young and old, are chasing after this specific cinematic look.
Speaking traditionally, if you did want a natural anamorphic lens flare in your footage, you’d have to find an anamorphic lens with the right flare color built-in. However, thanks to these new Proteus Flex lenses which were developed by a partnership between Venus Optics and Keslow Camera, you’ll be able to unlock interchangeable flare colors with a single lens.
Let’s take a look at how these work, and if you might want to invest in renting or buying them.
The Laowa Proteus Flex 2X Anamorphic Prime Lens Lineup
A byproduct of this announced partnership between Venus Optics and Keslow Camera, this new interchangeable flare version of the Laowa Proteus 2X Anamorphic Lens series (which they’re calling the Proteus Flex) should be quite exciting to those DPs and film pros looking to up their cinematography game to those Michael Bay levels.
“Introducing the new Proteus Flex Series is a noteworthy development for rental houses and the film industry. This innovation brings remarkable flexibility and cost-efficiency to the forefront by providing three distinct flare colors within a single modular design. This elevated level of modularity enhances the versatility of the entire series, simplifying the filmmaking process.” — Dennis McDonald, Chief Operating Officer at Keslow Camera.
The Proteus Flex lens lineup, with their modular design functionality, will comprise a core Proteus lens body which is picking up from the existing Proteus line, with the optional addition of three interchangeable flare modules.
Interchangeable Flare Module Options
This is where the cool stuff comes in.
With this Flex model, these interchangeable flare modules will be precision-crafted to easily be swapped in or out via screws. The company predicts that the whole process will be able to be completed in less than 10 minutes by an on-set lens technician without requiring any additional optical calibrations.
The Laowa Proteus Flex 2X anamorphic series will come in three color options including amber, blue, and silver flare varieties, and are expected to be available in PL mount by default to start.
The specs will be similar to the Laowa Proteus Series itself which includes 8 focal lengths (20-135) and features a universal T2 aperture.
A look at the Laowa Proteus 2X Anamorphic Series
Price and Availability
Now, obviously, these are not going to be cheap lenses by any means, but if you’re familiar with standard pricing for high-end prime series lenses, you’ll find that rental rates will be what you might expect with deposits ranging from $600.00 to $2,400.00.
The Laowa Proteus 2X Anamorphic Lenses themselves are available to order now as a partial lineup, with the rest of the set expected to ship later this year. The Proteus Flex lenses with interchangeable flare options should be hitting retailers in January 2024.If you’re at all interested, you can find out more at Laowa’s website here.
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