As dependable as ever, Angenieux has released another perfect lens. The Optimo Ultra 12x cine zoom is really the next bar to measure other zoom lenses against. This time, they’ve created a multi-format monster that can cover 3 sensor sizes — including the new and exciting Full-Frame format that is on track to be this year’s summer jam.
As the format can change, the zoom range also changes slightly in regards to which lens element you’ve chosen. The options are for standard Super 35, Ultra 35 — a format created for S35+ formats like ARRI Open Gate, Sony Venice 5.7K 16:9, 6K RED Dragon, 8K RED Helium — and Full-Frame/Vista Vision targeted at large format cameras like the ARRI ALEXA LF, RED Monstro, RED 8K Vista Vision, and Sony Venice Full-Frame 6K.
The zoom ranges break down into these groups, and you’ll see that change in speed as well:
- S35 [31.6mm] 24-290mm T2.8
- U35 [34.6mm] 26-320mm T3.1
- FF/VV [46.3mm] 36-435mm T4.2
Tests below are from the Sony Venice at 5.7K 16:9, with the Ultra35 format.
26mm [note the vingette is only visible in the “look around” setting at 16:9, and is not recorded].
This flexibility in format is exactly what rental houses are looking for — a lens that you can depend on, and that can change to fit your format needs from job-to-job. Just let your Rental Agent know which camera you’re using, and we can make sure it matches up.
The build quality is exactly what’s to be expected from the Optimo line-up, which is a visually near-perfect parfocal zoom that is very pretty, very heavy, and very expensive. No, this lens won’t be the everyday shooter’s go-to, but commercial and episodic productions will certainly get use out of this artillery-style zoom. With the 12x range, this isn’t something that’s meant to be taken off the camera that often. It’s your “on sticks, workhorse zoom”, just like the previous 24-290 models.
What excited me most about this lens is the Ultra 35 option. Yes, S35 is the standard, and, yes, Full-Frame sure is the cool, new kid on the block; but so many cameras have odd, non-standard sensor sizes. Having a lens that works well, specifically for Venice 5.7K, RED Helium 8K, and ARRI Open Gate is pretty phenomenal. Of course, designing a lens just for these odd sizes would be insane, which is where the flexibility of the multi-format option saves the day. I don’t know what the future will hold for imager sizes, but I do know that this lens will probably fit them.
– Alex Enman, Engineer