Venus Optics Launches its Ultra-Compact Laowa APS-C Nanomorph Anamorphic Lenses

Venus Optics has announced a set of Laowa Nanomorph anamorphic lenses that are designed for Super35, APS-C, and Micro Four-Third cameras. They feature Laowaโ€™s patented optical structure which makes them the smallest anamorphic lenses on the market. These are being touted as affordable, lightweight anamorphic lenses for use with mirrorless hybrid and digital cinema cameras.

With three different focal lengths of 27mm T2.8, 35mm T2.4, and 50 T2.4, the lenses are as fast as they are compact with a 1.5x constant squeeze ratio. The trio also has two different flare options of amber and blue, which are indicated by the color-coordinated stripes on the lenses. Laowa says the amber flares are complementary to skin tones and day/night shots, while the blue flares provide a cooler vibe which is especially sought after for science fiction film applications.

Laowa has a strong reputation for making interesting, and sometimes quite unique lenses, and that mindset looks to have somewhat carried over to the Nanomorph. All three offer a constant 1.5x squeeze factor throughout the entire focus distance range, something usually only seen in higher-end anamorphic lenses. This constant squeeze ratio means the lenses wonโ€™t suffer from a reduction in their anamorphic effect when close to a subjectโ€”something that can cause faces and objects to appear distorted in scenes.

Anamorphic mumps refers to when the center of an image receives less horizontal squeeze when the lens is focused at short distances. This makes the desqueezed footage look strange and itโ€™s why early anamorphic work avoided closeups. This optical condition is also impossible to correct in post, making the footage unusable.

With the Nanomorph design, a constant 1.5x squeeze ratio of 2.66:1 on a 16:9 sensor is maintained without relying on the anamorphic block design. Believing that the 1.5x ratio is the sweet spot between the lens size and anamorphic look, Venus Optics has come up with a patented lens array that can guarantee a uniform squeeze ratio, and ensure optical quality without exploding either the size of the lens or the price.

The company also says the lenses have the shortest closest focus distance of any anamorphic lenses on the market, with the 27mm T2.8 lens able to focus to 43cm, and the 50mm T2.4 able to get the sensor just 70cm from the subject. The launch information reveals exactly how small the lenses are as well, with the mirrorless mount versions measuring roughly 10cm long and weighing between 313g and 390g. The models designed for EF and PL mounts are smaller in length but weigh more. A 55m filter thread is used for the mirrorless versions, while the EF and PL models will take 77mm filters.

Other features include a unified gear position to maintain the tactile nature of making quick adjustments after switching lenses while avoiding refocusing. There is also a 0.8 mod gear installed on both aperture and focusing rings, and dual imperial and metric scales printed on the focus ring. The company also included a focal back adjustment feature that can fine-tune the back focus with a 0.9mm hex key.

Available in a variety of user interchangeable lens mounts, the lenses can connect using Canon EF, PL mount, Canon R, Sony E, Micro Four Thirds, DJI DL, Nikon Z, Leica L, and Fujifilm X. Each lens comes with a single mount bayonet, with additional mount options available for $50.

Venus Optics has chosen to launch the cameras on IndieGoGo and competitively priced them at $999 for mirrorless mounts and $1,499 for EF and PL Mounts. The three lens set is available for $2,699 and $3,999 respectively. Lenses are expected to ship in August of 2022.

More info on IndieGoGo’s page.

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