London and Manchester based rental company recently extended its offer to production companies and cinematographers with the complete collection of Angénieux Full Frame lenses.
Known for its taylor-made approach, its service and its capacity to supply the right kit to suit with production, Shift 4 decided to buy the Angenieux Type EZ lenses, the Optimo Ultra 12X and the Optimo Prime series in order to suit with cinematographers needs in Full Frame, providing a global solution.
SHIFT 4 Technical Director & DOP Colin Coomber Tells us more about this recent acquisition:
“For a long time, when PL glass was starting to become normal for digital production, the main zoom lenses that would be on almost every set were the Angenieux Optimos, and they have for decades been the industry standard and benchmark for cine zoom lenses.
One of the aspects that made these lenses popular is the character that they have, it is not vintage but also not clean and clinical, not too sharp, but not soft either. They toe a line that ticks a lot of boxes and can be relied upon to take the edge off a digital sensor.
Now digital camera manufacturers are offering us full frame cinematography, in both high-end and affordable camera options. There are a lot of benefits for full frame sensors such as finer noise, better in low light, extended dynamic range, and shallow depth of field on wider frames. A potential downside with full frame cinematography though is the splitting of lens choice.
A lot of the time a cinematographer will have their preferred set of lenses, and this could affect whether they will shoot in full frame or S35, usually because their favourite set of vintage lenses were built only to cover S35. The choice in full frame lenses is now growing, the dilemma this poses for a hire company is that involves investing in lots of different sets of glass to offer enough choice for different types of full frame or S35 production.
This is one of the reasons why Angenieux’s line of full frame lenses was so appealing to Shift 4 as an investment. The ability to change the coverage of these industry-standard lenses means that there is no compromise on camera choice on size or quality.
– Shaun Baylis, Lens Technician –
The other obvious advantage in being able to offer our clients the entire range of Angenieux Full Frame lenses (Ultra 12x, EZ1, EZ2, and the Optimo Primes) is that they will have consistency. A lot of productions try to choose a set of primes from one manufacture that will match with the zooms from another manufacturer. But now they can easily pair primes and zooms, and this is very important for us as we are committed to become one of the main rental houses in the UK for fellow Cinematographers and DoPs working in high-end productions.
Another aspect of the Optimo Prime lenses that we believe will be a useful function for full frame is the ability to tune the performance. The fact that the lenses have been designed so that elements, iris blades, and rear filters can be easily swapped to change the look of the lenses can help get around the issue of lens choice for full frame. The flare, colour rendition/white balance, the level of sharpness, and halation can all be tuned, for example, to replicate a particular vintage look that previously could only be used with S35 sensors.
A setup that sounds very interesting that Angénieux have described, is elements that would produce a horizontal flare and iris blades that make an oval shape. This would push the image most of the way towards the anamorphic look, but eliminate some of the operational issues of anamorphic. Such as the lenses would be compact and lightweight, with very close focus eliminating the need for diopters and fast, consistent T stops throughout the whole set.
Ultimately, it makes sense to have a line of industry-standard high-end glass that can cover all types of camera technology. They cover all bases brilliantly”.
Special thanks for this testimonial to Rafael Filomeno, Marketing and Business Development at Shift 4 London.