If you’ve ever browsed forums or joined a Facebook group for budget anamorphic lenses, there’s two things you’ll find in an abundance; Micro 4/3 cameras, and Frankenstein rigs held together with adapters and gaff tape. But now there’s a cure for one of those… The Vazen 1.8x Anamorphic Prime Lens.
I had an opportunity to test a pre-production model of the new Vazen 40mm T2.0 several months back. When I was first informed of the specs and the fact that it was a Chinese manufacturer, I had relatively low expectations based on previous experience. However, after some bench testing and actual field use, I was pleasantly surprised by the optical and mechanical build quality of the lens. The focus rotation is consistent and smooth with accurate distance markings. The size and weight, while larger and heavier than most Micro 4/3 lenses, is still impressive for an anamorphic lens. In terms of optics, the distortion is well controlled and resolution is quite nice, even wide open at T2.0.
The unique 1.8x squeeze ratio is ideal for the 4:3 aspect ratio of Micro 4/3 sensors. This lens is ideal for Blackmagic Micro 4/3 cameras, Panasonic GH4, GH5, and the new Z CAM E-2. During the short time I had with the prototype lens, I was able to shoot some content. Despite the Vazen’s fully enclosed build (no dual focus or telescoping) it doesn’t come with a sort of support post or foot. I would highly recommend using some sort of add-on lens support. Sadly, I had some wonky settings on the camera for a lot of the shots, so I was only able to cut together a very short sample video. Keep in mind that this may not represent the final product, but take a look and comment below.
|Aperture Range||T2 – T16|
|Min. Focus||2.7’ (0.82m)|
|Weight||3.97 lbs (1.8kg)|
|Lens Mount||Micro 4/3|
Moving forward, Vazen has already confirmed that they’re working on a 28mm and a 65mm to go along with the current 40mm. If the two new focal lengths are anything like the 40mm, then this trio of lenses should make for quite the capable set of anamorphic cinema lenses. The Vazen 40mm will be priced at $3,250 which is quite affordable for an all-in-one anamorphic, and is available immediately from Duclos Lenses.