It was over a year ago now that I was in the process of investing in some cinema zooms and was testing out my options. I am fortunate to have built a career across a variety of disciplines to keep my curious mind occupied however my background is in drama which has given me an appreciation towards glass with personality, a round and soft character, warm and flattering to skin. Generally my go-to primes are Cooke S4s and zooms Angenieux Optimos.
When the Angenieux Type EZ lens were announced I must have been up there with the first to place an order. It ticked all the boxes versatility with camera formats, longevity and price.
On the topic of price it is something to consider as once you purchase the complete FFVV kit it is only marginally less than the Optimo Styles. So they aren’t really a ‘cheap’ alternative once you fully kit it out. I weighed up both lenses and in the end still chose the Type EZ lens due to their versatility, which I think is their strongest selling point followed by their speed, and look.
Perhaps the best review on these lenses would be Matt Allard’s from newsshooter.com, it is worth checking out if you are interested in investing in them. Furthermore the lens technician at Lemac Melbourne got his hands on my lens for checks before I did and excitedly described the lens as “gorgeous…mechanically superb and above expectation”.
I have been shooting with my Type EZ-1 since I received it in June 2017 and really love it. It is an Angenieux lens by all means but it would be unfair to expect Optimo quality given the price difference. The colour, warmth, pleasing skin tones are there, but missing is that creaminess, round and delicate roll-off, and flares that have made Optimos famous in the industry. The Type EZ lens are beautiful lenses none the less that punch way above their weight and in my opinion have a preferred look over other lightweight cine zooms in the market.
Thanks to Jebsen Industrial I got my hands on an Type EZ-2 for a short film I was about to shoot. I wanted to exclusively use both Type EZ lenses to show off their potential for drama and to highlight their strengths and unique capabilities that make them amazing. I shot wide open at T2, at night, in a controlled environment, mixed lighting, natural light, swapping rear elements on location, in-car filming, and on a gimbal. I really pushed these lenses and was impressed by their performance.
- The Type EZ lenses render beautifully wide open at T2. T2 on a zoom T2! That alone is incredible, technically not their sharpest, but splendid for faces, close-ups and beauty.
- The weight is perfect for handheld, gimbal and for tight quarters. I must admit my gimbal was pretty heavy and took a while to balance correctly, but once right it worked well. It would have performed even better with more tweaks in hindsight, but that is a gimbal matter. In-car was perfect specially seen it’s minimal focus of 2ft and fast t-stop made nighttime driving shots a pleasure.
- Swapping out rear elements on location was a breeze it took 10-15mins on my lap inside the car, perhaps the hardest part is not misplacing the tiny screws that keep it together. Ideally you would do it in a safe environment, but it is good to know it is easy to do anywhere.
- Skin is rendered soft and beautiful, as you’d expect from Angenieux . Also the lens is warm like shooting with ¼CTO on your lamps it is a look that I love and reason why Angenieux is the lens of choice for filming faces, beauty and fashion. I like a warm image but that is a personal preference.
- The flares on these lenses are really controlled and sadly underwhelming. This is a shame, as I love how Angenieux lenses flare, yes perhaps I am guilty of overusing flares but who doesn’t love a good flare
- On the flip side the glare could have been better controlled. I have had a few instances where I noticed glare creeping in when it wouldn’t have on other lenses. It has made me aware to keep an eye on it on future shoots.
- Gunmetal grey. I was not excited about the colour in particular when my entire kit is black and red, however it does standout and I have had clients comment on it when they wouldn’t have previously.
FINALＶERDICTOverall I am extremely pleased with my investment and look forward to many years with these lenses. They have become the perfect addition to my kit helping me deliver standout results on a lot of my projects. I think these lenses are perfectly suited to people outgrowing or upgrading from their still lenses and moving up in their career or also perhaps investing on glass that is future proofed for our current rapidly changing camera technology world. In my opinion, the angenieux Type EZ lenses really provide unmatched versatility and creative freedom. Click HERE to watch the film I shot using TYPE EZ lens.