Laowa “Out Of Our Minds” and Zero-D new Cine lenses debut at NAB 2019

After Photokina, in 2018, Venus Optics, the manufacturer of Laowa lenses, takes to North America, to show its growing cinema range of lenses at NAB 2019.

Laowa “Out Of Our Minds” Cine lenses debut at NAB 2019

For the first time Laowa displays new prototypes of the Laowa OOOM 25-100mm t/2.9 and 12mm t/2.9 Zero-D cine lenses in NAB Las Vegas show. The lenses will be available late 2019.

The Laowa OOOM 25-100 T/2.9 Professional Cine Lens is one of the highlights of Venus Optics booth at NAB 2019, as it was at Photokina 2018. It’s a truly parfocal lightweight zoom designed for digital cinematography. The Laowa OOOM 25-100mm t/2.9 Cine Lightweight Zoom signs, as I wrote in a previous note, “the direction Venus Optics is taking, now that they are a popular name in the industry with a growing portfolio of lenses for photography, and even video. This lens, featuring  a wide 25-100mm zoom range, seems like a one-size-fits- all lens for different types of productions.”

Presented as the first professional cinema style zoom lens offered by Venus Optics, this is a high quality cinematic zoom lens dedicated for PL/EF cameras with Super35-sized sensors. The name “OOOM” stands for “Out Of Our Minds” which properly describes, as the engineers behind the product say, “our ideology of designing lenses. Unlike some other cine zooms in the market, the OOOM 25-100mm was designed with a goal to suppress focus breathing to the minimal at the beginning. Featuring a 32mm image coverage, the new OOOM lens covers a relatively bigger image than other S35 zoom lenses and should be able to cover most of the aspect ratios of cameras with Super35 sensors.”

Laowa “Out Of Our Minds” Cine lenses debut at NAB 2019

User-interchangeable PL/EF mounts

Here are some more of the specifications of this lens, which Venus Optics hopes to launch before the end of 2019, with a price that will be, says the company, “well below USD 10,000”. The lens can focus up to 12.7” (32cm) away from the front element, which is comparatively closer than other lenses in the market with similar zoom factor. The 20 elements in 16 groups optics design successfully suppress distortion and chromatic aberration to the minimal and deliver outstanding resolution across the frame.

The 4X zoom factor provides a great deal of flexibility to shoot in most scenarios. This lens also has a par-focal and fixed t/2.9 aperture design that both the focus point and brightness will stay unchanged throughout the whole zoom range. The focus, aperture and zoom ring feature a cine-style 0.8 Mod gear teeth for fitting with focus units or motors. An industry standard 114mm front diameter is equipped for filmmakers to fit with their own matte boxes. A focus mark calibration mechanism is incorporated for filmmakers to micro-adjustment in case of front/back focusing. User-interchangeable PL/EF mounts are available.

Laowa “Out Of Our Minds” Cine lenses debut at NAB 2019

More Laowa Cine lenses promised

The company says that a similar cinematic zoom lens with wider focal length and another one with a more telephoto perspective are being developd and will be announced later. The announcement, though, clearly suggests that the company wants to have a presence in the cinema segment.

The second lens on show at NAB 2019 was also present at Photokina 2018. It’s the Laowa 12mm t/2.9 Zero-D Cine, one of the widest and fastest available lens for shooting with large format sensors. It is designed with a 46.5mm image circle which covers both full frame and Vista Vision-sized sensors. Despite the ultra-wide 122° field of view, the image is perfectly rectilinear and features a close-to-zero distortion rate, says Venus Optics. The focus flow is extended to 270° for cinematographers to also take advantage of the 0.6 feet (18cm) closest focusing distance. The lens is super lightweight (650g, 1.4lbs) and comes with a 100mm front diameter. A 114mm step up ring is included for filmmakers to fit rod supported matte box onto the lens. Both EF and PL mount will be available.

Laowa “Out Of Our Minds” Cine lenses debut at NAB 2019

Cine lenses for drones, E and MFT mounts

As I wrote before, the Laowa 12mm t/2.9 Zero-D Cine in PL mount is the cine-mod version of the existing 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D lens from Laowa. The lens was rehoused with a stepless, t-stop aperture rings and focus rings with standard 0.8 mod gears for iris and focus pulls. The retail pricing of the 12mm t/2.9 Zero-D Cine is not ready yet and it will be ready to ship in around late 2019.

Venus Optics has two other cine lenses in their lineup: the 7.5mm T/2.1 MFT Cine  for Micro Four Thirds cameras, and the 9mm T/2.9 Zero-D Cine, for the Super35 format, lenses that offer the widest apertures for use with DJI Inspire X5 drone cameras. The first lens is presented as the best match for BMPCC4K, GH5 and Zcam E2 cameras, the second as a solution for users of Sony E-mount and MFT cameras.

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Journalist, writer and photographer since 1979, both print and online, with a vast experience in the fields of photography, software, hardware, web, aviation, History, video games, technology, having published content in almost all Portuguese newspapers…