What has been the most requested addition to our inventory? Anamorphics, specifically Kowa primes. We are always trying to keep up with the desires of our customers when it comes to new gear. When the time came to pull the trigger the question really became whether to buy vintage or something new.
At NAB 2017 our team first saw a new design that P+S Technik had been showing off for a brand new build of the vintage Kowa primes. This would offer the same vintage look but with fresh scratch free elements, a better housing upgrade, and of course a manufacture warranty with the ability to get them serviced. We decided this sounded like a good option and with the price of vintage Kowas soaring it also made financial sense.
Our team shot on both Red Digital Helium and Dragon sensor cameras in 6K 6:5 R3D raw. We used all four lenses in the set wide open. One camera lived on steadicam while the other bounced between a 12' Kessler jib and hand held. Overall impressions from using the lenses, we felt that they are a nice size and weight and the 77mm threads make using screw-on diopters easy. The focus felt smooth and consistent. The distortion of the old Kowas is still present but the flares seem a bit cleaner and more defined. I think its safe to say our whole team really enjoyed using these lenses and are looking forward to continuing to use them on future shoots. You can see the final video below which we've titled Latin Flares.
To see these lenses in another environment check out the video below shot by cinematographer Martin Whittier with agency HZDG for Wiley Publishing using the Evolutions on Red Gemini.