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Laowa Proteus 2X Anamorphic Lens Set Announced: 35mm, 45mm, 60mm, 85mm T2

January 17th, 2023 Jump to Comment Section 3
Laowa Proteus 2X Anamorphic Lens Set Announced: 35mm, 45mm, 60mm, 85mm T2

Laowa has released its entire Proteus 2X anamorphic lens set with four lenses: 35mm, 45mm, 60mm, and 85mm, all at T2. These lenses will be available with either a Canon EF or ARRI PL user-interchangeable lens mount. Also, you can choose if you want your lens flares to be blue, amber, or silver looking, which is quite interesting. So let’s take a closer look at all these new 2X anamorphic lenses!

Chinese lens manufacturer Laowa is well-known for its manual photo lenses, especially its 24mm probe lens and its entire Zero-D lineup of wide-angle lenses with no distortion. Last year, the company debuted in the anamorphic world with the Nanomorph 1.5X lens set, which are incredibly compact lenses and still the lightest glass of its kind set on the market.

A couple of months ago, during Inter BEE 2022 in Japan, we had the chance to take a first quick look at the Laowa Proteus 2X 45mm T2 lens. Laowa told us that other lenses would join the set quickly, and the least we can say is that the team holds its promises with the introduction of the entire lens set today.

Laowa Proteus 2X anamorphic features

The Laowa Proteus 2X anamorphic lens set consists of four lenses with a constant 2X squeeze ratio: a 35mm, a 45mm, a 60mm, and an 85mm. All lenses have an image circle of 25.92 x 21.6mm and cover Super35 image sensors. If you use the optional Laowa 1.4X full-frame expander, the lenses can cover full-frame sensors, but you’ll lose one stop of light.

Image credit: Laowa

As you can tell from the image above, the Proteus 2X anamorphics are massive compared to the Laowa Nanomorph series. Indeed, the 35mm and 45mm weighs 2.4 kg each for a diameter of 11.9cm and a length of 18.2cm. The 60mm is 2.3 kg, it has the same diameter as the 35/45mm, but is slightly longer at 19.8cm. Lastly, the 85mm is 2.95 kg and measures 11.6 x 24cm, making it the much longer lens of the set.

Image credit: Laowa

All the Laowa Proteus 2x anamorphic lenses have industry-standard 0.8mod focus and iris gears. The focus throw is very long at 300°, and the focus ring has either imperial or metric markings depending on your choice.

Image credit: Laowa

However, even if some lenses have different lengths, all of the aperture/gear rings are unified in the set, which makes swapping lenses a breeze.

Image credit: Laowa

The outside diameter of each lens is 114mm, and there is also a 105mm filter thread. There is also a removable lens support at the front of each lens.

Image credit: Laowa

User-interchangeable PL and EF mounts

At the back of each Laowa Proteus 2x anamorphic lens, you’ll find a user-interchangeable PL or Canon EF lens mount. Please note that the optional 1.4X full-frame expander is only compatible with the PL mount.

But, Laowa designed the Proteus with a time-saving feature that will make lens mount swapping a much more pleasant process: a back focus adjustment mechanism. In short, you no longer have to shim your lenses individually to adjust the back focus. Instead, all you have to do is adjust the back focus ring, and you’re ready to go. This kind of back focus adjustment ring is often found on broadcast lenses but not a lot in the cinema world.

Lens flares and bokeh

Similar to the Nanomorphs, you can choose the lens flare color of the Laowa Proteus 2X between amber, blue, and silver. The blue coating is the most “classic” anamorphic look, while the amber one will give you a warmer image. Lastly, the silver lens flare will change color according to the light source.

The video above shows that the elliptical bokeh in the out-of-focus areas is much longer and thinner compared to 1.5X and 1.8X anamorphic lenses.

Image credit: Laowa

Lens design

The lens design of the 35mm and 45mm lenses consists of 17 elements in 14 groups, with a minimum focusing distance of only 55cm/1.8ft. The 60mm has 17 elements in 13 groups, with a minimum focusing distance of 70cm/2.3ft. The lens design of the 85mm consists of 18 elements in 13 groups with a minimum focusing distance of 82cm/2.7ft.

The aperture diaphragm is similar between all lenses and consists of ten aperture blades.

It’s also worth mentioning that, according to Laowa, the “Laowa Proteus 2X Anamorphic Series adapted a front anamorphic design for a robust optical composition.” In other words, you should not get any squeeze ratio changes at any focus distance.

Image credit: Laowa

Price and availability

The Laowa Proteus 2X anamorphic lenses are available now for $4,999 each and $9,499 for a 2-lens set. The first set consists of the 35mm and 60mm, and you’ll find the 45mm and 85mm in the second set.

For more information, please visit Laowa’s website here.

What do you think about these new Laowa 2X anamorphic lenses? Do you believe a 2X squeeze ratio is too wide for your needs? How do you like the look of them? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments down below!

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