P+S TECHNIK has started producing Kowa Evolution lenses, clones of the classic Kowa anamorphic 2x prime lenses that that were last made in the 1970s (probably before a lot of our audience was born).
Focal lengths of 40mm (T2.2), 50mm (T2.2), 75mm (T2.5), 100mm (T3.2), 135mm (T3) and a wide angle lens with a yet to be determined focal length will make up a six lens set. The original set didn’t include a 135mm or wide angle, so P+S TECHNIK have had their work cut out trying to match the look of the original 1970 primes.
Staying true to the original
The Kowa Evolution lenses are based on the original optical design of the vintage Kowa lenses, and feature the same front anamorphic construction that made the originals so popular. P+S TECHNIK have designed the lenses apertures so that the bokeh matches as closely to the original lenses as possible. The lenses have a low contrast, warm look, and are easy to make flare.
Everything old is new again
Vintage anamorphic lenses have certainly made a big come back (did they ever really go away?) and are a popular choice for many DPs. Despite maintaining a vintage look, P+S TECHNIK didn’t want to replicate the old mechanical construction, so they have incased the optics in a modern housings that feature cam-driven internal focus mechanics. The focus throw has also been dramatically increased over the original lenses, to 200 degrees. The lenses also have industry standard 0.8mm pitch gears on the focus and iris.
All the lenses in the set have a 80mm front diameter for use with clip-on matte boxes. If you want to screw in your own filters P+S TECHNIK have made the lenses with a 77mm thread.
Even though the lenses come standard with a Arri PL mount, just like a lot of modern day prime lenses, the Evolution series come with with an IMS exchangeable mount set as standard. There are also Sony E and Canon EF mounts available.
Get out your credit card
The lenses don’t have to be purchased as a set and you can buy them individually, but you better have deep pockets. If you are a Panasonic GH5 owner then these may be a little bit out of your reach, but hey, you can always rent. P+S TECHNIK are now starting to take pre-orders, and each lens will set you back €14,900 ($17440US). While this sounds expensive, it is considerably less than buying anamorphic lenses such as the Vantage Hawks.