The Laowa Proteus 2x Anamorphic series has been officially announced. These new lenses are available in focal lengths of 35mm, 45mm, 60mm, and 85mm and they will cover Super 35 sensors. All the lenses are T2.
We first saw a prototype of one of the lenses at Interbee 2022 in Japan.
According to Laowa, the Proteus 2X Anamorphic Series was designed to be the most accessible professional anamorphic lens for Super35 sensors that features a constant 2X squeeze ratio. The Proteus Series is said to exhibit classic anamorphic characters with modern image quality.
The lenses will cover an image circle diameter of 25.92mm x 21.6mm.
The 35 and 45mm have a minimum focusing distance of 21.6″ / 54.9cm. They are claimed to feature smooth elliptical bokeh and signature flares including blue, amber, and silver options.
The lenses are available in PL mount, but they also come with a user interchangeable EF mount.
- Patented anamorphic design
- Constant 2X squeeze ratio
- T2 Large Aperture
- Outstanding sharpness
- Close focusing distance
- Pleasant oval bokeh
- Amber, blue & silver flare colors
- Low Focus-breathing
- User-friendly cine housing
- Full-frame coverage with 1.4X expander
Size & Weight
The Proteus lenses are not lightweight and compact lenses. They have the following weights:
|35mm||2.4kg / 5.29 lbs|
|45mm||2.4kg / 5.29 lbs|
|60mm||2.3kg / 5.07 lbs|
|85mm||2.95 kg / 6.5 lbs|
Laowa Proteus 2X Anamorphic Series adapted a front anamorphic design for a robust optical composition. It can deliver the image sharpness of modern quality while retaining the vintage look of anamorphic characteristics including elliptical bokeh and signature flares.
Constant 2X squeeze ratio
The 2X squeeze ratio allows you to create the classic wide-screen anamorphic look and it pairs well with 4:3 or 6:5 sensors which are usually defaulted in professional cinema cameras to deliver a 2.66:1 or 2.4:1 image after de-squeeze. You can also crop to a 2.39:1 with minimal loss of resolution.
With the optical design, the 2X squeeze ratio can be achieved at any focus distance. Laowa also states that the lenses maintain the relative shape of the object and avoid anamorphic mumps.
The iris ranges from T2 to T22 for the entire series.
According to Laowa, the optical performance has been fine-tuned to deliver excellent color rendition and contrast.
The Laowa Proteus Series has a minimum focusing distance of 55cm (1.8 feet). This is fairly close for a 2x anamorphic lens.
As I mentioned earlier, the lenses are available in either blue, amber, or neutral silver flare color options. If you are looking for something with a more neutral flare then the silver flare option will change color according to the light source.
All of the lenses feature unified gear positions so that they can be switched quickly between focal lengths to work with the same set of gears.
They also all have a Back focus Adjustment Mechanism so that you calibrate the back focus with the lens mounted on the camera directly without going through a tedious shimming process.
The lenses feature a Ø 114mm outer diameter and a Ø 105mm filter thread.
Price & Availability
The Proteus 2x anamorphic lenses retail for $4,999 USD each and a 2-lens set is $9,499 USD. Eligible customers can join their #ProteusOnSet program to enjoy a cash rebate of $1,200 USD for each set order.
While $4,999 USD is a reasonable price for a 2x anamorphic lens, some potential users may be hesitant to spend that much money on a lens that isn’t made by one of the more prominent manufacturers. The biggest competition comes in the form of the Atlas Lens Co. Orion series which has been around for many years now. They also have a lot more focal lengths available.