The Caldwell Chameleon Anamorphic Primes

Caldwell might not be as large as Cooke or Canon, but it designs lenses just as recognizable. Its newest design, the Chameleon Anamorphic lenses, as described on the manufacturer’s site as “modern optics with a retro look”. The Chameleons have a unique look and are claimed to embody the distinct  aberrations one would expect from anamorphic lenses but with a subtle elegance.

The Caldwell Chameleon Anamorphic Lenses are designed for digital sensors. Remarkably, they use a 1.79x squeeze ratio to create images.

Additionally, Caldwell has made both a Super 35+ series and Full Frame series of Chameleons available. They can be user-configured with different rear optical groups to suit your shooting circumstances. The Super 35+ series can cover Super 35+ cameras, and they are configured to cover large format cameras like the RED MONSTRO, ARRI ALEXA LF, or the Sony VENICE. All seven lenses in the Super 35 series are uniform in size and have a minimum focus of 2.5 feet. The Full Frame series of Chameleon lenses also have seven lenses, but with somewhat different focal lengths and physical characteristics.


Chameleon Lens Package

The Super 35+ series is only one half of Caldwell’s Chameleon Anamorphic Prime lineups.




The Caldwell Chameleon Anamorphic Primes are designed to bring a vintage anamorphic appeal to modern digital cameras. For example,  in this dance film shot on Caldwell Anamorphics, you can see the classic blue streak of anamorphic flare. The soft, feathery flare (visible at 1:02) has an organic feel, compared to modern lens flares that appear sterile.

Similar to vintage anamorphics, there is the slightest aberration at the edges of the frame, causing the viewer’s eye to focus more towards the center of the frame. These nuances to the image give it a feel more comparable to vintage anamorphics than clean, modern day glass.



The Caldwell Chameleon anamorphics have a squeeze ratio of 1.8x, which differs from most anamorphic lens releases. See, optical manufacturers typically design anamorphics with a 2x squeeze ratio, giving more exaggerated image proportions. Some other lenses with a sub-2.0x squeeze factor include Cooke’s new Anamorphic/I FF primes, as well as P&S Technik’s TECHNOVISION Classic 1.5x anamorphic primes.

Although most major camera systems, such as the ARRI ALEXA LF and Sony VENICE, support 1.8x anamorphic lenses, it’s worth double checking if your camera body is compatible.

When asked why the 1.8x squeeze factor, Founder Brian Caldwell explained: ““The standard DCI (Digital Cinema Initiatives) Scope format has an aspect ratio of 2.39:1. Several years ago when we made a commitment to 1.79x many digital cameras had a native sensor aspect ratio of 4:3, or at least had a 4:3 mode. So, if you do the math, to anamorphically convert 4:3 to 2.39:1 you need a 1.79x squeeze ratio (2.39/(4/3) = 1.79). Mr. Spock would object and say the true ideal squeeze ratio is 1.7925, but we decided to round it off!

“…More recently, Full-Frame cameras are being released with a native aspect ratio of ~1.5:1, which would require a ~1.6x squeeze ratio for perfect conversion to 2.39:1. However, a 1.6x squeeze doesn’t provide the degree of anamorphic artifacts that are often desired, and it turns out that a squeeze ratio midway between 1.6x and 2x is a good compromise. We were very happy that Cooke made this very argument when they released their 1.8x anamorphics.”



The Super 35+ Series Anamorphic lenses are released in the following focal lengths: 32mm T2.0, 40mm T2.0, 50mm T2.0, 60mm T2.0, 75mm T2.0, 100mm T2.6, and 150mm T4.0.

For users that want to convert their S35+ kit to the full frame series, a conversion kit is available for purchase. Aperture/focus rings, focal length plaques, and optics can be found in conversion kits.


The Full Frame Caldwell Anamorphics are available in the following focal lengths: 48mm, 60mm, 75mm, 90mm, 112mm, 150mm, and 225mm.

The 32mm, 40mm, 50mm, 60mm and 70mm are all T2.0, while the 100mm is T2.6, and the 150mm is T4. All the lenses have a front diameter of 114mm and are only available in PL mount.


Caldwell Full Frame Anamorphics

This image from Keslow Camera indicates how rental houses may offer different variations of the full Caldwell lineup.



The Caldwell Chameleon Anamorphic Primes bring an exquisite, vintage feel to digital filmmaking. Both the Super 35+ and Full Frame Chameleon lenses cost over $20,000 each if purchased at retail value. According to a Newshooter interview from NAB ’19, some rental houses combine their Full Frame and Super 35 Anamorphic kits to create a larger selection.

Therefore, if you’re looking to rent the Caldwell Anamorphic 1.8x packages, it’s best to check in with the most reputable rental houses out there.

Considering renting? Why not check out Bokeh Rentals equipment packages!

•Rent P+S Technik TECHNOVISION Anamorphic 1.5x FF Primes at Bokeh Rentals

•Rent Cooke Anamorphic 1.8x SF FF Primes at Bokeh Rentals

Contact us to customize a package to suit your production needs at low prices!

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Ancient Optics Rehouses Minolta Rokkor Cine Primes

Although optical manufacturers get all the splashy headlines for their new products, there’s always exciting news about vintage lenses under the surface.

For example, Ancient Optics recently teamed up with GL Optics (yet again) to rehouse some vintage primes. This time, Ancient Optics is updating the vintage Minolta Rokkor lenses. These lenses have extraordinary image characteristics with high potential for our modern film vocabulary.


Ancient Optics Minolta Lenses
Ancient Optics teamed up with GL Optics to rehouse fourteen Minolta Rokkor cine prime lenses


The Minolta Rokkor lenses were originally built in the 1960s by Minolta. Minolta is a Japanese manufacturer of camera gear and general electronics, such as printers and photocopiers.

The Minolta lenses are a vintage glass from the 1970s with surprisingly shallow depth of field and a dreamy aesthetic.

Kazuo Tashima, Minolta’s Founder, called the lenses “Rokkor” after the nearby Mount Rokky. Since then, however, Minolta was purchased by Sony—making the Rokkors a rare find among cinematographers.


Rehousing Japanese vintage glass is nothing new for Ancient Optics. Their work on the Kowa Full Frame primes breathed new life into modern cinematography. The Minolta Rokkor cine primes are said to be a cost-effective alternative to the Canon K35 primes from the 1970s.

The Minolta Rokkor primes are full frame lenses, which make them usable for professional filmmaking in the modern era. There is not a universal T stop among the Minolta Rokkor prime lens set. The range of widest apertures range from T 1.3 to T2.9. Each lens has a universal front diameter of 110mm, making them perfect for swapping filters among lens.

The Rokkor rehousings are durable for modern filmmaking scenarios. The new housings are black and silver, with a golden band; the lenses’ exterior contains repositioned gears and markings.

Minolta Rokkor Prime Specs

The Minolta Rokkor lenses are very sharp, with a shallow depth of field that pairs well with its flexible aperture sizes. Its 11-bladed iris provides smooth, pleasing bokeh and warm lens flares.

See the Minolta Rokkor lenses in action in this demo reel from Ancient Optics:

Ancient Optics – Minolta Rokkor from Ancient Optics on Vimeo.



Although packages will vary based on availability, the most complete set of rehoused Minolta cine primes consist of 11 lenses.  The focal range of 21mm to 200mm will be expanded in the future with an ultra wide 17mm f/4 lens, and there are also plans to include a rehoused 50mm and 100mm macro lenses.

There is a very limited supply of these rehoused lenses. Inquiring about these rehoused lenses could take a while and be expensive—that can be done by contacting Ancient Optics’ Instagram Page. Your best bet is to locate them at rental houses around Los Angeles—such as Bokeh Rentals!

Considering renting? Why not check out Bokeh Rentals equipment packages!

•Rent Kowa Prominar Anamorphic Cine Lens at Bokeh Rentals

Contact us to customize a package to suit your production needs at low prices!

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HUGO 21mm Cine Prime

Leitz Announces HUGO Cine Prime FF Lenses

Leitz is one of the oldest, most-established camera manufacturers around, and it’s been innovating in optical engineering since the 1870s. Leitz even has a searchable list of hundreds of titles on its official site.

Unlike some manufacturers, Leitz has always remained faithful to its iconic look.

The newest example of this is Leitz’ HUGO lens series, a Full Frame reworking of Leitz’ naturalistic look.

Leitz HUGO 7 lens package
Leitz’ HUGO Full Frame primes were initially released as a 7-lens package. There is also an 8-lens version with a 50mm T1.0


HUGO is the newest series of Leica Format (Full Frame) cine prime lenses.

Essentially, the Hugo lenses take the same optics as the famous Leica M 0.8 lenses, but modify the mechanics for a modern design. The result: A collection of superfast, lightweight lenses for large format cinematography.

The initial set of HUGO lenses is comprised of seven focal lengths:

• 21mm

• 24mm

• 28mm

• 35mm

• 50mm

• 75mm

• 90mm

All of these primes have a speed of T1.5, which offer incredible flexibility to filmmakers.

Leitz plans to release a 50mm T1.0 lens to the kit in early 2023, which pushes an even faster aperture. There are also plans to extend the focal range of the kit by adding an 18mm and 135mm prime in the future, although no dates have been announced.

The most notable quality about the HUGO’s mechanics might be its fast aperture. At T1.5, these lenses can achieve magnificent photography. The close focus on each lens is much closer than the HUGO’s predecessor. For example, the 21mm and 24mm both have a close focus of .3m (1’0”). At the other end of the lineup, the 90mm is capable of achieving focus on objects only .85m (2’10”) away.


The HUGO lenses are built for consistency. Each lens has a front diameter size of 95mm, allowing easy transfer of filters without the use of a matte box. The lenses have an image circle of 43.3mm, perfect for large format shooting. The full frame capabilities of the HUGO lenses are a tremendous upgrade from vintage lenses. The HUGO is equipped with an 11-bladed iris, producing circular bokeh. The focus scales can be switched from feet to meters by the user. Focal rotation on every HUGO prime is 270°, allowing precise focus pulling.

The HUGO lenses are also remarkably lightweight, allowing them to compete in modern day shooting scenarios. In fact, most of the 7-lens set weighs in at under 1kg. This makes the HUGO lenses great candidates for handheld shooting and mobile rigs like Steadicams.

The HUGO lenses are all equipped with an LPL mount but can be swapped by the user onto the Leica M or Leica L mounts.

Leitz HUGO cine prime data
Source: FDtimes


It’s worth emphasizing that the HUGO primes are upgraded versions of the Leica M 0.8 lenses. The HUGO lenses have the same optical design, internal glass elements, glass and coatings of the Leica M series. The Managing Director of Ernst Leitz Wetzlar stated: “There were several reasons to introduce Leitz Hugo prime lenses: the beauty of Leica M lens images, the success of our M 0.8 series, and the opportunity to make dedicated cine lenses using beloved M lens elements”

Rainer went on to describe image characteristics of the HUGO primes: “Hugo primes are very fast and super sharp in the center. They have a pleasing fall-off toward the edges, with a painterly balance of focus, out-of-focus areas and field curvature. Slight distortion and aberrations are not overtly overly-corrected out. Bokeh may contain rainbow colors. Flares are gorgeous”

This description matches the Leitz M 0.8 look, which can be seen in the demo reel below:

Leitz M 0.8 Sizzle Reel from Leitz Cine on Vimeo.



This notion of retaining the iconic Leitz visual style and integrating it into newer builds is not new for the manufacturer. In fact, the Leica M 0.8 lenses are modified versions of the Leica Summilux and Noctilux M-mount primes, which date back to the mid-1970s. Leitz’ re-interpolation of vintage characteristics, while adapting to modern optical standards (such as minimizing barrel distortion), is what makes the HUGO primes an exceptional lens for shooters beholden to a naturalistic, vintage look.

Hercher elaborated on HUGO’s position within the Leitz legacy: “Hugo is the artist in the Leitz family of Full Frame lenses. Their history is from the 2000s to 2022, with a 90-year heritage, in a modern housing… Many of us grew up with iconic Leica images. You rarely find a DP shooting a movie with just one set of lenses. Now you can shoot with crystal clear Leitz Primes, easy-going Elsie, and now with the special look of Hugo”


Leitz has released a remarkable upgrade with the HUGO Full Frame prime lenses.

The 7-lens HUGO set costs $114,600 retail from B&H Photo. The 8-lens Hugo package, which includes the 50mm T1.0, costs about $132,550. Although individual lenses are harder to find at the moment, they go for about $20,000.

Unless you’re a well-equipped production company or a rental space, the cost of the entire HUGO FF package doesn’t justify its use. Therefore, your best bet is probably to lease equipment from a reputable rental house.

Considering renting? Why not check out Bokeh Rentals equipment packages!

•Rent Leitz lenses at Bokeh Rentals

•Rent the Leica Summilux-C Prime Set at Bokeh Rentals

Contact us to customize a package to suit your production needs at low prices!

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Cooke Varotal 19-40mm lens

Cooke Adds 19-40mm Lens to Varotal FF Zoom Series

It’s been a year since Cooke Optics launched the Varotal /i FF lens series with two lenses: the 85-215mm T2.9 and the 30-95mm T2.9. Together, these two lenses constituted and impressive step forward in lens technology, but with a somewhat limited focal range.

Now, Cooke Optics has extended this lens series with a wider Varotal zoom. The new 19-40mm T2.8 Varotal /i FF gives the impressive Varotal /i FF package a combined focal range of 19mm to 215mm.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Screen
Cooke Varotal lenses were used by DP Robert Richardson on Once Upon a Time in Hollywood for its naturalistic look.



The Varotal/i FF T2.9 spherical zoom series is claimed to offer superb resolution, a constant optical speed, and minimal breathing.

The Varotal package is built for consistency. The lenses are all built on PL or LPL mounts, have 114mm front diameters, 112mm screw-in filter threads, 48° iris rotation, 280° focal rotation, and a maximum image coverage of 46.3mm.

Despite introducing new technology in this package, the Varotal lenses have the same exterior housing as other Cooke lenses, touting the scratch-resistant black anodized barrel. The Varotal /i FF lenses are relatively compact for their image size and extensive focal length size, making them perfect for handheld and Steadicam work.


As far as image quality goes, the Varotal /i package offers flattering renditions of skin tone that match the Cooke S8/i look. Skin tones are rendered soft and gentle, giving the image a natural, pleasing aesthetic. The Varotal look is consistent with the “Cooke Look” as a whole, which was acknowledged by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as having “helped define the look of motion pictures over the last century”.

The Varotal/i lenses are exceptionally sharp for zoom lenses. In fact, The FDtimes went so far as to call them “Zoomable Primes”. Because of its embrace of the Cooke Look, however, the Varotals can still be interchanged with the S8/I prime lenses for sharper images.

All three Varotal lenses are matched in resolution, color, and fall-off to the older S7/I and S8/I Cinema Prime lens packages from Cooke. As a result, cinematographers are capable of switching between lenses on the same project without extensive color-matching work in post.

THE 19-40MM 

The new 19-40mm /i full frame zoom lens is capable of bringing wider shots to the lens package without departing from the original lens’ image style. At a convenient weight of 3.5kg (7.7lbs), it’s lighter than the package’s two longer lenses, which weigh 4kg (8.8lbs). Additionally, the 19-40mm has a close focus of 320mm, which makes it an ideal lens for Steadicam work.

Cooke Varotal Zooms
The Cooke Varotal 19-40mm /i FF complements the 30-95mm and 85-215mm zoom lenses.

The new Varotal 19-40mm /i lens has full frame capabilities, meaning that they can fit sensors up to Super35.


The Cooke Varotal lenses are equipped with /i technology, a relatively new innovation from the optics manufacturer. Cooke’s /i technology digitally captures lens data frame-by-frame, which is then synchronized to the footage’s timecodes. This captured data includes focus readouts, T-stop measures, depth of field, shading and distortion mapping; all metrics that speed up the post-production process. Similarly, the /i tech system can come in handy for on-set crew to save time during filming.

/i technology connectivity is provided to both camera and the Lemo connector on the side of the lens.


Cooke has released an excellent addition to its line of full frame, /i technology-enabled lenses.

It’s too early to know the exact retail price of the 19-40mm, but it’s safe to say that it’s cost will be similar to the other lens’ pricetag of about $54,0000.

Unless you’re a well-equipped production company or a rental space, the cost of the entire Cooke Varotal /i FF package doesn’t justify its use. Therefore, your best bet is probably to lease equipment from a reputable rental house.

Considering renting? Why not check out Bokeh Rentals equipment packages!

•Rent the Cooke Varotal /i FF Lens Package (without 19-40mm) at Bokeh Rentals

Contact us to customize a package to suit your production needs at low prices!

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TLS Canon K35 K-35 Vintage Lenses

Canon K35 Lenses | Vintage Cinema Primes

From Barry Lyndon to Amazon’s The Boys, the Canon K-35 cinema lenses have made an indelible mark on storytelling. Much renowned for their “painterly”, dreamy gaze, the Canon K-35 vintage lenses are among the most celebrated lenses on the market.

Barry Lyndon Canon K-35
The Canon K-35s were employed by Barry Lyndon DP John Alcott to create images reminiscent of English paintings. Although no paintings were recreated, thousands of paintings served as a moodboard for Stanley Kubrick, John Alcott, and the Production Designer, Ken Adams.


The presence of the K-35s can be traced back to the early 1970s, when Canon found itself designing a competitor to the Zeiss Super Speeds. From their introduction to the market, these relatively sharper, higher contrast primes had a profound impact on cinema. The Canon K-35 cine lenses had their heyday in the 1970s with classics like Barry Lyndon and later Aliens. Their use was continued for decades, and slowed as film embraced a sharper look in the late 90s early 2000s.

In recent years, the K-35s have found plenty of success on Hollywood pictures, big and small. This is because the K-35s have a softening effect on sharp, pixel-perfect digital imagery. It gives a dreamier character and authenticity that is generally lacking among modern-day equipment.

American Hustle cinematographer Linus Sandgren used the vintage K-35 lenses to bring a vintage feel to the period picture. The softness and warm flares help establish the story in the reality of the 1970s. Since the TV revolution of the past few years, K-35s have been used on a variety of small screen projects like The Handmaid’s Tale and Amazon’s The Boys.


At the time of its inception, the K-35 look was sharper and had more contrast than the standard look. Nowadays, the K-35s have a softer, dreamier appeal unseen in modern day lenses. Compared to modern day lenses, the vintage K-35 cinema lenses also have less contrast, with a look that’s been called “painterly”.

The K-35 has a 15-blade iris, which renders bokeh in a soft, circular form. Its out of focus areas appear “swirly”, lending itself to a softer appearance. Similarly, skin tones are rendered softer and without the sharpness that’s sometimes represented on human faces.


Manchester by the Sea 2016 screencap Director of Photography Jody Lee Lipes shot Manchester By The Sea using vintage Canon K-35 lenses. The vintage lens has a softening effect on the actor’s faces, and adds a relaxed feel to the overcast, atmospheric locations.


This skating rink interior is emblematic of the film’s overall photography: long depths of field, fixed points of view almost separate from the action, in a cold, removed perspective. These camera setups are usually devoid of camera movement and work to keep audience’s emotionally processing the intense, long-spanning drama.

The Canon K-35s are a perfect choice for this shooting style, because its painterly effect can keep these longer, locked off shots interesting. Unlike, say, an action movie, Manchester by the Sea’s painterly wide shots keep the audience pleased by the visuals, but able to emotionally involved themselves in the excellent writing, subdued performances, and Oscar-winning melodrama.


The K-35s are a relatively fast lens. Although they can’t quite achieve the stunning T1.4 of the Zeiss Super Speeds, they make up for it with a large image circle of 43mm. This means that the K-35s can be used for full frame filmmaking.

14mm/T2.8 18mm/T2.8 24mm/T1.6 35mm/T1.4 55mm/T1.4 85mm/T1.3 135mm/T2.0
Aperture T2.8 T2.8 T1.6 T1.4 T1.4 T1.3 T2.0
Close Focus (ft) 8″ 12″ 12″ 12″ 2′ 3′ 3’7″
Length (in) 3.3″ 4.25″ 3.3″ 4″ 2.8″ 3.6″ 4.5″
Weight (lb) 2lbs 7oz 3lbs 12oz 2lbs 12oz 3lbs 14oz 2lbs 9oz 3lbs 5oz 3lbs 7oz
Image Circle 43mm 43mm 43mm 43mm 43mm 43mm 43mm
Front Diameter 110mm 110mm 110mm 110mm 110mm 110mm 110mm

Bokeh Rentals’ package of rehoused Canon K-35 vintage lenses have a universal front diameter of 110mm, which means that ND and polarizers can be swapped from one lens to another without use of a matte box. The K-35s are situated on a PL mount, which makes them a great companion for newer cinema cameras like the ALEXA AMIRA and ALEXA 35.


The Canon K-35s are among the higher priced vintage lenses on the market (and for good reason). For one, these lenses are decades-old, which means that sellers go through great care to maintain the glass. This doesn’t mean that vintage lenses are more expensive than the newest builds– but they certainly require greater care. This includes mold prevention and avoiding any discoloration within the glass.

Canon K-35 packages undergo significant testing to ensure that lenses have similar color attributes. Modifications may be necessary to maintain consistency within a lens package.

The Canon K35 lenses are very expensive, and a decent set can run thousands of dollars to rent per day—and that’s if you can find a seller nearby. The Canon K35s are, without a doubt, one of the most expensive prime lenses out there—vintage or modern. So, if you don’t have an expansive budget and resources at your disposal, you might want to rethink your strategy.

FD: The “Poor Man’s K-35”

For those who need a cheaper version of the K-35s, some hobbyists have found success with the Canon FDs. These lenses were manufactured in a similar time to the K-35s and have somewhat similar characteristics. The FDs may be “the Poor Man’s K-35”, but they are still capable of producing a comparably dreamy, fantastic vintage look.

If you’re looking for visual comparisons, Media Division produced a thoughtful hour-long video comparing the two lenses that’s worth checking out:


To put it simply: the Canon K-35s are legendary. They’ve been spellbinding audiences for fifty years, and it seems they’ll be in our visual lexicon for years to come. Their swirly, soft images produce dreamy visuals that will never go stale.

Although vintage lenses can often be acquired by online resellers like Ebay, the K-35s are a rarer find. Besides, outright purchasing a K-35 can cost thousands of dollars. For anyone looking to put the K-35s to use, the safest bet is a reputable rental house–such as the LA-based Bokeh Rentals:

Considering renting? Why not check out Bokeh Rentals equipment packages!

•Rent the TLS Canon K35 Cine Lenses at Bokeh Rentals

•Rent the GL Optics Canon FD Lenses at Bokeh Rentals

Contact us to customize a package to suit your production needs at low prices!

Posted in Uncategorized
Kowa Cine Prominar

Best Vintage S35 Cine Lenses | Cooke, Kowa, Lomo, Canon

The foremost reason to purchase a vintage lens is for the “character”. Especially nowadays, when the filmmaking process is almost entirely digitized, imperfection is hard to find. But, vintage lenses offer enough authenticity to bring character back to the medium.

Savvy cinematographers also find that vintage lenses are more durable, lightweight, and affordable than newer Super35 cine lenses.

Vintage lenses have rising in popularity as digital cameras advance. But they’ve also been rising in price! Learn the best vintage Super35 lenses out there and tips for buying them:

Cooke Speed Panchros

The original Cooke Speed Panchros were used on classics like Casablanca and The Sound of Music; and continued to be used throughout the twentieth century. The modern redesign of the Cooke Speed Panchro cinema lenses are known for its strong embrace of the “Cooke Look”. The Panchros have a general, built-in sharpness but a complimentary softness that benefits faces. The out-of-focus areas also have a “swirliness” or smeary quality, giving these lenses its unique, painterly look.

The original Panchros from the ’20s give easily to flares, since all filming was done under tightly controlled sets. The modern day rehousings and redesigns, however, are recoated for greater flare control.

Twenty-first century filmmakers have made great use out of the Panchros, with its painterly look rendering period pieces with rich character. Projects shot on the Cooke Speed Panchro include Mr. Turner, Bohemian Rhapsody, and the HBO miniseries Chernobyl. 

The T-stop range of the Panchros is quite practical for 2022 digital cinema. The entire lineup of Panchro primes has a maximum T-stop of T2.8. Additionally, all lenses have a focal rotation of 300° and a universal 110mm front diameter. The longer lenses of the Panchro series can cover full frame sensors. As far as physical capabilities go, the Panchros have exceptional close focus ranging from 8 inches to 2 feet.

Kowa Anamorphic Primes

The Kowa Anamorphics were built a few decades after the first Speed Panchros. The Kowas come from 1960s Japan and have been used in films like The Godfather Part II. The lenses were manufactured by a company called NAC Image Technology with a rich history in boundary-pushing optical design.

The Kowa Cine Anamorphic vintage lenses embrace a warmer, low contrast look that is unique among modern anamorphics. Nowadays, anamorphic is known for ultra-high contrast and cooler tones, such as its sleek, blue flares. But, the Kowa vintage lenses stand in firm contradistinction to the trend.

For this reason, Kowa Anamorphics have become quite popular in twenty-first century cinema. Rehoused Kowa cinema lenses have been used on films like First Man, A Star is Born (2018), and Moonlight. D.P. Matthew Libatique describes his use of the Kowa Anamorphics on A Star is Born: “So the Cookes were kind of my base lens package and then when I wanted to get a dirtier look I would switch to the Kowa anamorphics. Most of the things you see on stage, specifically the tight shots of Bradley and Lady Gaga when they are performing, were shot on Kowa anamorphics.”

Lomo Anamorphic Primes

The Lomo Anamorphic lenses are Russian designs produced in the ‘70s and ‘80s. They come in a simpler package of three: 35mm, 50mm, and 80mm. The three lenses are not uniform. They have widely different shapes and lengths—so much so that you might even need different follow focuses for the different lenses.

Lomos are famous for its messy optical effects, such as its easy, pronounced optical flares. These lens flares are low-contrast and low saturation, unlike newer lenses, which have louder, more solid flares. These vintage lenses showcase plenty of breathing, giving it a very old-school, analog look. The Lomo anamorphics have a buttery smooth look that is softer than the cold, “ultra-sharp” look of some newer lenses.

These rehoused anamorphic lenses are built on a PL mount, the standard for cinema lenses, with image circles that shoot Super35 format. The rehousing itself leaves the set of lenses with a remarkably cool black exterior containing red and yellow text, and even has the original “LOMO” typography. The ‘L’ in ‘LOMO’ is replaced by ‘Л’, a character in the Cyrillic alphabet, which is used in Russia. The Lomo anamorphics can be found in either square front or round front versions, with the latter in lower supply among resellers.

Lomo Square Front Anamorphic Primes

Canon K-35 Primes

The Canon K-35 cine lenses had their heyday in the 1970s with such classics like Barry Lyndon and Aliens.

These K-35 primes are still cherish by cinematographers for their creamier renderings of human skin. They’ve been used plenty in twenty-first century products–on both digital and analog systems– in films such as Her, Manchester By The Sea, and American Hustle. This set of titles alone is indicative of the K-35’s ability to bring character to the image that brings the film into another reality; whether it’s a period piece or a near-future sci-fi.

Film aside, the Canon K-35s have found tremendous use on the small screen. The cinematographers of PreacherThe Handmaid’s Tale, and Westworld all use the Canon K-35s to cast a softer, warmer, and dreamier look than their sharper, modern-era counterparts.

Barry Lyndon Canon K-35
The Canon K-35s were employed by Barry Lyndon DP John Alcott to create images reminiscent of English paintings. Although no paintings were recreated, thousands of paintings served as a moodboard for Stanley Kubrick, John Alcott, and the Production Designer, Ken Adams.  (Note: the K-35s were not used in the famous candlelit or slow-zoom scenes).


Leica R

Last but not least: the Leica R vintage.

The Leica R vintage lenses are a fascinating combination of vintage and modern. Although they are rehoused, vintage lenses, they have an exceptional sharpness fit for modern standards. Generally, they are sharp, full-frame, and versatile.

The Leica R lenses are rare, and finding them could prove a lengthy process. See, the newer Leica lenses have serial numbers beginning with “340”. These tend to have an overall cleaner look, with less artifacts and aberration than earlier models. Leica lenses with lower serial numbers (such as 270xx) have a more organic look with greater flaring, chromatic aberration, and less sharpness. According to cinematographer Kevin Reyes, the prices for Leica-R are always rising. So if you’re putting together a Leica set from scratch, pay attention to serials and the quality of lens at stake. This way, your Leica-R package can have similar aesthetics and color rendition. The same goes renting: don’t hesitate to ask a rental house for serial numbers.

Tips For Buying Vintage Lenses

Lastly, buying vintage lenses means purchasing over resellers like Ebay, which offer less security than an optical manufacturer’s official site. So, it falls on the buyer to heavily research the serial numbers and condition of lenses. This includes learning about potential rehousings, or making plans for rehousing if you’re buying originals.

As a rule of thumb, NEVER purchase from sellers you don’t have the utmost faith in, and don’t hesitate to ask questions or for photos of the products. Check out the video below from a Youtuber who fell for an Ebay scam while purchasing a Lomo anamorphic:

If you don’t want to purchase lenses outright, or you want the security of a reputable rental house, why not check out vintage lenses from the LA-based Bokeh Rentals?

Considering renting? Why not check out Bokeh Rentals equipment packages!

•Rent the TLS Cooke Speed Panchro Cinema Lenses at Bokeh Rentals

•Rent the P+S Technik Kowa Prominar Anamorphicsat Bokeh Rentals

•Rent the LOMO Square Front Anamorphic Lenses at Bokeh Rentals

•Rent the TLS Canon K35 Cine Lenses at Bokeh Rentals

•Rent the Leica R Summilux Primes Lenses Set at Bokeh Rentals

Contact us to customize a package to suit your production needs at low prices!

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Arri ALEXA 35 lpl mount

Best Cinema Cameras: Sony Venice 2 vs ARRI Alexa 35

As the never-ending discourse swirls about the best lenses–cinematographers need to choose among camera bodies.

Sony and ARRI are among the most widely used cinema cameras in Hollywood. The Sony Venice 2 and the Alexa 35 stand out on the list of great options for filmmaking.

Best Resolution

The Sony VENICE 2 8K takes the cake for the largest resolution among the two popular cinema cameras. The Sony VENICE 2 can shoot full frame, meaning that it produces images with higher resolution than Super35. In fact, when shooting in Sony’s X-OCN file format, the Venice 2 with its 8.6K sensor can capture 8.6K images. This maximum resolution of 8640×5760 pixels is possible in the frame rates of 23.98p, 24p, 25p, and 29.97.

Just because the Sony VENICE 2 can shoot more pixels than the Alexa 35, though,–it doesn’t mean it is “better” by default. In fact, many cinematographers may find that the Alexa 35’s recording resolutions to suffice. The Alexa 35 can shoot 4.6K in both 3:2 OpenGate (for maximum sensor coverage), as well as ARRIRAW 4.6K.

Frame Rates

Although the Alexa 35 can’t shoot large formats like the Sony Venice 2 8K—it’s capable of shooting in much higher frame rates. The Alexa 35 can shoot up to 120fps in 4.6K, whereas the Sony Venice 2 can only capture footage up to 90fps in one file format.

What this means for cinematographers

The different frame rates show that the Alexa 35 is more dependable for smaller-screen shoots, specifically digital media projects such as music videos or commercials. ARRI is the go-to name in modern cinema not only because of its technical achievements, but also its wide arsenal of devices. For those who want to shoot large format under the ARRI brand, there are a few other camera options. For example, ARRI sells camera systems designed for large format capture, such as the ALEXA Mini LF.

On the other hand, the Sony Venice 2’s lack of frame rates indicates that the camera is intended for more traditional, narrative projects. For example, The Sony Venice was used on large format films like Top Gun: Maverick, as well as the crime thriller Emily the Criminal, released by Roadside Attractions. For more frame rate flexibility, Sony has a line of famous DSLRs with incredible capabilities, such as the Sony A7S iii, which can shoot 120fps in 4K.

Watch the trailer below for Emily the Criminal, which was shot on the Sony Venice with Kowa Cine Prominar lenses.

Form Factor

The Alexa 35 is more versatile than the Sony Venice, with the former weighing 6.4lbs, and the Venice 9.5lbs. DPs that need a lightweight yet durable camera system, such as wildlife photographers, may opt for the Alexa 35 because it has a wider operating temperature than the Sony Venice.

Interchangeable Sensor Block

The Sony Venice 2 has an interchangeable sensor block with some novelty capabilities. Users can swap out their 8.6K sensor with the original 6K sensor, and the camera body automatically detects the hardware change and adjusts.

A complimentary feature of the Sony VENICE, carried forward into the Sony VENICE 2, is the Rialto Extension System. This optional device allows the user to move the sensor up to 18’ away from the camera chassis. Visuals are transmitted through a hard cable, and the camera operator can film angles that were impossible before.


The Sony VENICE 2 is compatible with the Rialto Extension system, but only with the original 6K sensor. Sony states it will release an 8.6K-compatible version of the Rialto Extension System in early 2023.



Sony Rialto Camera Extension System


The Sony VENICE extension system can move the lens up to 18′  away from the sensor.


Both the Sony Venice 2 and Alexa 35 have similar dynamic ranges; the Venice 2 can shoot 16 stops of latitude, whereas the Alexa 35 shoots 17. However, these numbers aren’t concrete enough to directly compare, and they don’t always hold up to scrutiny.

The best way to decide if you like a camera’s interplay with light is to watch footage, yourself.

In the below Venice 2 promo shot by Claudio Miranda, ASC, we see the spectacular displays of latitude through some daytime shots, capturing the bright sky alongside with long, deep shadows. In the dusktime landscape shot ( timecode: 0:58), we see that the camera body can render the sun’s last daylight on the desert sky, while also preserving the highlights in a campfire glowing directly at the lens.

ARRI recently unveiled a new camera space that captures more colors than both Rec 2020 and Rec 709 called ARRI Wide Gamut AWG 4. This color space, which debuted on the Alexa 35, is capable of capturing more greens, pinks, and blues than most other color spaces. This innovation, among others in color science, are part of what ARRI brands its REVEAL Color Science.

Watch the ARRI promo below that showcases the impressive AWG4 color space:

ARRI Alexa 35 Price

The base price for the Alexa 35 body is about $65,000. The Alexa 35 is sold in a few sets, such as the ALEXA 35 Production Set or ALEXA 35 Lightweight set.

Sony Venice 2 Price

The Sony Venice 2 costs about $58,000 at retail value with the 8.6k sensor. It can also be purchased with the 6K sensor installed.

Considering renting? Why not check out Bokeh Rentals equipment packages!

•Rent the ARRI ALEXA 35 Super35 Cinema Camera at Bokeh Rentals

•Rent the Sony Venice 2 Cine Alta Large Format Camera at Bokeh Rentals

Contact us to customize a package to suit your production needs at low prices!

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Cooke 2x Anamorphic Prime Lenses

What is Squeeze Factor? | Cooke 1.8x Anamorphic and 2x Anamorphic Primes

Cooke, the legendary optical manufacturer, thrives at anamorphic design. There’s no shortage of anamorphic qualities to combine with the Cooke Look, whether it’s enhanced flare response or the varying squeeze factors between its 1.8x and 2x Anamorphics.

Both the Cooke 1.8x Anamorphic FF and Cooke 2x Anamorphics FF shoot in the anamorphic format and can cover full frame sensors. This means that these Cooke anamorphics can shoot in formats larger than Super35.

If you plan on using Cooke with anamorphic, however, it’s worth learning how exactly squeeze factor affects your footage. Shooting formats can be a dry topic, but without proper knowledge, you can end up with wrongly sized frames, botched compositions, and unfortunately your audience will suffer the consequences.


Squeeze factor is essentially the ratio of horizontal to vertical information captured by an anamorphic lens. Cooke’s 1.8x Anamorphics contains 1.8 times more horizontal information in its image, which is less horizontal information than the 2x squeeze. This results in the 1.8x anamorphic having an image with more breath. On the other hand, the 2x squeeze is slightly more “stretched” than the 1.8x, resulting in a denser frame with a heightened cinematic aesthetic.

1.8 Squeeze Factor

Using lenses with a 1.8x squeeze maximizes coverage on the sensor when shooting with a 4×3 aspect ratio. Maximum coverage of the sensor results in minimal cropping to a achieve a widescreen image. In fact, 1.8x squeeze has become more popular among optical manufacturers since the release of ARRI Alexa’s Open Gate mode, which records in the 4×3 aspect ratio.

The lenses released in the 1.8x FF package include: 32mm, 40mm, 50mm, 75mm, 100mm, and 135mm. There is an additional macro lens with a focal length of 85mm. The lenses have a front diameter of either 136mm or 1100mm throughout all seven anamorphics. Close focuses range from 25″ to 46″, except for the macro lens which has a close focus of 7″.

2x Squeeze Factor

By far, 2x squeeze is the most popular option among anamorphic shooters. Although it doesn’t have the sensor coverage of the 1.8 squeeze, it is firmly grounded in audiences’ visual palettes. See, 2x squeeze is what we recognize as “traditional Hollywood” anamorphic. Although more of the image is lost to cropping, the audience’s eye is accustomed to a 2x squeeze.

The Cooke 2x Anamorphic Primes can be rented or sold in the following focal lengths: 32mm, 40mm, 50mm, 75mm, 100mm. The lens series has a universal aperture range of T2.3-T22, which means that lenses can be swapped without having to rearrange lighting setups.


Both the 1.8x and 2x Anamorphic Primes from Cooke use the /i technology system to log useful metadata as footage is captured. Data logged through the /i system include focal length, depth of field, focus, and f-stop. Metadata like this speeds up a production’s workflow from shooting all the way to postproduction, especially on projects with extensive postproduction, which rely on a sturdy VFX pipeline. Some systems compatible with Cooke’s /i technology include ARRI, Panavision, Sony, RED, and plenty of other industry-leading cameras.


All Cooke lenses are color-matched, color-balanced, and align themselves to the “Cooke Look”. According to the manufacturer’s official site, the Cooke look is defined as “a sharp, subtle, smooth rendering that provides dimensionality, high contrast, and pleases the eye”.

Although its products contain variations of its signature look, Cooke optical designs tend to produce warm and natural visuals. Somewhere near the middle of the typical “digital vs vintage” spectrum, Cooke contains aberrations and flares without minimizing them towards a sterile, digital feel. Flares in particular are usually soft and out of focus, opposed to some newer glass, such as the BLACKWING7, which prides itself on exaggerated flares.

Should filmmakers find themselves looking to introduce flair to the Cooke look, the historical brand has  designed a special line of hyperactive glass.


Cooke has a special line of anamorphic offshoot lenses called Special Flare. These lenses have the same build as the other 1.8x and 2x anamorphics, but with a new coating designed to enhance the lens’ flare response. SF lenses take the iconic blue-streak lens flare of anamorphics and intensify it, leaving a bold, expressive result.

Acquiring the SF lenses is a purely aesthetic decision, as it’s manufactured for DPs that require a bolder enhancement to the Cooke Look. SFs are also useful for DPs that embrace flaring but prefer not to add any in post. Additionally, Special Flare lenses have found tremendous use in music video and commercial projects, packing a visual punch within a short runtime.

The SF lenses are color-balanced and color-matched with other Cooke lens series. This makes SF lenses specialty use lenses that can be used alongside non-SF Cooke lenses. So, filmmakers can rent an SF lens for just one day if they want to use the heightened anamorphic flares for a single dedicated setup.

Bokeh Rentals’ Special Flare Anamorphic Primes package includes: 32mm, 40mm, 50mm, 100mm, 135mm, and 180mm lenses.


Although there are technical factors to consider, cinematographers should consider the feeling they want to convey with their squeeze factor when choosing anamorphics. A Hollywood science fiction film shot with a 2x squeeze would feel inherently different than with a 1.8x squeeze, and it’s up to the filmmakers to decide what works best.

Cooke lenses are among the highest priced on the market– and for good reason. Purchasing a single Cooke Anamorphic Prime can cost you $36,500, so you’re probably best off stopping by a rental house. Check out the various Cooke anamorphics packages from the LA-based Bokeh Rentals below!

Considering renting? Why not check out Bokeh Rentals equipment packages!

•Rent the Cooke Anamorphic 1.8x SF FF+ Lens Packageat Bokeh Rentals

•Rent the Cooke 2x Anamorphic Prime Lens Package at Bokeh Rentals

Contact us to customize a package to suit your production needs at low prices!

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Alexa 35 Camera Body

Large Format Cinema vs Super 35 | Which Sensor Size Is Best?

Large format cinema has been around for decades, but it’s become more widespread since the Digital Revolution hit Hollywood. Large format shooting began accelerating in the early 2000s, when DSLRs became full-frame capable—and the trend has only strengthened since.

At this point, Super 35 and large format have become the standards of the film industry.


There is no strict definition, but large format sensors are generally considered larger than full-frame, which is 36x24mm. In practicable terms, most cinematographers consider all sensors larger than Super35 to be large format capable. Examples of large formats include 70mm, 65mm, Imax; and past formats like Cinerama and Vistavision.

There are plenty of digital cameras capable of shooting large format in 2022, such as:

Attachments include:


In terms of hard technical capabilities, large format can do more than its Super 35 counterpart. The question, however, is if the extra capabilities are worth the budget hike.

Large format sensors shoot more pixels than Super 35, giving you a higher resolution image than a Super 35 sensor would produce. This change means larger images, which mean more detail. Larger pixel count also gives you more leeway to reframe compositions or stabilize the image in postproduction.

Large format sensors also produce less noise within the image because the sensor has a larger number of photosites.

It’s often said that large format sensors produce a smaller depth of field, but this is a misconception. When sensor size increase, the same cinema lens will produce a slightly wider angle of view. In order to maintain the same relative size of a framed subject after upping the sensor size, a cinematographer will have to get close to the subject or increase the focal length, both of which lead to a smaller depth of field.

In the video below, DP Mark Bone tests the effects of sensor size on a lens’ angle of view. Watch below to see how DPs should anticipate framing challenges when choosing between large format and Super 35:



Shooting with large format is significantly more expensive than shooting Super 35. This is the most straightforward advantage to choosing S35, as your selection of compatible camera systems and cinema lenses are vastly expanded, with generally lower rental rates. Large format cinema lenses especially can be expensive. Similarly, shooting large format could require more time on set and a higher post-production budget, since larger resolution means more data to be handled.

Popular Super35 camera systems include:

Beyond the simple cost comparison, there are the limitations that come with shooting drastically larger images. There is also the consideration that some lenses cannot cover large formats. For example, a Super-35 lens can perfectly cover a Super-35 sensor, but when tried out a large format sensor, it will most likely be unable to cover the image circle. Mismatching lenses and sensors lead to black circles fringing the image or extreme cropping.

Similarly, another downside of large format sensors is that it is more difficult to use vintage lenses. This is because vintage lenses have smaller image circles and are more likely to be compatible with only Super 35 sensors.


Large format cinema is an astounding achievement. A project shot on large format is entirely different than one in Super35. Whether you shoot on S35 or LF is a consequential decision that needs to be approached both from the artistic perspective and from a separate, budgetary mindset.

Whether you’re shooting Super35 or Large Format, cinema camera systems usually cost tens of thousands of dollars. If you plan on shooting S35 or LF, cameras are most cost-effective if rented on a per-project basis.

Considering renting? Why not check out Bokeh Rentals equipment packages!

•Rent the Sony Venice 2 Cine Alta at Bokeh Rentals

•Rent the ARRI Alexa 35 at Bokeh Rentals

•Rent the Canon EOS C300 Mark II at Bokeh Rentals

•Rent the RED Komodo at Bokeh Rentals

•Rent the RED MONSTO 8K at Bokeh Rentals

Contact us to customize a package to suit your production needs at low prices!

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Proton Pack with Accessories

Keymaster Helmet Rig and Proton Pack Rig

In the digital age, there are some specially built gear that pushes digital cinema to the next level.

None have greater commercial applications than two products: the Keymaster Helmet Rig and the Proton Pack Rig from

The Keymaster Helmet Rig and Proton Pack Rigs are excellent products are camera platforms meant to save space or redistribute weight on set. They each have their own benefits and be used separately or combined to design creative camera setups or assist the camera team on set.


The Keymaster Helmet Rig is a multifunctional, lightweight camera platform. There are several mounts, cheese plates, and an assortment of rods for a modular platform. Instead of wheeling around a camera cart, operators can save space by attaching camera or G&E gear to the Keymaster Helmet. Items that can be solidly secured to the rig include batteries, wireless transmitters, timecode generators, focus monitors, Venice Rialto camera extension system, and more.

The Keymaster Helmet is equipped with dozens of attachments and is designed for a diversity of camera positions. For example, there are standard m6 Arri rosettes on both helmet cheeks that serve as mounts to extend the rods forward. The ability to shift the rods forward and backward allow operators to use differently sized camera rigs and also frame various shot sizes.

Attachments include:

  • 1″ CF 15mm rods
  • 9″ CF 15mm rods
  • 6″ CF 15mm rods
  • 4.5″ CF 15mm rods
  • 8″ Aluminum cheese rods
  • 2″ Black Aluminum 1/4-20 threaded 15mm rods
  • 1″ Black Aluminum 1/4-20 threaded 15mm rods
  • 2″ Aluminum 1/4-20 threaded 15mm rods
  • 15mm type cheesebrough “rod starter” swivel clamps
  • Dual 15mm rotating rosette clamps
  • 15mm rod-based camera mounting plate
  • Rigging setup head with adjustable baby pin receiver



The Keymaster Helmet Rig has a naked weight of 2lbs and 13oz. The weight of the entire kit, including the hard shipping case, is about 25 lbs. The Keymaster Helmet Rig is constructed of lightweight carbon fiber to ensure mobility for operators. In fact, the rig is so light that performers can wear it for POV camera angles.

Because the Helmet Rig is modular, operators can arrange equipment to comfortably distribute the weight of camera equipment. Over the course of even a few hours’ shooting, this could make a huge different to an operator’s stamina, especially in high-intensity filming scenarios, such as “walk and talk” or action scenes.

Check out various configurations with the Keymaster in the demo below:

Keymaster Helmet Rig from jordan levie on Vimeo.


The Proton Pack V2 is a backpack-worn camera accessories platform. Essentially, it’s another mounting rig, but one that redistributes weight around the user’s torso and back.

When DPs shoot handheld, the stripping accessories from the camera can help keep the unit lightweight. This comes in handy to keep the camera light, whereas heavy batteries and monitors could limit an operator’s ability to track a subject or whip pan the camera.

In addition to helping an operator’s performance, the Proton Pack could be useful for when space is limited. For example, if a crew is shooting in a small bedroom location for a day, freeing a few feet of space is a gamechanger for the cinematographer. By packing all camera accessories onto the proton pack, the camera operator can save space; and even save time between takes, since all the equipment that has to be moved is tethered onto their person, opposed to a wheelable cart.


If a camera is mounted onto the Keymaster Helmet Rig, the Proton Pack can be used simultaneously to reduce the weight on an operator’s neck. A notable use of this equipment, showcased on the backpackrig site, is using the Helmet Rig & Proton Pack with Sony Venice Rialto camera extension system.

The Rialto is used with the Sony Venice to remove the camera’s sensor block up to 18 feet from the camera body while retaining full camera function. Therefore, you can mount the camera system onto the Proton Pack backpack rig while securing the cinema lens to the Keymaster Helmet, and keep the system intact with the Rialto.

In fact, a similar rig was used on the promo (below) shot by @stepstudios. Check out how the filmmakers used the Keymaster Helmet Rig to place the audience directly in the action on the field. Paired with the adrenaline-rush content and seamless visual effects, the two backpackrig products can deliver the audience across many perspectives–inside a running back’s helmet, soaring with a thrown football, and even with the shouting coach on the sidelines– all in one action-packed minute.


Overall, these two patent-pending products are brilliant examples of modern engineering meeting the expanding capabilities of digital cinema.

The Keymaster Helmet Rig and Proton Pack backpack rig are available to rent starting at $250/day. They can be purchased directly on by directly messaging the sales team. Anyone looking to incorporate these groundbreaking products should consider checking a professional rental facility, such as the LA-based Bokeh Rentals.

Considering renting? Why not check out Bokeh Rentals equipment packages!

•Rent the Sony Venice 2 Cine Alta at Bokeh Rentals

Contact us to customize a package to suit your production needs at low prices!

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