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4 Awesome Innovations in Lens Technology Every Filmmaker Needs

Jourdan Aldredge

These four new lenses are changing video production. Find out what they can do for you on your next film or video project.

Cover image via News Shooter.

While they don’t always get the same love and coverage as cameras or other production gear, lenses are quietly continuing to revolutionize filmmaking with some serious technological innovations. As some of these breakthroughs continue, it’s not ridiculous to imagine what capabilities lenses will soon offer in terms of shifts, optics, and zoom.

If you have an eye for new lenses and are ready to peep some innovations in lens technology, check out these four awesome options to consider renting or even adding to your bag.


Interchangeable Rear Optics

The Optimo Ultra 12x is one of the latest innovations from Angenieux, which has been a major innovator in long-range zoom technologies for years. Their newest lens installment (which you can see more about in the video above) boasts their latest Interchangeable Rear Optics (IRO) technology. With the IRO modular design, you can configure the Ultra 12x for S35, U35 and FF/VV sensor sizes by changing out the rear group and rings.

While the new Optimo Ultra 12x will still be quite pricey (in the $85,000 to $100,000 range), Angenieux has also announced new Type EZ lenses for filmmakers that still offers the same Optimo Style range, but in the much more purchase-friendly range of $17,000 to $50,000.

You can check out and read more about the Optimo Ultra 12x at theAngenieux website here.


New Tilt Shift Lenses

For those unfamiliar with tilt shift lens technology, here are a couple of good videos to explain them a little more in-depth. Basically, tilt shift lenses are helpful for changing the plane of focus controlling depth of field. Ideally, these new macro lenses will be perfect for shooting products, landscapes, and architecture in both photography and videography and complete Canon’s L-series family of wide and macro tilt shift lenses.

If you’re looking for a little more in-depth on how tilt-shift lenses work for video. Here are a couple of places to check out. You can also read up more on Canon’s website for the lenses here.


Insane Zoom Capabilities

Along with tilt shift technology upgrades, Canon is also making waves with their insane zoom capabilities. The Canon Cine Servo CN20x50 is a truly remarkable lens in itself at 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9, but it also offers a built-in extender that turns the lens into a 75mm-1500mm. While it’s aimed at sports and nature television, it’s an ideal lens for a good low-light camera where you can stand the focal length

Here’s some more info on Canon’s website to check out.


Affordable Wide-Angle to Macro Range

You may think that, while awesome, major technological innovations in lenses mean they’re all crazy expensive. That, fortunately, is not always true. Case in point: Tamron’s new 18-400mm lens is quite a steal for its true wide-angle to macro range. The lens also features vibration compensation technologies that can help with up to 2.5 stops of camera shake along with moisture-resistance construction for outdoor shoots.

Altogether, the lens retails for around $650, which is a pretty good investment if you’re looking for a one-stop shop lens option. You can read more on Tamron’s website here.


For more lens and video production technological innovations, check out some of these resources.

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