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Are Angenieux EZ Zoom Lenses a Documentary Filmmaker’s Dream?

Tanner Shinnick

Angenieux’s EZ Series zoom lenses are loaded with features that seem tailor-made for documentary filmmakers. Here’s how they can benefit your next shoot.

Thanks to full-frame capabilities, optical sharpness, and high image quality, Angenieux’s Type EZ Series zoom lenses are highly regarded among cinematographers everywhere. For documentary filmmakers specifically, the EZ-1 and the EZ-2 just might be a dream combination.

Before we dive into deeper the benefits of the EZ Series, learn a little bit more with this lens test from LensProToGo.

Documentary content wants to be shot on zoom lenses, especially if you’re rolling run-and-gun where it’s essential to be able to quickly change focal length without changing glass. The EZ Series has an enormous focal range across the two-lens set that, when paired together, offers nearly the entire focal range — from 15mm all the way up to 90mm.


The EZ Series: Features for Documentary Filmmakers

This lightweight, versatile lens is ideal for small-scale documentaries. Image via Angenieux.

The Angenieux Type EZ Series — the EZ-1 and EZ-2 — hit shelves in 2016. In terms of lightweight and full-frame proper cinema zooms, there’s not much out there to compare them to, as options are fairly limited. These versatile zooms have a long list of features that make them ideal for a variety of small-scale productions and documentaries.

Interchangeable Rear Mounts

Full-frame sensors are quickly becoming the new normal. However, when it comes to full-frame-capable cinema zoom lens options, the choices are fairly limited. The EZ Series solves this issue, offering a full-frame capable lens set with its interchangeable rear mount. You can quickly switch these lenses from an S35 mount to a full-frame mount. This amount of versatility is paramount, with so many films and projects switching over to a more full-frame workflow.

Potentially, the best part is that these lens mounts are user interchangeable. This means you can quickly change your mount right on set (as seen in the clip below) without having to ship the lens to the manufacturer.

Exceptional Image Quality and Sharpness

Angenieux glass is widely known for its exceptional image quality and sharpness. The EZ Series is no different.

The lack of lens breathing coupled with minimal vignetting, plus a T/2 at S35 and T/3 at FF, ensures this lens can be used on any type of project or production. The lens features a fine sharpness, wide open at T/2. However, when you find yourself stopping down, the sharpness definitely increases. If you have the ability to stop down to a T/4, you’ll quickly notice this increased sharpness.

While some reviews mention that the EZ zooms don’t have the same optical quality as the Optimo line, they’re still able to be intercut and are fairly complementary choices. See for yourself in this beautiful clip from Matthew Allard, ACS, shot with both the EZ-1 16-40mm T2 and the Optimo Style 30-76mm T.

Price

There’s no other way to say it: Angenieux glass is expensive, with the lowest cost lenses starting at over $10,000. Fortunately, rental is always a solid option for documentary filmmakers on a budget.


Here are a few more video gear resources handpicked with your documentary workflow in mind:


Cover image via Angenieux.