The new ARRI Anamorphic Ultra Wide Zoom AUWZ 19-36/T4.2 is a unique lens that perfectly complements the ARRI/ZEISS Master Anamorphic lenses by extending the range to cover extreme wide-angle focal lengths between 19 mm and 36 mm, without any sacrifice in image quality.
Possibilities for wide-angle compositions when shooting anamorphic have been strictly limited in the past, due to a lack of high-quality lenses. Compromises such as heavy distortion, pronounced breathing and poor resolution and contrast have always been major problems with existing lenses on the market. Now, for the first time, anamorphic productions can incorporate visually stunning wide-angle perspectives into their storytelling.
The telecentric optical design of the AUWZ means that it has highly uniform field illumination, from the center to the very corners of the image. With the anamorphic elements positioned at the rear of the lens, focus breathing is virtually non-existent, distortion is kept to an absolute minimum and straight lines stay straight, even at close focus. The patented, cutting-edge lens technologies built into the AUWZ render an inverted image at the sensor plane -- a side-effect of the unique design that is overcome with the simple press of a button on most high-end digital cinema cameras
With a minimum object distance just beyond the front lens element, the AUWZ allows dramatic and highly emotive anamorphic close-ups that simply haven't been possible before. Flares, which are very well controlled by the multilayer, anti-reflective lens coating, generate a creaminess around highlights that gives night shots an ethereal and magic quality. Built-in ARRI Lens Data System (LDS) functionality provides precise lens metadata for zoom, focus and aperture settings, simplifying complex shot-making on set and smoothing visual effects workflows in post.
Director/cinematographer Jonathan Yi recently took the AUWZ out on a test shoot and commented, "Being primarily a documentary filmmaker whose favorite films have mostly been shot spherical, I've never really been a fan of anamorphic lenses. However, I was really impressed with the AUWZ. It is a wider lens than I ever usually shoot with and I expected it to be unflattering to faces, so I was genuinely surprised at how great people looked under this lens. Crucially, it was just as easy to use as a spherical lens and didn't slow down my shoot or change the style in which I work. The AUWZ seemed to elevate the image quality to something gorgeous without any added distortions or gimmicks; I'm excited about using it on future projects."
ARRI is committed to making the anamorphic format a compelling and practical option for modern, fast-paced productions. The AUWZ significantly extends the reach of ARRI's anamorphic lens system, which currently comprises seven Master Anamorphic focal lengths ranging from 35 mm to 135 mm and their corresponding Master Anamorphic Flare Sets. In addition, the 1.4x and 2x ARRI Alura LDS Extenders can lengthen the MA135 to either 190 mm or 270 mm, meaning that the system now covers focal lengths from 19 mm up to 270 mm. This unprecedented range, combined with the uniquely anamorphic-friendly 4:3 sensor of the ALEXA camera, offers a complete toolset that expands the vocabulary of anamorphic cinematography.