Master Anamorphics shipping
Shipping dates for all seven focal lengths in the ARRI/ZEISS Master Anamorphic lens series have been announced. The MA35, 50 and 75 were released in August this year and have started shipping, with the MA100 to follow in October, the MA40 and 60 in February 2014, and the MA135 in April 2014. By the second quarter of next year, every different focal length -- each of them perfectly matched -- will be in the hands of worldwide customers who have placed orders for the entire set.
In the build-up to full-scale release of the Master Anamorphics, prototypes have been distributed to international cinematographers, allowing them to experiment with the lenses and discover how their compact size, light weight and stable technical precision make them as fast and easy to use on set as spherical lenses. Three show reels have recently been shot with the MAs -- by Karl Walter Lindenlaub, ASC, BVK, in Los Angeles; by Olly Wiggins in London; and by Sheng Lu in China -- all three DPs were extremely positive about the focal lengths they had tested.
The Master Anamorphic lenses produce natural and organic-looking images with incredibly low distortion; straight lines stay straight, with no need of any distortion compensation in post -- even at close focus. Out-of-focus backgrounds are rendered beautifully, with punchy separation of main subject from background and a smooth focus fall-off contributing to a truly immersive, cinematic look. The 15 iris blades in each lens give a rounded edge to the classic oval-shaped out-of-focus highlights, which are evenly illuminated.
Skin tone rendition is pleasing and film-like, while colors are crisp and natural. Image quality is consistently high throughout the frame, with no drop-off towards the corners. The fast T-stop of T1.9 allows shallow depth-of-field work and can be used with any focal length, at any distance, without sacrificing image quality; gone are the days when anamorphic lenses had to be stopped down to T4 to get an acceptable result. The large image field provides the greatest possible creative freedom, with the full 2.39:1 format being viewable for composition, further removing any element of uncertainty or guesswork when working with the Master Anamorphics.
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