Three new series of Hawk lenses from Vantage address new realities in contemporary production.
Hawk class-X 2x squeeze Anamorphic Primes and Zooms have an iconic look for Super35 format. MiniHawk primes are lightweight, compact, anamorphically hybrid, oval bokeh Super35 format lenses. Hawk65 Anamorphic 1.3x squeeze Primes fill Large Format and 65mm frames. Cinematographers can comfortably and consistently mix and match these latest sets. For example, you might shoot principal photography with Hawk class-X anamorphics; use MiniHawks for gimbal and drone shots that require ultralight lenses with extremely close focus and no distortion; and then work with Hawk65 lenses on a Large Format camera for vast vistas and title sequences.
The three latest sets of lenses from Vantage currently comprise 28 matching lenses. There are 11 Hawk class-X lenses: 9 primes and 2 zooms. There are 8 MiniHawks. And there are 9 focal lengths in the Hawk65 set. They are all available now. (Additional lenses will follow. Specifications may change.)
Vantage has been building anamorphic lenses for 25 years. This latest trilogy brings the total number of Hawk anamorphic lens series to 10. It’s a distinguished history. The sets have memorable names: V-Lite, V-Plus, V-Series, C-Series, etc.
Peter Martin said, “Solid engineering was a prerequisite to producing these 28 matching motion picture lenses. But even more important was a deep understanding of filmmaking technique and technology and how the art has evolved.”
This is not hyperbole. Vantage co-owners Peter Martin and Wolfgang Baumler began their careers as filmmakers, and the passion to design and build Hawk anamorphic lenses came from their understanding of cinematography and their need to create lenses that were not available.
Digital cinematography changed the paradigm in the process of making movies. Filmmakers no longer need to commit to a single format or aspect ratio for an entire production. We now see a panoply of formats, aspect ratios, cameras and lenses engaged on a shoot. With that in mind, Vantage assembled this recent triumvirate of interchangeable lens sets.
Hawk class-X Anamorphic
The newest series of anamorphic lenses from Vantage is the Hawk class-X. There are nine primes from 28 mm to 140 mm, and two zooms.Peter Martin described them: “Hawk class-X anamorphic lenses deliver an iconic 2x anamorphic look. The were calculated from scratch, using a classic design, without resorting to nontraditional methods. Class-x is the keystone of our latest lenses. The look, or character, lies between our V-Lite and V-Lite Vintage ´74 series, with lower contrast, a new optical design, lighter in weight and sharper at the top and bottom. Class-X lenses deliver improved definition, closer focus, and less edge distortion while maintaining the organic look and feel of all Hawk lenses.
“Hawk class-X lenses reflect the tremendous changes in filmmaking technology and style. Because the generational resolution loss and image softening of photochemical post and printing processes are no longer a consideration, Hawk class-X lenses are designed with today’s lossless post-production in mind. Due to these changes, clinical sharpness is not always a virtue in today’s cinema lenses.”
MiniHawks from Vantage are hybrid lenses with classic anamorphic elliptical bokeh, shallow depth of field and an organic cinematic look. They are compact, lightweight, and fast. They focus extremely close, almost to the front element. There’s no breathing and almost no geometric distortion. All these qualities make them excellent choices for shooting with gimbals, drones, stabilizers, in tight quarters and handheld.
MiniHawks use a patent-pending image shaping technology. Peter commented, “Due to their unique construction, the MiniHawks can do things that traditional anamorphics cannot, while still retaining classic anamorphic characteristics. Therefore, they have a special place in the HAWK lens portfolio.”
Hawk65 Large Format Anamorphic
Hawk65 Anamorphic lenses cover Full Frame, Large Format and 65mm on cameras such as Sony VENICE, RED MONSTRO 8K VV and ALEXA 65.
Hawk65 lenses have a 1.3x anamorphic squeeze. This is a similar ratio to Ultra Panavision (1.25x) as used on classic movies such as “Ben Hur,” “Mutiny on the Bounty” and recently, “The Hateful Eight.”
What is it about Large Format and Anamorphic lenses?
Peter Martin explained, “I think anamorphic lenses are a way of interpreting reality whereas spherical lenses are recording reality. Most of us don’t want to see reality. We want to see stories. Anamorphic is an abstraction that actually enhances storytelling possibilities. It’s the distortion, the depth of field that isolates the subject and the unique bokeh that impresses audiences.”
Anamorphic 65 mm widescreen is even more compelling. Hawk65 lenses are designed for a large image circle, covering Full Frame, Large Format and 65mm image areas.
Hawk65 anamorphic lenses currently come in an XPL mount for the ALEXA 65 and a new Vantage-designed XPL 52mm mount for Full Frame and Large Format cameras. That includes Sony VENICE and RED MONSTRO VV 8K. Vantage will provide the XPL 52 mount with the Hawk65 lenses.
Hawk65 Anamorphic Lens on Sony VENICE