Angénieux and Cinema—from Light to Image

For quite some time, Angénieux has entertained the idea of doing a book about the incredible story of the Angénieux brand since the creation of the company in 1935.

FDTimes and Edith Bertrand already took a first step with a special Angénieux History edition a couple of years ago. This was followed by a beautiful exhibition at the Museum of Art and Industry in Saint-Etienne, France from March to November 2017. At that time, 700 sqm were fully dedicated to the Angénieux adventure.

Following this exhibition, Angénieux wanted to go further and continued to collect material from experts, conduct research, talk to former engineers, and interview DPs, rental houses and other key “witnesses” from around the world. This is how a 270 page book was born, with a French and an English edition.

Angénieux is pleased to release this book around NAB exclusively for the cinema community before its release in book stores. It will be available via the Angénieux web site’s new e-shop (Angé at 39€ / $60. The bookstore release will come at the end of April in Europe and Cinegear time in the US. Worldwide distribution will follow.  

The common thread of the book is the Angénieux company’s 80-year, long-lasting passion for cinema, complemented by industrial adventures in photography, television, medical, optronics, and also space exploration.

By the way, on July 20, in the US (July 21 in some other parts of the world), the 50th anniversary of the success of the NASA Apollo 11 mission will be celebrated. Angénieux was on board Apollo 11. The book discusses the full participation of Angénieux in NASA missions.

For cinema, the book focuses on the technological achievements of Angénieux zoom lenses. Pierre Angénieux pioneered the mechanical compensation system that opened the door to high ratio  zooms. All current cinema zoom lenses are based on the principle developed by Pierre Angénieux and his teams in the 1950s.

Angénieux zoom lenses accompanied cinema trends and continue to participate in the history of cinema. The book explains how the brand lived through the shift from analog to digital. In this new digital world, the brand continues to be a market leader. For example, the new zoom lenses for Full Format (Optimo Ultra 12x and EZ) integrate Angénieux’s innovative IRO technology. The book also points out the brand’s current technological and geographical challenges.

Excerpt from the back cover

“This work tells the incredible tale of Angénieux, a flower in the button-hole of French industry and a key name in world of cinema for more than 80 years. The saga starts in 1935 with a man, Pierre Angénieux, the founder of the company that bears his name. He revolutionized optical calculation and displayed a peerless spirit of invention all through his life, making the plant in Saint-Héand a worldwide point of reference for cinema lenses.

“In recognition of its contribution to the world of cinema, the company has received three Scientific & Technical Academy Awards in Hollywood. Angénieux lenses even played their part in achieving the impossible, traveling on board Apollo 11 to make man’s first steps on the Moon a shared experience on July 20, 1969. A company of the Thales group since 1993, Angénieux continues to place the best technological solutions at the service of filmmaking. This book is aimed at all lovers of the cinematographic image, including photographers, video makers and cinematographers, as well as all those interested in discovering a truly outstanding industrial adventure.”

Reprinted from Film and Digital Times April 2019 Edition #92-93

Leave a Comment

Tags: , ,