Angénieux Optimo Ultra Compact FF & U35


Angénieux announces a “Full Pack” version of their Optimo Ultra Compact 37-102 and 21-56 Full Frame zoom lenses. The Full Pack includes each lens with both a Full Frame and an Ultra35 (U35) rear that can be changed easily to cover the entire sensor area of Full Frame cameras or the U35 (Open Gate) area of the ARRI ALEXA 35.

This is made possible by  Angénieux’s Interchangeable Rear Optics (IRO) technology. It is important to note that these are not speed boosters or reducers­—IRO is a dedicated rear optical group.

Angénieux Ultra Compact 37-102 T1.9 and 21-56 T2.9 Zooms were introduced at Cannes on July 15, 2021. Both lenses cover Full Frame/VV, with an image diagonal of 46.3 mm Ø.

When equipped with the new IRO group, these lenses cover  U35 (a.k.a. Ultra35 or Open Gate) with an image diagonal of 34.6 mm Ø and a gain in maximum aperture to T2.2. And so, Ultra Compacts with the U35 back become, respectively,  a 28-76 T 2.2 and a 16-42 T 2.2.

I guess this was inevitable. Angénieux’s estimable Optimo Ultra 12x Zoom can be configured three ways: FF/VV, S35 or U35.

Angénieux Type EZ Zooms configure as FF/VV or S35.

There was a hidden clue to convertibility as early as September 2021 when pre-production Ultra Compact Zooms were hand-carried from Saint-Héand to Band Pro’s rooftop premiere launch in New York. If you looked closely, and that was decidedly difficult considering the dimming New York evening sky and the copious quantities of cocktails and champagne that flowed, you might have noticed a small oval window above the iris and zoom rings that proclaimed the lens was FF/VV. Why would it be in a window and not permanently proclaimed and engraved on the lens barrel itself below the logo and name? And how do you change iris and zoom rings?

Severine Serrano, Managing Director, Angénieux International Sales, explained: 

  1. The Full Pack version of the Ultra Compact Zoom comes with 2 IRO rear modules: one Full Frame and one U35 (OpenGate).
  2. There is only one iris ring. It is engraved with T-Stops for both FF and U35.  
  3. And there is only one zoom ring, engraved with focal lengths for both FF and U35 formats. 
  4. To change between FF and U35, a lens technician just needs to flip the ring around (a quick and easy procedure).
  5. The focus ring is untouched. Focus distances remain the same
  6. As with the Optimo Ultra 12x, you must match its lens serial number with its FF and U35 IRO rears.
  7. And yes, existing owners can upgrade their original Ultra Compact zooms to Full Pack versions. 

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