The first new 65mm anamorphic glass in over fifty years was tested in Los Angeles the day after the 2016 ASC Awards and opened up new possibilities for large format cinema. Cinematographer Markus Förderer, BVK shot the test of Vantage’s new HAWK65 Anamorphics on the first RED Weapon 8K camera, provided by Jarred Land, President of RED Digital Cinema. The footage was screened at RED Studios the following afternoon. Markus’ first comments were:
The Hawk65 anamorphic lenses offer a truly unique look. They combine an unparalleled high quality anamorphic look with the right balance of a clean image rendition and organic texture.
He chose HAWK Anamorphics on his two most recent films both directed by Roland Emmerich:Independence Day: Resurgence and Stonewall.
For the test, Vantage designed a new mount, the XPL52. The new mount makes it possible to use HAWK65, HAWK 35mm, and VantageOne T1 lenses on the same camera without changing mounts, allowing cinematographers to work quickly and efficiently. We attached it to the RED Weapon 8K in a hotel room and were ready to shoot large format in minutes. It was truly a historic moment since the last new 65mm anamorphics were produced in the 1960s. Newly designed large format anamorphic glass had never been tested on a digital large format camera until that moment. All of the large format anamorphic glass that has been used up to this point on digital large format cameras originates from that historical period of the 1950s and 1960s. Markus Förderer went on to say:
The 1.3x anamorphic squeeze elevates large format sensors to their highest level. The new coating technology with its soft natural contrast creates amazing skin tones and makes the Hawk 65 lenses a perfect companion for digital sensors.
The lenses used the complete RED 40.96mm x 21.60mm sensor, the highest resolving sensor in the industry. When compared to currently available large format systems, the complete camera/lens combination is incredibly small and lightweight. This gives cinematographers more flexibility when shooting anamorphic 65mm images without sacrificing image quality. Markus chose to shoot much of the test footage using a handheld set up for this reason.
The HAWK65 lenses, paired with the large RED 8K Weapon sensor, create the highest quality images I have seen so far, the perfect blend of natural sharpness and film-like contrast.
HAWK65 lenses are also available with an XPL mount for use with the Alexa65. These lenses give cinematographers the only opportunity to shoot anamorphic 65mm with modern glass and state-of-the-art mechanics.