Angenieux Type EZ lenses have definitely won the heart of the Chinese market. These lenses are very popular worldwide, and particularly in China, because particularity of these lenses is that they meet a large number of needs and technical constraints.
Mr. Zhao Lei, Deputy General Manager of ZSCY; OXSTUDIO, the production team behind China’s extreme sports documentary, The Journey of Ultimate Challenge and The BTV UHD Workshop team generously shared their experiences and pictures to illustrate their work with the Type EZ lenses. These three testimonials show us that the versatility of the EZ lens, as well as its many other qualities such as its weight/size ratio, the possibility of switching between S35 and full frame format by replacing the rear optics, make it a tool of choice for any work, from filming to television and advertising.
Production House ZSCY gears up with Angénieux Type EZ Lenses
Beijing Zhongshi Chenyang (ZSCY) Film and Television Culture Media Co., Ltd in China recently purchased more than ten sets of Angénieux EZ full-frame zoom lenses to meet the shooting needs of today’s large-format productions. Founded in 2013, Zhongshi Chenyang is a large-scale cultural company integrating businesses of film and television program production, film and television equipment rental, and film and television equipment R&D, promotion and sales.
“I liked how the technology is designed to be flexible and practical in many ways. For a company like us that delivers different TV and cinema requirements, we find the Angénieux EZ lenses’ versatility compatible with our present and future needs.” - Mr. Zhao Lei, Deputy General Manager of ZSCY
According to Mr. Zhao Lei, the reasons why they purchased EZ lenses are based on its lightweight and compact size, added to an easy installation on various machines. Furthermore, EZ are designed on the way that rear optics are interchangeable allowing the user to switch between S35 and full Frame format at will. It also has been designed to be able to capture fixed and sharp images in multiple conditions (environment and temperature) thanks to its constant T2 aperture and temperature compensation, especially for low-light shootings.
Type EZ shooting under extreme conditions on set for sports documentary
OXSTUDIO is an award-winning sports film production agency that specializes in creating memorable content for movie, TV, digital and commercial use. The team is committed to turning its vision into reality, using the latest filmmaking techniques to capture impactful stories and images. OXSTUDIO is constantly testing the boundaries of filmmaking and challenging the impossible.
“During the filming process, we had to set up many camera positions by ourselves. Thankfully, the Angénieux Type EZ lenses are very lightweight. We used the three lenses at three different camera locations — the 45-135mm for long-range shots to capture the athlete’s detailed movements as well as the surroundings, and the 30-90mm on a handheld camera for powerful close-up shots. The 15-40mm was mounted on Steadicam because, in extreme conditions, the electronic stabilizer could perform erratically. At this focal length, we mainly captured close-range movement shots. As a combination, the Type EZ series not only satisfied our many imaging requirements, but also saved us a significant amount of time. ” - OXSTUDIO, the production team behind China’s extreme sports documentary, The Journey of Ultimate Challenge
Extreme outdoor sports features are a challenge for production teams: it requires to shoot outside in some inaccessible locations, sometime forcing the team to carry their equipment. In addition to logistic issues, extreme sports shootings include high-speed sequences with unpredictability and high movement levels, putting the team under pressure to focus on the shooting while being able to adapt to the situation at any time.
“The Journey of Ultimate Challenge was a deeply memorable experience. In the first episode, we filmed kayaking down a waterfall in Detian, Guangxi. Our main shooting location was a 70m waterfall that straddles the China-Vietnam border. The only time that anyone has ever been to the centre of the waterfall was when it was being developed as a scenic area. For the shoot, we had to set up camera locations to follow the route that the athlete would take. Our Director of Photography Mr Chen Yue ventured into the waterfall to check the angles. The waterfall has a very complex route with many smaller tributaries created by the powerful gushes of water. He was neck-high in water with rocky, uneven footing. It would have taken just a moment to slip and get washed down the waterfall.”
Beside the convenience of this versatile, lightweight, compact and easy-to-use lens, the type EZ has an extraordinary look on screen, even on raw footages, with a soft colour transition, a good distortion control and a moderate sharpness.
High quality lenses for 8K projects on TV.
In China, Beijing Television (BTV) is regarded as an industry leader in television production. Its production department has spent 10 years researching ultra-high definition (UHD) technology and has the experience as well as an impressive collection of work to show for it. The BTV UHD Workshop team talks to us about filming in UHD with the Angénieux Type EZ series.
“Executive Director Mr Guo Haojun: BTV and Japan’s NHK began working together in 2013. We have jointly produced many 4K documentaries. These were aired on both Japan’s BS4K channel and BTV, and were well-received by Japanese and Chinese viewers. In 2018, with the launch of NHK’s BS8K channel, our Japanese partner needed a large source of 8K films while we needed practice in 8K content production. So between 2018 and 2019, NHK and BTV worked together on three 8K documentaries: China – Lands on the Edge of the Sky: Magical Foothills of Altai; China – Lands on the Edge of the Sky: Living with the Blessing of the Forest; and Under the Sea of Clouds: Exploring the Tibetan Plateau. These documentaries have been broadcast on NHK BS8K numerous times.”
Mr Guo Haojun, Executive Director of BTV UHD Workshop
Cinematography Team Leader Mr Wei Boyin is working with the EZ lenses on high-resolution footages for television: “8K images are extremely high resolution so they really put lenses to the test in terms of sharpness, colour, optics and image detailing. I found that Angénieux Type EZ lenses are easy to handle, and their design truly brings out the advantages of a lightweight lens group.”
What has been highlighted in the mechanical structure of Type EZ lenses is it smooth and precise operation and the quality of the image. “In particular, distortion control is very good — sharp in focus and soft outside. It only takes two lenses to cover the most commonly used focal lengths, so that’s really convenient. I also enjoy the colour performance of Type EZ lenses”. The Angénieux look is ideal to capture and preserve the natural human emotion thanks to it warm image. That the combination of the EZ lens dynamic rage, colour treatment and depth that convinced DoP Mr Wei Boyin to go for the EZ lenses pair for 8K.
“When choosing lenses, considering the requirements of 8K filming, we prefer zooms. One reason is because zoom lenses can significantly reduce the number of lens changes during an outdoor shoot. This helps to protect the sensors from dust and other contaminants. Another reason is because zooms are preferred when filming documentaries because we can change scenes without moving the cameras or changing the lenses. Also, when you think about transport and logistics, given the size and weight limits that come with air travel for example, equipment that is lightweight and versatile would be ideal”.
Mr Wei Boyin, Cinematography Team Leader of BTV UHD Workshop
The future of BTV UHD Workshop based on major sport events
The BTV UHD Workshop team tells us that they are now preparing for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and the soon-to-be-launched the dedicated channel by strengthening their technical and talent resources. The production of 8K documentaries is a forward-looking move built upon a firm foundation from BTV’s earlier success with 4K. As BTV continues to deepen its experience and broaden its expertise in UHD technology, it is set to create more milestones in the near future.
Angénieux is proud to see that Type EZ lenses have such a footprint in the user community in China, and especially for large-scale projects. These lenses are great tools for FULL FRAME shootings and as we can see in the above testimonials, they are able to cope with the greatest number of constraints, pushing the limits of creativity even further. Thank you for these great testimonials and for being part of the great family of Angenieux owners and users.
Special thanks to Beijing Redfilm Digital Technology Co., Ltd.
Photo courtesy of Beijing Zhongshi Chenyang (ZSCY) Film and Television Culture Media Co., Ltd
Special thanks to Beijing Redfilm Digital Technology Co., Ltd.
Photo courtesy of BTV UHD Workshop