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Angenieux Optimo comparison?

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I’m sure this has been asked a bunch of times, but I can’t find a relevant answer from the last few years—could someone explain the differences between the various Angenieux zoom models? The original Optimo vs Optimo DP vs Optimo Style vs EZ? Talking about all their zooms post-HR. I know that the primary difference between the DP lenses and the original Optimos is that the DPs don’t work with film cameras, but other than that, I’m confused by the classifications.

Are the Optimo Style zooms just rebranded Optimo DPs? Are there optical differences between the models other than their usability with film cameras (and a slight change in max T-stop)?

It's at least obvious to me that the EZ lenses are different designs than the others, but how do they compare optically (on super-35)?

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Here’s my slightly jaded take, and as a lens tech not a DoP.

The original Optimos were very high quality cinema zooms, designed for rental houses back when everything cinema related cost a bomb but was made with few compromises. They still work well after 20 years, as long as they get a bit of maintenance. The new Optimos are similarly top of the line.

The Optimo DP zooms were a response to the new digital revolution (initially they called them Optimo “Rouge”) and were priced at around half of what an equivalent Optimo cost. They were close in image quality, but made to lower standards in materials and build, with a large rear extension that helped reduce design compromises but made them incompatible with film cameras. Since discontinued.

The Optimo Style series were basically the DP series expanded in range and reverting back to a standard rear protrusion. Again, lower cost to appeal to the owner/operator market and the overall lower manufacturing standards of the digital age, but benefiting from advancements in optical design. No longer manufactured.

The EZ series are a modular system designed to be modifiable for different formats and applications, including ENG. From my evaluation,  well below the standard of the Optimos, but still good enough to be used on major movies. They tend to be even cheaper than the Style series. 

These days optical design is at a point where companies can make very high MTF lenses for pretty cheap, but the compromise is in build quality and the artistry that used to go into lens design. I find a lot of modern glass a bit bland, like a computer just met some MTF goals, and the build quality is such that you won’t be using these lenses in 30 or 40 years like you still can with an older Angenieux or Cooke zoom. But that’s a common story with modern manufacturing.


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The trend in optical design you’re describing definitely seems to be the case for many manufacturers.

Regarding the original Optimo zooms and the Optimo Style zooms, they seem to still both be sold new on B&H:



Of course, B&H’s “special order” items aren’t the most reliable sources for what lenses are still being manufactured (I remember that they claimed Zeiss Ultra 16s where in stock recently until someone questioned them about it), but presumably they were both being manufactured semi-recently at the same time. How does Angenieux justify the price difference if both are comparable with film cameras? The small T-stop difference and a notable difference in optical quality? Or just the T-stop difference?

The change in market positioning and design reminds me of the cheaper Zeiss LWZ-2 replacing the Arri LWZ-1, which don’t have many optical differences between them according to most people I’ve talked to, but correct me if I’m wrong there.

Mainly wondering because I’m wanting to see if a rental house would find value in owning the original Optimo 15-40mm T2.6 and 28-76mm T2.6 if they already own the Optimo Style 16-40mm T2.8 and Optimo Style 30-76mm T2.8.

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