NFL Films' jaw-dropping shots are taken with a lens so rare it's one of only five in the WORLD

Optex 33:1 lens
(Image credit: NFL Films)

If you're a lover of sports and cinematography and love to swat up on that is the best cinema camera on the market or what are the recent Netflix-approved cameras, you are going to love this story about a lens that has changed the way the NFL is captured forever.

Enter the Optex 33:1 – a Canon broadcasting lens that has been modified as a cine lens. Only 15 were ever being sold worldwide - and NFL Films owns two of them. 

Its huge 33x zoom range means that it can shoot a wide-shot of the whole football stadium - and then crop right into the ball in the receiver's hand in the end zone. The effect is made even more dramatic, by being situated just a few inches off the ground, to give a worm's eye view of the action

(Image credit: NFL Films)

The lens was rehoused by Optex in London, England, to be a fully-fledged cinema lens with T stops and 0.88 gearing so that it could be used on the very best Hollywood cameras to create NFL Films - which is very impressive back in 1998!

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Above: this film gives a brief history of the Optex 33:1 lens, and how it is used to dramatic effect during NFL games by its operator

As you can see from the film above the range this lens has is incredible, and to be able to capture extreme details from wider establishing shots in mere moments is a skill in itself, but to keep it sharp, on track and composed it complete sorcery and I am in love with this lens and its no wonder NFL Films has such a big following - incredible!

via Newshooter

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Sebastian Oakley
Ecommerce Editor

For nearly two decades Sebastian's work has been published internationally. Originally specializing in Equestrianism, his visuals have been used by the leading names in the equestrian industry such as The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), The Jockey Club, Horse & Hound, and many more for various advertising campaigns, books, and pre/post-event highlights.


He is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, holds a Foundation Degree in Equitation Science, and is a Master of Arts in Publishing.  He is a member of Nikon NPS and has been a Nikon user since the film days using a Nikon F5 and saw the digital transition with Nikon's D series cameras and is still to this day the youngest member to be elected into BEWA, The British Equestrian Writers' Association. 


He is familiar with and shows great interest in street, medium, and large format photography with products by Leica, Phase One, Hasselblad, Alpa, and Sinar. Sebastian has also used many cinema cameras from the likes of Sony, RED, ARRI, and everything in between. He now spends his spare time using his trusted Leica M-E or Leica M2 shooting Street photography or general life as he sees it, usually in Black and White.