World's tiniest 1.5x anamorphic lenses are the size of a credit card!

World's tiniest 1.5x anamorphic lenses are the size of a credit card!
(Image credit: Venus Optics)

Venus Optics has announced its line of Laowa Nanomorph lenses – "the world's tiniest 1.5x anamorphic series" of optics, available in seven mounts: Super 35 formats PL, Canon EF, Canon RF, Sony E, Nikon Z, L mount and Fujifilm X, and Micro Four Thirds and DJI DL. 

The EF and PL mount will share the same 'bulbous cinema lens' style design, while the mirrorless mounts will share the 'same slender soda can' aesthetic. Further, the optics will be available in two flare options: amber (with an orange ring) or blue (blue ring), which produces a correspondingly colored anamorphic streak flare. 

The best anamorphic lenses tend to be both very bulk and very expensive – two things that Venus Optics is addressing with this new line of the glass comprising the Laowa Nanomorph 27mm T2.8 1.5x Cine, Laowa Nanomorph 35mm T2.4 1.5x Cine and Laowa Nanomorph 50mm T2.4 1.5x Cine. Venus notes that 65mm and 80mm glass will be coming in late 2022.

The lenses weigh less than 0.7lbs / 320g and are only 3.54 inches / 90mm in length, making them uniquely versatile for handheld, gimbal and drone shooting. However, the lower price usually equates to some issues when it comes to anamorphic lenses; affordable options tend to produce inconsistent squeeze, resulting in 'anamorphic mumps' that make them impractical to shoot with.

Venus Optics says that "Laowa Nanomorph guarantees a constant 1.5x squeeze ratio at all focusing distances", promising a uniform squeeze ratio – which would be a very impressive feat for anamorphic glass at this price point. 

That 1.5x squeeze can deliver up to a 2.66:1 ratio on a 16:9 image sensor. Venus opted for this over a 1.33x squeeze for a more cinematic look, and over a 1.8x or 2x squeeze due to the increased size and wasted image area.

The Nanomorph lenses feature some of the shortest close focusing distances available, at 16.9 inches / 430m for the 27mm T2.8, 23.6 inches / 600m for the 35mm, and 27.5 inches / 700m for the 50mm.

All lenses feature a 55mm filter thread, 0.8 mod gear on the aperture and focus rings, dual imperial and metric scale, focal back adjustment using a hex key, and unified gear positioning.

Venus Optics is following the current trend of launching the lenses on a crowdfunding platform, this time Indiegogo, where they have already smashed their funding goal. 

(Image credit: Venus Optics)

The lenses carry an RRP of $999 (Mirrorless Mounts) for mirrorless and $1,499 for EF and, with a three-lens bundle priced at $2,699 (Mirrorless Mounts) or $3,999 (EF & PL Mounts) for the respective mounts. If you pledge early, however, significant earlybird discounts are available.

The lenses are expected to ship from August onwards – visit the Laowa Nanomorph campaign page for more information. 

Editor's note: As with all crowdfunding campaigns, there is no guarantee that products will ship or meet their initial advertised specifications. DCW takes no responsibility for changes in the final product or lack of fulfillment. 

Read more: 

Best cinema cameras
Best cameras for video
Best 4K cameras
Best 8K cameras

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.