The Angenieux EZ 1 30-90mm T2 super35 zoom lens is one of a handful of lenses in the quickly expanding category of affordable cine-zooms. For a long time cinema zooms were always two things; heavy and expensive. In the past year or so we have seen manufacturers innovate and release a new group of lightweight cinema zooms. To name a few; Zeiss 21-100mm, Sigma 18-35mm / 50-100mm, Fujinon 18-55mm, and Canon 18-80mm. As a documentary and commercial shooter, it has been great to see this huge increase in choices at a reasonable price. I find myself taking the Angeniuex on set because of its size, its flexibility, and its performance wide open.
First and foremost, the size, weight, and handling of this lens are superb. It is well balanced and weighs in at just 4lbs. I shoot a lot of handle held work and gimbal work so weight is always a factor. Having built in focus, iris, and zoom gears is a big advantage in both keeping the lens streamlined and removing any extra weight from add on 3rd party focus gears. The EZ 1 also features rubberized grips along the lens for better control when not using a follow focus. This lens is built with the operator in mind.
In the documentary world staying flexible on set is a must. The ability to quickly go from PL to EF to E mount on set with no tools is a big deal. Pairing lenses and sensors is a big part of cinematographers job these days both from an aesthetics standpoint and a function standpoint. This lens is equally at home on an A7S wedged inside a car as it is on 35mm Arri film camera on a dolly. In addition to the lens mount, you can also change the rear optical block to go from covering just super35 to cover full frame/ vistavision. The 30-90mm or 45-135mm FF range is a great middle ground. We just wrapped a shoot last week were it was the only lens we used over 2 days. We went from studio to location and it didn't disappoint in either.
There is a certain feeling imbued into lenses by each manufacturer. A subtle difference that doesn’t come across in technical specifications but is often talked about amongst cinematographers and is unique to that manufacturer. Angenieux’s reputation is amongst the best of the industry. The EZ 1 fits in easily amongst its family members and delivers the same consistent colors and pleasing sharpness that one should expect from Angenieux. It offers a sharpness that isn't clinical but is forgiving on faces and falls of nicely.