On-Set Review of Angénieux Type EZ lenses with DP Dino Wong

Lens technology is progressively adapting to dynamic industry trends of motion pictures. Mindful of these rapid changes, today’s filmmakers are pursuing high-quality cinematic looks armed with tools built for speed, versatility, and cost-efficiency.

Angénieux Type EZ lenses provide cinematographers and directors of photography a flexible and affordable way to bring their story to true cine-quality. The EZ series delivers impressive image quality and nimble filming experience. Completely compatible with the Super 35 cameras, as well as cameras designed around larger image sensors, these lenses are built to support changes and developments.

Director of Photography, Dino Wong, HKSC*, who participated in the production of a number of films, TV series and commercials, shared the importance of a quality set of lenses behind every well-captured image, and his experience with the EZ zooms on a project with a tight time frame.

Speed and Flexibility

“The appeal of any motion picture is in its imagery. Used correctly, lenses and lighting have the power to draw out deeper emotions from the actors. Getting to experience this magic firsthand is what attracts me most to filmmaking,” Dino said.

Working with a very tight timeline on the TV series “Leap Day,” he needed a lens that could deliver the powerful images he had in mind while maximising every filming minute they had.

“TV dramas take a long time to shoot, and we had many scenes to cover each day. With the Angenieux Type EZ zoom lenses, we could easily switch the focal length whenever we needed. This gave us a lot of flexibility when shooting scenes with lots of variables in the environment or requirements, which meant we were able to film much more quickly.”

For Dino and his “Leap Day” crew, the EZ zooms helped speed up the camera set-up and save shooting time too. He explained, “The focal length ranges of EZ-1 and EZ-2 overlap, which is useful when we used dual cameras for shooting. For example, while A-Cam with 15-40mm is shooting a master shot, B-Cam with 30-90mm is wide enough to shoot a medium-wide shot. This meant that for many scenes, we were able to complete the shooting of a scene, from actor rehearsal and camera setup to shooting, in as short as 1.5 hours.”

With a constant T2 aperture equipped with a wide focal range, the Angénieux EZ lenses render consistently quality images, allowing cinematographers to work smoothly across varying levels of light.

“More than half of the series was shot at night. The Angenieux Type EZ lenses have a large T2 aperture and a shallow depth of field, reducing the need for high-power lighting. This really helped cut down on our time on the lighting setup.”

Lightweight, Durable Design

Adding to the lens’s ease-of-use is its lightweight yet high-performance build. Weighing no more than 4.7lb and fitting perfectly well into run-and-gun shooting, it is a strong contender for the most reliable yet affordable zoom lens in the market. Moreover, the lens is built to compensate for drifts in temperature, keeping a precise lens focus and smooth shooting even under extreme weather conditions.

 “In Hokkaido Japan, we spent five days shooting on location at night, in -10 degrees snowy weather. Even in such cold temperature, the lens and camera worked just fine,” Dino shared.

“On set, time is always our worst enemy. As the DoP, I have to act and react quickly to what’s happening on set, without losing sight of the creative aspects of my work.  For example, while watching the actors rehearse, I would think about where I shall set the cameras in order to capture the perfect mood or sentiment of a scene. With so much going on, a flexible lens is crucial. I need a large aperture zoom lens with changeable focal lengths to help me bring my ideas to life,” he concluded.

Indeed, creative freedom underlies every Angénieux lens design. The global brand’s years of experience building zoom lenses highlight its longstanding commitment to innovating with the times.

The Angénieux Type EZ lenses bring creative possibilities to wider focus, especially for those looking for more affordable optic options with versatility and flexibility. It is definitely a tool designed for cinematographers, like Dino, with agile and delightful on-set experiences.

Dino Wong, HKSC, is the Director of Photography of the TV series “Leap Day” and “Limited Education.” He also worked as a B-camera photographer for the film “Little Big Master” and the Chinese version of “Namiya”. His commercial series “Sham Shui Po – Treasures of the Heart” received the Kam Fan Awards organized by the HK4As. To learn more about his work, visit www.dinowong.com.

*HKSC: Hong Kong Society of Cinematographers

Photo courtesy of ViuTV