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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Hall

Angenieux Optimo Primes with IOP

I had a project come up quickly, and my normal ‘go-to’ lens set was out of the rental house at that time, but my rental manager mentioned that they just had a project cancel that had all of their Optimo Primes with Glimmer Glass 1/8th filters added internally. They asked if I would be interested in trying them. I have never used the lenses before, but I have been a longtime fan of the Angenieux zooms, so I said yes, let’s go for it!

The project was a promo advertisement for the marketing team of the film ‘Dumb Money’ with Sony Pictures. The look we wanted was a softer, polished portrait of the glamorous ‘Fabulous Life of the Rich and Famous’…only with kids. With that in mind, we needed to have some optics that could show a little glow or softness to the image without looking too filtered or too vintage either. 


The lenses are a good size, mostly around 3.75 lbs each, and easy to use in any balancing situation (steady/gimbal/handheld). They are built very solid, feeling well-engineered, smooth, and flush. The other obvious things you see right away are that they all have 95mm fronts and the tech for full lens data connection (Cooke/Arri LDS).

They are designed with full-frame (and beyond) in mind. However, I was at super 35mm on the Alexa 35 for this project. If you are reading this blog, you will know by now that I prefer to use vintage optics when I can. My only fear with this set of lenses was that they might be too clean and sharp. They weren’t, and here is why!


As I mentioned, this particular set had already been set up with an internal 1/8th Tiffen Glimmer Glass. This is done with Angenieux’s patented IOP (Integrated Optical Pallette). One of the fun attributes of this lens set is the ability to swap infiltration within the elements of the prime itself. In addition to the internal elements, you can swap out iris leaf patterns (yep, you read that right) for a different bokeh look. Lastly, you can also add on rear filters via threaded mounts on the optical rear. So… you can change the internal workings, the shape of the iris and follow shape, and the refraction or collection of the rear filtration. All this, along with normal options for frontal filtration, makes your possibilities endless. Here are more option details.

IRIS OPTIONS : 3 Blade Triangle, 9 Blade Oval anamorphic look, and the classic 9 Blade Spherical.

INTERNAL FILTRATION: Clear, Uncoated, Black Pro Mist 1/8, Black Satin 1/8th, Glimmer Glass 1/8th, Low Contrast 1/8th, Blue Streak, Net Optics.

EXTERNAL FILTRATION: There isn’t a lot of information about filters available now other than a ‘vintage’ option. However, since it is a 40.5mm (46.0mm for lenses 50mm and above in FF) thread option, it should be simple to get more options made or ordered to give you even more creative freedom with your looks. Here is a link to how it is all done LINK


I went into this shoot looking for a softer, natural-looking glam look with no heavy ‘gags.’ I think these lenses performed that wonderfully. I was never a big ‘Glimmer Glass’ filter fan, but when you place its diffusion pattern inside the optical train, you get a more subtle glam look. Your skin textures seem to smooth out (I understand the kids all have flawless skin to begin with) without the annoying glow on all the lighting elements or the fogging patches of the frame.

We had the normal 9-blade spherical iris on our set. Everything was without any distortion or unusual bokeh falloff on highlights. I would say, though, that the normal portrait lens’s shallow focus depth is limited on these. I am used to the falloff of Arri Master Primes and have grown to love it. I’m sure this is one of the attributes of the smaller size. I think if you were to be shooting in FF mode, you would lens up and this may help some. I would love the chance to fully customize these for a film shoot and see what I could make with all the options. I’m thinking maybe the Oval 9-Blade iris, with the Net Optics element, and a ‘Vintage’ rear filter. It could be a fun look for a movie!

Here is the actual promo:

For more informtion on the lens set you can see the Angeniex Broucher here. Angenieux Prime Boucher

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