London based camera gear hire outfit Shift 4 look at a set of vintage look P+S TECHNIK KOWA 2x Anamorphic Evolution Lenses which are based on the original optical design of KOWA Anamorphics but have Gwerman company P+S TECHNIK’s modern housing and coatings applied.
• PL mount
• 2x anamorphic
• 40mm T 2.4
• 50mm T 2.4
• 75mm T 2.5
• 100mm T 3.2
• All lenses 80mm front diameter
• Emulates the vintage characteristics of Kowa Anamorphics
• Compact and lightweight, ideal for gimbals
P+S Technik have created a new set of anamorphic lenses based on the original optical design of KOWA anamorphics. They offer many of the same characteristics but have P+S Technik’s modern housing and coatings.
The distortion produced by an anamorphic lens creates an oval shape bokeh that’s become a key part of the distinctive look they offer.
Both the Evolutions and the KOWAs have more of a bean shaped bokeh – like a warped oval.
A slight difference can be seen in the defocussed points of light in the background – the bokehs of the Evolutions are more defined than the soft edged bokehs of the KOWAs.
In our tests, the Evolutions field of view appeared wider than the KOWAs, plus the KOWAs were slightly squeezed on the vertical axis making subjects look a little more stubby.
The Evolutions had a more natural perspective in the centre of the lens. On the edges they had more warping making objects more bowed and squeezed than seen through the KOWAs.
The 40mm Evolution in particular had very extreme warping of perspective at the edges.
The Evolutions and the KOWAs offer similar white balance and skin tone. Both are slightly warm giving pleasant skin tone rendition.
Both types of lenses display bowing at the edges of frame, especially on the wider lenses, and also show focus fall off at the top and bottom of the frame which is common with a vintage anamorphic look.
The fall off is surprisingly more pronounced in the Evolution lenses with consistent fall off throughout the set. The KOWAs have more subtle fall off that differs across the set.
The overall sharpness of the lenses is also quite similar, with slightly sharper performance wide open in the Evolutions compared to the KOWAs.
Both sets of lenses flare easily and display the popular horizontal flaring synonymous with anamorphics.
The Evolution lenses have a lot more definition wide open than the KOWAs which show more blooming, sometimes hiding the horizontal flare.
To conclude, the P+S Technik KOWA 2x Anamorphic Evolution Lenses have many of the classic characteristics of the original KOWA anamorphics that they’re based on.
They both produce a warm image with pleasant skin tones as well as focus fall off and a bean shaped bokeh.
P+S Technik appear to have added to the Evolutions some modern touches like sharp images wide open and more defined anamorphic flares.
The Evolutions have modern, lightweight housing so are especially suitable for gimbals, They also come in at a much lower price point compared to other anamorphics, making them a very attractive option.
For more information on these or any other equipment please contact us at Shift 4.