On November 18, Panavision introduced its new line of Primo V Series lenses, which are specifically designed to work with today’s high-resolution 35mm digital cameras. Primo V lenses bring the look and feel offered by Panavision’s classic Primo lenses, long an industry standard for top cinematographers. The design adaptations of Primo V lenses are specifically made to work in harmony with digital cameras, maximizing image quality while delivering Primo quality and character.
“Panavision’s unmatched optical expertise and high-quality manufacturing capabilities have now been brought to bear on lenses adapted for digital cameras,” says Panavision CEO Kim Snyder. “We’re focused on providing cinematographers with the best tools to tell their stories with vision and creativity. With the industry’s ongoing transition to digital capture, we want our customers to know they can continue to trust Panavision to bring innovative, world-class solutions to the marketplace.”
Dan Sasaki, Panavision’s VP of optical engineering, notes that professional shooters recognize the quality of glass used for the Primo V Series. “Cinematographers tell us that the hyper-sharp sensors in today’s digital cameras can result in images that are harsh and lack personality,” says Sasaki. “That’s one reason why there’s so much emphasis on glass these days. The Primo V lenses bring the smooth, organic flavor of Primo lenses to the high-fidelity digital image. Our philosophy is to take what cinematographers love about the Primos, and update them for the digital world.” Recognizing that digital cameras require additional optical elements, including low-pass and IR filters to increase off-axis aberrations, Primo V lenses have been re-engineered to correct for this. Patent-pending modifications eliminate the coma, astigmatism and other aberrations introduced by the additional glass between the lens and the sensor, while preserving the desirable imaging characteristics of the Primo optics. The resulting image appears more balanced center-to-edge.
Primo V lenses are designed to work exclusively with digital cameras equipped with PL or Panavision 35 mount systems. (They cannot be used on film cameras.) The internal transports and mechanics of the Primo V lenses will retain the familiar Primo feel. Since the Primo V retains the essential Primo character, the imagery from Primo V and standard Primo lenses will intercut well. A set of Primo V Primes will include 14.5, 17.5, 21, 27, 35, 40, 50, 75 and 100mm focal lengths. “Filmmakers have embraced Panavision Primo lenses since their introduction 25 years ago,” notes Snyder. “Now the classic Primo look has been refined and optimized for use with the latest generation of 35mm sensor digital cameras.”