Skip to main content

DP Positive On Angenieux Lens

Rick SmoskyNEW YORK
My career as a director of photography and freelance cameraman has taken me all over the globe and has allowed me to see and record things that many people could only dream of experiencing. These have ranged from Presidential debates and inauguration to the Super Bowl, World Series and Olympics, and even shooting cheerleaders for swimsuit calendar videos.

I'm always traveling and may go from shooting a documentary in Europe on to California and the Academy Awards. This life on the road has provided me with an extraordinary education on the subject of production gear. Every day is a new adventure in a new environment and I have to depend on my gear. Two years ago, when I purchased a Panasonic HDX-900 HD camera, my intent was to purchase a Japanese-made HD zoom lens like the ones I'd been using for years. That was until I found myself looking at Thales Angenieux lenses at the NAB Show.


Their 19x7.3 BESMD HD lens made me reconsider my initial plan. This lens costs considerably less to own than comparable models and the specs are better. In a booth demonstration, it was very sharp, and in my opinion, noticeably sharper out to the edges of the frame than other lenses I'd researched. The lens also showed less chromatic aberration than the lens I was considering. These factors heavily influenced my decision to purchase the Thales Angenieux lens right on the show floor. Since the lens was not shipping yet, Angenieux further sealed the deal by offering me a loaner lens until my 19x7.3 lens was available for delivery.

Following delivery of the new lens, I've used it on many projects. What I appreciate most is how crisp and clear the images are. Also, the ability to focus down to 0.6 of a meter without going into macro is a really nice feature, and this is the only lens in this class that has this capability. When shooting interviews, I can focus up close when my subject is forced close to the camera and I can't move back any further.


I also came to appreciate the lens's physical size and ergonomic design. It weighs about 4 pounds, and balances nicely on the camera. Angenieux has since updated the lens's firmware for an increase in zoom speed. Now, not only is the zoom speed faster, but the lens also adjusts torque to compensate for zooming in hot or cold shooting conditions. This has proven an ideal solution when my travel schedule finds me in balmy Hawaii on one day and frigid northern Russia the next. With the limited amount of equipment I travel with, I need to have the most versatility when it comes to my gear. The combination of 7.3 mm wide angle coverage with short minimum object distance and a 19x zoom capability makes the 19x7.3 BESMD HD the perfect fit for nearly any shoot.

Without hesitation, I can say that the experience of owning my first Angenieux lens has been extremely positive and an impressive value for the money.

Rick Smosky is a freelance cameraman with more than 20 years of experience in news, sports, documentary, commercial and corporate productions. He may be contacted

For additional information, contact Thales Angenieux at 973-812-3858 or