Keslow and Laowa team up for interchangeable flare versions of its full-frame Proteus lenses

Sep 14, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Keslow and Laowa team up for interchangeable flare versions of its full-frame Proteus lenses

Sep 14, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Laowa and Keslow Camera have jointly announced a new addition to the Laowa lens lineup today. “Proteus Flex”, as the new lenses are called, are a new “interchangeable flare” version of Laowa’s Proteus 2x anamorphic lenses (buy here).

The new Proteus Flex lenses use a modular design, comprising the Proteus main body with interchangeable flare modules. So, you no longer need to limit yourself to buying and sticking with one colour.

The Laowa Proteus 2x Anamorphic lenses announced in January 2023

The same lenses, but with new flare

Laowa’s Proteus 2x Anamorphic lenses were announced in January this year in 35mm, 45mm, 60mm and 85mm focal lengths with a maximum T2 aperture. At IBC 2023 in Amsterdam (which opens up tomorrow), the company is also showing off new 28mm and 100mm Proteus lenses. They’re designed for Super35 (APS-C) sized sensors but will cover full-frame sensors with the 1.4x extender.

At launch, each was available in three different flare options. There’s natural, amber and the traditional anamorphic blue. The new Proteus Flex lenses mean you won’t be stuck with that choice once you’ve acquired the lens.

You can swap the flare colour module out at will, depending on the needs of the shoot at the time you plan to use them. For those who regularly want differently coloured flare for different work, this should save a fortune.

Laowa says the new Proteus Flex lenses should perform just as well as the regular Proteus lenses. The interchangeable flare options should be easily swappable in about 10 minutes for a proficient lens tech, giving you quick access to all three visual looks.

Not available until 2024 – unless you want to rent

The companies have announced that Keslow Camera is the only place you’ll be able to get your hands on these lenses in the immediate future. And you won’t be able to buy them, only rent. Considering Keslow’s locations include major movie-making hotspots, I don’t think that will be an issue for them.

If you want to buy one, though, you’re going to have to wait until January 2024, when they’ll become available directly from Laowa themselves. At the moment, though, Laowa has not released a price for the new lenses.

The standard Proteus lenses announced in January cost around $5K each. If you want all three flare colours, that’s $15K per focal length. Laowa has some wiggle room to make Proteus Flex profitable for themselves while saving customers money.

Exactly whose favour those scales will tip towards, though, remains to be seen.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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