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APOGEE Tests

 

Unlike many other lens sets used today in film and photography, the amount of tests, footage, and overall peer-to-peer evaluation of these lenses are scarce. Taking on and committing to this set for a production can seem risky without knowing what images these produce, how they work, and what to expect out of them. I've carefully taken into consideration these factors, and pulled together a comprehensive overview and test of these lenses. Below you will find a variety of image quality tests, important information, and my overall review of these lenses as a DoP and 1st AC. This page will be updated as more information and tests are shot and evaluated.


Sharpness

These simple tests show the sharpness of the lenses throughout the range. Consideration must be taken as wider lenses (such as the 28mm) need more cropping  to produce the same plate as the more telephoto lenses.

 

Center Focus

As you can see in this test, these lenses exhibit a sharp image throughout the standard aperture ranges. Like many vintage optics, a slight/soft/dreamy focus wide open is normal and apparent even in some of the most high end of vintage cinema optics. Additionally, the flares and feel of these lenses wide open are often sought after within a wide variety of production circuits.

 

Corner Focus

Taking a look at the upper left corner of the standard frame we see an interesting exhibition of soft/defocused edges, especially at an f/2. Reminiscent of ever-popular Kowa Anamorphic Prime set, the feel creates a pleasing soft vignette in images, but you will notice this is mostly diminished at an f/5.6.


Color

Checking lenses, especially vintage optics, for chromatic aberration and color replication is absolutely necessary in any lens evaluation. The design and optical composition of a lens is directly related how colors are refracted through the elements. What is interesting about the Apogee set is that it is a mix of vintage optics/coatings and modern optical elements and coatings. However, regardless of how modern or advanced optics become, aberrations exist in all lenses; and it is absolutely not a bad thing.

 

Color Chart

These tests were shot on an Alexa Mini at ProRes 422 HQ 4k in Log C. The only color correction done was converting the Log C image to Rec 709 in Premiere, and adjusting exposure to match plates. Shot at minimum focus of each of these lenses, you can get a feel for not only how the lenses reproduce color, but how each lens feels at it's minimum mark. Aside from the color aspect of this test, you can also notice the change in bokeh throughout the range

Richard Gale did an incredible job evaluating the historic base elements of these lenses and making sure that they all reproduce similar aberrations. You can notice that throughout the range, each lens reproduces color very similarly to one another.