Case Study - The LadBible 'Magners'

Vintage Kowa Anamorphic lenses added an organic & textured feel to this 'walk & talk' promo doc



Case Study - The Ladbible 'Magners'

Director:  Jonathan Harris
DOP:  Mark Cobb

The LadBible Group got in touch recently to hire equipment for a series of short promo documentaries on behalf of Strongbow/Magners. Both the DOP and Director were after a particular look for the project and chose an Arri Alexa Mini 4:3 / Kowa Prominar Anamorphic shooting package.

We've upgraded all of our Alexa Minis with the 4:3 & ARRIRAW licenses opening up even more possibilites with what might just be currently - the world's most versatile camera..?? (There i've said it.....). Our set of Kowa Anamorphic lenses hail from Japan in the 1970s (used to great streaky effect on Straight Outta Compton..). Due to their compact size they are a great option for shooting handheld with a lightweight rig, especially for a 'walk & talk' documentary shoot such as this. The optical design and coating type of the Kowas is a total contrast to the new wave - Arri's Master & Cooke Anamorphics - heavy flaring, distortion, breathing and softness rather than hindering a project's look can be used to great creative effect on today's digital cinema cameras.

Some words below from Mark along with links to the finished pieces. Visually very lovely indeed i think you'll agree..!


For us, the most important part of shooting these 3 mini docs for Magners and lad bible was creating an organic and textured feel to the image and not creating an image too sterile. Second most important for us was ease and speed of workflow from shooting to edit, and it was a no brainer to choose Alexa. I chose to use No Dramas Vintage Kowa Prominar Anamorphic set. Jonathan Harris (Director) and I have worked with these lenses before and love the distinctive look they bring to the table. Our go to focal lengths were the 40mm and the 75mm. The 40mm giving us just enough barreling to not be too distracting, and the 75mm being our go to portrait lens. Other than the excellent standout vintage optics, the Kowas are so lightweight and small in size, perfect for a walk and talk documentary looking to stand out visually.
As Weight being a concern we decided to shoot on the Alexa Mini with anamorphic license, and it was a perfect combination with the lightweight Kowas. Having built in ND's is a great plus.

It's a setup we all got on with and would use time and time again.



The Man In The Mask 

The Girl And The Beat 



Thanks to Callum @ The LadBible and Mark & Jonathan for helping us with this article.