Thales Angénieux is a manufacturer of precision lenses for cinema and television production, as well as specific products for surveillance and security applications.
Thales Angénieux is a subsidiary of the Thales Group, and based in Saint Etienne, France. The company has 400 employees and earns more than 70% of its revenues through export. The company has offices in the United States, Singapore and New Delhi and is backed up by a worldwide network of 50 distributors.
Recognized in 1964/1989 and 2008 in Hollywood by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in 2005 by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and in 2012 by the Society of Camera Operators, Angénieux zoom lenses are appreciated everywhere in the world by the most demanding image professionals, whether for shooting feature-length films, commercials, music videos, television series or documentaries.
The company was founded in 1935 by Pierre Angénieux. As well as revolutionizing the methods of optical calculation, Angénieux invented the retrofocus principle, which allowed for the use of a wide-angle lens on a single-lens reflex system. He also designed the first mechanical-compensation zoom lens suitable for mass production.
The company was purchased by Thompson/CSF—which would become Thales—in 1993. The group gave renewed momentum to the company, especially in the defense and surveillance fields. Angénieux left the photography market but carried on its activities for cinema and television and kept developing a whole range of lenses designed for ENG, field production and outside broadcast as well as surveillance cameras. In the decade starting 2000, the range of television lenses was upgraded for HD production, and the Optimo product line of zooms lenses was created. Today, the Angénieux Optimo and Optimo Style lines for 35mm sensor cameras perfectly meet TV and Cinema needs for 4K and beyond productions.