Zeiss CP.2 Lenses Make DSLR Video Proficient

Zeiss got lucky with their ZF lenses several years back. They just happened to be in the right place at the right time when new VDSLR users were looking for a completely manual lens that wasn’t from the 1970’s. I do give Zeiss credit for jumping head first into the oncoming revolution and capitalizing on the versatility of the ZF lenses and releasing them in several mounts and even further the Compact Primes in PL mount. Now Zeiss is jumping in again and re-relieasing their Compact Primes with an interchangeable mount system that allows PL, Canon Eos, or Nikon F mount. This means you can have your cake and eat it too! It used to be that if a majority of your lenses were Nikon or Canon, you would pass up the nicer, more cinema oriented Compact Primes due to their beefy PL mount. But that’s no longer the case. Further more, I have seen tons of people requesting and attempting to put a PL mount on a Canon 5DII, 7D or a D300s or any other VDSLR for that matter. Now you really don’t need to. You have the gorgeous optics of the Zeiss ZF series in a housing with proper focus rotation, uniform dimensions, focus and iris gears, color matched glass and manual aperture. What more could you ask for? Oh, I suppose you could ask for faster lenses in the set. Zeiss is working on that too! Eventually nothing above f/2.8 in the set. Excellent.

A few features to look forward to:

  • Covers 35mm full frame
  • Available in EF, F, and PL
  • 300 degree focus rotation
  • 14 blade round aperture
  • Focus and iris gears
  • 8 Lenses from 18mm up to 85mm

Not much will change in the CP.2 series. The price will go down a bit but the lenses themselves will remain aesthetically , for the most part, the same. The interchangeable mount is a huge advantage, but don’t confuse it with something you order from ebay… The mount can and should be switched in proper conditions by a qualified technician. The flange depth is still critical and contamination is always a risk. So forget having your local machine shop hack up your 5DII and simply snatch up a CP.2 in EOS mount. The CP.2 series is due to begin shipping in May and the lenses will run with packages similar to that of the regular Compact Primes, set of any three or set of any six, but at a lower cost than the soon to be discontinued Compact Primes (CP.1 if you will).

7 thoughts on “Zeiss CP.2 Lenses Make DSLR Video Proficient

  1. This is pretty interesting for a Nikon/Red owner. Does the .2 moniker mean that these have cpu’s in them too?

  2. I stumbled on this blog from a link at delicious. Interesting article with many great points. I wanted to say thank you for taking time to create this information. Jody from New Jersey

  3. I’ve been trying to find out the major difference between the ZF lenses and the CP2. If it’s the same glass, what is it about the housing that warrants the price difference? Other than it would kill sales of their other compact prime sets. I promise I’m not being the “Ah! what a ripoff!!” guy, I just haven’t been able to find the details. I’ve been planning on getting the Duclos mods for the Zf lenses I’m getting, and based on the limited knowledge I have, other than focus rotation, and no PL option on the ZF, I can’t see much difference. Besides the more legit film making look you get from “big” lenses.

    1. Ok, so I guess I jumped the gun writing the above, I just read your article, Cine vs Still, so while I knew that majority of still lenses weren’t accurate, or made with motion in mind, I think I placed the Zf lenses, as great as they are for motion work, too high up in comparison with cine lenses.

      1. While it wasn’t Zeiss’ intention, think of the ZF lenses as cine lenses, modified or “dumbed down” for still use. They really bridge a gap between still and motion.

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