Canon PL Zooms

Canon is releasing a couple of PL mount zoom lenses. Some might think this is a step in a new direction for Canon but they had great success with their 16 format zooms back in the late 80’s in the form of a 11-165mm and 8-64mm that were based on some of their popular video lenses.The optics and core mechanics were transplanted into a cinema friendly housing. The lenses worked great and performed very well. You can still find them floating around rental houses and private owners basements since they only cover a very small 16mm film format.

Canon's previous 11-165mm S-16mm lens.

Canon’s new lenses will be native PL mount and will cover an image circle of 27.5mm which includes APS-C sensors. The RED One requires an image circle of 28mm so you’re pushing it there… It certainly won’t cover the Epic camera with a required 33.5mm image circle. I would be willing to bet the telephoto of the two would have a larger image circle as is the case with most lenses. The focal lengths are going to be 14.5-60mm T2.6 and a 30-300mm T2.9-3.7. The 14.5-60mm size will be a little smaller than an Angenieux 17-80mm but larger than I would care to hand hold. T2.6 is a nice aperture for the smaller zoom but the 30-300mm will ramp and nobody likes a zoom that ramps. 😦

If these two zooms are similar to Canon’s previous lens ventures, then they should perform very well optically and mechanically. I look forward to seeing these pups at NAB and bench testing them when they come to market. Good luck, Canon!

Published by

Matthew Duclos

A lens technician by trade, Matthew has spent his life servicing, refining, selling, manufacturing, and collecting cinema lenses from around the world.

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