I first saw these lenses featured in an article over at Cinescopophilia.com who did a nice job reporting the facts. Basically, it looks like CineMatics is re-housing Zeiss ZE/ZF lenses for use on motion picture application. Similar to a Cine-Mod but larger and with more parts. The cost of these lenses really is pretty cheap, despite the title of the page over at CineMatics (“High Cost Customized Film Lens”). I could’t get a hold of anyone to provide some more accurate information regarding the details behind these new lenses. As far as I can tell, the lenses are not re-barreled, but just… Barreled. It looks like the original lens is left intact and the housings are added on top of the original lens. Not a bad thing, just curious. The CineMatics lenses look almost identical to Zeiss Compact Primes, but to the decreeing eye, are obviously very different. From what i can see on the photos provided on their site, the barrels are quite a bit larger than stock ZE/ZF lenses. This would help extend focus travel a little bit, but what puzzles me is that there are two follow focus gears in the photo. One larger gear toward the front of the lens and another small gear at the back that appears to be directly connected to the focus ring via set screws. At first glance, it appears to be the same construction as a CP.2 which would lead one to believe the smaller rear gear is an aperture ring but it doesn’t appear to be connected in any way. The site says they can add a aperture ring for an additional charge, I assume to ZF models only which already have an aperture control ring. It also notes that to remove the click-stops, there is another additional charge which tells me that the original aperture assembly is kept intact. I would love to see these lenses in person as they could be a good alternative to the much higher priced CP.2. The lenses do also come with the Zeiss warranty… Not sure how that works either. So these lenses are basically a more extensive, prettier Cine-Mod somewhere in-between ZF.2 and CP.2. If you want to have a set of professional looking lenses to impress your producer on set but don’t want to break the bank, these lenses might be a good choice for you.
15 thoughts on “CineMatics “High Cost Customized Film Lens””
Wait, they cost more than your cine-mod with less functionality (unless I pay an extra fee)? Good thing I don’t care about looks…
You are a a very kind guy, Matt. I’m pretty skeptical of these.
I try to see the positive in every situation. 😉
Sounds a lot like the P+S Technik 35Digital lenses. Which have been out for about 4 years. http://www.pstechnik.de/en/digitalfilm-35d-navi.php
Yup. Except, P+S Technik does everything well. I would choose the P+S lenses anytime.
What are the differences between the P+S lenses and the Duclos? Also, are the P+S lenses declicked?
P+S lenses are more a more thorough re-working. As far as I know, the optics and mechanics remain the same, as does the mount and aperture. It’s basically a heavier, larger version of what the Cine-Mod is from Duclos Lenses.
Koo, Yeah… I’m pretty sure thats a 28-70mm that they labeled as a 45-112mm assuming people would not understand the crop factor on a S35mm sensor. The other zoom on that page is simply a barreled 80-200mm Nikon, similar to our PL mount version.
So I contacted CineMatics and they basically said the 2 rings are for different throws. The short base ring will give the rotation similar to your cinemod but the big ring obviously lengthens the throw and would allow for more precise focusing. But the cost was around $300 or so for each lens. Nice idea but your cinemod is more logical: allows for filters more easily, less girth and weight on an already front heavy system, better cost. Hope this helps. Joey B.
So, is the focus gear rotation in the right direction? Still lenses are always reverse from video/still (always annoys me after shooting for 20 years and being “automatic” with my focusing). Just building out the still lens barrel doesn’t seem like it would change this.
I work in docs (mainly Fs7) in the UK and am looking for a reasonably priced wide angle zoom. All I really need is decent glass, par focal and aperture ring. The rest – ie accurate barrel info, working well with various follow focus etc isn’t an issue for me. Is there anything you would recommend that wouldn’t break the bank? Most people tend to yawn and somewhat contemptuously say you get what you pay for but the idea of Cinematics could work for me. Maybe. Anyway you seem like a rare combo of someone who knows a lot and isn’t arrogant with your advice! Cheers, Marcus