Veydra, First To Offer M4/3 Cinema Primes

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUntil now, shooting cinema on a Micro 4/3 camera meant you were using still photo lenses or lenses that were adapted or modified for motion picture use. The new Veydra Mini Primes are the first lenses to be built from the ground up as motion picture cinema lenses specifically for the Micro 4/3 platform. Considering the super shallow flange depth and tiny sensor size of Micro 4/3, the options for adapting lenses is almost limitless. But what if you’re using a Blackmagic or Panasonic GH4 in a professional environment and don’t have time to fiddle with adapters or down-time for vintage lens repair? The Veydra Mini Primes seem to be filling a gap that no one else has with a purpose built Micro 4/3 cinema lens.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Let’s check out some of the features of the new Veyrda Mini Primes. The first four primes to be shipped will be a 16mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, all T2.2, with a 12mm to follow shortly after.  You’ll find a common 80mm front diameter on each lens with a 77mm filter thread. The lens bodies are all made from billet aluminum, anodized black with a traditional helix based focus movement. Standard 32-pitch focus and iris gears all share the same position from the mount making swapping a breeze. Smart and dumb side witness marks can be found on traditional motion picture style focus and iris scales. The iris scale does get a bit cramped towards full closed, but the more usable, wide-open end is well spaced. The focus marks are decent – towards infinity, the marks are spaced nicely, but the distances engraved can be a bit far apart. That said, the quantity and spacing of the focus marks near close focus are adequate and plentiful. The housings are all constant volume meaning there is no telescoping effect while racking focus – something most still photo lenses will not offer.

One of the most common struggles for Micro 4/3 shooters is the dreaded crop factor introduced by smaller format cameras. The Veydra Mini Primes will offer a convenient range of focal lengths that will compensate for the smaller format. The crop factor is approximately 2x making the field of view equivalent to that of a 24, 32, 50, 70, and 100mm when compared to 35mm Full Frame setups.

The Veydra Mini Primes use all new glass with some of the longer focal lengths deriving their optical design from C-Mount lenses. All five lenses will have a 10-bladed aperture. Unlike other lens options currently available for the Micro 4/3 format, the Mini Primes are designed specifically for motion picture work. While their common aperture of T2.2 is respectable, there are certainly faster options available. Primarily, the Voigtlander Nokton Cine-Mod primes which feature a maximum aperture of f/0.95. Sure, that’s fast… But comparing image quality between the two is pretty telling. Check out some quick tests below.

 

veydra-resolve

Looking at the 100% crop between the two, you won’t see too much difference but the Veydra does have a slight advantage in terms of micro contrast and resolution. In the center of the image, you can expect 200 lp/mm throughout the set of Mini Primes, tapering off to 150 – 100 lp/mm in the corners depending on the focal length. There’s practically no focus breathing and distortion is very well controlled. Throughout the pre-production set that I tested, tolerances were held well in terms of alignment.

 

Angle
of View*
Equiv
FOV**
Image
Circle
Focus
Rotation
Front
Dia
Filter
Threads
Aperture
T-Stop
Close
Focus
Weight
(grams)
12mm 71.6° 24mm TBD 300° 80mm 77mm 2.2 – 22 8″ 544
16mm 56.8° 32mm 26mm ⌀ 300° 80mm 77mm 2.2 – 22 8″ 546
25mm 38.2° 50mm 31mm ⌀ 300° 80mm 77mm 2.2 – 22 10″ 499
35mm 27.8° 70mm 31mm ⌀ 300° 80mm 77mm 2.2 – 22 11″ 473
50mm 19.6° 100mm 33mm ⌀ 300° 80mm 77mm 2.2 – 22 15″ 461
* Horizontal Angle of View (Horizontal, Micro 4/3 format)
** When compared to 35mm Full Frame (36mm x 24mm)

 

Now on to the dollar signs… A good entry level cinema lens these days will run you about $4,000. Sure, you could consider the $400 price tag of a Rokinon, but we’re talking about something designed and manufactured to a much higher degree. The Veydra Mini Primes will come in around $900 per lens or the set for about $3,695 for the initial 4-lens set of 16, 25, 35, 50mm. This puts the price of the entire set of Veydra Mini Primes right around the cost of a single cinema prime lens. Not a bad deal if you ask me. The 4-lens set will begin shipping January 2015 with the 12mm shipping around June 2015.

The lenses are currently available through a Kickstarter Campaign at a generous discount. If you’d rather wait and see how these lenses do in the real world, you’ll be able to purchase them directly from Duclos Lenses as well.

Published by

Matthew Duclos

A connoisseur of fine motion picture lenses, Matthew has spent over half his life servicing, refining, selling, manufacturing, and collecting cinema lenses from around the world. Chief Operating Officer of Duclos Lenses and Founder of TheCineLens.com, Matthew has been contributing to the motion picture industry for over 15 years, and to this site for over 5 years.

38 thoughts on “Veydra, First To Offer M4/3 Cinema Primes”

        1. There are optical differences such as compensation for focus breathing – something that still lenses don’t consider, image stability is another major concern that traditional auto focus still lenses simply don’t account for.

  1. SLR Magic have had their Cine version of their Hyper Primes for a while, but were never designed as cinema lenses. The same could be said for Rokinon and even Zeiss with their CP.2 primes. I’m not saying that these aren’t still great options for cinema, but simply that they weren’t designed as a cinema lens which DOES make a pretty big difference.

    1. Thanks for the info Mathew!

      I was looking at purchasing a set of the Voigt Nokton cine-mod lenses to use with the GH4. I’m curious about your findings with micro contrast and resolution. Does this mean that the Veydra lenses will actually resolve more detail when compared to the Voight?

      The GH4 footage is already overly sharp in my opinion, the Voight lenses seem to help with that by softening the footage a little.

      1. @Roberto Mettifogo – Thanks for your response, but I’m not sure I’m understanding what you’re trying to say, can you elaborate on your comment. “They are softer because the body in case of unknown lens (no chip) doesn’t apply any digital sharpening.”

        1. Sure, any panasonic lens has electronic contacts with the GH series camera so the body knows what lens is installed and before saveing the images it applies a series of corrections (vignette, digital sharpening, barrel distortion etc…), if you tape the contacts and try you’ll see different results, that’s why panny are so sharp, it’s digitally sharpened in post before writing the file. When you use other manual lenses the image is recorded as is.

  2. Cinema mechanics aside, how do the Veydra primes stack up optically against the Panasonic Lumix G Vario f/2.8 12-35mm and 35-100mm zooms? The Vario G’s look really good to me, even if they don’t rack focus predictably.

    My only other optical-quality reference is Nikon glass via SpeedBooster onto my GH4, which look good also and gain me a stop. My 50mm f/1.8 Nikkor becomes, what, f/1.2 and is still compact, gives me aperture control and is lightweight. The 70-200 f/2.8 Nikon Zoom…well, that’s a beast. But works well.

    Thanks for your efforts, by the way. Really appreciate your time and dedication.

    1. Dan, I don’t think I’ve used that particular lens, the Panasonic 12-35mm. In terms of simple resolution, they’re probably not too dissimilar. But compare aspects such as distortion, focus breathing, focus accuracy, speed, and other factors, and just about any cinema lens will beta out a Panasonic lens, hands down.

  3. Great idea! I like the design, reminds me the old super16 Ziess super speed primes T1.3. I think one extra stop of light could’ve been helpful with this smaller format, even if it made it softer wide open.

    Also, wouldn’t have been better to compare to super35 focal lengths? It’s not clear to me why comparing Cinema lenses to still photography lenses focal lengths? In my head “normal” lens is 32mm or 35mm, wide is more like 18mm or 16mm etc.

  4. I do not understand people who buy it … We have Samyang lenses. And Samyang is a serious company. They make cheap cinema lenses with good quality. But they cover the full frame sensor! Samyang manufactures lenses for all mounts, but why buy a M43 lens when you can buy FF + M43 adapter or metabones speedbooster. And it will be cheaper than these weird chinese Veydra lenses and you can use them on all Nikon, Canon, Sony, Samsung, Panasonic and other cameras.

    If you use BMPCC with Nikon F mount lenses:

    1) Samyang 50mm T1.5 $ 449
    2) Samyang 35mm T1.5 $ 429
    3) Samyang 85mm T1.5 $ 289
    4) Samyang 24mm T1.5 $ 589
    5) Samyang any wide lens (8mm, 10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 16mm) $ 269 – $ 579
    6) Metabones Speedbooster for BMPCC $ 489 (for Super35 cinematic process)
    7) Nikon F to M43 adapter – less than $ 100 (to shot with native crop)

        total: $ 2,900

    The price may be lower if you buy some Bower or Rokinon lenses (these are the same Samyang lens, but under a different name). I use Nikon mount here, couse i find it most universal. And speedbooster for Canon EF is over $150 than Nikon F speedbooster.

    Now look at Veydra. It is $4900 for only 5 lenses, and you can use it ONLY with M43 cameras! And you will not find information about which optical schemes are used, what technologies, what glass. But Samyang has 8 aperture blades, Veydra has 10 aperture blades. All the same these lenses are overpriced.

        1. yup it’s higher price now, thanx for the update.

          Samyang cine, I have them all, I use them on BMCC and Eos 5DmIII, very high image quality, no doubt and this is the most important aspect, but, the barrel build quality is bottom line, the focus scale is not calibrated and very offset with the real distances, the front diameter is not equal in all lenses, I don’t like this when I work with mattebox, it’s a waste of time to set it up, the 14mm has fixed sun shader.. nonsense for a cine lens imho and makes it har to mount a follow focus when also using a mattebox (no space enough).

          Veydra lenses imho are a very good solution for BMCCm43 or GH4 with Shogun.. no adapters needed…

          As Matthew says the market offers a lot of solutions, Veydra solution were missing so I’m happy that now it’s available.

    1. This is an argument that people have been making for the past 100 years. Why pay so much. Why so expensive. You don’t need Zeiss. Use this. Use that. It’s all a matter pf preference. The fact is that we are all lucky enough to live and work in an industry that gives us options. Options to choose the tools that best suit the needs of the user. Sure, the Rokinon/Samyang lenses are cheaper – but the price is so low for a reason. The same goes for any cinema lens – you get what you pay for. I’ve spent over a decade explain gin to people why cinema lenses cost so much and trying to explain the differences. What I’ve come to learn is that some people simply don’t care for quality and just want the tool that will get the job done. Point is – choose the tool that works best for you, and the only way to know what tool is best for you is to try it yourself.

    2. You can’t use FF lenses with a MFT sensor. That’s why they make MFT lenses….
      I would suggest putting a few of your FF lenses on a GH4, or Pana AF100 and
      then see how impossible it is to get anything in critical sharp focus! YOU CAN’T!

      Nikkor DX (17-55mm f/2.8 zoom) or Tokina Pro DX (50-135mm f/2.8 zoom) and Nikkor 50mm
      f/1.8 AI-S Prime Lenses work the best!. (Super sharp with no cropping issues.)
      The newer Rokinon MFT lenses won’t be an issue with sharp focus. But stay away from
      any lens that is Full-Frame! And stay away from Speed boosters!

      Veydra’s are obviously the best and the best priced “Real” Cine Primes for MFT.
      I plan on buying the entire Veydra set next month! They are a good investment!

  5. Roberto Mettifogo: “Veydra lenses imho are a very good solution for BMCCm43 or GH4 with Shogun.. no adapters needed…”

    1) GH4 ————— $1,697.99
    2) Shogun ———– $1,995.00
    3) Veydra set ——- $4,895.00

    total: 8,587.99

    AJA CION 4K RAW 120 fps is $8,995 ;P

    But seriously, I do not mean that Veydra – bad lenses. I mean they are overpriced. This cat in the bag. We have not seen the real test of these lenses, what to speak about their quality. And here is inappropriate to compare the price of the Zeiss with Veydra. Zeiss is a company with an excellent reputation and long history. This is a super brand. And even Samyang has more than 40 years of history. But what is Veydra? Its founder Ryan Avery is not a film director, not cinematographer, not engineer in optics. He is a marketer and seller. Now look at Veydra site. Oh, how much information there! “Veydra is a premium cinema lens brand born from over 40 years of combined cinema industry design and marketing experience.” Haha! Really?!

    I hope that Veydra will be great lenses. And I am sure that they will find a buyer. But the price of $ 900 per 1 lens … Are they so good for noname company? … I think that guys from Veydra just took advantage of the excitement around amateur cinema. ;P

    Haha. Guys, ofcourse i will buy these lenses too…)

    1. That is a rather poor comparison. For $9k you can get a camera, lenses, and a recorder… or a camera body that is nothing more than a large paperweight until you spend thousands more to make it shoot-worthy. What lenses would you put on that Cion? It is PL so expect to pay the same cost as the entire set of Veydras PER LENS for the Cion. It also comes with no EVF; so tack that on as well. Batteries at $400 a pop? SSD as well…. etc. etc.

      It’s just such an inapt comparison. It’s like saying “why buy a honda civic that I can drive off the lot when I can pay the same amount for the unpainted frame of a corvette?”

  6. There are differences between ‘cinematographer’ and ‘photographer who shot moving pictures’ 🙂

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