Not even six months ago, Rokinon announced a new line of cinema prime lenses deemed Xeen. This new prime lens set consisted of a 24mm, 50mm, and 85mm – intended to compete with the likes of Zeiss, Schneider, and Canon in terms of tech specs, features, and image quality. But there was no competition when it came to price. The Xeen primes halved the price of any of the aforementioned brands with little to no compromise elsewhere. Rokinon has filled in the obvious gaps with a 35mm T1.5 and a 14mm T3.1.
This announcement shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s been following the Xeen primes from the beginning. Not long after their initial release, Rokinon teased us all, promising three additional focal lengths throughout 2016. Now that we know the 14mm and the 35mm are among those three, we’re left wondering what that last focal length is. It’s not difficult to assume it will either be the 100mm Macro or the 135mm. I say this because all of the Xeen primes optical designs are based on their little cousin, the Rokinon Cine DS lenses. This approach to “upgraded housings” is nothing new to the industry as of late – with Zeiss and Canon offering a very similar solution in their CP.2 and CN-E line, respectively.
The 35mm T1.5 was the obvious addition as foretold by the awesome deal that Duclos Lenses ran through the 2015 holiday season – promising the yet-to-be-released 35mm T1.5 for free to all customers who purchases the existing 3-lens set (man is it hard to stay competitive with the massive retailers out there these days). Duclos Lenses not only gave their customers an unprecedented deal, but also a glimpse into the future of the Xeen line. Some speculated that the mystery wide-angle lens was going to be a 16mm – which may still happen in the future… But I, for one, am glad they went with the 14mm. While the 16mm is a bit faster, it’s only designed to cover Super 35 (APS-C) format whereas the 14mm covers Full Frame (can you say 8K Weapon…?).
With a 5-lens set ranging from 14mm to 85mm, the Rokinon Xeen Primes are quickly shaping up to be a formidable option for projects big and small. Be sure to check out the complete line of Rokinon primes from Duclos Lenses.