And here we are – our last day on the NAB 2016 show floor. We scoped out all the major lens manufacturers’ new gear, go out hands on some brand new tech and soon-to-be-released models. We spoke with some of our favorite lens makers to see what’s coming down the pipe. Overall, we’re less than enthused… Here’s our closing thoughts on the state of the motion picture lens industry as of NAB 2016.
If you didn’t already read them, go back and check out our previous NAB posts:
It seems that the ubiquitous conversation starter when you bump into someone you know at NAB is “so… did you see anything cool?”. This year, I struggled to find an answer to this question. In terms of cinema lenses, there really wasn’t much to speak of that broke the mold. I think the most interesting new product shown was the Fujinon Cabrio 20-120mm. From what I’ve seen of it, it’s poised to offer excellent image quality at a relatively affordable price.
If the price of the Cabrio is too rich for you, the new Canon 18-80mm Compact-Servo should interest you. It’s features are truly a hybrid of stills, cine, and ENG. While it lacks some of the features of a full-blown cinema lens like the Cabrio, it more than makes up for it in other features and price.
This year was big on anamorphic zooms. We saw some new primes from Arri and SLR Magic, but the zooms were most popular. Angenieux showed their new 44-440mm Optimo which is scheduled to begin shipping shortly (no more long waits from Angenieux). Cooke showed their 35-140mm anamorphic zoom as well which we’re quite excited to get our hands on. Cooke also tells us that this time next year, they’ll be showing their next anamorphic zoom model, the 45-405mm. P+S Technik presented a prototype of their 35-70mm anamorphic zoom. While it’s not a proper 2x anamorphic, it is rather lightweight and compact compared to the titans from Angenieux and Cooke, But can it perform alongside them?
To summarize: nothing revolutionary. To paraphrase Les Zellan: “we’re all bound by the same laws of physics”. So I don’t expect to see any major advancements in the world of exotic lenses. What I expect is more refined, usable mechanical design that allow cinematographers to use these tools in an environment where every second is invaluable. I expect tools that cinematographers can invest in and count on to create the images of their design.
Now back to our regular program with weekly updates and useful articles. We may skip our weekly news post this upcoming week since there’s plenty of NAB news to wrap your head around. Enjoy!