The DSLR Revolution is in full swing at the moment and everyone is scrambling to get the glass they love on the camera they are stuck with. It doesn’t sound too difficult to simply change a piece of metal, but there are a lot of things to consider when attempting to change a mount. After-all, lenses are a precision tool, naturally. Lens and camera manufacturers all have their own mount system which specifies a flange depth, the distance from the mount flange to the film/sensor plane. When this number is accurate, the image that the lens produces falls on the sensor in perfect focus. Move it forward or backward by the smallest amount (.0005″) and your collimation will be completely off, throwing out your focus marks and destroying the accuracy of a lens, especially a zoom lens. All of the different SLR camera manufacturers had a similar theory and design, but just slightly different numbers for the flange depth. Wouldn’t it be great if they all agreed on a standardized mount that would allow any lens to be used on any camera? Yeah, it would be great. But that’s not how it works.
If you frequent my website, you are surely familiar with the Zeiss ZF.2 line of lenses. They are considered the high end of DSLR lenses in terms of quality and price, unrivaled german engineering. But recently, a new crop of cheap-o lenses have made their way across the ocean and are really giving Zeiss a run for it’s money. Continue reading “Showdown: Rokinon Vs. Zeiss”
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 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!
Before you get too excited, a “universal mount” in the motion picture industry is not universal. The universal mount is what is used on lenses such as the Cooke 20-100mm or 25-250mm, and more recently on the Angenieux 24-290mm. It’s simply a sub-mount with a threaded rear that allows several different mounts to be attached, most commonly a PL or Panavision mount. These were fairly common on professional zoom lenses in the 80s, 90s, and 00s. Now, wouldn’t it be awesome if you could put a classic Cooke 25-250mm on a Canon 7D? Yes. Yes it would be awesome. Please observe the awesomeness: