Canon is really making waves in the professional motion picture world. They have the manufacturing breadth and experience to produce some really high quality products. Professionals have been a bit slow to adopt the new system of cinema cameras and lenses – but it looks like things are picking up. …way up.
In a recent press release, Canon discusses their products being used on an upcoming IMAX film. Check out the press release below.
If you haven’t already, you should grab a copy of P3 Update. After you do that, check out a neat article by James Thompson, that explores what choosing a lens means these days and why shooters make the decisions they do. With feedback from industry professionals such as Richard Crudo, ASC, Steven Poster, ASC, and Jon Nelson, it’s a nice article that I feel taps into the direction that the motion picture lens industry is going in that you need to find what works best for you and the only way to do that is experience.
Take anyone of these lenses from any manufacturer, off any shelf in any rental house in the world, and I guarantee it will deliver an amazing image,” says Cinematographer Richard Crudo, ASC (“Justified”). “But, what does that tell us? Is it the right feel? Is it the right texture? Is it the right thing for what you are trying to do? And, that you only know when you have a script in hand and a director to talk about it with.” That chat with a director will also cover the subject of resolution. “We’re already at 4K resolution, which is more than the human eye can handle,” explains Crudo. “The only thing that really changes is apparent contrast at that point. [Manufacturers] should be worrying more and putting all their R&D into bit depth and color space [and] black level. That is where we really need to work, capturing highlights [and] the high-end of the spectrum.
Duclos Lenses has developed a conversion process for the Canon Cinema Eos CN-E Primes that provides a high quality, stainless steel PL mount that allows the primes including the 14mm, 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, and 135mm to be used with any PL mount camera. Continue reading “Canon CN-E PL Primes From Duclos Lenses”→
Not to be outdone by other recent announcements from Canon and Fujinon, Angenieux announced today a new line of Optimo Style lenses that will be added to their extensive, respectable line of professional zoom lenses. The press release details the new lenses as a 16-40mm and a 30-76mm. The two new lenses with be offered with or without their new Angenieux Servo Unit (ASU). No word on the speed of the lenses just yet but it’ll likely be between T2.6 and T2.8. If you’re familiar with Angenieux’s current line of Optimo (15-40mm and 28-76mm) and Optimo DP (16-42mm and 30-80mm) lenses, it may sound like the new Optimo Style line is simply another variation on their existing lenses. The Optimo DP 16-42mm and 30-80mm will be discontinued as individual lenses and available in pairs tuned from the factory as a 3D package. The new Optimo Style lenses will also feature interchangeable mounts in Arri PL, Canon EF, and Panavision flavors. Both new Optimo Style lenses will weigh in at a very nice 4.2 lbs. – almost half the weight of other “lightweight” zooms available. Angenieux goes into more detail noting that these lenses are tailored for high standards of UHD 4K production and will be available Summer 2014.
Other bits included in the press release simply cover existing lenses, shipping soon the new 25-250mm Optimo and their now shipping 56-120mm S2 Anamorphic Zoom. One other detail new to the press release is the Angenieux Servo Unit (ASU) which Angenieux had mentioned about a year ago but has just now officially announced it. the ASU will work with all of the lightweight Optimo lenses. This now makes three manufacturers who have jumped aboard the CinENG train. (I just made that up: Cine + ENG = CinENG get it?) The (ASU) provides control of zoom, focus and iris and is compatible with broadcast remote handles, cinema remote controls and wireless remotes. It generates lens metadata based on the Cooke/i technology protocol. The ASU and lenses are matched and calibrated at the factory.
Read the full press release below and check back often for live updates from NAB where we’ll find out what the real details are behind the new Optimo Style line of lenses. New optics? Rebranding? Either way, Angenieux has a reputation all over the world for making top-notch cinema zooms.
Press Release from Angenieux
Thales Angénieux Debuts New Optimo Style Lens Series at NAB
Charting New Course for 4K and Beyond Live TV and Mid-Budget Cinema Productions
Las Vegas, NV (April 4, 2014) – Inspired by the escalating demands for cinematic quality content to meet the rise of multimedia viewing and the trend of Ultra definition television, Thales Angénieux is introducing their new Optimo Style Series of zoom lenses. The family features three zooms – two hand-held and one full size — and provides focal length from 16mm-250mm with ability to lengthen the range with a 2x extender. The two lightweight zooms are also available with the optional Angénieux lens servo motorization system.
“A wider spectrum of production content is migrating to a cinematic look with 4K quality and that trend requires equipment which is adaptable to a large variety of cameras, configurations and budgets,” said Pierre Andurand, President and CEO, Thales Angénieux. “The all-new Optimo Style Series addresses those needs and provides a benchmark for quality and price/performance. It takes into consideration the industry’s most stringent requirements for ergonomics and versatility for live TV recording. Angénieux is going to exceptional lengths to ensure the first deliveries of this new lens line will be made in Summer 2014.”
The 16-40mm and 30-76mm zoom lenses are extremely light weight at only 4.2 pounds each, allowing perfect camera balance for on the shoulder or hand- held configurations. The 25-250mm lens, weighing 16 pounds, is an all-purpose zoom featuring the
desirable 25mm wide angle position and a 10x zoom range to meet a variety of production needs. This lens was previously introduced at IBC 2013 branded Optimo DP.
The Optimo Style series is fully compatible with the latest generation of digital cameras and provides the unique cinematic look of the Optimo line at an affordable price. The lenses additionally feature an easily interchangeable mount (PL, Canon EF, Panavision) for full compatibility with a wide variety of cameras.
The Angénieux Servo Unit (ASU) provides control of zoom, focus and iris and is compatible with broadcast remote handles, cinema remote controls and wireless remotes such as Preston or others upon request. It generates lens metadata based on the Cooke/i technology protocol. To help ensure flawless performance, the ASU and lenses are matched and calibrated at the factory. The ASU will additionally be available as an option for all the Optimo Lightweight Cine Zooms including the Optimo Style 16- 40 and 30-76 and the Optimo 15-40, 28-76mm and 45-120mm lenses.
Here at Duclos Lenses we’ve devised this somewhat satirical guide for buying new cinema lens. Take a gander and see what lens you come up with. Post your results in the comments and five winners will be chosen at random at the end of the week to receive some cool lens geek swag including shirts, hats, cleaning kits, etc.
This guide is all in good fun, but if you really do want some professional advice, contact Duclos Lenses.
I know… There’s been a few wallpaper posts lately. It’s because we’re gearing up for NAB which is right around the corner. If you’re not familiar with NAB – you should be. It’s an annual convention that takes place in Las Vegas where manufacturers and vendors come together from all over the world. There’s tons of antenna companies and manufacturers who make blink light panels that I have no idea how to use but have to walk by to get the the lenses…
All you really need to know is that NAB is basically Christmas morning for lens geeks like us. Stay tuned for some very exciting lens news straight from the show floor and giveaways from Duclos Lenses. In the meantime, enjoy this 4K photo of a Leica Summicron-C 25mm – she’s a beaut.
The Summicron-C prime lenses from Leica were introduced at NAB 2013. With 2014 right around the corner, Leica is gearing up to deliver their new Summicron-C primes very soon. But how has Leica gone about producing these new lenses in a way that benefits the Leica brand as well as the cinematographer considering them as a prime lens option? There are plenty of questions that this new set of prime lens demands answers to. We’ll take a look at their performance specs, and image characteristics here. Continue reading “Leica’s Summicron-C Primes Are Coming!”→
Several months back, Canon held an event at their Hollywood HQ showcasing their complete line of Cinema Eos products, but focused on (pun intended) their cinema lenses. There were a couple of speakers; one ,who’s name escapes me at the time of writing this, coming from a new-age cinematographers point of view talking about the benefits of modern image sensor technology and compact, lightweight style shooting – and the other, Larry Thorpe. If you’re not familiar with Larry Thorpe, he’s basically a guru of all things image acquisition. He’s worked for RCA, Sony, and now Canon. One may jump to the conclusion that he loves Canon lenses so much simply because it’s his job being a marketing exec. at Canon… But Larry is truly passionate about his work and optics in particular and it shows.
Larry’s presentation at the Canon event revolved mainly around optics and discussed current and future technologies. Canon released a PDF which essentially mirrors Larry’s presentation at the event that I’ve linked here. Give it a read and see why Canon is making waves in the industry with their cinema optics. See the PDF below.
Tired of guessing which lenses will and won’t cover a specific sensor? Stress no more, I’ve revised the Image Circle Database that so many of you have been asking for. It’s an ongoing project that I update periodically as lenses come through the shop (there’s a lot of them). With the rate that manufacturers are designing and releasing new lenses, this database will be updated as a downloadable PDF often. If there is a specific lens you would like researched for image circle, please list it below in the comments. The Database is going to stick to primarily cinema lenses or at least those used for cinema often. Check out the details below. Continue reading “The Image Circle Database Is Back!”→
Schneider has, quite possibly, the most anticipated new cinema prime lenses soon to be available. Announced and revealed April 2013, the original set of three Schneider Xenon-FF primes which included at 35mm, 50mm, and 75mm, all with a consistent T-stop of 2.1, the Xenons are unique in that they are purpose built cinema prime lenses with a 35mm (24x36mm) format coverage at a very attractive price around $4k per lens. Feedback for the initial three was well received by Schneider with a return promise of more focal lengths. The initial three lenses are due to begin shipping Q4 2013, just a few months away, and Schneider already announced their follow-up focal lengths including a 25mm and 100mm, both T2.1. The two new primes offer an excellent complete set of primes all at T2.1 with excellent size and weight, not to mention Arri PL, Canon EF, or Nikon F mount. Schneider also hinted at a few more focal lengths to come including a macro and other focal lengths. This set of five primes is sure to be a hit among professional operators looking to own their own set of cinema prime lenses. Perhaps the perfect transition lenses for those coming from DSLR cinematography, and even those looking for a professional set of primes that doesn’t weigh a ton. Continue reading “Schneider Adds More Xenon Focal Lengths Ahead of Launch”→
Just ahead of IBC, Zeiss revealed their expected wide-angle Compact Zoom lens which fills out the CZ.2 line of lenses, which now offers coverage from 15mm all the way to 200mm with just three zoom lenses. Zeiss goes on to detail a few features of the new zoom such as it’s compatibility with the other CZ.2 zooms in terms of color matching and performance, as well as it’s 35mm full frame coverage and interchangeable mount system. The speed of the zoom is a T2.9 which matches the other two zoom in the set, the 28-80mm and 70-200mm. Zeiss mentions a release date of April 2014 for this lens. Let’s hope they can keep up with demand. The 28-80mm which was supposed to begin shipping in June 2013 has yet to make a public appearance. Check out the complete article from Zeiss which also provides some details of their upcoming Master Anamorphic 100mm. Original Article >
Zeiss has spent the last three years working on a new line of high-end SLR lenses that many shooters are getting very excited about. The first lens to be released will be the 55mm f/1.4 – a perfect place to start considering the lacking results of the current 50mm f/1.4 ZF.2/ZE. They aren’t meant to replace the current line of ZF.2/ZE primes, but to offer an even higher level of quality. Zeiss claims that this new line of lenses will be unrivaled.
In this phase, all the details have to be right,” explains Casenave. “The variations in optical quality should be almost zero: every customer has to get exactly the same quality level. Also, in the product design there are a number of minor details that should be optimized. They are truly minor, but they make the difference to a standard product. Here again there should be nearly no variation from production.
In terms of still photo lenses, that’s a pretty believable claim. But stacking these new high-end primes up against the likes of motion picture optics such as Leica Summilux-C and Zeiss Master Primes will be a true test once they are available. Duclos Lenses will be very anxious to apply the Cine-Mod™ process to these new beauties as soon as they are available. Be sure to check back often for delivery and pricing updates. Read the entire blog post from Zeiss here.
Erik Naso did a nice write-up and video on the Canon CN-E prime lenses that includes a lot of facts and some useful opinions. I agree with pretty much everything he has to say about the Canon CN-E primes so check out his perspective. If this video doesn’t convince you that the Canon cinema primes are a great option, swing by Duclos Lenses to try them for yourself.
So you bought a new Sony F5 or even better, an F55. Or you’re upgrading from a 5D to a C100 or C300. You’re Red Epic needs some better glass for the upcoming Dragon sensor. Regardless, congrats. Now you need some lenses to get the best performance out of your new camera. But where do you start? I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s a new camera almost every month these days. Sensor tech continues to improve and grow. However, lenses are a lifetime investment. Unless you jumped on the 2/3″ train and bought some lenses that are useless now you may have also noticed that a set of, now vintage, classic Zeiss Super Speeds is still $50k and they’re almost 40 years old!!! Let’s explore some options that won’t break the bank and still give you some amazing performance. Continue reading “2013 Cine Prime Lens Buyers Guide”→