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”→
Duclos Lenses recently announced a now program that offers customers the ability to bring their equipment in anytime for what is essentially routine check-up and maintenance. Any lens purchased from Duclos Lenses is eligible for two years from the date of purchase at no additional cost to the customer. This is great for users who shoot in harsh climates or rough conditions since they can simply bring their lens in to Duclos Lenses after a shoot and have it cleaned up, back-focus checked and calibrate, and evaluated for any potential damage done during the shoot. It’s like having your own personal lens tech to inspect your gear before and/or after every shoot. Considering Duclos Lenses has been servicing lenses for over a decade and has over 100 years of combined motion picture lens service experience, this is just another reason why Duclos Lenses is the premiere destination for professional motion picture optics. Continue reading “Proper Maintenance Is Critical For New Lenses”→
NAB 2013 is officially underway. Aubrey and I have begun scouring the show floor for interesting new bits of information pertaining to cinematography and more specifically, lenses. I’ll be dividing this post by manufacturer and will continue to update throughout the show. If you have any tips, please feel free to email them to me and I’ll go check out the details and see if I can get specific details from manufacturer reps. Enjoy! Continue reading “NAB 2013 Rolling Update”→
Canon wiggled their way into the professional cinema lens market with a few zooms and a trio of primes. Shortly after their initial line-up they added a wide and telephoto prime option to cap the end of their prime lens family. The line-up included a 14mm, 24mm, 50mm, 85mm, and 135mm. Not a bad set of primes, but the gap left between the 24mm and 50mm was painfully obvious. This week Canon has announced the development of a 35mm CN-E prime lens to add to their offering. Continue reading “Canon Fills Out Nicely With a New 35mm Cine Prime”→
The gentlemen at True Lens Service (TLS) in the UK displayed a fully functional prototype of their 18mm Cooke Speed Panchro at IBC last year which garnered a respectable amount of interest. But what about the rest of the set? If you’re not familiar with the Cooke Speed Panchros, they’re basically the standard by which other prime lenses were measured between the 1930’s and 1950’s. George Eastman estimated that approximately 90 percent of 16mm films shot during that time in America were using Cooke Speed Panchros. There have been several revisions of the Panchros in Series II and III which can be a bit confusing, kind of like Cooke as a company in general. Surely you’ve seen “Taylor, Hobson” “Taylor, Taylor & Hobson” “Rank, Taylor & Hobson” or just plain “Cooke”. They’re all the same lineage with an extremely rich history in photographic optics and industrial revolution. Cooke was a true innovator in their infancy and continues to produce motion picture optics that push the boundaries of quality. Enough with the history… The Speed Panchros are relevant here because they are notorious for producing beautiful images that are simply not duplicated in post production. They have a character to them that defined the “Cooke Look” and gave thousands of films a warm romantic feel that cinematographers, directors, and colorists strive to reproduce with lackluster results (most of the time).
It’s always nice to see two well established companies collaborating. Just ahead of NAB 2013, seeing Angenieux and Cooke work together is a perfect example. Cooke has a long history of making some amazing prime lenses. Angenieux sets the standard for motion picture zooms. Imagine the things they can do, combined. Just this morning, an announcement of just that, a collaboration, was released and the results are nothing short of excellent. Cooke will be offering a completely new line of anamorphic primes that will be about the same size and shape of their S4/i line of lenses, color matched with 5/i primes. Not to be outdone, Angenieux is releasing a professional anamorphic zooms lens to complete the Cooke prime line-up. Now you can have a complete set of primes and zooms, all anamorphic, all matched, all professional grade. Continue reading “Angenieux and Cooke Join Anamorphic Forces”→
Canon introduced their pair of lightweight zooms, 15.5-47mm and 30-105mm, about a year ago and they’ve had a bit of a rough start. They were introduced into an already saturated market where every other manufacturer had been making zoom lenses for decades. Canon is no newb when it comes to high-end cinema zooms. They had their line of S16 format zooms a few years back (remember 16mm film?) that were adapted from their long running and still successful video lens division. Everyone knows that Canon makes great lenses. Their L series is a perfect indication of high quality, professional glass. But in the recent past, there wasn’t really any professional cinema lens offerings from Canon. The new lightweight zooms were an excellent comeback! They had all the features I look for in a zoom lens. They are designed with simple, robust components throughout the lens. Plenty of focus marks on clean, simple barrels. Consistent T-stop of T2.8 throughout the zoom range. And just about every other feature of a professional cinema zoom lens. Continue reading “Canon Lightweight Zoom Universal Mount From Duclos Lenses”→
This post has been updated since it was first released to reflect up-to-date information including pre-order details (above).
One would assume that these full frame (FF) prime lenses are intended for still photographers, but there are a lot of features that will appeal to cinematographers just just as much as still photogs. I recently had the opportunity to review an early set of the Schneider Cine-Xenar III primes which I consider to be proper, classic cinema primes. Read the whole post here.At the moment the mid-range cine lens options include the likes of the Zeiss CP.2, Canon CN-E Primes, and a few others not worth mentioning. A bit of background on this class of lenses; the CP.2s are based on their lower-priced cousins, the ZF.2 photo primes. The CN-Es are also based on their lower-priced cousins, the L Series photo primes.
A recent report provided by Jon Fauer of FDTimes (source) have given us a sneak peak at Leica’s newest offering. Jon Fauer generously provides some prudent information on the upcoming set; The Summicron-C primes. Check out the original article with photos here.
Not to be confused with their top shelf Summilux-C primes. I expect these new Summicron-C primes to fall right in line with the current crop of mid-range, professional primes such as Cooke Mini S4/i, Schneider Cine-Xenar III, and Zeiss Ultra Primes. The Summilux-C primes offer exquisite quality with a maximum aperture of T1.4, whereas the newer, predictably smaller and cheaper Summicron-C primes will provide a maximum aperture of T2.0. (Update below) There is no mention of price just yet but I would imagine they will be competitive with the previously mentioned sets, perhaps a bit higher due to the notorious Red Dot. I’ll be sure to stay on top of this news and release any facts as I receive them. Subscribe!
An unconfirmed source has provided a price of $17,000 per lens which is a $8,000 decrease, per lens, from the high-end Summilux-C primes. This price difference is approximately what I expected. The case is similar to Leica’s other series of lenses. Summilux lenses can range from approximately 20%-40% higher than their Summicron brothers. A very interesting new set of primes indeed. Ill be sure to gather more information at NAB in April, if not sooner elsewhere.
LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., January 10, 2013 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, announces the new CN-E14mm T3.1 L F and CN-E135mm T2.2 L F single-focal-length lenses for large-format single-sensor cameras employing Super 35mm or full frame 35mm imagers. These two new lenses join with Canon’s CN-E24mm T1.5 L F, CN-E50mm T1.3 L F, and CN-E85mm T1.3 L F primes to provide a broad line of five precision-matched, competitively priced EF-mount Cinema prime lenses that provide high optical performance levels and a choice of versatile focal lengths for a wide range of creative shooting choices. All five Canon Cinema prime lenses are part of the Canon Cinema EOS System of professional digital cinematography products, which include the EOS C500 4K/2K Digital Cinema Camera, EOS C300 Digital Cinema Camera, EOS C100 Digital Video Camera and EOS-1D C 4K DSLR Cinema Camera, and four Canon Cinema zoom lenses. Continue reading “Canon Introduces Two Additions To Their Cinema Prime Line-Up”→