2014, Year of the Servo Lenses

20140411-183725.jpgFujinon started a trend when they took their professional mid-range cinema zooms and slapped on a servo unit borrowed from their Broadcast Division. The result was the very successful 19-90mm Cabrio zoom, followed shortly by the 85-300mm Cabrio and just recently the 14-35mm Cabrio. During NAB 2014, or as I call it, Spring Christmas, Angenieux, Canon, and Zeiss all announced lenses with servo units in various practical applications. Credit where credit is due, Fujinon started it… Continue reading “2014, Year of the Servo Lenses”

Fujinon Steps Up With 12x Zoom 25-300mm

Fujinon Steps Up With 12x Zoom 25-300mm

25-300mmRight on the heels of Canon’s newst announcement of their 17-120mm Cine-Servo zoom, Fujinon drops a bombshell with their newest addition to the Cabrio line of lenses: a 25-300mm. Fujinon’s press release doesn’t specify a T-stop, but a photo clearly shows an aperture ring with a T3.5 maximum marking. Not bad for a 12x zoom range. Fujinon says the lens will begin shipping in June but the servo unit won’t be available until Q3.

Updated Specs
MSRP $44,000
Camera Format PL Mount
Focal length 25 – 300 mm
Zoom Range 12 ×
Maximum Photometric
Aperture T-No.
1 : 3.5 (25-273mm)
1 : 3.85 (300mm)
Iris Blades 9
Focus Rotation (degrees) 280
Zoom Rotation (degrees) 120
M.O.D. from image plane 1.2 m / 3′ 11″
Object dimensions at M.O.D.
9 Aspect ratio*
25 mm   937 × 527 mm
300 mm   77 × 43 mm
Angular field of view
16 : 9 Aspect ratio*
25 mm   57°32′ × 34°19′
300 mm   5°14′ × 2°57′
Macro Available as standard
Filter thread N/A
Diameter × Length 136 × 401 mm
Weight 8.9 kg
Features • Detachable Digital Drive Unit – Optional
• Flange Focal Distance Adjustment
Fujinon’s Words

FUJIFILM’S NEW CABRIO OFFERS ZOOM RATIO OF 12X TO COVER 25MM WIDE ANGLE TO 300MM AT TELEPHOTO

Wayne, N.J., April 2, 2014 – The Optical Devices Division of FUJIFILM North America Corporation willannounce the latest addition to its popular series of cine zooms – the Premier PL 25-300mm Cabrio[ZK12x25] at the annual NAB 2014 convention, held in Las Vegas, starting on April 7th.. The company will exhibit in NAB Booth #C7025.

Equipped with a 35mm PL mount, the PL 25-300mm boasts a high zoom ratio covering the focal length of 25mm to 300mm. Like all Cabrio zooms, the PL 25-300mm supports an optional detachable drive unit for electric zooming, focusing and iris. Mounting the unit enables remote control of zoom, focus,and iris adjustment.  It can be used as a self-contained ENG-style or cine style lens. When used without the drive, industry-standard cine motors can be fitted.

Designed using the latest proprietary optical simulation software, the PL 25-300mm offers exceptional optical performance in the center of the image and in the corners of the frame. The digital servo’s 16-bit encoding assures operators that all lens data output—including the position of the zoom, iris, and focus—is extremely accurate. The zoom supports Lens Data System (LDS) and /i Technology metadata formats, and can be controlled using cinema industry standard wireless controllers as well as existing FUJINON wired and wireless units.

FUJINON’s PL 25-300mm lens is the latest development in the company’s popular Cabrio series, which includes the recently introduced Premier PL 19-90mm, the PL 85-300mm, and the recently introduced PL 14-35mm lenses.

The PL 25-300mm zoom will be available in June of this year, the optimal digital servo drive approximately Q3

A presentation running on two monitors within the Optical Devices Division’s NAB booth will feature several of the industry’s top cinematographers, including Claudio Miranda, testifying to the unsurpassed versatility and image quality of the FUJINON cine-style lenses. This year also marks FUJIFILM’s 80th anniversary, and 40 years for the Optical Devices Division, formerly known as FUJINON, in the U.S.

Cinema Lens Buying Guide

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.

Click here or on the image below for a full res version. Enjoy!

flowchartthumb

 

Canon Announces 17-120mm Cine Zoom Ahead of NAB

17-120mmCanon has announced their new 17-120mm T2.95 Cinema Zoom Lens. Usually we have to wait until at least the first or second day of NAB for major new gear announcements. Canon was kind of enough to provide their big news a week ahead of the big show. Canon announced their original Cinema EOS lenses back at NAB 2011 and were ready to ship in 2012. So far the feedback on the Canon cinema lenses, both zoom and primes, has been a bit slow to gaining traction, but they’re running at full steam now and there’s a lot of ground to cover. Continue reading “Canon Announces 17-120mm Cine Zoom Ahead of NAB”

Leica’s Summicron-C Primes Are Coming!

Cron

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!”

It’s Coming! The New Zeiss 55mm f/1.4… Otus?

Otus_ZFZeiss has officially released all of the details around their elite new line of lenses which they are calling Otus. Otus? That’s almost as weird as Touit. But with the kind of specs and image quality Zeiss has been touting with this new line of lenses, I don’t care what they call it. The 55mm f/1.4 is the first prime lens to be released this coming November and if Zeiss can stick to the extremely high manufacturing tolerances and quality required for such a lens, I think everyone will want one of these in their kit.

It’s going to be available in the ZF.2 (Nikon F) and ZE (Canon EF) mount just like the former ZF.2/ZE lenses. Again, the ZE version will not have a manual aperture ring but the ZF.2 version will. Duclos Lenses will be offering the full Cine-Mod and possibly the same great Leitax Canon EF mount for the ZF.2 version so that you can have the beautiful de-clicked aperture ring on your Canon EF mount camera. It makes perfect sense that Zeiss started with the 55mm focal length as it’s considered the “normal” field of view for 35mm full frame cameras (and if we’re being honest, the 50mm f/1.4 ZF.2/ZE is the weakest link in the older model line-up and deserves the refresh the most).

If you haven’t heard about why the new Otus line of lenses is so desirable, you should check out the post here. Zeiss is really talking up the superb image quality of these new lenses which are setting my expectations very high with quotes like:

…the new ZEISS Otus 1.4/55 offers ambitious photographers who do not accept any compromises in image quality…

Our goal was to bring the best standard lens for SLR cameras onto the market. The Otus 1.4/55 delivers outstanding sharpness and contrast rendition all the way into the corners of the image.

If you’re already aware of this amazing lens, Duclos Lenses is accepting Pre-Orders which should be available November 2013. As soon as these beauties begin rolling in, I assure you I’ll be taking one out for some stress testing. Exciting.

The Image Circle Database Is Back!

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 Adds More Xenon Focal Lengths Ahead of Launch

20130915-141807.jpg

What’s The Big Deal?

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”

Zeiss Reveals 15-30mm T2.9 Wide-Angle CZ.2 Lens

ZEISS Objektiv-Premieren auf der IBC Show 2013 | ZEISS Lens Premieres at IBC Show 2013Just 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 Makes No Compromises

zeissUPDATE: Pre-Order Here!

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.

UPDATE: PRE-ORDER HERE!

Zeiss Drops Wide-Angle Zoom Hints

new CZ.2

Compact Zooms

Zeiss discontinued their 15.5-45mm Lightweight Zoom (LWZ.2) about three months ago. This LWZ was a great range and a decent speed for hand-held and Steadicam work but it didn’t match up well with the design or build of the new Compact Zooms (CZ.2). Zeiss released the 70-200mm T2.9 Compact Zoom a few months back and has been slow to deliver since it’s release. The lens is an excellent tele-zoom that will be comfortable for shooters coming from DSLRs who loved their Canon, Nikon, Tamron, Sigma, Sony… Take your pick – just about every lens manufacturer makes a 70-200mm Tele-zoom. The 70-200mm performs very well at all focal lengths (review coming soon) which has left it in very high demand. Continue reading “Zeiss Drops Wide-Angle Zoom Hints”

Fujinon Fills Out Cabrio Family

14-28mm-FujiFujinon has been making some progress with their Cabrio line of professional lenses. With some very steep competition from Canon and Zeiss in terms of sub-$50k cinema zoom lenses, Fujinon’s Cabrio series are a great option with the included zoom rocker and relatively light-weight. The Cabrio line started with the 19-90mm T2.9 and was joined by the 85-300mm T2.9 shortly thereafter. With a large number of users who are looking for that slightly wider field of view thanks to the 5D and the larger sensor in full-frame cameras, Fujinon announced the 14-28mm T2.9 Cabrio during NAB 2013.

Continue reading “Fujinon Fills Out Cabrio Family”

TLS Cooke Speed Panchro Re-housing Project

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The complete line-up including the 18mm, 25mm, 32mm, 40mm, 50mm, 75mm and 100mm.

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).

Continue reading “TLS Cooke Speed Panchro Re-housing Project”

Schneider To Offer Mid-Range Xenon FF Primes (Updated)

xenon

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.

Continue reading “Schneider To Offer Mid-Range Xenon FF Primes (Updated)”

The Future of Zeiss DSLR Lenses

zeiss55_4

I’ve been on a bit of a Zeiss kick here lately, partly because I genuinely appreciate their products, but mostly because they continue to innovate and provide new glass for their customers. Earlier this week we took delivery of the Zeiss 135mm T2.1 CP.2 which marked the first time Zeiss released a lens as a CP.2 before releasing it as a ZF.2 or ZE. I’ll be sure to put some tests of the 135mm up soon, it’s an impressive tele-prime to say the least. This brings me to todays topic. The ZF.2 lenses that the CP.2 primes are based on are still being produced in quantity and Zeiss continues to add focal lengths and updates older designs on a regular basis. There’s certainly no sign of them slowing down. However, if you pay attention to the inter-webs, you’d have noticed rumors and results of their new 55mm Distagon floating around.  Continue reading “The Future of Zeiss DSLR Lenses”