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!”→
Samyang originally displayed a prototype 10mm prime lens at Photokina 2012 with a few details. They recently announced the official development of their new 10mm f/2.8 prime lens. If you’re not familiar with the Samyang line of lenses, they’re a very confusing bunch which shares it’s designs with different branding such as Rokinon, Bower, Vivitar, etc. Rokinon offers their photo lenses in a cinema variety that feature 32-pitch focus and iris gears as well as a smooth, click-less aperture and T-stop markings instead of f-stop. Needless to say, this new 10mm will make it’s way into a Rokinon Cine Prime flavor soon enough. There are quite a few interesting details about this lens. Continue reading “Samyang Officially Announces 10mm f/2.8 Lens”→
Zeiss 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.
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!”→
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.
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”→
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”→
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.
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”→
A lot of folks want to see actual footage instead of just numbers when it comes to the practical look and feel of a particular lens. And as usual, Zeiss delivered. Here is a small collection of short videos that feature different primes and even a few zooms that Zeiss currently offers. The first video is a “Sizzle Reel” with a lot of quick takes from different scenes using different lenses. Zeiss used a range of focal lengths including the 15mm T2.1, 21mm T2.9, 25mm T2.1, 28mm T2.1, 35mm T2.1, 50mm T2.1, 85mm T2.1, 100mm T2.1 CF, 135mm T2.1, and lastly the 70-200mm T2.9 and shot a nice panning shot and a static rotating shot with each focal length. Take a look and gather all you can from this collection of results.
Welcome to the 2013 Southland Alternative Lens Shootout “Wide F%$@*^G Open” Edition. This was a coordinated effort between the following individuals: Will Keir, Phil Holland, Matt Uhry, Matthew Duclos, Jeff Whitehurst, Evin Grant, Ryan Patrick O’Hara, Luke Edwards, Charlie Pickle and myself. I’d like to begin by thanking our Sponsors who not only donated their time, but their facilities, insurance services, and their lens sets: Continue reading “SALT III – High Speed Prime “WFO” Results”→