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.
RED recently announced that they were redesigning the front housing on their 17-50mm T 2.9 zoom lens. The previous housing had an abnormally large front diameter. The optics measured roughly 80mm at the front whereas the housing was a whopping 144mm. This made it very difficult to use the lens for 3D work since the lenses couldn’t be positioned close together. The lens is relatively light weight, but when paired with a matte box that was able to accommodate such large front, the rig suddenly becomes quite heavy.
Well, this is proof that REd listens to their customers. There is absolutely no reason, other than pleasing their customers, to change the housing of their lens. BAM! Well done RED! The new housing is a rather common 114mm diameter and will look relatively similar to the RED Pro Prime lineup. As far as I can gather, this is how the lens will ship from here on out. RED is offering an upgrade for existing lenses for a mere $250. If you ask me, this is a great deal. The material alone probably cost close to $200 for RED. So stop complaining about the salad bowl that is your 17-50mm RED and send it in for this upgrade.
I first heard about this lens several months ago from NikonRumors.com which has been fairly reliable for early news unless I hear it from a manufacturer like I usually do with Zeiss. I don’t have a very deep relationship with Tokina so I had to wait like everyone else to confirm this new zoom. The focal length intrigued me since it picked up right where the 11-16mm left off. As many of you know, I love the 11-16mm. It’s not the end-all-be-all of wide zooms, but the price for performance ratio is simply unbeatable. With the next lens in the lineup Tokina made a few improvements, but not without sacrifice. The 16-28mm is now an FX format lens which means that it covers a 35mm full frame sensor. Excellent for me and my Nikon D700, but even more important, it would work well with a Canon 5D mkII or the upcoming RED FF35 sensor.