Eager to show their engineering prowess, Zeiss has released a whole new line of SLR lenses they’re calling the Milvus. The new lenses include a 21mm f/2.8, 35mm f/2.0, 50mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.4, 50mm f/2.0 Makro, and 100mm f/2.0 Makro. If you’re a Zeiss fan and these focal lengths all sound familiar to you, there’s a good reason for that – some of the previous ZF.2 lenses, which are now considered “classic” were based on relatively old optical designs. Continue reading “Zeiss Announces New Milvus Line of Primes”→
Whaaat? I’ve been working with Zeiss for many, many years and I’ve never seen them do such a great deal. They’re offering up to $300 off per lens! On top of that, Duclos is cutting $100 off each Cine-Mod – another unheard of offer. If you ever considered snagging a set of ZF.2 or ZE primes or have some but want to fill out a set, now is the time. Take a look at the price reductions here. Read more from Duclos Lenses: Continue reading “Happy Birthday, Zeiss!”→
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.
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”→
Just received our first shipment of little fattys from Zeiss. More officially known as the Zeiss ZF.2 Distagon 15mm f/2.8. Those who pre-ordered should be receiving theirs shortly. I’ll be doing some extensive testing, likely comparing it to our 11-16mm as well as other wide angle lenses.
The DSLR Revolution is in full swing at the moment and everyone is scrambling to get the glass they love on the camera they are stuck with. It doesn’t sound too difficult to simply change a piece of metal, but there are a lot of things to consider when attempting to change a mount. After-all, lenses are a precision tool, naturally. Lens and camera manufacturers all have their own mount system which specifies a flange depth, the distance from the mount flange to the film/sensor plane. When this number is accurate, the image that the lens produces falls on the sensor in perfect focus. Move it forward or backward by the smallest amount (.0005″) and your collimation will be completely off, throwing out your focus marks and destroying the accuracy of a lens, especially a zoom lens. All of the different SLR camera manufacturers had a similar theory and design, but just slightly different numbers for the flange depth. Wouldn’t it be great if they all agreed on a standardized mount that would allow any lens to be used on any camera? Yeah, it would be great. But that’s not how it works.
Zeiss released their CP.2 (Compact Primes) cinema lenses about a year ago, not long after they dropped their original Compact Primes on the market. There has been a lot of debate about the value of the Compact Primes. With an influx of new primes with a range of price tags, there is no shortage of choices for the budding cinematographer or even the veteran looking to invest in some glass. At $3,900 a piece, or a set of five lenses just shy of $20k, the Compact Primes are some of the cheapest options out there for what I would consider professional cinema lenses. However, a lot of cinematographers are opting for the ultra budget conscious still photo lenses with Cine-Mods to bring them up to cinema spec. But what makes the Compact Primes so much more expensive than, say, a Zeiss ZF.2? After all, they are in fact the exact same glass but in a different housing, right? Sort of… There are quite a few features that really separate the two lenses no matter how similar their heritage is. The ZF.2s are Zeiss’ latest all manual still photo lenses. They just happen to make very pretty images when mounted to a motion picture camera as well as a still photo camera. The Compact Primes take it a step beyond pretty images and provide a professional set of features that can be very valuable to a cinematographer and his/her crew. I’ll start with the optics. Zeiss says that the CP.2 lenses use hand-picked elements that really increase the consistency and accuracy of the lenses. I can’t attest to this as I haven’t seen any difference in the glass or the test results produced by the Compact Primes, but it looks good on a brochure.
This post is a little self serving in that I’m touting a product that Duclos Lenses sells. However, I love the product and use the product myself on a daily basis. The product I speak of is the Zeiss ZF.2 lenses. I have raved about these lenses ever since I started using them years ago on my Nikon DSLR. I’ve had several posts detailing their use in the motion picture industry and the modifications that make them cinema work horses. Duclos Lenses has been modifying and selling the Zeiss ZF.2 lenses as an official Zeiss distributor for several years now. Zeiss announced that they would be offering a set of five lenses at a reduced price which included a swanky custom foamed transportation case. I thought the idea was great. That is, until we ordered a few and realized that the lenses offered in the set were not the lenses I personally thought performed the best. On top of that, after our Cine-Mods, the lens barrels were expanded to at least 80mm due to the additional front ring and focus gear, the lenses didn’t fit in the case. So we thought, why not make our own set and offer a similar discount. We hand-picked the particular lenses to include in the set, mostly for their overall quality and range from wide to tele.
The set includes a 21mm f/2.8, 28mm f/2.0, 35mm f/1.4, 50mm f/2.0 macro, and of course, the gorgeous 85mm f/1.4. Between these five lenses, 21mm-85mm, just about every shot is covered. The set comes in our own custom foamed flight case, a Pelican Storm iM2600 to be specific, foamed by the fine folks at Innerspace Cases (the same guys who do the RED cases). Each lens is hand selected and features our complete Cine-Mod including a standard 32-pitch focus gear, 80mm front with 77mm filter thread, and of course, a de-clicked, buttery smooth aperture ring. I love this set! It’s every focal length I would want in a portable set of primes. I think the Zeiss ZF.2 lenses appeal to a wide range of cinematographers due to their light-weight, budget conscious nature. On top of that, their image quality is excellent for the price and the image size the lenses produce covers anything from a micro four thirds AF100 to a RED Epic, and all the way up to the 35mm full frame sensor of the 5D MkII. Like I said, this post is a little self serving, but I really do enjoy using these lenses. For more information head on over to www.DuclosLenses.com
I debated on wether or not to make a new post for this one little item and then I realized that the interwebs are unlimited and if readers don’t want to read an entire post about one little ring, then they wont. 🙂 For those of you who are geeky enough to care about a simple ring, read on. Continue reading “80mm Fronts for Zeiss ZF.2/ZE”→