Are Affordable Cinema Zoom Lenses Coming? – ON THE COUCH Ep. 21 part 3 of 3

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Full frame vs. Super35 lenses

In the third and final part of ON THE COUCH with lens manufacturers Zeiss (Christophe Casenave), Samyang (Joost Wierenga) and SLR Magic (Andrew Chan), we talked about why manufacturers like themselves focus on manufacturing 35mm full frame lenses, not releasing any Super35 lenses any more – despite the fact that 95% of all professional cinema cameras only have a Super35mm sensor.

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Zoom lenses

Next we moved on to zoom lenses and why it is so hard for lens manufacturers to design an affordable cinema zoom lens – which doesn’t really exist on the market right now (except maybe the Sony 28-135mm f/4 lens). Christophe from Zeiss and Andrew from SLR Magic mentioned how hard it is to design a zoom lens for cinema market. While photo zooms can have breathing and focus shift, it is not accepted on cinema lenses. “Compromise” lenses might be on the way … however, as Christophe said, “At Zeiss we are very bad at making compromises”.

In my personal opinion, it’s okay to lose a stop of aperture across the zoom range of a zoom lens if the range is good for documentary, for example 17-70mm or something similar – but as those manufacturers pointed out, it’s expensive to make an acceptable zoom lens, and tastes are different …

Check back on Friday for the next episode of ON THE COUCH.

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Tom Titulaer Reply
Tom Titulaer March 13, 2015

Tokina cinema zooms anyone?