Canon Cine Zoom 18-80mm T4.4 with Servo Motor for Video Shooters

Canon introduce their first servo powered Cine Zoom Lens at NAB 2016. Larry Thorpe tells us all about the new Canon CN-E 18-80mm T4.4 COMPACT-SERVO.

Canon CN-E 18-80mm T4.4 COMPACT-SERVO

Just as a quick reminder, the freshly announced Canon zoom 18-80mm lens features things like S35 (and APS-C) coverage, a constant T4.4 (f/4) aperture and a very competitive price tag of just over $5,000. Here are the hard facts again (read all about it in our recent article):

  • 18-80 mm zoom range, 4.4x ratio
  • Maximum aperture: T4.4, equivalent to f/4.0
  • No ramping of aperture throughout zoom range
  • Close focus MOD: 0.5 m
  • Optical image stabilization: On/Off and three levels of stabilization
  • Iris: Auto/Manual
  • Auto Focus / Manual Focus
  • Power through lens mount or connector
  • Filter thread: 77 mm threads for screw-in front filters
  • Front outside diameter: 84 mm
  • Weight: 2.6 lb / 1.2 kg
  • Length: 7.2” / 182.3 mm
  • Iris: 9 blades
  • Servo handgrip: detachable with one screw
  • Back focus adjustment under rear barrel
  • Covers 31.4 mm image diagonal
  • 20-pin connector for lens control and metadata: EIAJ RC5320A TYPE4 (5.5 mm diameter)

canon zoom

Issues with the Canon Zoom 18-80mm T4.4 lens

When we played with the lens, we noticed something quite odd. There were actually no hard stops on the focus ring, as you might expect from a traditional photo lens. Video shooters and cinematographers alike will have a more difficult time controlling focus, especially when using focusing tools like follow focus systems or wireless solutions.

canon zoom

An odd decision from Canon since the lens is clearly positioned as a professional tool for (indie-) filmmakers, particularly at that price point—and one of the most annoying things when dealing with photo lenses for a video shoot is the lack of hard stops on the focus ring.

The lack of hard stops probably justifies the very competitive price tag of the lens, but it feels like a slack tradeoff to me. What do you think about this issue? Dealbreaker or worth overlooking for the price tag?

We will make sure to review of this new Canon Zoom Lens soon. Stay tuned for our updates.

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