Hands-On With the ZEISS LWZ.3 21-100mm T2.9 – T3.9

Here at IBC 2016, we go hands-on with the freshly announced Zeiss LWZ.3, the newest addition to their lightweight zoom range. Although the lens gets slower at the far end, from T2.9 down to T3.9, it might nevertheless be the next big thing for documentary work. Make sure to read Nino’s in-depth article for all about the details of this lightweight cine zoom lens. 

Zeiss LWZ.3

Hands-on with the Zeiss LWZ.3

As there is no such thing as the perfect lens (14 – 200mm T 1.5 with full frame coverage in a 1,2 kg parfocal lens for $800, anyone?) you’ll always get some downsides, that’s for sure. In the case of this lens, even though it is really lightweight for the focal range it covers, there are also some downsides to it. The Zeiss LWZ.3 only covers super35 sized sensors, for example. The bigger Zeiss Compact Zoom versions cover full frame, but they are double the price for half the focal range.

The one thing I find really annoying is the drop of T-stop towards the end of the focal range of this lens. But Zeiss has managed to implement a technology called gradiant T-Stop which will ensure very smooth and linear transition of aperture over the focal range.

Zeiss LWZ.3

the Zeiss LWZ.3 21-100mm

The mount of the Zeiss LWZ.3 is user interchangeable, so you don’t have to buy (or rent) multiple versions for different cameras. Also, the front diameter is the same for the Compact Prime lenses, so you can keep any valuable matteboxes and other accessories you might own.

Prizing and Availability

The Zeiss LWZ.3 will be available around January 2017 and will come in 5 different mount versions, namely EF, PL, Sony E, Nikon F and MFT. The price for the lens itself is set to $9,900, while additional mounts will set you back $290.

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