Samyang released two new XEEN cinema lenses at BVE 2016; the 14mm T3.1 and 35mm T1.5, adding to the existing 24mm, 50mm, and 85mm models. These new designs bring improved optics, a full metal build, and a PL mount—expanding the possibilities of using the lenses on cinema cameras, too.
Some of you may remember that the original Samyang VDSLR lenses hit the market at a very affordable price range. I’ve been an avid user of the 14mm, 35mm, and 85mm variants since I got the set back in 2013 and this new range shows how Samyang—a relative newcomer to the video industry—is committed to offering filmmakers top-quality glass that is now ready for 4K.
I was impressed with a few things when I had a brief look at the 35mm variant. Firstly, it has a lot less bleaching when the lens is wide open while boasting sharper visuals, too. The weight of the lens surprised me also, as even with a metal body it seemed to weigh less than the Tamron 24-70 that I was shooting with at the time. Lighter kit is always a bonus for transportation—especially since it lets you fit more into your kit bag.
Finally, the price point of the lenses sits at around $2,495.00 each—with a 5 piece set with a hard case available for just $9,999.00. It definitely brings the lenses in reach of those looking to invest in better optics (which we know can greatly improve picture quality), without having to splash out on Zeiss CP2’s or the Schneider Xenon’s, for example.
A downside to the set of lenses was that they are of different physical lengths, which can be an inconvenience if you are changing lenses with a follow focus and matte box attached to the rig… though I guess you have to compensate somewhere for such an affordable, high-quality outfit.