The Zeiss Milvus line up has been expanded with the introduction of three new primes – the 15mm f/2.8, 18mm f/2.8 and 135mm f/2.0. It was this time last year that Zeiss announced a new format for Canon EF and Nikon mount lenses: the Milvus range was to be built upon the foundations of the popular ZE and ZF lenses. For some of their focal lengths, a spruce up in improving the optics, coatings and build was in order. In other cases, the lens was rebuilt from the ground up. Last year we were told the original release were ‘just the 6 for now’ but, as promised, we are now seeing three new lenses to the Milvus line-up. The new Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 and 18mm f/2.8 complete the wide angle department, 21mm previously being the widest available Milvus lens. Both new wide angles are popular existing Zeiss focal lengths, previously found in the ZE, ZF and CP2 lines. Unlike the 18mm CP2, however, both new Milvus wide angles are suitable for up to full frame 24X36mm sensors. The 18mm f/2.8 Milvus is one of the lenses that has been completely rebuilt. It’s predecessor ZE/ZF version was 2/3 stop slower, as it used some older technology in its construction. The 15mm focal length is a fairly new development for Zeiss, and the 15mm Milvus uses existing technology to form the structure. The 135mm f/2.0 is a welcome addition to the Milvus family also, taking over from the 100m f/2 Macro as the longest available Milvus Lens. The Zeiss Milvus are a very robust stills lens line, with an all-metal housing and weather sealed with the signature Zeiss blue gasket. They’re also a good weight in the hand, and much heavier than their Canon L series counterparts. There is also a 50mm f/1.4 ZE lens for EF and Nikon cameras is also available to pre-order too. The Nikon mount versions have a manual aperture, and are reverse barrelled for focusing when compared to Cinema and Canon lenses. The Canon versions lose the manual aperture for electronic only, as unfortunately a Canon protocol prevents the lenses from having both (it’s frustrating to not have correctly rotating focus wheels and manual aperture!). You can check out the new Milvus lenses at IBC if you’re in Amsterdam for the weekend. They are also available to pre-order from CVP and B&H!Read more
The new XEEN 135mm T2.2 lens just announced by Samyang is the latest addition to their rugged, 4K-capable line-up. After successive releases of the 14mm and 35mm XEEN lenses earlier in the year, this completes the line up of premium optics from Samyang, the infiltrator of the cinema optics market. The new XEEN 135mm boasts a T2.2 aperture, which is nearly equivalent to F2, a perfect focal length for intimate portrait shots of subjects. Not limited to Canon EF or Nikon F mount, the lenses are also available in PL, Sony E and MFT mounts also. The minimum focus distance on the spec sheet of the XEEN 135mm is 0.8m, but as displayed on the image of the lens itself, it’s 2.9 feet, which is roughly 88cm. This is closer than the Zeiss CP.2 135mm, which comes in at 1m. Unsurprisingly, it is also the heaviest lens in the range, weighing 1.382kg, although that is not a surprise considering the full metal body. The XEEN range is designed for inter-operability, allowing the quick and easy switching with other XEEN lenses without adjusting your current setup, whether that be matte boxes, follow focus or the camera itself. There is no mention of price, but as all the other lenses in the range are priced at £2495 (£1600), I would assume the price would follow suit. There is no release date for the 135mm model yet, but expect news from IBC and Photokina with more info!Read more
Samyang has broadened its line up with release of a new lens. The Samyang 135mm f/2.0 is manual focus only and currently stands as the longest available none reflex mirror by the many-name brand. The full name of the lens is the Samyang 135mm f/2.0 ED UMC, ED stating use of a low dispersion lens and UMC an acronym of Ultra Multi Coating, which is applied to some of the 11 lenses in 7 groups construction. The Samyang 135mm has a typical specification for a fixed focal length prime, with perhaps a few upgrades when comparing to the Canon 135mm f/2.0 L. The aperture diaphragm is constructed of 9 rounded blades versus Canons 8, it has a larger 77mm front diameter, but 90g heavier at 830g. The most notable difference between the Samyang 135mm and Canon counterpart is perhaps the minimum focus distance, at 0.8m and 0.91 respectively. Samyang lenses are known to be affordable, and the 135mm f/2.0 is no exception, at $549 it currently sits nearly half the price of the Canon 135mm f/2.0 L. This is largely down to auto focus; as with all Samyang lenses the 135mm f/2.0 is manual focus only. The lens will be available in a whole host of mounts, Canon EF, Nikon AE, Pentax K, Sony A & E, Samsung NX, Fuji X, Micro 4/3s and even Canon M. If, like all standard Samyang lenses, expect the aperture ring to be clicked with a likely future cine version with de-clicked aperture and permanently geared focus ring. I’d also expect this lens to pop under other many-brand banners, including Rokinon and Bower. A 135mm prime can often become overlooked, it’s not one you’d find in the average filmmaker/photographers kit bag. This is mainly down to the fact that the popular 70-200 covers this focal range, and the staple macro lens competes closely with a 100mm fixed focal length. The 135mm prime has its uses however, it offers an extra stop at f/2.0 compared to f/2.8 that you’d find on a 70-200mm zoom or 100mm macro; that makes a huge difference. That’s not to mention the amount of light you lose through a zoom or macro; a t-stop rating of these versus a 135mm would surprise many I’m sure.Read more
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