The Xeen cinema lenses released last year constitute the apex of Samyang’s catering towards filmmakers. Now, two new models have joined the Xeen family. A few years ago, Samyang’s affordable and all-manual photo prime lenses, became incredibly popular among budget filmmakers. Shortly after that, the Korean manufacturer built upon this initial success and continued to improve their range by featuring de-clicked aperture rings, focus gears and T-stop scales, and the Cine DS line of primes was born. Fast forward to 2015, when Samyang released their Xeen cinema lenses. Check out Richard’s article, from last August, which reveals why they are such a big deal. With an initial line-up of 24mm, 50mm and 85mm, the Xeen range offered a usable yet somewhat limited variety of focal lengths. However, promotional material on the Samyang page had been hinting at the imminent release of 2 new additions to the Xeen line. Well, they have finally been revealed. So, what new focal lengths can we expect from the new Xeen? Samyang is filling the centre gap with the standard and versatile focal length of 35mm. Landing between the 50mm—useful but potentially a little tight in certain situations—and the 24mm, which leans toward the wide angle side, the 35mm focal length will certainly be a welcome addition to the range. The other newcomer fills the gap at the ultra wide-angle end of the spectrum. With the release of a 14mm focal range rated at T3.1, we can see that Samyang’s Xeen range really reflects their previous Cine DS line rather than introducing completely new concepts, at least in what respects to focal lengths and T-stop rating. But Samyang couldn’t wait to leave us wanting for more. Upon revealing these two new additions, a new mystery lens has been added to their promotional material. Although it has been known for a while that there would be a sixth Xeen lens, initial speculation tended towards telephoto, perhaps a 100mm or 135mm. However, as you can see, we might see something quite different indeed. A strong contender for the new upcoming wide angle Samyang Xeen could be an 18mm, a focal length until now not available anywhere in the Samyang catalogue. There are of course other rectilinear wide-angle cine lenses in Samyang’s VDSLR range that they could draw inspiration from. The are, however, designed for APS-C or Micro Four Thirds sensors. All in all, considering the excellent build and image quality of the first three Xeen cinema lenses, we have nothing but high hopes for the new additions to the family. Be sure to check out Richard’s first impressions review for the low down on Samyang’s Xeen cinema lenses.Read more
SLR Magic has announced a new, incredibly cheap and fast 50mm prime. The SLR Magic f/1.1 50mm FE lens is rivalled only by one other as the fastest full frame Sony E Mount lens on the market, all for a price of under $350. The SLR Magic Cine 50mm f/1.1 is an FE mount lens meaning it is suitable for full frame Sony E mount cameras like the Sony a7R II & a7S II as well as Super35mm sensor cameras such as the Sony FS7 or FS5. Billed as a Cine lens we get geared aperture & focus rings as well as a de-clicked iris, the aperture diaphragm is made up of 13-blades also (more than the average stills lens). The rest resembles a typical older 35mm prime; the lens is still very compact in size with a 52mm filter thread and distance markings only on the top. The SLR Magic Cine 50mm f/1.1 is built up of 6 elements in 5 groups and has a black anodized construction. Most sub f/1.2 lenses are designed for less sensitive smaller sensors such as the Micro Four Thirds format, the SLR Magic Cine 50mm f/1.1 FE enters the super fast lens bracket, next to it’s much more expensive bigger brother the SLR Magic HyperPrime Cine 50mm T0.95. I’m very excited to see how this lens performs, a compact vintage-esque form factor is one Zeiss has taken up with their Loxia E mount lens line. The difference here is a price of just $349, making it a very attractive package indeed. The tiny form factor will sit well with Sony mirrorless cameras like the a7R II and a7S II. Speaking of size, here’s the official stats: Dimensions Length to bayonet mount: approx. 54.8mm (approx. 2.16in) Largest diameter: approx. 63.00mm (approx. 2.48in) Weight Approx. 400g (approx. 14.11oz) Release date is scheduled for the end of this year, the lens will also be available to view at the upcoming InterBEE 2015 fair in Tokyo that starts today. We’re there reporting live so stay tuned over the next couple of days.Read more
SLR Magic has announced a set of vintage look anamorphic prime lenses that will be available to view at IBC in Amsterdam this weekend. The trio of PL mount lenses are designed to work with 16:9 sensors to offer the cinema aspect ratio of 2.35:1. Fresh for this weekend’s IBC show, SLR Magic has announced the ANAMORPHOT-CINE 35mm T2.4, 50mm T2.8 and 70mm T4 lenses. The set have a squeeze factor of 1.33x making them compatible with 16:9 sensor cameras to achieve an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. This is nice as it keeps their compatibility broad (rather than 2x which would require a 4:3 able camera to produce a reasonable wide aspect ratio). The set promise to deliver “the classic contrast, distortion, chromatic, color aberration, and flare characteristics of vintage anamorphic lenses”, often on the more modern and easy-to-use anamorphic lenses you lose the aesthetic and character many filmmakers look to obtain when turning to the format. The lenses will come in PL mount with a PL to EF mount accessory, here’s the spec list: SLR Magic ANAMORPHOT-CINE 35mm T2.4, 50mm T2.8, 70mm T4 Lens Type: Anamorphic lens Squeeze factor: 1.33x Objective front filter thread: Φ82 Mount: Aluminium PL or Titanium PL compatible with optional EF adapter Lens Coating: Multi Coated Close Focus: 3’6 Weight (oz./g): 38.8/1,100 Length (cm): 13.5 Diameter (cm): 10 Optional accessories: PL to EF adapter Suggested aperture setting: T4-5.6 Image Circle: S35 for 35mm T2.4, FF for 50mm T2.8 and 70mm T4 The anamorphic lens game can be a bit of a mind field. Good quality easy-to-use lenses can get very expensive and in the process lose some image characteristics (namely flare) that many filmmakers often seek. Cheaper examples can be very tricky to use often requiring the use of two focal barrels, with wider apertures and longer focal lengths struggling in image quality department. It seems SLR Magic has sensed the gap between vintage and high quality anamorphics, offering a relatively affordable set of lenses that maintain easy of use and that vintage look. If you’re heading to IBC I’d strongly recommend checking these out, they can be found at the Atomos booth in Hall 9 Stand D.25. SLR Magic has also announced a 2x MFT set that will work on the likes of the Panasonic GH4 in 4:3 mode for 2.35:1 (or super wide on 16:9 cameras). Below are recommended retail prices for the set: $2,499 for SLR Magic ANAMORPHOT-CINE 35mm T2.4 $2,999 for SLR Magic ANAMORPHOT-CINE 50mm T2.8 $2,999 for SLR Magic ANAMORPHOT-CINE 70mm T4Read more
Canon has announcement a new entry-level lens. The sub $150 Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM gets the new stepping motor auto focus system compatible with dual pixel auto focus, as well as an improved aperture diaphragm for better out of focus detail. The Canon 50mm f/1.8 II was previously Canons cheapest lens available. It has shockingly good value for money, despite the build quality being a little rough around the edges. Image quality at certain apertures would challenge its bigger, 10x more expensive brothers. The new Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM continues to shake things up at entry level, now featuring Canons new STM stepping motor auto focus. This system is both great and annoying for video users. It’s annoying in the fact that turning the focus ring activates a motor and doesn’t physically connect with adjustment like a USM (ultrasonic) lens, therefore losing some control with manual focussing. But it’s great in the fact that it’s more compatible with Canons Dual Pixel Autofocus. Autofocus is often a scoffed at term in the professional filmmaking industry. But as fast as we saw shallow depth of field come about, we’ve been introduced into many new and amazing ways to move your camera through scenes with use of stabilizers and drones, all of which reduce the physical contact you have with your camera. For the one-man band, or smaller crew setups this is where autofocus really excels. There are now legitimate reasons to use auto focus in many small to mid sized professional outfits. I use autofocus on my C100/Movi M5 setup a lot, the Dual Pixel AF upgrade works fantastic in many situations. Whilst Dual Pixel Autofocus works well with USM lenses, newer systems like the one found in the C100 mark II benefit from a STM lens as they can activate additional features such as face tracking (USM lenses can only operate autofocus using a small window in the centre of the screen). Check out one of our older articles here to see this feature in action. Back to the lens, Canon has addressed one of the caveats of the previous ‘nifty fifty’ 50mm by improving the aperture diaphragm. The previous Canon 50mm f2.8 II had a 5-bladed aperture diaphragm where as the new 50mm f/1.8 STM sports seven rounded blades. Keen filmmakers could instantly tell the use of the cheaper lens by out of focus detail. Here is an unrelated example of 5 blade versus an 8 blade diaphragm. Having rounded blades means even smoother out of focus areas further disguising individual blades. Further specifications of the lens are very similar to its predecessor. Built up of 6 elements in 5 groups, same max aperture and viewing angle, slightly decreased mini focus distance of 14″ (35.56 cm) therefore increased max magnification ratio at 0.21x. The filter thread diameter is slightly decreased at 49mm. I can only assume by judging the pictures and first hand experience with other new entry level Canon primes that the build quality has slightly improved, so you can forgive the extra ounce in weight the 50mm f/1.8 STM has gained. The Focus ring still remains quite far forward, but slightly less recessed than the previous 50mm f1.8 II therefore hopefully much easier to mount filters without too much bother (a fault of the previous model). I’m sure this lens just like the last nifty fifty will sell very well. Despite it being on the longer end for gimbal and drone use, I can see it being a popular purchase for use with autofocus for video. I just hope canon start to release a professional line of STM equipped lenses for the same purpose.Read more
Here’s a list of all the co-branded Samyang lenses and how to get the best deals on them. These lenses are a good choice for filmmakers on a budget who are looking to shoot with prime lenses that are somewhat cine-worthy.Read more
SLR Magic has become famous for their affordable high speed photo lenses in the F/0.95 range. Now they have introduced their first PL cine lens that is not only affordable but also innovative. Andrew from SLR Magic today presented their new line of cinema lenses to us. The first lens they introduce is the SLR Magic APO Hyperprime Cine 50mm T2.1 lens. The lens is a serious PL cine lens built from the ground up just like the other lenses they have been introducing for the photo market. While the general concept of compact prime lenses with an interchangeable mount is known from market leader Zeiss, there is an innovative twist to this PL lens which they also intend to incorporate in other focal lengths: The SLR Magic APO Hyperprime Cine 50mm T2.1 lens has an inner filter thread that accommodates circular screw-on filters like their very own Vari-ND filter. An honorable mention also to this product which has hard stops and this way avoids the typical unwanted cross effect and can be used more ergonomically. We think this product looks very promising and we’re looking forward to the rest of their line cine lenses they intend to release in the next years, even though they might seem overly similar to the Zeiss Compact Primes with their interchangeable mount design. See the video above for more details on pricing and availability.Read more
Since the launch of Sigmas Global Vision Line, we’ve seen some fantastic lenses come out of the revamped outfit. The 18-35mm f/1.8 is the fastest stills zoom lens in production, and the 35mm f/1.4 and 24-105mm f/4 OS both offer fantastic image quality and price tags in two very competitive focal ranges.Read more
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