Back in May, Samyang announced their venture into the world of autofocus optics with the Samyang 50mm FE and Samyang 14mm FE. The Full frame E mount 50mm was released first, and now we’ve finally got pricing on the 14mm. We’ve gone a bit full-frame, wide-angle mad over here at C5D towers. Check out Nino’s informal look at what Zeiss have to offer in the E-mount full frame sector. Samyang (Rokinon, Bower, etc, etc…) has now been around for quite some time, and is known as a cheaper lens alternative for all kinds of shooters out there. More recently, they’ve even entered the cinema lens market with their premium Xeen line. Auto focus was a big differentiator between this popular brand and other big players, but the announcement of these lenses back in May certainly was a big step towards narrowing that gap even more. The 14mm is an intriguing focal length, as a lot of full frame lens lines top out at 18mm. However, Samyang decided to push it that little bit further. I used the old, fully manual Samyang 14mm EF a long time ago, back before even the Cine versions had been announced. I was not overly impressed, to be frank. There was an abundance of unique distortion that resembled a true connoisseur’s moustache. I hope this new autofocus model is vastly different. Investigating the build of the lens, it carries the same properties as before: an aperture range of f/2.8-22, and elements/groups of 14/10 respectively. But this doesn’t really tell us a great deal about how these two kinds of 14mm really differ from one another. Samyang 14mm FE f/2.8 – Full specs: Aperture Range: f/2.8-22 Construction: 14 Elements in 10 Groups (3 aspherical lens) Minimum Focus Distance: 0.20m (0.656ft) Maximum Magnification Ratio: x0.12 Number of Aperture Blades: 7 Maximum Diameter: 85.5mm Mount: Sony FE/E Angle Of View: 113.9° (APS-C 89.8°) Length: 97.5mm Weight: 505g (with both caps) Lens Chart: A field of view of 113.9° will certainly excite many shooters out there for its quirkiness. Add that to its relatively cheap price tag, and I’m sure the Samyang 14mm FE will sell well. See the price below. Who will this sell to? With autofocus becoming more and more popular with certain types of filmmaking, I am sure that one-man-bands, low-key gimbal and/or drone operators will definitely like this. It will also naturally appeal to the people that regularly venture into stills.Read more
Zeiss has announced the next instalment to their autofocus Batis line. Building on the immense popularity of the previous two, the Batis 18mm f/2.8 comes in as the third and widest most full frame E-mount lens. Introducing the Batis 18mm The Batis line by Zeiss was their first ever venture into auto focus lenses. Sure, many Sony Zeiss lenses are knocking about, but these are all Sony made under Zeiss specification; Batis were a first from pure Zeiss. They were cautious, we only saw a 25mm f/2 and an 85mm f/1.8 to start, but popularity for them has far exceeded expectations, and it’s frankly been a pain getting hold of them anywhere! Speaking with Zeiss at BVE, we knew that there were going to be a few new additions to this line-up in time. Enter the 18mm f/2.8. Like the previous two, the Zeiss Batis 18mm f/2.8 is an E-mount full frame lens with auto focus. The smooth rubber focus barrel continuously rotates (no hard stops) and an OLED screen on top gives focus distance readings in manual focus mode. The Batis 18mm f/2.8 naturally provides a very wide angle of view, while maintaining a fast aperture for out of focus detail. Here are the specs: Focal Length: 18mm Aperture Max/Min: f/2.8-22 Lens Mount: Sony E (Full-Frame) Angle of View 99° Minimum Focus Distance 9.84″ (25 cm) Maximum Reproduction Ratio 1:9.5 Elements/Groups 11/10 Filter Thread Front: 77 mm Dimensions (DxL) Approx. 3.94 x 3.15″ (100 x 80 mm) Weight 11.64 oz (330 g) Our partners B&H got an exclusive hands-on with the lens, you can check this out here and some images below. It took me around four months to get hold of my Batis 25mm f/2.0. Being an avid user of the Sony A7RII for photography, I was looking for a high-quality autofocus lens – the wait was absolutely worthwhile; I expect good things from the 18mm f/2.8. $200 separates all three Batis lenses, creeping up in price the wider you go. Click on the below link to pre-order the Batis 18mm f/2.8.Read 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
Canon is now shipping C100 cameras with the Dual Pixel AF system already included. Previously, this upgrade has only been available via an authorized Canon service centre. If considering the C100 and the AF upgrade appeals to you, this is great news as it saves the time and hassle of sending your C100 off for the paid upgrade. It will also potentially save you shipping costs (depending on the service centre you choose), not to mention the down time whilst the upgrade is being carried out. The Dual Pixel AF has been well received in the industry, much of which with thanks to the ever growing popularity of stabilizing devices such as the Movi. It will soon also be available as an upgrade for the C300. We’ve posted these before, but here are two great videos displaying the capabilities of the Dual Pixel auto focus system. The Canon C100 is still available without Dual Pixel AF, each package (with and without) is price respectively to the initial cost of the auto focus upgrade.Read more
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