Samyang has been quite busy lately. Among other mostly photo-related lens announcements, they have just unveiled the newest addition to their cinema lens line-up: the Xeen 16mm T2.6. The Xeen 16mm T2.6 Cine Lens Samyang keeps adding lenses to their current Xeen cinema lens line-up, with their newest addition just unveiled at this year’s Photokina. Sitting in between the 14mm T3.1 and the 24mm T1.5, the new Xeen 16mm T2.6 could become your new favourite wide angle lens. Due to its faster aperture, it might also prove to be much more versatile than the 14mm T3.1 option. Samyang’s Jeon Min, Shin claims that the decision behind introducing a model with these specs is that the former wide angle option, the Xeen 14mm T3.1, may be just a little bit too wide (and more importantly, too slow) for most cinematographic needs. This newest addition brings the whole Xeen range of lenses up to a grand total of 7 primes to choose from: 14mm T3.1 16mm T2.6 24mm T1.5 35mm T1.5 50mm T1.5 85mm T1.5 135mm T2.2. Maybe we’ll even see some more focal lengths to choose from in the future? At this rate of development, this might just be the case. the Xeen 14mm T3.1 , maybe the new 16mm T2.6 is the better option? The Xeen range of cine lenses are improved versions of Samyang’s previous line of VDSLR lenses for cine use, but are enhanced in a variety of ways, such as with newly formulated coatings, a stronger housing and shared aperture and focus gear position. It’s worth mentioning that in the case of this particular lens, it also improves upon its cheaper VDSLR-line version by covering a full-frame imager, rather than being Super35mm-only like its earlier counterpart. Pricing and availability The new Xeen 16mm lens will be available at the end of this year, and will be the same price as other Xeen cine primes at around $2,495. Just as all the others, the Xeen 16mm prime will be available in various mount options, such as Canon EF, PL, MFT, Sony E and Nikon F.Read more
ZEISS just officially announced a new lightweight cinema zoom, the first in many years: the LWZ.3 21-100mm. It starts at T2.9 and gets a stop slower at the far end, down to T3.9. A pre-production version of the ZEISS LWZ.3 used on the shoot of the documentary Through the Thick in South Africa early this year. LWZ.3 – Perfect for Documentary? For a cinema zoom, it is extremely compact and lightweight at 2kg (4.4 lbs). To me, this is almost the perfect documentary zoom lens. How do I know? I used a pre-production version of this lens while shooting our anti-poaching documentary Through the Thick, which I reported about before on cinema5D (click here) and which you can watch below. As a regular documentary shooter traveling the world and often covering factual content with large-sensor cameras like the FS7 or C300, I know how often I see myself with the wrong lens at the wrong time, especially when being forced to use photo zooms like a 17-55, 24-70 and 70-200mm. If something unexpected happens, you may not have the time to change lenses, but that’s one of the downsides of working with large sensors: they also mean large(r) lenses. Shot on a pre-production version of the ZEISS LWZ.3: A Great Compromise – Versatility, Weight, Size, Speed and Interchangeable Mounts The LWZ.3’s zoom range of 21-100mm is a great compromise – it’s wide enough for most practical purposes on documentary shoots (although of course, a few more millimeters make a big difference on the wide end), and it’s long enough for getting a close-up of anything not too far away from the lens. This new ZEISS zoom covers only Super35mm sensors, which is a complete deviation from recent ZEISS Cine lenses such as all Compact Primes or Compact Zooms, which were designed to cover the full frame 35mm photo size sensor. I actually think it’s a great idea because, aside from the RED line of cameras, there are still no cinema cameras on the market that have a sensor larger than Super35. Designing the lens this way means that it is considerably smaller (226mm long) and lighter than its Compact Zoom counterparts, which can get quite heavy on the shoulder when used for extended documentary shoots. The loss of one stop of light at the end of the zoom range is a compromise that is totally acceptable in my opinion. I’d rather have a lens start with a fast T-stop like T/2.9 and then loose a stop of light at the end, than having a very compromised T/4.4 like the Canon 18-80 all the way through. If that loss of a stop of light means shaving off a few hundred grams of weight in glass and size of this lens, I am very willing to take it. Practically all the “real-time” action shots in the documentary above were shot with this lens, which was attached to a Sony FS7 using a PL Mount Adapter from Vocas. Like most other ZEISS cine lenses, however, the LWZ.3 uses the Interchangeable Mount System (IMS), which allows you to change the mount to PL, EF, E, F and MFT. During our shoot in January, the pre-production version we used was PL only, which is why I used the adapter. Competition – Right Lens at the Right Time … We have seen a few manufacturers announce or release less expensive zoom lenses that cover the whole range needed for documentary filmmaking, and many of the available options were too big and heavy for constant documentary work from the shoulder. For example, the Fujinon Cabrio series (pricey) or the Canon 17-120 Servo Zoom (very expensive too) are both really great lenses, but oftentimes out of range for the average documentary production, even for rental. Canon announced their Cine-Servo Zoom 18-80 during NAB, but it’s only a constant T4.4 which isn’t great for both creative and practical reasons. The LWZ.3 is surprisingly affordable for a ZEISS zoom lens: its suggested retail price is just below $10K. Director of Photography Nino Leitner using the ZEISS LWZ.3 on the shoot in South Africa Conclusion This lens will definitely have quite an impact on the market, and its versatility seems to be unmatched by any others. The only thing that’s really missing is a servo unit for the lens, but ZEISS has been teasing one for their zoom lenses for quite a while now, and it seems to be around the corner as well. Offering a separate, optional servo unit means they are also able to keep costs down on the lens overall compared to the competition. We will release a full review of this lens in a few weeks alongside a behind-the-scenes featurette shot specifically about the ZEISS LWZ.3 in South Africa alongside the documentary shoot, and I will share more of my experiences with this lens then.Read more
A few days ago we brought you news of the recently unveiled Millenium DXL 8K. This beast of a camera is a collaboration between Panavision, RED and Light Iron, resulting in a incredible match between camera, optics, sensor and colour science technology. We caught up with Michael Cioni, CEO of Light Iron, who told us more about the Millenium DXL at Cine Gear 2016. Michael was eager to thank the filmmaking community after the announcement received such a warm response. And how could there not be one? The Millenium DXL marries the best aspects of each of the companies that made this product possible, making this really a dream-team camera. On the one hand, Panavision’s camera technology allows for a completely modular design. Not just in the physical sense, Michael explains, but also electronically, as the individual camera modules such as power, audio or communications, can be swapped and even replaced in the future without the need to develop a new camera body. The 8K RED Weapon sensor is a perfect fit for a camera like this, working in tandem with a legacy of over 60 years of Panavision lenses. Finally, behind it all, the Light Iron Color matrix works to replicate a highly stylised cinema look. Needless to say, we are all eagerly expecting the first sample footage from the Millenium DXL. The camera itself though? Not available until the end of the year.Read more
The Anton/Bauer Cine line of batteries feature a shape that is more in tune with the form factor of modern cinema cameras. They also offer a series of features that make shooting a lot easier. Batteries are an important topic, albeit not a very sexy one. With modern digital cinema cameras coming in different shapes and sizes, the amount of different batteries we are using is quite staggering. External viewfinders, monitors, gimbals and other accessories can easily end up using 5 different types of batteries on one camera rig, if you don’t pay attention to your power solutions. V-lock and Gold Mount batteries have long been the standard in the broadcast world of bigger cameras, and they are experiencing a kind of renaissance since they can make our battery chaos a little more organized. One brick mount battery easily has enough power to not only power the camera, but all our accessories using, for example, a D-Tap port. However, most battery solutions on the market are a bit “uncreative” to say the least. They haven’t changed so much over the past decades other increasing in capacity, or implementation of sizes to comply with airline travel regulations. When I first heard of the new Anton/Bauer Cine line of batteries, I was intrigued. Shaped like a little cube, here was something that finally didn’t look like a brick, and which would fit most modern cinema cameras better. The accurate percentage reading of their capacity is much more precise than the little lights on the side of a battery or the voltage displayed in your camera. In my test, the percentage number went down evenly as the batteries drained, meaning the read-out is accurate if the power consumption of your rig is constant. Personally, I think their coolest feature is the remaining time count that displays as soon as you power up a camera. The battery display will tell you down to the minute how long they are going to last under the current power draw. And if you add more devices via D-Tap, the display will adjust accordingly in real time. A definite no-brainer as you will always know how long you have until you run out of juice. The Anton/Bauer Cine line is available in 90 and 150 W/h models which share the exact same size, although of course the more powerful one is a little heavier. I think their shape will allow them to be used on gimbal-mounted cameras, where their brick-shaped counterparts are often too tall to allow for a full range of motion. CONCLUSION I really liked the Anton/Bauer Cine line of batteries, even more so than their broadcast line. They look slick and have features that make shooting life easier, which can’t be said of many other battery solution in the market.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
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
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