The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art Series lens announced at Photokina last week is another step in the expansion of Sigma’s Global Vision lens line. This much anticipated model is Sigma’s longest Art prime lens. With IBC and Photokina so close together, we have been bombarded by new releases from various manufactures thick and fast. Sigma has been right in the middle of it, initially announcing a new venture into cinema lenses with their High Speed Cinema Zoom and Prime lines. An exciting announcement by all accounts, but keen readers will have noted the inclusion of an 85mm T1.5, a focal length we were yet to see in the ancestry Art stills line. It was therefore surely only a matter of time before Sigma announced the much anticipated 85mm Art lens, and Photokina 2016 was when they dropped the news. The same way that Zeiss hold their 85mm Milvus in high regard, the Sigma 85mm pokes its head above the rest of the Art line in size, price and most likely weight. Sigma claim that this all-new construction embodies the perfect portrait lens. New and fast HSM (hypersonic motor), dust & splash proof and electromagnetic aperture control for the Nikon version are some of the features of the Sigma 85mm Art prime. Speaking of mounts, the Sigma 85mm Art f/1.4 comes in both Canon and Nikon F mount, with Sony E mount support via their MC-11 adapter. It’s also compatible with their USB Dock for firmware updates and Autofocus adjustments. The Sigma 85mm Art f/1.4 – Full Specs: Focal Length: 85mm Aperture Max/Min: f/1.4 – f/16 Camera Mount: Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony E via Adaptor Format Compatibility: Full Frame, APS-C / Super 35mm Angle of View: 28.6° Minimum Focus Distance: 33.46″ (85 cm) Magnification: 0.12x Maximum Reproduction Ratio: 1:8.5 Elements/Groups: 14/12 Diaphragm Blades: 9, Rounded Image Stabilization: No Autofocus: Yes Filter Thread Front: 86 mm Dimensions: (DxL) 3.73 x 4.97″ (94.7 x 126.2 mm) Weight: TBC Sigma has indeed been busy with new releases, expanding the Art line, announcing a new ultra wide-angle full frame 12-24mm f/4 zoom, new cine lenses and expanding the Sports division of the Global Vision Line with the Sigma 500mm f/4. Now, where’s that 100mm Macro/135mm Art….Read more
This week has started with a bang in terms of new announcements regarding optics. Two new impressive sounding prime lenses have been announced with very interesting specs: the Samyang 35mm f1.2, and the Venus Optics Laowa 12mm f/2.8. These have certainly been busy times for Samyang, with a new XEEN as well as the introduction of the first autofocus lenses to their catalogue (which you can read about here and here). Well, they just keep on going, as they have just announced their new 35mm f/1.2 prime. Although it is a faster lens than their previous 35mm f/1.4, this new f/1.2 is designed for APS-C sized sensors, meaning it will vignette heavily if you use it on a full-frame camera or want to use it with a Speedbooster. The lens has been designed with mirrorless cameras in mind, with available mounts consisting of Sony E mount, Micro Four Thirds, Fujifilm X and Canon M. In good Samyang tradition, the lens will be available in 2 configurations: either as a fully manual photo lens, or as a cine lens (meaning probably a declicked aperture and gears for a follow focus). And, also following the Samyang/Rokinon/Walimex tradition, this lens will be quite affordable, with an RRP of 449 and 499 Euros for the photo and cine versions respectively. Below you can find the Samyang 35mm f/1.2 spec sheet: Another quite interesting announcement that took place this week is Venus Optics’ new Laowa 12mm f/2.8. This lens ticks quite a few boxes that certainly make it one to look out for, not the least of which is its size. It’s tiny! With a 12mm full-frame(!) coverage, this lens is very wide indeed. The manufacturer claims that the lens boasts close-to-zero optical distortion, maintaining rectilinear characteristics rather than being a fisheye lens. I’m personally a big fan of the the full frame ultra wide angle aesthetic. This 12mm lens will allow you to capture images like the one below: Ultra wide angle lenses like these tend to be slower. However, it looks like the Laowa 12mm will be also usable in low light, and a maximum aperture of f/2.8 means the Laowa can lay claim to being the world’s fastest 12mm lens for full frame for now. With mounts available for Canon EF, Sony E and Alpha, Nikon F and Pentax K, this gives you the possibility of using a Speedbooster on a crop sensor camera for even faster wide angle shots. One would maybe expect a lens with such extreme qualities to be incredibly expensive, but the Laowa 12mm may surprise you. Although its Kickstarter campaign had some sweet deals (like the opportunity to get the lens for $1), you may still find there are a few lenses available for preorder at a discount from the $949 retail price. Below is the spec sheet for the Laowa 12mm f/2.8: Venus Optics also announced two useful accessories for their new prime lens. A common trade-off of ultra wide angle lenses is the lack of a frontal filter thread, which the manufacturer has solved with their filter holder for 2x 100mm filters and 1x circular polariser. Venus Optics has also announced a Shift Converter that expands the image circle by 10mm at the expense of some light. The result? A 17mm f/4 lens with a +/- 10mm shift capability with no vignetting. These will go for $50 and $300 respectively. Click here for more info on these products, and make sure to check out people’s first impressions of this lens here and here. Do any of these primes tickle your fancy? Let us know in the comments below!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
The new XEEN budget cinema prime lenses are a big deal. I have not referred to them as “low budget” because at $ 2,495 each, they aren’t exactly “cheap”. They are however specified and priced perfectly to take advantage of a gaping hole in the lens market that is growing year on year and has not been filled, until now. Here are 5 reasons why the new XEEN lenses could make a significant impact on our landscape. A long overdue market correction in the price/performance ratio We’ve all seen our camera specs and capabilities go through the roof, and at the same time prices have hit the floor. The same cannot be said of our glass. Up until now, the established lens manufacturers have been propping up prices for “entry level” cinema glass simply by not introducing products at a lower price point. The closest we’ve had so far are the Zeiss Compact Primes, Canon Cinema Primes, Sony Cinealta and Schneider Xenon FF which while far more affordable than a set of Ultra Primes, Master Primes or Cookes, have still left many of us out in the cold making do with photography glass. The problem with using stills originated photography lenses for video is that the requirements are different enough to cause problems. Photo lenses breathe a lot more than their cinema counterparts, this means that there is a slight but noticeable change in angle of view with movement of focus. Cinema lenses are usually built a bit tougher, they have metal housings of a unified size and front diameter, and some meaningful weight to them that instills confidence. They have manual focus and iris only, a long focus throw and smooth detent free aperture. They “feel” good, and lets face it, many plastic photo lenses do not. Strategic positioning Samyang have strategically placed themselves front and center already for many of us with their fantastic VDSLR primes. These lenses are just really good considering the price point. Many of us rely on them and will continue to do so. The VDSLR range have already placed Samyang right where they needed to be to introduce XEEN. Performance XEEN really have gone all out and covered all the bases. These are more than just rehoused Samyang VDSLR (Rockinon Cine DS) optics. XEEN have been careful to build proper cine lenses here in every way that matters. Let’s just take a quick look. 1. Full Frame Sensor Coverage 2. High-speed T1.5 aperture 3. High resolving power and high tech coatings 4. Interchangable Lens Mount 5. Unified front diameter 6. Aluminum housing 7. Standardized positions for focus and aperture gear rings Perfectly priced Some may disagree, but I actually believe these lenses are priced perfectly. There is a formidable amount of engineering, precision manufacturing, assembly and testing that goes into a cinema lens. These lenses represent amazing value. The XEEN primes are in a very affordable space for many pro videographers and cinematographers who will quickly be able to realize a return on the investment. You can find pricing on individual XEEN lenses and pre-order HERE. More to come The current three lens set comprises a 24mm, 50mm and 85mm which is a pretty much ideal set for the vast majority of shoot situations. However, it will be filled out with three more yet to be announced focal lengths “coming soon”. For more information check out the following links. Official XEEN Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/xeenglobal XEEN Website: http://www.xeenglobal.com A great article by Matthew Duclos: Rockinon Takes Aim with New Xeen Cinema Prime Lenses First Look Xeen Cinema Primes by Cam Noir on Vimeo: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
Samyang have just announced two new lenses, a 16mm f/2.0 lens designed for the APS-C platform, and a 300mm f/6.3 reflex lens designed for mirrorless cameras. The 16mm f/2.0 is Samyang’s first lens designed specifically for APS-C cameras. It equates to the equivalent of roughly 24mm on a full frame sensor, and fits nicely in their line-up alongside the 14mm and 24mm. Unlike it’s full frame counter parts however, the Samyang 16mm is not yet available as a cine-lens, therefore does not retain a click-less aperture and permanent lens gear.Read more
For many the Blackmagic Cinema Camera with MFT mount was a pretty exciting announcement as it opens up the camera for the use with many different kinds of lenses. SLR Magic just confirmed that they are now woking on creating some inexpensive anamorphic lenses. The company is known to produce the famous Noktor primes that have an extreme lowlight capability with their f-stop of f0.95.Read more
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