CELERE HS prime lenses, manufactured in Germany, were first introduced in 2015. What makes these lenses special is that they are high-quality, affordable cine lenses with uniformed weight and size. Cinematographer Konstantin Konstantinou had a chance to work with the new lenses and shares his experience with them in this guest article. – Intro by Sebastian Wöber Working with CELERE HS Prime Lenses Two weeks ago I had the chance to shoot a TV commercial with the new CELERE HS prime lenses, made by the German company Hanse Inno Tech, who are most commonly known for their camera support accessories. Disclaimer: I’m not an employee or affiliate, nor do I receive any money from Hanse Inno Tech for this article. Celere HS 85mm T/1.5 Cine Lens So why on earth would I take a new, not even finished set of PL prime lenses (I only could get hold of the 25, 36 and 85mm) to shoot an actual TV commercial? A few weeks ago I read about these newly developed lenses here on cinema5D and became a little curious about them. Four lenses with a maximum aperture of T1.5, slight form factor overall with the same dimensions (!) (weight: 1050 g (2.31 lb) with 85mm front diameter and 77mm filter threads!). All of them color matched—for the same amount of money that would buy me a new VW Polo, fake emission values included. Sounded more than affordable! So I called Lars Andersen from Hanse Inno Tech, and he arranged for me to get the set for a small test. I’m a cinematographer, not a tech-guy, so I thought I’ll let the others film their charts and try the CELEREs in an actual production environment—and here’s how they performed: I must admit, after two days of shooting, I’m really impressed. They’re “the best bang for your buck” you can get at the moment if you’re looking for true PL cinema glass! Don’t get me wrong; they aren’t Cookes, nor are they Masterprimes—and nothing like Leica Summilux-Cs. Keep in mind, however; these lenses will cost you at least 5x as much as the CELEREs. For their price (€11.800,- for a set of 4), they deliver solid performance. The Celeres play more in the price range of CP.2s, Samyang XEENs, or rehoused GL Optics glass. In all honesty, though, they knock all of them out in the very first round! If you take a set of CP.2s for example (25, 35, 50, 85) you’re going to spend about €21,000 (almost double the price) and only the 35, 50 and 85 are super speeds. The Zeiss CP2 25mm (which is one of the worst CP.2s I have ever used – better take the Zeiss CP2 21mm T2.9) has a maximum aperture of T2.1. The CELEREs are sharp stopped down from T2, deliver a beautiful and not too saturated, not clinically sharp image with a nice contrast, and their focus breathing is minimal. The focus rings travel 250° (which is nice if you don’t pull your own focus) and both the focus and iris are smoothly damped. Overall finish is beautiful, and they just feel like they were made by a German engineer (which they were). Because of their small size, you can put (when available) a set of 6 lenses in a single case. Which is an excellent benefit for owner/operators. We shot the commercial on the Arri ALEXA, and the CELEREs delivered a beautiful image—they are constructed to cover a full-frame sensor, and so we found no vignetting or distortion on the edges of the Alexa’s super35 sensor. Of course, wide open at T1.5 you will get some corner softness. The AC’s Take on the CELERE HS Prime Lenses When taking the lenses out of the case for the first time, my 1st AC and Steadicam operator Martin Kreslehner was more than curious. But after handling them for over two days, he wanted to keep them and send back an empty case! What impressed him the most was the uniform weight (as an SC operator, this is a key feature for him). The transparent back-caps seem a little strange at first (they are a little stiff to put on the lenses because of their o-rings). But if you have ever accidentally dropped the cap of an Ultra Prime into a muddy puddle when taking the lens out of the case, you will appreciate these caps made by TLS. Just another very well thought out aspect of these lenses. Conclusion So, after a full weekend of using the CELEREs on an actual commercial shoot, what are my final thoughts? Would I buy them? Would I recommend others to purchase a set? The lenses truly met—and exceeded—our expectations. With the possibility to change the PL mount to Canon EF in the near future, and the not yet ready but newly developed exchangeable front lenses (this lets you match the look of your set to almost any other PL set on the market), at their price range, they really rock! This is the first in-between PL Set, having cinevised still lenses on one side and expensive cinema glass on the other end of the spectrum (both quality—and price—wise). If you plan to upgrade from stills to cinema glass, consider the CELERE HS primes as a valuable and future-proof investment. If you are not completely sold yet, rent them and buy after the exchangeable front lenses are available (at least that’s what I’m going to do). The CELERE HS Prime Lenses are available at: celerelenses.com Unfortunately the TV commercial is still in post production. Here are a few films shot on CELERE HS lenses:Read more
Zeiss has announced the Milvus line, a premium set of lenses designed for Canon EF and Nikon F. They are thing of beauty, a full set of manual focus lenses for Canon EF and Nikon F mount. They take on Zeiss’ sleek new design found with the Loxia, Batis and Otus lines. Being an owner of the 35mm f/2.0 Loxia I can confirm these lenses will be extremely well built, a lovely damped focus ring and solid constructed metal build. Zeiss announces near enough a full set from the go: 21mm, 35mm, 50mm, 50mm Macro, 85mm and 100mm Macro. Time will tell where these sit with the rest of Zeiss’ stills lenses. They’re not in Otus territory but are in a good position to super speed the current ZE and ZF lines. The Zeiss Milvus ZE for Canon EF will be electronically compatible; aperture adjustment will be via the camera body as per normal. Same for Nikon F but with the addition of a manual iris ring at the back for older body adaption. Like the Loxia line, the aperture ring on the Zeiss Milvus ZF.2s will be both smooth and clicked (user can switch between the two with a simple tool). The blue rubber seal signifies that the Zeiss Milvus are weather-sealed lenses. Each of the lens hoods will be felt lined and barrels have focus markings and model names etched onto the metal housing. Check out each independent lens in the line up below: Zeiss Milvus ZE for Canon EF Zeiss Milvus 21mm f/2.8 ZE Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/2 ZE Zeiss Milvus 50mm f/1.4 ZE Zeiss Milvus 50mm f/2M ZE Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4 ZE Zeiss Milvus 100mm f/2M ZE Zeiss Milvus ZF for Nikon F Zeiss Milvus 21mm f/2.8 ZF.2 Zeiss Milvus 35mm f/2 ZF.2 Zeiss Milvus 50mm f/1.4 ZF.2 Zeiss Milvus 50mm f/2M ZF.2 Zeiss Milvus 85mm f/1.4 ZF.2 Zeiss Milvus 100mm f/2M ZF.2Read 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
When asked to produce/shoot and edit the promotional video for the 14th international Beethoven competition which will take place during June 2013 in Vienna Austria, it was clear for me that I will deploy my Canon 1DC for it and shoot a 4k master. The process of pre-selecting candidates for this competition is a worldwide effort. Distinguish judges in different cities had to listen to hours of music played by different candidates. Since I am located in Vienna that’s where I joined them. Two filming days, that’s what I got and due to “movements restrictions” while the candidates were playing, I was literally “stuck” in one position during each composition and could only silently change lenses to achieve a shot.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
We thank our sponsor B&H who has made cinema5D’s news coverage of NAB 2012 possible. Get your gear through B&H to support this platform: www.bhphotovideo.com Here’s one of the most intriguing new products we’ve seen at NAB 2012: The PrimeCircle cine EF lenses. Italian based product designer and lens modifier Dante Cecchin had been working in cinematography for a long time when the HDSLR revolution changed the way we looked at cinema. Driven by the need for HDSLR cine primes Dante modified high quality Zeiss ZF glass into cinema lenses and started a production.Read more
User sibero80 organized a group buy of the 35mm lenses by Polish company Samyang. We’ve reported about the Samyang 35mm 1.4 before. They are among the few lenses for EOS that have the benefits of manual primes: A wide focus throw, solid housing and a manual aperture. They are built as photo lenses so they have a click-in aperture ring and no gear ring. However at a price of $460 a 35mm prime with an f-stop of 1.4 is pretty unique.Read more
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