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
The new XEEN 135mm T2.2 lens just announced by Samyang is the latest addition to their rugged, 4K-capable line-up. After successive releases of the 14mm and 35mm XEEN lenses earlier in the year, this completes the line up of premium optics from Samyang, the infiltrator of the cinema optics market. The new XEEN 135mm boasts a T2.2 aperture, which is nearly equivalent to F2, a perfect focal length for intimate portrait shots of subjects. Not limited to Canon EF or Nikon F mount, the lenses are also available in PL, Sony E and MFT mounts also. The minimum focus distance on the spec sheet of the XEEN 135mm is 0.8m, but as displayed on the image of the lens itself, it’s 2.9 feet, which is roughly 88cm. This is closer than the Zeiss CP.2 135mm, which comes in at 1m. Unsurprisingly, it is also the heaviest lens in the range, weighing 1.382kg, although that is not a surprise considering the full metal body. The XEEN range is designed for inter-operability, allowing the quick and easy switching with other XEEN lenses without adjusting your current setup, whether that be matte boxes, follow focus or the camera itself. There is no mention of price, but as all the other lenses in the range are priced at £2495 (£1600), I would assume the price would follow suit. There is no release date for the 135mm model yet, but expect news from IBC and Photokina with more info!Read more
Samyang released two new XEEN cinema lenses at BVE 2016; the 14mm T3.1 and 35mm T1.5, adding to the existing 24mm, 50mm, and 85mm models. These new designs bring improved optics, a full metal build, and a PL mount—expanding the possibilities of using the lenses on cinema cameras, too. Richard looked at the 24mm, 50mm and 85mm XEEN lenses in this previous post. Some of you may remember that the original Samyang VDSLR lenses hit the market at a very affordable price range. I’ve been an avid user of the 14mm, 35mm, and 85mm variants since I got the set back in 2013 and this new range shows how Samyang—a relative newcomer to the video industry—is committed to offering filmmakers top-quality glass that is now ready for 4K. I was impressed with a few things when I had a brief look at the 35mm variant. Firstly, it has a lot less bleaching when the lens is wide open while boasting sharper visuals, too. The weight of the lens surprised me also, as even with a metal body it seemed to weigh less than the Tamron 24-70 that I was shooting with at the time. Lighter kit is always a bonus for transportation—especially since it lets you fit more into your kit bag. Finally, the price point of the lenses sits at around $2,495.00 each—with a 5 piece set with a hard case available for just $9,999.00. It definitely brings the lenses in reach of those looking to invest in better optics (which we know can greatly improve picture quality), without having to splash out on Zeiss CP2’s or the Schneider Xenon’s, for example. A downside to the set of lenses was that they are of different physical lengths, which can be an inconvenience if you are changing lenses with a follow focus and matte box attached to the rig… though I guess you have to compensate somewhere for such an affordable, high-quality outfit.Read more
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
Recently I’ve been able to shoot with the new XEEN cinema lenses and I’m happy to say I’m very impressed. Here’s my first impressions. At this price point the XEEN’s are exactly what I expected coming from the company behind the popular Samyang VDSLR primes… great value for money. However, one question seems to plague the minds of would-be XEEN buyers, so I want to address it right now. Aren’t these just rehoused Samyangs? Not really. The new XEEN’s may share the same internal optical design, but new coatings have stepped it all up a notch. You’ll see noticeably less flaring and better contrast. Everything else has been built from scratch. Where Samyang “cinemized” their stills lenses with focus and iris gears, and de-clicked iris, the XEEN’s are purpose built cine lenses. All of the compromises you had to make with the crossover cine-style photo lenses are gone with the XEEN line. The first review I read of the XEEN lenses before testing them myself was by Frank Glencairn on his blog: A first quick look at Samyang’s new Xeen Cinelenses I basically want to say “what he said”, as my experience of these lenses is pretty much identical. I guess consistency is a good sign. Focal Lengths The first of the XEEN primes are the 24mm T1.5, 50mm T1.5 and 85mm T1.5, which I consider a great start as far as focal lengths are concerned. I’ve read the opinions of some that three lenses do not comprise a workable set, but I disagree. As far as I’m concerned an entire feature could be shot on a 24, 50 and 85. Sure, more options are fantastic, but when it comes down to it these cover the basic necessary focal lengths for most shots. Housings The XEEN housings are fantastic, built to precision tolerances of quality materials with a high-end finish. Markings are readable both sides. The position of focus and iris gears are unified across all lenses as is the 114mm front diameter making lens swaps fast and easy. Mechanics These lenses feel fantastic, there is no play whatsoever and perfect resistance in both focus and iris movement. The 200 degree focus throw is a bit less than you’d expect from other cinema primes but it’s plenty. I really liked the responsiveness and smoothness of pulling focus on these lenses. As far as build and mechanics are concerned I couldn’t ask for more regardless of price. Performance These lenses are tack sharp. Like really, really sharp. Easily sharp enough for 4K+ and they will cover full frame. Saying that, they do have a very cinematic feel. There is a bit of focus breathing. It was enough to annoy me, but that’s really just a personal thing. It’s not bad, and considering the price point and everything you get it’s forgivable. All things considered, it’s easy to justify the added investment in a set of XEEN cinema primes over the less expensive but still hugely popular Samyang VDSLR lenses if you can make that jump. XEEN have delivered on all that these lenses promised when the announcement first became public. These are some very capable professional optics for anyone wanting to purchase an affordable set of cinema primes. I’d like to thank BHM Store in Dubai for the lenses to test, they distribute Samyang / XEEN in the UAE: www.bhmstore.comRead 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
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