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posted by - Monday, 07 March 2011

The demand for 35PL lenses has never been greater, and most manufacturers have entered the market with sets of prime lenses, usually ranging from 18mm to 100mm and more. Focus Optics decided to fill the hole in the market with the Ruby 14-24 T2.8 Zoom Lens. The Ruby is based on Nikon glass, but the housing and mechanics have been completely reworked. The lens focuses in the standard direction that all PLs focus, with many clear focus marks on the large barrel. The whole lens is quite compact – only 138mm long and just three pounds. Focus, zoom and iris rings are all geared to cine standards, and the front diameter is a 110mm cine standard as well. The lens will also accept a 102mm screw-in filter on the front.

Ruby is a future-proof optical design, because it covers the entire Full Frame 35mm or ”VistaVision” format.

On a side note, the first half of this video was shot on a Sony PMW-EX1, which has a ½” sized three-chip sensor block, with the lens zoomed out to its widest focal length, 5.8mm. I then put the Ruby 14-24 on the Sony PMW-F3, which has a Super-35 single sensor. The matching field of view for the F3 sensor would be right near the middle of the Ruby’s range, about 20mm. But the sense of depth due to compression in the frame and the shorter relative depth of field make for a distinctly different look. The two cameras were otherwise set basically the same, making this a convenient illustration of the differences in the look of the two sensor sizes.

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