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posted by - Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Sony’s new PMW-F5 and PMW-F55 cameras build upon the popular PMW-F3, and feature a Super-35mm size sensor with 2K and 4K recording options. Both the F5 and F55 are suitable for many different styles of production and can be customized with lenses and accessories to make them even more versatile solutions. Some of the existing accessories for the F3 are interchangeable with the F5 and F55, but the new form factor means some support accessories will be unique. In this article, we present the many different lenses and accessories that can be used with the cameras.

Lens Adapters | Lenses | PL Mount Lenses | Still Lenses | Mattebox, Follow Focus and Shoulder Rigs | Power Options | Recorders | Recording Media | Electronic Viewfinders

Lens Adapters

The Sony PMW-F5 and PMW-F55 both utilize the same FZ mount found on the PMW-F3. The FZ mount has a very short flange back distance (the distance between the lens mount and the sensor). The cameras will ship with a PL-mount lens adapter, which can be used with the Sony branded PL lenses and any other PL mount lens on the market, and supports both Arri’s LDS and Cooke’s /i system.  Additionally, the FZ mount allows for the use of several different lens adapters.

FZ to Nikon Mount Adapter: MTF FZ to Nikon

MTF Services Nikon to F3 AdapterThe MTF Services FZ to Nikon adapter allows Nikon F mount lenses to be attached to the camera and features an iris control ring for any lens that does not have external control. Although designed for G series lenses, this adapter is compatible with all Nikon lenses including DX & FX series, so it can be used with Zeiss ZF.2 lenses, as well as any Nikon mount lens.

FZ to Canon FD: MTF FZ to Canon FD

MTF Services’ F3 to Canon FD lens adapter allows Canon FD mount lenses to be attached to the camera. However, this adapter will not work with the newer Canon EF lenses, which require power to adjust the aperture control.


While the F5 and F55 will not ship with lenses, the included PL adapter and various available FZ adapters mean that there is a wide variety of lenses you can use. Here are some models that you’ll find at AbelCine.

PL Mount Lenses

Zeiss Compact PrimeZeiss Compact Primes

Zeiss Compact Primes (CP.2) – These lightweight lenses are both affordable and versatile. They are built for cinema applications with a 14-blade iris and a long focal range; they are available from 15mm to 135mm. They are also unique in that the lens mount can be changed between PL, Nikon, Canon EF and other mounts. The size and weight of these lenses would fit very nicely with the F5 and F55.

Zeiss Compact Zooms

Introduced at NAB 2012, the Zeiss Compact Zoom family is designed to complement the CP.2 range. The original lens in the series is the 70-200 T2.9, which features an 18-blade aperture. More recently, Zeiss unveiled the 28-80 T2.9. Similar to the CP.2 family, both lenses feature interchangeable mounts (including PL) and will cover full frame cameras (24mm x 36mm). This makes them versatile options for those shooting with multiple cameras, including full frame HDSLRs.

Arri Ultra Primes

The Arri Ultra Primes from Zeiss are universally known for their quality, color, contrast and speed. A set of these lenses would be a beautiful addition to either camera.

Zeiss Light Weight Zoom 2

The Zeiss Light Weight Zoom 2 (LWZ.2) is an incredibly high quality 15.5-45mm T 2.6 zoom lens. Like the Compact Primes, it comes in PL, Nikon, Canon and other mounts, and is lightweight at only 4.4 lbs.

Fujinon Cabrio

Answering the call for those seeking ENG style zooms, Fujinon’s Cabrio 19-90 T2.9 is a PL mounted lens with the unique addition of a zoom rocker and servo, making it easier to operate either camera in a run & gun fashion. To round off the range, Fujinon recently announced the similarly-sized 85-300 T2.9 Cabrio.

Angenieux Optimo DP RougeAngenieux Optimo DP Rouge Zoom Lenses

Angenieux designed the DP Rouge Zoom Lenses specifically for digital cinema cameras. There are two lenses in this series, a 16-42mm T.28 and a 30-80mm T2.8. Angenieux lenses are known for their quality, and these two lenses are no exception.

Schneider Cine Xenars

The Schneider Cine-Xenar lenses are available in PL and EF mounts. These lenses cover the Super 35mm image area of the F3, and also the 5K area of the Red Epic. Optically they have virtually no breathing and a nice gradual roll off in focus.

Sony CineAlta PL Primes

When the F3 was released, Sony launched three companion PL lenses as part of the PMW-F3K kit. With the F5 & F55 announcement, Sony will also be releasing six new PL lenses with focal lengths of 20, 25, 35, 50, 85 and 135mm, all T2.0 with nine iris blades. Additionally, the Sony 18-252mm T3.9 -T6.8 FZ servo zoom lens will be supported (although there is no zoom rocker on either body), as well as the new PL 11-16mm T3.0.

Still Lenses

Zeiss ZF.2Zeiss ZF.2 Lenses

Zeiss designed these high quality lenses for the still photography world, but they also work very well for video. These lenses have an F mount, meaning the MTF Sony FZ to Nikon adapter is required, however, since they are completely manual, no electronics are required. The ZF.2 lenses have manual aperture rings and the focus ring has hard stops, which makes pulling focus much easier. There are many different lenses to choose from including 18mm, 21mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, 50mm macro, 85mm and 100mm. The lenses vary in size and speed, but they all match in terms of color and contrast.

Other Nikon Mount Lenses

With the MTF Sony FZ to Nikon adapter, there are a huge number of lenses to choose from. Two lenses to consider from Tokina are their 11-16mm F2.8 and 16-28m F2.8. These lenses both have manual focus modes and the aperture can be controlled with the adapter. Sigma has a couple of lenses to consider as well. The 50mm F1.4 is very nice and very fast, and their 24-70mm F2.8 and 70-200mm F2.8 lenses perform very well.

Mattebox, Follow Focus and Shoulder Rigs

We have had many people asking how to best rig the F5 & F55 with accessories. Below are several different setups that we’ve tested with the camera.

Arri MMB-1Arri 

Arri has just recently announced an F5/F55 baseplate system that is scaleable from a lightweight shoulder system to a full blown studio configuration. Consisting of a new F5/F55 adapter plate that integrates with a low profile shoulder pad, the Arri solution can also be built to incorporate the optional top plate and replacement handle. Unsurprisingly, this setup will mate directly with a BP-8 or BP-9 bridgeplate for larger applications.

To follow up with the very popular Arri MMB-1, the new MMB-2 is a lightweight clamp or rod-mounted mattebox available in two configurations. The lighter weight varient offers a single 4×4″ / 4.5″ tray and a single 4×5.65 tray ideal for clamp on use, or you can opt for the version with double 4×5.65″ / 4×4″ trays. Both versions have a maximum lens diameter of 114mm, and are compatible with many accessories and lens rings from the MMB-1.


The venerable Chrosziel 450W Super Wide Mattebox or 456-R2 Academy Mattebox make for great pairings with the F5 and F55. Chrosziel has done a great job improving their mattebox systems with wider backs (130mm) and stronger fiberglass bodies. Their kits include step-downs for different lens standards or their rubber ring for use with SLR lenses.

Element Technica

The Micron system from Element Technica introduces a new standardization for camera accessories and is designed to be a complete ecosystem for multiple camera platforms. Mitch spent some time detailing the various differences between the Lightweight 15mm BasicLightweight 15mm DeluxeStudio 15mm Basic,Studio 15mm DeluxeStudio 19mm Basic and Studio 19mm Deluxe sets, and he describes some of the features of the newest members of the Element Technica family.

OConnor OBoxOConnor O-box Kit

The OConnor O-box has been a crowd favorite in our showrooms due to its extremely strong construction and unique features like a top accessory bar. The mounting bar, which OConnor calls a ‘cheese-stick,’ has threads for 1/4-20 and 3/8″ attachments. OConnor’s O-Grips system can be mounted to this top bar as well as to either side of the mattebox. The rear opening of the mattebox is 150mm, so it will work with a large variety of lenses. The mattebox comes with two 4×5.65 horizontal filter frames, as well as two top loading or 4×4 horizontal filter frames, at an incredible price. OConnor also has two follow focus offerings: the double sided, swing arm CFF-1, and the equally capable O-Focus DM (double sided is available as option, no swing arm). The O-Focus DM is available in a Photo kit (1:0.75 gear ratio) or a Cine kit (1:1.4 gear ratio), so you’ll be covered regardless of what style lenses you’re using.

Shape WLB

The versatile BP7000 baseplate is a streamlined shoulder mount solution that mounts directly on to a V-Lock tripod quick release plate (like the Sony VCT-14). Putting the weight of the camera on to your shoulders, the removable shoulder pad is complimented nicely with the included double quick handle rosette. With multiple mounting options and an adjustable front rod mount, the BP7000 can be adapted to use with multiple cameras, including the F5 & F55. 

Power Options

The F5 / F55 uses the standard V-mount batteries found on many ENG cameras. The camera, however, does not come with any batteries or a charger, so here are some options.


Along with two new cameras and six new lenses, Sony has also introduced a new V-Mount battery that utilizes olivine-based lithium iron phosphate as the cathode material, instead of the traditional lithium ion cathodes. What this means is faster recharge time (99% full in 30 minutes) and a longer lifespan. The BP-FL75 will power your camera for 150 minutes and takes advantage of the new BC-L90 quick charger. It is shorter than most V-Mount batteries, giving your F5/F55 a streamlined look.


Switronix makes an adapter plate, which comes in V-Mount to V-Mount or Anton Bauer Gold Mount to V-Mount versions, that sandwiches between your battery and camera body and provides two P-Tap ports for accessories. If you’re looking for additional power output options, the Gold Mount Jetpack and V-Mount Jetpack both give you two regulated 12V Fischer 3 pin, one Lemo 2 pin, and a 5V USB port. 


Sony AXS-R5

To take advantage of the 2K and 4K capabilities on the F5 and the RAW capabilities on both cameras, you must use Sony’s AXS-R5. Capturing in 16-bit 4K RAW, with 2K RAW coming in a future firmware update, the R5 integrates to the back of the F5 / F55 and also allows you to record simultaneously to the internal SxS cards.

Recording Media

The F5 and F55 record to standard Sony SxS cards in the familiar XDCAM EX codec, but the cameras also introduce the new intra-frame XAVC codec. While the original SxS PRO and SxS+ cards will work in standard frame rates, the 4K XAVC mode on the F55 and high frame rate modes will require the new SxS Pro+ cards. The new SxS Pro+ cards are available in 64GB or 128GB. All SxS cards can take advantage of the new SBAC-US20, a bus powered USB 3.0 card reader.   

Electronic Viewfinders


With a new dedicated digital viewfinder interface, Sony has released three new monitoring options alongside the F5 and F55. There are two viewfinder options, a 3.5″ 960×540 LCD and a .7″ 1280×720 OLED. The DVF-L350 is a 3.5″ LCD with a higher resolution panel than any previous LCD viewfinder from Sony, and it features a flip up eyepiece. The surprisingly compact DVF-EL100 is a 1280×720 OLED viewfinder that offers unparalleled 10,000:1 contrast ratio and incredible brightness. In addition to the two viewfinder options, the Sony DVF-L700 is a compact, 7″ full raster 1920×1080 monitor. While it does utilize the new digital viewfinder interface (which provides power and the video signal), the DVF-L700 also includes a 3G-SDI input for use on other cameras. 

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