Canon has just announced the newest addition to its Cinema Lens lineup, the Cine-Servo CN7x17 KAS S, and we were lucky enough to spend some time it. While sharing the naming convention of a traditional ENG lens, this new 4K Super35 lens shares the same heritage as the popular Cinema Zooms with a versatile 17mm – 120mm (T2.95-3.9) range. With an image circle of 31.7mm, the new Cine-Servo will cover all current 4K cameras and the RED Dragon up to 5.5K FF. With Canon’s deep history in broadcast optics, the lens is great for those wanting that familiar ENG on-the-shoulder design with a Super35 body, like the Canon C300 / C500, Sony F5 / F55, or the Arri AMIRA.
This lens features integrated electronics with support for Cooke /i Technology, or when using the EF mount version, support for Canon EOS. The mounts are interchangeable via a quick visit to a Canon service facility, which provides a lot of flexibility for those with multiple cameras.
The servo drive unit can be easily removed via several screws, and when you’re ready to reattach, the encoders won’t require initialization, so you’re ready to shoot immediately. One of my favorite aspects of the Cine-Servo zoom is how compact the drive unit and lens barrel is, which keeps your hand close to the optical axis and minimizes the amount of extension on your elbow.
The integrated 12-pin connector allows you to plug the lens directly into a compatible camera body like the Arri AMIRA, ALEXA Fiber Remote Option (FRO), or the Sony F5 / F55 with the Sony FZ to PL adapter with 12-pin connector. By utilizing the 12-pin connector on the Sony setup, all lens information (focus, iris, zoom position) is passed to the camera – plus you gain auto iris. If you have no need for auto iris, you can simply connect the 12-pin cable to the included port on the lens and use the Cooke /i Technology contacts integrated to the PL mount. With the Cooke connection, you’re able to transmit power, start / stop, focus, iris, and zoom information to any compatible camera or CCU.
If your camera does not have a 12-pin connector or Cooke contacts, you can use a simple PTap to 12-pin cable to enable the zoom servo. On a compatible Canon EF body like the C100, C300, C500, or EOS-1D C, you’ll have full support for lens information as well as Peripheral Illumination Correction. The lens also has three 20-pin connections for your focus, iris, or zoom demands, which make the new Cine-Servo a great option for a studio environment.
Additionally, the servo unit has an information display similar to those found on the Canon ENG lenses, and includes several controls such as Shuttle Shot, Frame Preset, and Speed Preset. Servo zoom speed has an impressive range that can be set from a rapid 0.5 seconds to a deliberate 300 seconds.
Like the rest of the family, the Cine-Servo features an 11-blade iris and witness marks set at an angle so they remain visible when seen from behind. Of course, you still retain witness marks on both the operator and AC side for a more traditional “cine” style shoot. The focus barrel rotates a full 180°, and the 0.8 pitch focus gears remain accessible for a follow focus even with the servo attached.
Front clamping diameter is 114mm, and the lens also includes 112mm threads for screw-in filters. The included hood will accommodate 127mm filters and has a rotating stage, which can be useful for polarizer filters. The lens will ship with posts for both 15mm and 19mm lens supports, which rounds out a rather complete package.
For more information, visit Canon’s site to read the full press release. We’re definitely looking forward to spending a bit more time with this lens, but until then, make sure to check it out at NAB 2014!