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Lenses / Optics Posts

Thomas Fletcher of Fujifilm joined me to discuss the new Fujinon MK 50-135mm T2.9 Cine-Zoom lens. This is a telephoto companion lens to compliment the recently announced 18-55mm T2.9. The new 50-135mm shares the same weight, length and diameter of the 18-55mm. It also shares the same par-focal design, with minimal breathing and no aperture ramping. Like its “shorter” brother, this lens will be offered in a native E-mount for Sony cameras like the FS7II.

The Fujinon MK 50-135mm T2.9 will start shipping in July. Watch the video above to learn more.
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In this video, I chat with Ron Engvaldsen from Schneider Optics about their new RHOdium Full Spectrum Neutral Density filters. Traditional ND filters have used organic dyes, with naturally varying densities and changes in spectral transmission over time. Schneider’s new filters aim for ruler-flat spectral response over the entire visible spectrum and down into near-infrared. Because camera manufacturers have introduced better handling of IR contamination in recent years, existing IRNDs can now actually over-filter towards the infrared end of the spectrum, ironically introducing new issues when used with modern sensor/OLPF packages. Schneider’s FSNDs have been extensively tested with Sony, ARRI and RED cameras to make sure differences in sensitivity and spectral transmission introduce little to no variation among the red, green and blue color channels when viewed “end-to-end” on a vectorscope and other test equipment. Check out the video for more.

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In this installment of our NAB 2017 coverage, I’m here with Patrick Santucci from Sigma to discuss some updates and new lenses in the Sigma Cine series.

The most recent additions to the cine prime lineup are a 14mm and a 135mm, both with a maximum aperture of T2. These lenses will be available in PL, EF and E-mount, and offer full frame coverage up to 8K resolution, just like the rest of Sigma’s cine primes.

Sigma’s line of Super 35 cine zooms have been so popular, they are now stepping into the full frame-compatible cine zoom lenses market with the 24-35mm T2.2. With a 43.3mm image circle, this lens will be perfect for everything from Sony’s a7S to the RED EPIC-W. Check out the above video for more information.

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I met with Seth Emmons from CW Sonderoptic (Leica’s affiliate company for cinema lenses) about their exciting, new large format Leica Thalia lenses. The Thalia’s are a line of high-end spherical cine primes with extra-large 60mm diameter image circles. This is more than enough to cover ARRI’s ALEXA 65 and virtually any other digital format in use today. This includes RED’s 8K VistaVision, full format stills (36mm x 24mm) and, of course, all 3- and 4-perf Super 35 digital sensors as well.

Similar in size and weight to the Leica Summilux-C primes (some of the Thalias are actually smaller), these lenses average just 4 lb and have consistent outer front diameters of 95mm (matching all other Leica cine lenses) with inner 92mm filter threads. The set will ultimately comprise nine lenses with focal lengths ranging from 24mm up to 180mm with maximum apertures of T2.6-T3.6. In adapting designs from Leica’s medium format S camera system, which already had a reputation for producing cinematic images, CW Sonderoptic took the opportunity to optimize the lenses through new coatings and elements, targeting a balance of sharpness and smoothness. The iris implementation is interesting as well, using 15 curved blades to produce perfectly round and smooth bokeh (out-of-focus highlight discs) at all aperture settings.

Stayed tuned throughout the video to hear more about the Leica M 0.8 lenses, as well as first availability of the final focal length in the Summicron-C range, the 15mm T2. With a generous 36mm image circle, this rectilinear lens will easily cover RED’s 6K Dragon and 8K Helium sensors, as well as ALEXA’s Open Gate mode. Finally, Leica’s Macrolux diopters are now available in two new strengths, adding +.5 and +2, in addition to the original +1 version.

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Today I met with Jean-Marc Bouchut to get the rundown on Angenieux’s new offerings showing at NAB 2017. Included is the compact and lightweight Optimo Style 48-130, available this fall, with a 44mm diameter image circle, T3 constant maximum aperture, and 3’1” close focus.

You’ll also hear more about Angenieux’s convertible rear anamorphic 10x zoom, the Optimo Anamorphic 44-440 A2S T4.5, which features a convertible rear group that can be swapped to a spherical element, turning the lens into a 25-250 T3.5. Angenieux has also developed a specially coated rear element for this lens that will provoke the characteristic “blue line” flare associated with classic anamorphic lenses of the ’70s and ’80s. Check out the video for more info on these lenses and accessories.

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I had ZEISS’ Snehal Patel over for a lively discussion about the new Compact Prime 3 and Compact Prime 3 XD lenses from ZEISS. This exciting new series of professional cinema lenses feature smaller and lighter housings than their CP.2 predecessors, consistent 95mm front outer diameters, and an updated focusing mechanism for a consistently smooth feel, even in cold weather. All lenses in the range are now “full frame” (covering up to the 35mm stills format, 24mm x 36mm, with a 43.4mm diagonal) and maximum apertures have been made more consistent as well. The 15mm, 18mm and 21mm focal lengths all open to T2.9 while focal lengths from 25mm and up all open to T2.1.

…continue reading At the Bench: ZEISS Compact Prime 3 and the Compact Prime 3 XD

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When Canon announced the Compact Servo 18-80mm T4.4 last year, it was also announced that it would be part of a family of lenses. Today, the Compact Servo 70-200mm T4.4 joins the ranks as the second lens of the series. With particular attention to usability, the 70-200 is physically identical to the 18-80, down to the placement and gear pitch of the focus, iris, and zoom rings. It utilizes the same optional hand grip unit, and like its sister lens is a parfocal design. Optically it also pairs well with the Cinema Prime lenses and is compatible with the Canon 1.4x and 2.0x Extender.

…continue reading First Look: Canon 70-200 Compact Servo

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