Canon has added to its cine-servo lens line-up with the CN20x50, an ultra-telephoto whopper. The 4K-friendly lens, which is aimed at sport and wildlife TV production, boasts a massive native focal length range of 50-1000-mm for getting close to the action. Should this not be enough, it also features a built-in 1.5x extender to expand that to a monstrous 75-1500-mm.
The CN20x50 is designed as a portable lens for broadcast productions whether shooting HD, UHD or 4K. As such, it features a weather-and-shock-proof construction, and is compatible with super 35-mm cameras, with EF-mount and PL-mount variants available. It also features a 12-pin serial connection for integration with typical broadcast equipment.
However, it's the humongous focal length range which is undoubtedly the main attraction of the lens, as it can cover 50-1500-mm once the extender is taken into account. It has a maximum aperture of T5.0 at 50-560-mm and T8.9 at 1000-mm. With the extender it's T7.5 at 75-840-mm and T13.5 at 1500-mm. With 11 iris blades, it should also offer pleasing bokeh.
A removable servo drive unit enables the sort of broadcast-style shooting that's difficult to achieve with typical cine lenses. There's a zoom rocker switch, programmable zoom and focus settings, and data connections for use with broadcast-type zoom and focus servo-demand controls. However, it can easily be taken off so that the CN20x50 can be used as a more traditional cine lens.
The CN20x50 has a front diameter of 136 mm (5.4 inch) and measures 175 x 170.6 x 413.3 mm (6.9 x 6.7 x 16.3 inch) in its EF mount variant, the PL version is very slightly shorter. On that note, the lens can be converted between EF and PL mount by authorized Canon service facilities. The lens weighs in at a surprisingly light 6.6 kg (14.6 lb).
Canon says the CN20x50 will sell for US$78,000 when it goes on sale in the first quarter of 2015.