With the trend being for digital SLR cameras to now offer video capture it was only a matter of time before dedicated prime and zoom lenses were offered to hybrid photographers and videographers.
At the NAB Show in Las Vegas last week, Carl Zeiss introduced a range of new cine lenses designed especially for DSLRs. More importantly they're all compatible with a choice of either Canon EF, Nikon F or Arri PL mounts.
Boasting the title of "the world’s first set of cine lenses designed especially for HDSLR cameras" (so that’s the likes of the full-frame Canon 5D Mark II), the Carl Zeiss Compact Prime CP.2 lenses feature interchangeable mounts, making it plausible to upgrade to any existing or future cine or stills camera without the need to invest in a new kit set if you migrate from Nikon to Canon, or vice-versa. These will be available in a choice of different focal lengths ranging from 18mm to 85mm.
Covering a full-frame 24 x 36 image format and with the promise of zero vignetting, the CP.2 range will be based around a common aperture of T2.1. That’s a significant improvement on ZEISS’ first generation of lenses with a common T-Stop of T2.9. Build-wise there’s scope for manual focus and a consistently round iris should offer cinematographers nice out-of-focus highlights and pleasing bokeh.
The ZEISS lightweight zoom will also come in with interchangeable PL, EF and F mounts, covering all the obvious video-enabled DSLRs for Nikon and Canon. Because it only weighs around 2 kilograms this light lens should prove useful if you don’t have the scope to use a tripod and want to keep capture handheld. It would be equally convenient if you’re capturing Steadycam shots with a traditional cine camera.
Carl Zeiss has made some big promises on image quality with this lens. As well as its curved and large-diameter glass, additional anti-flare coating should cut down on nasty flare and reflections.
Both lenses are planned for release in June although there’s no official word on pricing yet. Chances are they won't be cheap. To give you a guide, a complete set of seven original Carl Zeiss Compact Prime lenses will set you back around $21,000+, whilst a single lens averages around $3,000.
Source: Digital Photography Review.
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