What light weight zoom lens is right for your job? We take a look at the zoom range of each lens and then show how close each lens can focus.[vimeo]https://vimeo.com/54627631[/vimeo]
We are proud to announce the addition of the new Optimo 45-120 light weight zoom to inventory.
Now available for rent is the beautiful and long awaited Optimo 45-120 T2.8. This lens completes the line of hand held zooms from Angenieux along with the 15-40 T2.6 and the 28-76 T2.6.
For many jobs this lens will go on the camera at the beginning of the day. . . and still be there at wrap. And it may well be on the “A” camera.
This new lens provides a whole new level of flexibility in PL mount light weight zooms. For example, shooting Alexa in 16X9 at an 11 foot distance from a six foot tall person you can produce a full figure shot using 19mm and then zoom to a tight head and shoulders shot at 90mm. And if run and gun suits your style, Fujinon provides an integrated and removable hand grip with zoom control that will allow operators to sneak in smooth shifts in focal length.
The new Fujinon 19-90 is shipped with the hand grip – zoom rocker attached to the lens. I removed the four screws securing the the hand grip and set it aside.
With the hand grip off of the lens it weighs in at 4.8lbs and is just about 1.5 inches longer and slightly (.3lbs) heavier than the Optimo 15-40 and 28-76 and 1/2 inch longer than the new 45-120. The front diameter is 114mm just like the small Optimo lenses.
Putting the hand grip back on the lens is not too difficult. Fujinon provides a nice plastic coated set of instructions for use when re-installing the grip. It took 5 minutes while following the instructions carefully and would be faster after a time or two. I would recommend doing this chore on a well lit bench with no distractions – not on a lens mounted to a camera on a dolly with the first AD breathing down your neck.
Mechanically the lens looks and feels like a quality cine lens should. The iris is very smooth and goes from T2.9 to T22 and then closes completely. The zoom is also quite smooth with a small but noticeable difference going from wide to tight (more drag) than from tight to wide (less drag).
All the markings on the lens are large and clear and should be easy to read in low light. The minimum focus distance is 2 feet 10 inches which is 10 inches longer than the 15-40 and the 28-76 and 3 inches closer than the 45-120 Optimo.
There is a rubber cover that protects the exposed pins when the hand grip is not attached. A hard plastic or metal cover would be more durable and secure. Adding this to list!
The 19-90 is shipped with no lens support bracket on the lens. That seems like a serious omission and we felt that using this lens with no lens support with or without the hand grip attached would put too much stress on the lens mount. With high demand for these new lenses we wanted to get something done quickly. Gulf Camera partner Alan Degen was able to design and manufacture a mount bracket in less than one week. The prototype was ready just in time for one of our lenses to go out on its first rental.
The 19-90 has a knob at the back of the lens that allows quick adjustment of back focus. A check on back-focus proved painless on our UniQoptics collimator. I worked at 3 feet from the Century chart. The contrast on this lens is superb and checking for focus is a snap. The procedure is to zoom to 90mm then front focus – zoom back to 19mm and back focus – then repeat. With the back-focus knob loosened up the lever is well damped and it is easy to find focus and then to tighten the knob while maintaining calibration. In most cases I would advise users to make sure the back focus is properly set at prep.
Once the back focus was set I put the lens through my normal lens check for focus accuracy at minimum, 4 feet, 6 feet, 10 feet and infinity. All were spot-on at both 19mm and 90mm. Then I put the lens on an Alexa and checked for zoom tracking and found it also to be very good.
My first shoot with the 19-90 was a 4 day commercial in North Georgia. I paired the 19-90 with an Angenieux Optimo 24-290 on an Alexa camera. The new lens was a great compliment to the big 12-1 and for tight interiors and hand held work it was a great choice. I even got a chance to use the “macro” mode on the lens. . . I discovered that when using a diopter on the front of the lens that the “macro” slider allows a fine adjustment that comes in very handy.
The weather in Amsterdam was spectacular for the IBC with sunny days in the upper 70′s and cool clear nights. I was looking forward to the 20 minute walk to the RAI where the IBC conference and exhibition is held but the hotel provided a water taxi from the dock out back right up to the RAI so that was too good to pass up. The ride in was a relaxing and scenic start to each day. Once at the RAI it was all hustle and crowds. The plan was to learn everything we could about new lenses, lens accessories and cameras in the 3 days we had allowed for the show. Arri, Zeiss, Fujinon and Angenieux were at the top of the list.
Zeiss provided me with the big surprise of the show. I was looking for the new 70-200 Compact Zoom and stumbled into a new lens I had heard nothing about – the brand new 28-80 Compact Zoom. Both the CPZ lenses have a wide aperture of T2.9 and a front diameter of 95mm. The 28-80 focuses as close as 2 feet 8 inches and wieghs 5.5lbs. The 70-200 has a close focus of 5 feet and weighs in at 6.2lbs.
While the 70-200 will be a “must have” lens as a long zoom for people who are using the Compact Primes, the 28-80 looks to me like it might be a great option for steadicam or hand-held situations where the Optimo 28-76 is either too pricey or too unavailable. In addition to the full-frame DSLR crowd, these zooms should also be great for Red Epic shooters who have a tough time finding zoom lenses that cover the 31.5mm image circle at 5K. The 70-200 should start arriving this November and the 28-80 is scheduled to start shipping April 2013. You can watch my interview with Michael Schiehlen Director of Sales for Zeiss here: Zeiss Interview
Also on display at Zeiss were the new super speed Compact Primes. These lenses, 35mm, 50mm and 85mm have a wide aperture of T1.5 and like the other CP-2′s (except the 50mm macro) have a front diameter of 114mm.
The super speeds are just now starting to ship.
The eagerly awaited 15mm CP-2 will begin shipping in October and the 135mm has been promised for February 2013.
The Zeiss display of Cine lenses was spectacular – with the full line of Master Primes, Ultra Primes and CP-2 lenses lined up behind glass. Window shopping for lens geeks has never been better. My favorite parts of the display were the sectioned lenses that reveal the inner workings of these high tech devices.
At the Zeiss booth (and at Arri) was the working 50mm Master Anamorphic lens shown mounted on an Alexa Studio camera. The prototype “Blue Lens” anamorphic seen at NAB this year had been sporting a T1.5 aperture so it was interesting to note that the new much more finished lens now comes in at a T1.9 wide aperture. Mr. Thorsten Meywald who is heading up the anamorphic project for Arri says that the entire promised set of Master Anamorphics will have a wide stop of T1.9 which is still very fast for an anamorphic lens. The full set of lenses are 35mm, 40mm, 50mm, 60mm, 75mm, 100mm and 135mm.
Arri will be rolling out the anamorphics in stages with the 35, 50 and 75 due to ship April 2013 and the 100mm to follow June 2013 with the others due by the end of 2013. Mr. Meywald says it is too early to talk about the development of zoom lenses to support the Master anamorphics but he hinted that there might be something to talk about in the not too distant future. You can see my interview with Thorsten Meywald the Product Manager for Arri here: Arri Master Anamorphic
I thought the 50mm Master Anamorphic on display looked very good through the Alexa Studio viewfinder. There was no obvious geometric distortion while racking through the focus and the mechanics were very smooth and solid. The Master Anamorphic lenses are priced at 30,000 euros each.
Fujinon had the new 19-90 “Cabrio” hung on the front of an Alexa camera. The lens looked good through the electronic viewfinder with smooth focus and zoom. The lens on display was marked in meters so still looking forward to the US production lens to evaluate the focus marking.
The ‘macro’ feature at the rear of the lens so familiar to ENG shooters could be a very nice bonus on the “Cabrio” to go with the attached servo.
I was not able to talk the Fujinon folks into removing the servo from the lens at the show – it will be interesting to see how the mechanics feel with the servo drag absent. The 19-90 does not have a lens support built into the lens so I bet the aftermarket accessory shops will be jumping on that situation. This lens is the first S35 lens I have seen with a readily adjustable back focus much like the Fuji ENG 2/3″ lenses on the market. I am considering removal of the knurled knob that adjusts back focus and replacing with something a little less inviting to the user in the field.
Fujinon did have a mock up of the 85-300 “Cabrio” on display. The lens was behind a glass window with what looked like a plastic front lens element. With over 500 Cabrio 19-90 lenses already on order Fujinon is probably focused on getting that lens off to a good start before concentrating on the longer 85-300. This will be a wonderful lens for B-camera situations and I’ll bet more than a few 1st AC’s will really hate it! You can watch my interview with Gordon Tubbs, VP Fujifilm North America here: Fujinon Interview.
Arri had a very prominent display with the entire Alexa line present. The New Alexa 4:3 was available to monkey with along with the Alexa Studio, Alexa M and Alexa + in the more common 16X9 flavor. Maybe even more interesting were the number of Alexa cameras on display in the booths of OTHER vendors. Alexa cameras were everywhere. There were no whispers about a higher resolution Alexa in the works but I’ll bet the 4K bug will eventually infect the German camera manufacturer. You can find my interview with Stephan Ukas-Bradley the Product Manager for Digital Production at Arri here: Arri Interview.
La noblesse at Angenieux were showing off the much coveted and very rare 45-120 Optimo hand held lens which was seen sporting the new ENG style zoom servo attachment. The 45-120 looks to be La Belle of the Optimo line with the new 12-1 Optimo 28-340 T3.2 being the beast.
The big 28-340 will cover the 31.5mm image circle of the Red Epic camera as will the new 19.5-94mm T2.6 Optimo zoom.
The Angenieux booth was an oasis of warm 3200k light in a sea of cold blue through the rest of the exhibit hall and more than one cardiac pace maker went into over-drive at the Angenieux area when a certain beautiful representative of the French company was present. Angenieux does know how to present their products in an elegant fashion.
Speaking of elegance: sexy, lithe and stylish would also describe the Aaton Penelope Delta camera lurking with the Optimo lenses at angenieux. The Delta was sporting a 45-120 Optimo and was a joy to play with. The viewfinder is clear and bright and unlike the Alexa Studio camera the Delta does have a video tap so it is not necessary to run the shutter all day in order to provide an image for the director to keep an eye on things during set up.
The Aaton Delta really brought to mind the Dalsa Evo camera that showed such wonderful promise before the demise of the Dalsa digital cinema company. It is interesting that the Aaton is using a Dalsa chip. I really look forward to learning more about this camera and hope someday soon to give it a try.
Schneider Kreuznach was showing off the new Cine Xenar 3 set of prime lenses at the show. The previous versions of these lenses received kudos for the optical performance but tepid response to the mechanical design because the front of the lenses telescoped out while focusing. The new lenses look a lot like the much loved Cooke S4 primes with a silver trim band to set them apart. These lenses focus very close, all have either a 2.0 or 2.2 wide aperture and a 104mm front diameter. The iris and focus rings were smooth and solid. These lenses come in 18mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, 75mm and 95mm focal lengths with more sizes promised. I have requested a set to test from Schneider and look forward to giving them a look.
Solid Camera is a young California based company that was present at the show. This company is busy building support equipment for various brands of cameras. There were quite a few parts for the Red Epic camera such as viewfinder support and power distribution. Michael Bravin is the Director of Business Development for Solid Camera and he was very interested in helping diverse camera users with ideas to improve ergonomics and efficiency. The accessories on display looked very well designed and fabricated. This company looks to be a valuable resource.
Between the 28-80 CPZ, the Arri Master Anamorphic and the Aaton Penelope Delta I would be hard pressed to pick my favorite new product this year at the IBC. All three products look to be special in their own way. I look forward to using each one and my congratulations to the very smart and clever people who made them real.
We speak with Stephan Ukas-Bradley the Product Manager of Digital Production for Arri about the new Alexa 4:3 camera, Alexa Studio camera and the new WC-4 wireless lens control.[vimeo]https://vimeo.com/49235317[/vimeo]
We interview Mr. Thorsten Meywald the Product Manager Optical Systems at Arriflex about the new Arri Master Anamorphic lens being shown at the IBC in Amsterdam.[vimeo]https://vimeo.com/49114427[/vimeo]
The 50mm anamorphic I played with looked beautiful through the viewfinder of the Alexa studio camera. No breathing and very subtle focus changes with no vertical or horizontal shifting through the entire focus range. The mechanical feel is what you would expect from a 30,000 Euro lens – very smooth and solid.
Michael Schiehlen, Director of Sales for Carl Zeiss talks about the new compact zooms at the IBC in amsterdam[vimeo]https://vimeo.com/49081547[/vimeo]
Mr. Schiehlen also let us know that the new 70-200 CPZ will be shipping in November of 2012. The 28-80 will be available in April of 2013. Both lenses sell for $19,900. There are also new super speed CP-2′s now starting to ship. The super speed lenses include a 35mm, a 50mm and an 85mm all with a wide aperture of T1.5. The new wide CP-2 15mm is due to ship October of 2012 along with a 25mm T2.1 and a 135mm scheduled to arrive Feb. 2013
We speak with Gordon Tubbs, Vice President of Fujifilm North America about the new 19-90 “Cabrio” and the 85-300 “Cabrio” zoom lenses.
BIG IBC Suprise from Zeiss
Carl Zeiss pulled a brand new Compact Zoom out of their bag of tricks today at the IBC show in Amsterdam. This is the second Compact Zoom from Zeiss and will be the mate to the soon to arrive 70-200mm zoom. These lenses will be available in various mounts and will cover any chip up to the full frame DSLR like the Canon 5D mk2 and 5D mk3. The new lens has a wide aperture of T2.9 and a close focus distance of 2’9″.
We will have an interview with Zeiss Director of Sales Michael Schiehlen about the new Compact lenses tomorrow here on Frame Lines.
Alan and Neal chat about the upcoming IBC trade show in Amsterdam
September 7th through September 11th.