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  • Cinema Lens Shootout

    Pretty interesting test of high speed cinema lenses by a group of redusers. They aptly call it, '2013 Southland Alternative Lens Shootout “Wide F%$@*^G Open” Edition.'

    They only tested lenses with a Tstop of 1.5 or less. Actually, have stills from the Rokinon 85mm available for download from the reduser forum. Won't post links to the reduser forum but, I would recommend registering to take a look at the .r3d files of each set.

    Sets Used:
    • Zeiss Master Primes
    • Zeiss CP.2 Super Speed
    • Leica Summilux-C
    • Luma Tech Illumina
    • Optica Elite S35
    • Canon K35
    • Zeiss Super Speed MKII
    • Canon CN-E



    Matt Hayslett's blog post about the shootout.
    Jon7athan Studios

  • #2
    Looks like the Zeiss CP2 superspeeds didnt come out to well. maybe they should have stuck to their guns and kept them at T2.1 instead of the cash cow lenses seem to have become as they will no longer be a niche product and NO reason WHY the lenses have to be so expensive anymore.

    I have a feeling this will change now the larger sensor cameras have taken hold. It's just not right they charge the same price as a family car Sometimes for a single lens on what is becoming more mass produced items.

    Comment


    • #3
      Agree, what started in the acquisition marketplace has moved to lenses. Can only hope this means more aggressive pricing before the inevitable consolidation of manufacturers.
      Jon7athan Studios

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by markscott View Post
        Looks like the Zeiss CP2 superspeeds didnt come out to well. maybe they should have stuck to their guns and kept them at T2.1 instead of the cash cow lenses seem to have become as they will no longer be a niche product and NO reason WHY the lenses have to be so expensive anymore.

        I have a feeling this will change now the larger sensor cameras have taken hold. It's just not right they charge the same price as a family car Sometimes for a single lens on what is becoming more mass produced items.
        Frommemory, there's actually not much of a difference optically between CP2 superspeeds and regular CP2s. In otherwords, they didn't compromise e lens to get them to 1.5.

        Lenses like these are couture items. They are made in really small batches. It's only the stills lenses that are making anything in mass numbers. Think about it. The world market for high end cinema lenses is only in the hundreds. I bet there are less than 50 sets of those Leica primesin existence. And CP2s. Again, I would be surprised if there were more than a couple of thousand CP2 kits out there. That's a still small volumes for a mass manufacturer.

        JB

        Comment


        • #5
          I think what Zeiss tried to do with the CP2's was harmonise the lens to T2 and didnt have to change much to get them to T1.5 except up the price and call them superspeeds but as the tests on this forum Matt Hayslett's blog post about the shootout. show Zeiss CP2 superspeeds wide open and not sharp I think its fair to say best to have stuck with T2. I've also heard a few negatives re the CP2's like breathing Barreling Flaring.

          The large sensor cameras that need lenses are becoming very popular now. It cant be that hard to put a follow focus ring and declick the aperture ring on still lenses and if they are just manual then no electrical components either. The CP2's seem like overpriced toys. Pretty to look at but not much below T2. Why is the 18mm T3.9? The Canon CN-E's seem the better offering but limited in choice.

          The optical science bit is done. Again companies like Rokinon Voigtlander are picking up the slack. Only a matter of time now before much cheaper lens kits become available at a third of the price in my opinion.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by markscott View Post

            The large sensor cameras that need lenses are becoming very popular now. It cant be that hard to put a follow focus ring and declick the aperture ring on still lenses and if they are just manual then no electrical components either. The CP2's seem like overpriced toys. Pretty to look at but not much below T2. Why is the 18mm T3.9? The Canon CN-E's seem the better offering but limited in choice.

            The optical science bit is done. Again companies like Rokinon Voigtlander are picking up the slack. Only a matter of time now before much cheaper lens kits become available at a third of the price in my opinion.
            There is a gigantic world of difference in the precision of a stills lens and a cinema lens. Yes you do pay a premium price for it, but that's simply because the market for motion is quite small comapred to photography.

            Yes, optically, many of the best stills lenses can compete, but theres a lot more to the practicality of the lens in motion use.

            If it really was as simple as you say, then it would have already happened. Rokinon, SLR magic and Voigtlander IS that happening you're hoping for. But there are still enormous differences between those and even a lowly CP...

            jb

            (EDIT. Barry Green suggesting the CP superspeeds are really just CPs that open a bit wider) http://www.bmcuser.com/archive/index.php/t-619.html

            Comment


            • #7
              Cinema lenses shouldn't breathe Should not vignette Should have no click aperture rings should be colour matched and multicoated to protect against flares. The Zeiss CP2's are mostly based on their own still camera range that are a fraction of the cost albeit without the 14 iris blades. Also the lenses should be mechanically constructed for the image size they are going to be used for in order to make sure areas of the lens are given priority for sharpness when it comes to focusing IE the rule of thirds. The lenses should all have the same T Stop so that if you light for T1.5 for a lens you dont suddenly realise you have to relight for a lens that only goes to T3.9 for example. Also the lenses should be the same size for follow focus Matte box etc.

              Okay that aside. I can't afford high end lenses. None of us can. But I would like a working set so I can make test films for practice and maybe a planned indie feature.

              I want my lenses to be declicked, manual. Sharp to T1.5. Preferably with no vignetting but will accept a little on wider lenses if it means the difference of a couple of thousand pounds. I don't mind if the iris has seven blades or the lenses are different sizes, although shouldn't cost much extra.

              I think a maximum of £1000 a lens that includes all lenses being the same size is a good target price for a CP2 equivilent of the future.

              The CP2's are a GREAT idea and not that bad. They filled a spot and they made money But others have caught on. So to stay in the game they need to bring out a better more affordable range or others will/are.

              Lenses like the CP2 are not specialist they are basicly a mid range still lens modded for film use and overpriced for what they are. Although they do look the business.

              Yes I understand why Super primes Cooke etc are priced the way they are as they are the ultimate in what they do. Bit like a porsche compared to a family car. Top of the range lenses will stay unnafordable and rightly so considering the work that goes into them.

              Zeiss CP2's have stolen a march on a NEW market. Now they can either move with the times or get superceded in my opinion.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by markscott View Post
                Cinema lenses shouldn't breathe Should not vignette Should have no click aperture rings should be colour matched and multicoated to protect against flares. The Zeiss CP2's are mostly based on their own still camera range that are a fraction of the cost albeit without the 14 iris blades. Also the lenses should be mechanically constructed for the image size they are going to be used for in order to make sure areas of the lens are given priority for sharpness when it comes to focusing IE the rule of thirds. The lenses should all have the same T Stop so that if you light for T1.5 for a lens you dont suddenly realise you have to relight for a lens that only goes to T3.9 for example. Also the lenses should be the same size for follow focus Matte box etc.

                Okay that aside. I can't afford high end lenses. None of us can. But I would like a working set so I can make test films for practice and maybe a planned indie feature.


                I want my lenses to be declicked, manual. Sharp to T1.5. Preferably with no vignetting but will accept a little on wider lenses if it means the difference of a couple of thousand pounds. I don't mind if the iris has seven blades or the lenses are different sizes, although shouldn't cost much extra.

                I think a maximum of £1000 a lens that includes all lenses being the same size is a good target price for a CP2 equivilent of the future.

                The CP2's are a GREAT idea and not that bad. They filled a spot and they made money But others have caught on. So to stay in the game they need to bring out a better more affordable range or others will/are.

                Lenses like the CP2 are not specialist they are basicly a mid range still lens modded for film use and overpriced for what they are. Although they do look the business.

                Yes I understand why Super primes Cooke etc are priced the way they are as they are the ultimate in what they do. Bit like a porsche compared to a family car. Top of the range lenses will stay unnafordable and rightly so considering the work that goes into them.

                Zeiss CP2's have stolen a march on a NEW market. Now they can either move with the times or get superceded in my opinion.

                All lenses breathe, even cinema ones. Not as much, but they do.
                The CP.2's not only have 14 blade iris's, but they also have two very important things still ones don't. 270 degrees of rotation and great witness marks.
                This is essential on serious productions.
                They also require extremely low maintenance, so you don't have to have them re-collimated after every job like many of the higher end stuff. That is a big deal.
                They have easily interchangeable mounts for working with a variety of cameras. (Show me another one that has that) and lastly,
                they cover full frame, which will become even more important when RED Dragon is released and which uses sensor territory beyond the scope of even top end glass.
                Saying that the lenses should have a price point of £1000 strikes me as having more to do with your needs than Zeiss's. It is not at all realistic.
                If I wanted my films to look like the real world I'd buy a video camera.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by yoclay View Post
                  All lenses breathe, even cinema ones. Not as much, but they do.
                  The CP.2's not only have 14 blade iris's, but they also have two very important things still ones don't. 270 degrees of rotation and great witness marks.
                  This is essential on serious productions.
                  They also require extremely low maintenance, so you don't have to have them re-collimated after every job like many of the higher end stuff. That is a big deal.
                  They have easily interchangeable mounts for working with a variety of cameras. (Show me another one that has that) and lastly,
                  they cover full frame, which will become even more important when RED Dragon is released and which uses sensor territory beyond the scope of even top end glass.
                  Saying that the lenses should have a price point of £1000 strikes me as having more to do with your needs than Zeiss's. It is not at all realistic.
                  270 degrees of rotation? Often swings and roundabouts when you need to rack focus from 2' to 6"

                  The CP2's have either PL mounts or Canon EF TWO interchangeable mounts for a lower range lens set?

                  The CP2's are built mechanically to cover ALL sensor sizes so do you think the same mechanical construction for all sensor sizes is a good thing?


                  My thinking is if I were to take the leap and buy CP2 lens set I would be wasting my money as they get superceded and find better lenses come out fairly soon after . Looking at the price of good still lenses I think £1000 a prime lens seems fair for a good cinema lens for indie film makers on a budget.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'd also take issue with your remark about great witness marks Many of us wont use tape measures and will get focus on the monitor and mark the follow focus.
                    As a side note the canon CN-E look better than the CP2's just a shame about their limited range
                    http://www.creativevideo.co.uk/index..._50_85_package

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by markscott View Post
                      270 degrees of rotation? Often swings and roundabouts when you need to rack focus from 2' to 6"
                      Swings and roundabouts? What on earth are you on about? Long focus throw is the name of the game when it comes to focus pulling. It is what enables the 1st AC to make the necessary distinctions from one point to another. Try doing that on a still lens with only 3mm between 10' and infiinity.

                      The CP2's have either PL mounts or Canon EF TWO interchangeable mounts for a lower range lens set?

                      The CP2's are built mechanically to cover ALL sensor sizes so do you think the same mechanical construction for all sensor sizes is a good thing?
                      They don't have two mount possiblitites, they have four. And yes that is a good thing. Why do you think so many people kept their lenses in BNCR for so many years? Easily adaptability. PL or even EF today for instance.

                      My thinking is if I were to take the leap and buy CP2 lens set I would be wasting my money as they get superceded and find better lenses come out fairly soon after . Looking at the price of good still lenses I think £1000 a prime lens seems fair for a good cinema lens for indie film makers on a budget.
                      £1000 ? Some of those lenses cost more than that just for the still version. They should just give away the housing? The housing and the mechanical aspects costs more practically than the lenses. Take a look at how much Duclos or even any of the Asian firms charge for rehousing a lens.

                      You don't think the CP.2's should be more expensive?
                      Fine, by some Rokinon lenses and be done with it.

                      I'd also take issue with your remark about great witness marks Many of us wont use tape measures and will get focus on the monitor and mark the follow focus.
                      As a side note the canon CN-E look better than the CP2's just a shame about their limited range
                      http://www.creativevideo.co.uk/index..._50_85_package
                      An experienced AC is generally not looking at the follow focus wheel or a monitor. They are looking downn the barrel of a lens at the talent and viewing the witness marks at the same time. That's why they are there. You may not believe this but the CP.2's have some of the most accurate and well noted witness marks on the market.
                      Last edited by yoclay; 02-06-2013, 07:46 AM.
                      If I wanted my films to look like the real world I'd buy a video camera.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        [Swings and roundabouts? What on earth are you on about? Long focus throw is the name of the game when it comes to focus pulling. It is what enables the 1st AC to make the necessary distinctions from one point to another. Try doing that on a still lens with only 3mm between 10' and infiinity.

                        Oh come on you must use really long lenses all the time. Were not all bokeh freaks. BESIDES they should have decent size focus rings for the longer lenses.


                        They don't have two mount possiblitites, they have four. And yes that is a good thing. Why do you think so many people kept their lenses in BNCR for so many years? Easily adaptability. PL or even EF today for instance.

                        I believe the mft is another add on to an adapter If not okay they can.

                        £1000 ? Some of those lenses cost more than that just for the still version. They should just give away the housing? The housing and the mechanical aspects costs more practically than the lenses. Take a look at how much Duclos or even any of the Asian firms charge for rehousing a lens. You don't think they should be more expensive? Fine, by some Rokinon lenses and be done with it.

                        Yes but most of them dont. Look the mechanics on the cinema lenses are easier being just manual and declicked with an extra focus ring. Once factory is setup shouldnt be a price premium for this.

                        An experienced AC is generally not looking at the follow focus wheel or a monitor. They are looking downn the barrel of a lens at the talent and viewing the witness marks at the same time. That's why they are there. You may not believe this but the CP.2's have some of the most accurate and well noted witness marks on the market.

                        How do you look down the barrel of a lens at the witness marks???? If you look down the lens to get focus what difference does it make to then look at the witness marks??? Why look down the lens to get focus WHY not use a nice big monitor or smaller monitor with zoom.
                        Last edited by markscott; 02-06-2013, 07:52 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by markscott View Post
                          [Swings and roundabouts? What on earth are you on about? Long focus throw is the name of the game when it comes to focus pulling. It is what enables the 1st AC to make the necessary distinctions from one point to another. Try doing that on a still lens with only 3mm between 10' and infiinity.

                          Oh come on you must use really long lenses all the time. Were not all bokeh freaks. BESIDES they should have decent size focus rings for the longer lenses.




                          They don't have two mount possiblitites, they have four. And yes that is a good thing. Why do you think so many people kept their lenses in BNCR for so many years? Easily adaptability. PL or even EF today for instance.

                          I believe the mft is another add on to an adapter If not okay they can.


                          £1000 ? Some of those lenses cost more than that just for the still version. They should just give away the housing? The housing and the mechanical aspects costs more practically than the lenses. Take a look at how much Duclos or even any of the Asian firms charge for rehousing a lens. You don't think they should be more expensive? Fine, by some Rokinon lenses and be done with it.

                          Yes but most of them dont. Look the mechanics on the cinema lenses are easier being just manual and declicked with an extra focus ring. Once factory is setup shouldnt be a price premium for this


                          An experienced AC is generally not looking at the follow focus wheel or a monitor. They are looking downn the barrel of a lens at the talent and viewing the witness marks at the same time. That's why they are there. You may not believe this but the CP.2's have some of the most accurate and well noted witness marks on the market.

                          How do you look down the barrel of a lens at the witness marks???? If you look down the lens to get focus what difference does it make to then look at the witness marks??? Why look down the lens to get focus WHY not use a nice big monitor or smaller monitor with zoom.
                          Long focus throw has nothing to do with long lenses. The focus throw is how people in the industry refer to the amount of rotation a lens has.

                          Yes but most of them dont. Look the mechanics on the cinema lenses are easier being just manual and declicked with an extra focus ring. Once factory is setup shouldnt be a price premium for this
                          Further, the CP.2's are whole lot more than a declicked still lens with a gear on it. Just how do you think they got a 270 degree rotation, from a still lens that was 90 degrees before?

                          How do you look down the barrel of a lens at the witness marks???? If you look down the lens to get focus what difference does it make to then look at the witness marks??? Why look down the lens to get focus WHY not use a nice big monitor or smaller monitor with zoom.
                          Sorry mate, but it's obvious to me that you haven't spent any time on a real set or you would know what I am talking about with focus pulling.
                          Watch a top notch AC in action and you will see how this works. Pretty fast and pretty amazing. Witness marks are very important.
                          If I wanted my films to look like the real world I'd buy a video camera.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            [Yoclay Pretty obvious you're twisting my words to undermine and put yourself up as a professional. So I assume then you must be a focus puller yourself?

                            1) I opened with a long list of why cinema lens are different to ordinary lenses.
                            2) I never said long throw focus had anything to do with a long lens. My point was if you're focusing for subjects more than 8 feet away you're using longer lenses to achieve focus. I can get sharp rack focus on my old mark one zeiss superspeeds with a large FF ring at long distances and although its much better to have something like the longer rotation of a CP2 it isnt worth a £3000 premium for someone like me who wouldn't pay that price for that feature I would in fact rent.


                            CP2's are overpriced and not that good as demonstrated by the RED tests. I dont believe they are of a good enough professional standard and designed with the indie film maker in mind after looking at those tests and that being the case overpriced even with the 14 aperture blades the big rotation and being declicked is not a good reason for the massive price hike from the ordinary Zeiss lenses they copy.

                            This will be an expanding area and there will be compettiton THE CP2's need to compete so unless their prices drop I believe they will have a limited time and many will end up on ebay with their owners losing money.

                            Just my opinion.
                            Last edited by markscott; 02-06-2013, 12:10 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by yoclay View Post



                              Sorry mate, but it's obvious to me that you haven't spent any time on a real set or you would know what I am talking about with focus pulling.
                              Watch a top notch AC in action and you will see how this works. Pretty fast and pretty amazing. Witness marks are very important.
                              watching "real" 1.ACs at work is always a joy. I'm working as a 2.AC and have meet some focus pullers how rarely even use a monitor. They "see" and "feel" the distance between the camera and the actors. (supported by gadgets like cinetape etc.). And then set the distance on the lens accordingly. This is what proper markings are for. This is the reason cinema lenses are designed the way they are.

                              It has become more difficult with HD then it was on film but pulling focus by the picture of a monitor is not the way to go for perfect focus. If it's out of focus there, it's always too late.
                              -John Bauer-

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